Archive for July, 2009

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Packing

July 31, 2009

I’ve been trying to pack for Disney a little bit at a time for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve still got the majority of my stuff left, and it’s time to really get serious about it.  Unfortunately, my car is back in the shop for a few more small repairs, which means that I can put things in boxes to my little heart’s content…but then I don’t have anywhere to put the boxes.   I’m not sure when I’ll get it back.  Definitely before I leave, but, other than that, who knows?  The resulting gigantic pile of crap has been nothing but a sore spot with me for a week now, and it’s getting worse instead of better.  Every day the pile of “packed” crap gets bigger, leaving me with less and less floor space, and less and less sanity. 

At least one part of the packing process is going smoothly: I haven’t had any trouble finding boxes to pack in. I bought a couple of Tupperware containers that I can use to pack in and then use for storage in the apartment, and I’ve also been hoarding boxes and packing materials left over from work.  I’m also going to pack in laundry baskets, backpacks, and anything else that I can put to use or store easily while I’m in Florida.

It’s been very strange trying to decide what to take: 5 months isn’t long enough to take everything that I own, but it’s long enough that I need to take almost everything.  Unlike packing for a week or two, it’s not about choosing which items are necessities and which ones are luxuries; it’s about deciding which items are the necessary luxuries.  It’s also been difficult, because I don’t know what my roommates are bringing.  It’s nice to have a toaster oven, but we don’t need 6 toaster ovens in one apartment. 

Adding to the chaos are the boxes of stuff still being moved out of our old house.  These need to be unpacked, and it’s getting hard to find the space for everything.  Boxes for packing on one side of the room, boxes for unpacking on the other.  Ugh!  I’m really excited about leaving for Disney…but right now I think I’m just more excited about being done with packing.

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Less Chef Boyardee, More Julia Child

July 29, 2009

Among my many anxieties about living on my own for the first time, food is a major one.  I don’t cook, so the possibilities of me either starving to death or gaining 50 pounds from living off of Ramen Noodles are both very real scenarios.  I’m also very spoiled because I still live at home, and so I get home cooked meals all the time.  So when forced to choose between continuing in my no-cook, anti-Betty Crocker ways and giving up those home cooked meals…well, let’s just say I have a feeling I’ll be learning my way around the kitchen this semester.

In fact, I’ve already been gathering recipes from online, flipping through cookbooks, and even practicing some at home.  My boyfriend gives me a hard time, because, compared to me, he’s practically a chef.  So when I tell him, with a ring of pride and self-satisfaction in my voice, that I made Pizza Pasta casserole, I know how much effort it takes for him to say, “Wow, that sounds great!  Good for you!”  I know he’s choking back the laughs, and maybe even a gag (he’s such a food snob!), but the important part is that, as always, he’s been very encouraging.

I haven’t practiced much yet this summer, and  I don’t really think that I’ll cook all that often when I’m in Florida.  I’ll probably be too busy!  But at least it’s something that I’m going to try to do more often.  As scary as the stove can be, I hope that we can become friends.  And maybe by next January, I’ll have learned to make dishes a little more complicated than Pizza Pasta casserole.

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“Think of a Wonderful Thought…”

July 28, 2009
I’ve only got 12 days to go until I leave for this grand adventure, but to tell you the truth, I’m more stressed than excited all of a sudden.  There’s just so much going on right now, and so much left to do!  And at this point, I don’t see how it will all get done. 

So, in an attempt to get myself as excited again as I was a few days ago–as excited as I should be–I’ve been looking up all the cool new stuff at WDW.  I haven’t been there in three years, so there have been quite a few additions.  “Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor” is new, as is “Toy Story Mania”.  I think the latter looks especially fun.  (BTW, what is it with Toy Story and shooting gallery-type rides?)

Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Mania

Some of my favorite attractions have also been updated since the last time I was at WDW.  “Hall of Presidents” has a new film, and they’ve also added Robo-Bama.  I may disagree with him, but the guy sure knows how to give a speech, and I’m sure it will just be a-political “We should all come together” type stuff.  I can get behind that. I know most people think this attraction is boring, but I really do love it!  “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Haunted Mansion” have also had major updates that I haven’t gotten to see yet.

I hope there’s going to be a lot more that I love about the program than just going to the parks.  But that’s the part that is the most familiar to me, and the familiarity is comforting right now.  I’m trying not to think too much about paying rent, hoping I get along with my roommates, trying to learn to cook for myself, possibly dealing with a tyrranical manager, and a million other things that just make me anxious.  I’m trying to focus on the part that I know will still be exciting, now matter how the rest turns out.  Because chances are, those other things will turn out fine, too.  And there’s no sense in worrying about them right now.

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Easy Come, Easy Go

July 24, 2009

I’m a little less excited today than I was yesterday.  Just as quickly as I found out I was getting lots of scholarship money, I found out that I wouldn’t be getting any scholarship money. 

I should probably stop construction on my money-filled swimming pool now.

Looks like my dream of swimming Scrooge McDuck-style in a pit of money will have to be put on hold for a while.

I got a call this morning from Financial Aid – they took another look, and decided that I didn’t qualify for the scholarship, after all.  Those “second looks” always seem to bite me in the butt!  Turns out that the lady didn’t understand that I wouldn’t be getting any credit for next semester, and since I had full-time status, she just assumed that I was getting 12 credits.

Ya know, two days ago I wasn’t upset about not getting that scholarship at all.  I let myself get too excited yesterday, though, and so today I’m disappointed.  Oh, well.  I just need to move on and get over it.  It’s certainly not the end of the world…I mean, I’m going to freakin’ Disney World!

And even better than just going to Disney World, it’s looking like my friend Emily, who applied for the CP with me but decided not to do it, has decided to go to a college in Eastern Florida…just an hour from Orlando!  She’ll be moving just a couple of weeks after me.  Now I just need to convince her to buy an Annual Pass for WDW…

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Pennies From Heaven

July 23, 2009

Actually, the title should be “Great Big Wads of Cash” from Heaven.  I just got some really great news:  I’m going to be eligible for one of my scholarships next semester, even though I won’t be taking any classes!  Woohoo!

Why, yes, Regis!  I emwould/em like to be a millionaire!

Why, yes, Regis! I would like to be a millionaire!

I have three scholarships.  Two of these are good for eight semesters, so I had them deferred until I get back.  That way, I’ll still have enough eligible semesters left to finish school.  But I had forgotten that one of my scholarships is good for 10 semesters.  I talked to Financial Aid today, and I will be getting that scholarship this September.  Seriously–how can it get any better?  I’ve got no books to buy, no tuition to pay, yet I’m getting the money for these things. 

So, of course, I’m going to turn right around and pay for the rest of that computer I bought on Monday.  Then, who knows?  All I can say is that I’m very, very happy about it all.  Last week, I was hoping to buy one ticket to Cirque du Soleil.  Today, I’m thinking maybe I’ll just rent out the entire theatre.

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So This Is the Year 2000, Huh? Nice.

July 21, 2009

For once, no one can accuse me of being indecisive. After my computer crashed last week, I sorted through all of the options, did all of my research, and last night, just shy of a week later, bought a brand new Dell. Of course, I can’t take all the credit for my decisiveness: I found a really great deal. So now I have a computer, printer, and, unfortunately, a much skinnier wallet than yesterday. But with 4 GB of memory and a 320 GB hard drive, my new computer doubles the power of my old one, so it’s all worth it.

My New Toys.

My New Toys.

Now it’s time for a confession: I don’t have high-speed internet at home. We live out in the sticks, and high-speed’s hard to come by. I guess that, as far as confessions go, it’s not too bad, and I may have even mentioned it here before on my blog. But it makes me feel so 1990s. So with my new, fast computer and the super-fast internet I’m looking forward to once I move to Florida, I have a feeling that I’m going to be wasting a lot more time on the good ol’ inter-web. And no more bumming wi-fi at the library every time I need to work on an important project or download a necessary program! (Okay, okay. Or everytime I want to watch a video of a drunk squirrel on a treadmill.)

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To Study or Not To Study?

July 20, 2009

One of the last major decisions I have to make about the CP is whether or not to take a class/classes while I’m in the program. I only have limited time in Florida, and I can’t get credit anyway, so I don’t want to waste all of my valuable adventure time in a classroom. I can do that at home! But at the same time, I genuinely enjoy school (sometimes), and a Disney class would definitely be a unique experience. Ugh! When can I stop having to decide things?!

An actual photo from a lecture in one of the Disney classes

An actual photo taken in a Disney class lecture. (Okay, maybe not.)

There are three types of classes at Disney: Collegiate Courses, Professional Development Studies, and the Exploration Series. The Collegiate Courses are designed for college credit and are a lot of work: homework, quizzes, lots of class sessions, etc. As far as I’m concerned, these are out. I don’t want to take a class that could potentially stress me out while I’m at Disney, especially if I can’t even get credit for it!

Professional Development classes are available for students involved in one of four areas of study–engineering, entertainment, finance, and security–and only for those students. So since I’m not enrolled in any of these majors, these are out for me, as well.

The Exploration Series, however, is kind of intriguing. They have no tests or homework, and are, according to the official website, “highly interactive and [encourage] each participant to fully experience all aspects of the 47 square miles of the Walt Disney World Resort as a learning laboratory.” Sounds fun! These classes only meet once a week for 8 weeks, which means that I would still have plenty of time to get all of this done.

There are 5 classes in this series, exploring Communication Processes, Guest Service, Leadership, Marketing, and People Management at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Guest Service class sounds the most interesting to me, and seems to have the most potential for tours and all of that fun stuff.  The Communication Processes one is also intriguing, as it seems to look more at behind the scenes stuff like Public Relations.

I hope that, whatever I decide, I don’t regret it. (I’ve still got one more month to think about it: I will have to sign up for any classes within the first few days of arriving, though I’m not sure whether I do it at check-in or not.)  I originally hadn’t planned on taking a class, but as the summer’s wearing on, I can almost feel my brain beginning to atrophy and I think I may need to challenge it just a little bit. Plus, there seems to be a common theme of regret among the blogs of former CPs who chose not to take any classes. 

Most importantly, if I don’t take a class, I won’t get my Mousters degree! I bet you think I’m kidding, don’t you? But I’m not: Exploration and Professional classes earn you a “Mousters”, while taking a Collegiate course gets you your “Ducktorate.” I love it, but I have to admit that this is definitely the cheesiest thing I’ve come across yet in the Disney CP, and that’s really saying something.