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the_salton_sea [userpic]

(no subject)

March 26th, 2009 (01:24 pm)
current location: Cubeland
current song: Jose Gonzalez- Killing for Love

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the_salton_sea [userpic]

(no subject)

November 3rd, 2008 (07:39 pm)

I'm sure hearing it from me won't make a difference either way, but FUCKING VOTE. If you can vote and you don't, I can't think of anything you could tell me that would make me think that's okay.

the_salton_sea [userpic]

"Last updated 28 weeks ago"

September 10th, 2008 (05:09 pm)

Oh, hi.

I just applied for graduation.

I'm going to apply for the Peace Corps next.

I live in a house in Catonsville.

My boyfriend is named Trevor.

If you're on Facebook you probably already know all of this.

the_salton_sea [userpic]


February 22nd, 2008 (05:14 am)

I know I have a "real" blog but I haven't figure out how to say this gracefully yet.

Last night, on our way to the airport via the goodbye thing with our group, my and Kristina's bags were stolen from a tiny, intimate club that we'd been to before and that was filled with our friends. My passport, all my clothes and toiletries, glasses and extra contacts, address book, school work, and brand-new 250g ritter sport bar are gone. Thank goodness I had my cellphone and wallet in my back pockets. The tickets to Portugal were basically wasted since Easy Jet is a "no refunds" airline. I'll see about getting credit for the return flight. Today I have to go to the American consulate and apply for a new passport, buy new underwear and socks since all the ones I owned were in that bag, and start a spring break in Berlin that was supposed to be my break from this place.

Kind of shitty.

the_salton_sea [userpic]

Vodka what?

December 30th, 2007 (11:56 pm)

Weather forecast for Berlin; Tuesday, January 9: High 29, Low 23, partly cloudy.

I'm so excited I'm so scared. I'm going to miss everyone so much it will be over before I know it. I don't know what to think.

the_salton_sea [userpic]

(no subject)

December 10th, 2007 (11:36 am)





the_salton_sea [userpic]

Take a hike

November 20th, 2007 (01:48 pm)

Take a hike
For anyone who thinks UMBC's transit system doesn't need improving, take a look at the "Walk Score" for our campus. It's a 25/100: "0 - 25 = Driving Only: Virtually no neighborhood destinations within walking range. You can walk from your house to your car!" And really, anyone who's ventured to these businesses knows they're generally not worth the walk. I like pizza and Chinese as much as any college student, but mediocre take-out does not a vital college experience make.

I know our system has made great strides this year especially (I'm talkin' to you, new shiny buses) and rarely leaves me completely stranded anymore, it still leaves something to be desired. I can't take the Downtown Shuttle on the weekend, and if I want to leave or get to campus during mid-day or in the late evening, I've got a good chance of standing on a deserted street corner for more than an hour. It's taken me up to an hour and a half to get downtown, most notably when the driver tried to make a fancy detour to avoid traffic and ended up lost in South West going the wrong way down a one-way alley. She ended up dropping everyone off several blocks from the stop in the pouring rain, by the way. Another time, when the shuttle was late on the third day of classes and I was just a little worried about missing a quiz, I called UMBC Transit to find out what the dilly-o was. After a little waffling, the receptionist transferred me to the director, who let me know I was obviously just crazy and the bus had definitely come because she could see that it had left campus on time. It showed up while I was on the phone with her... 40 minutes late because of an accident on I-95. Apparently this was news to her.

Let's consider, in contrast, the wunderkind to our red-headed stepchild: College Park. They score a 42, and although I know that's not much of a difference, the quality of their accessible services is way, way higher. What's more, their transportation system comprises 19 biodiesel-powered bus routes that connect students to distant shopping centers like Silver Spring, targeted commuter routes, an affordable campus taxi service, late-night shuttles, a FlexCar connection, a live tracking system accessible via cell phone-- all organized on a current, easily-navigable website.

I know, College Park's tuition is more than some of us could dream of affording (just kidding!)* and I know, they pay more for parking and get more revenue from their sports teams. But we need transit more. With everyone in a panic about retention rates (see The Retriever for more) and those of us who stick around routinely drinking ourselves into a bored stupor on weekends, more efficient and far-reaching connections to the community should be a top priority for the administration; we need fewer catered lunches for consultant teams and more bus routes, more bike lockers,  more pedestrian paths into Catonsville, and a website with fewer consistently broken links.

Maybe Freeman and the rest of us should stop bitching about how there's never any parking and start bitching about how we have to park in the first place.

In terms of tuition, actually, in-state for 07-08 at UMBC is very slightly lower than CP; $6,484 and $6,566, respectively. We really kill students in the fees, though; they're just about $1,000 more here than at CP, bringing us up to the highest in-state tuition and fees in the state by nearly that much. Special note: they have one line item in fees, "Shuttle Bus: $123" (for 2007.) We have "Transportation: $278" (up to $308 next year.)

One could argue that, because at CP yearly parking permits for commuters are $205, and for residents permits are $396, they end up paying more. Not so, I'd argue; the students who want or need cars on campus end up paying more. CP encourages their students to use (and therefore support improvements to) their transit system by putting the onus on them if they choose to have cars. In contrast, the administration here either assumes that everyone will drive (making permits "free" to students) or decides to spread the cost around to those of us who do use the buses, including freshmen who generally can't have cars on campus and have to rely on the satellite lot shuttle even if they do. Whack!

the_salton_sea [userpic]

My birthday done come early.

November 6th, 2007 (12:32 pm)

Good luck to you, Mr. Olbermann.

Holy shit.

the_salton_sea [userpic]

On meat

October 5th, 2007 (01:01 pm)

Brendan Kiley makes some of my favorite points about meat consumption far more poignantly than I've ever been able to. 

the_salton_sea [userpic]


October 4th, 2007 (09:37 am)

Dear Leanna,

Many thanks for sending us your application for the Spring 2008 program! I am happy to confirm your admission by means of this early, more informal message. You will receive more formal material from us after our October 15 deadline. We will soon inform you whether we can offer you any scholarship assistance.

Welcome aboard! We look forward to having you with us starting in early January! Please note that the day on which you need to be here at the latest is January 9, and that the apartment, if you opted for this form of housing, will be yours through all of April, even though the semester formally ends on April 24.

With best regards,
Dr. Dirk Verheyen
Academic Director
FU-BEST Program
Freie Universität Berlin
Brentanostraße 50
D-12163 Berlin

Okay, friends. Now, I definitely need your thoughts, tips, hints, anecdotes, etc. (Especially regarding travel to & around Berlin.) I'm looking at you, Jacob!


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