Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Contrary to what my classmates in undergrad believed, I don't hate little kids. I just don't love them. I'm really pretty neutral about small children. I can take them or leave them. Now I like kids that I know and kids that I'm related to. I'm just talking about children I don't know here. That being said, for some reason small children I don't know seem to love me. I don't know why. I never thought I put off any "Hey, little kids! Come to me and play!" vibes. But apparently I do.

When I was in Kenya 4 years ago (has it really been that long!?), we went to some orphanages and for some reason the small children loved me. More than once a child would run up to me and then not leave my side. I didn't mind, but I didn't get it either. This past weekend we were at a cookout at Jeremy's boss's house and one of his coworkers was there with his wife and 18ish month old daughter. For some reason the daughter really liked me and kept wanting me to play with her. The parents even asked (half jokingly, I think) if I was available for babysitting.

This all just struck me as interesting because I have friends who just LOVE kids - they would and could spend all their time playing with kids. I'm not like that. So why do small children like me so much?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Twice in the past week now a cashier has tried to convince me that I should buy more of whatever it is I was buying because it was on sale. Both times I've had to explain that I don't want or need more, and I don't need to pay more for something I don't need or what. I think both times the cashier has been confused as to why I haven't wanted to take advantage of this great deal.

Example 1 - Last week Jeremy and I went to Kohl's to buy him a shirt and tie for my graduation. His only nice dress shirt is black so it's not very practical to wear in the spring and summer. He's actually needed to wear a nice shirt on a couple of occasions recently so we decided it was time for him to get another nice dress shirt. The shirts were buy one get one half off. He only really needed one so we only got one. The teenage cashier boy kept telling us we could get another for half the price and didn't we want to go pick out another one? We kept saying "no" and finally I said "that's $20, we don't want to spend another $20!" We had no reason to spend the extra money for a shirt Jeremy didn't need. He doesn't wear nice shirts enough to justify the extra money. And we're poor grad/post grad students.

Example 2 - Today I went to the gas station down the road to buy some skor bars for a cake I'm making. I took three to the cash register and the lady told me to get another because they were 2 for however much. I told her I only needed 3 but she insisted I should get a fourth because I'd be paying almost the same price for 1 as I would for 2. I told her I didn't need a fourth and I wouldn't eat it so there was no point in getting it. She just kind of said "okay..." like I was an idiot and rang me up. I didn't think it was practical to pay the extra $0.25 or however much it was to get a candy bar I didn't need. If it was fruit or something somewhat nutritious, I would have thought about it. But for a candy bar, no.

I think sales try to trick people. It's like "oh! This is on sale! I must get it!" It doesn't matter if you need it or not. I've started clipping coupons recently and I've been trying really hard to only use the ones that our for products we actually use or for new things that we might want to try. There is no point saving a dollar off of something that we won't eat/use or don't need to eat/use.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

More Travels

Jeremy and I made a little trip up north this past weekend. We flew into Minneapolis Thursday, had dinner with some family, and then rode with my dad up to his place in Duluth that night. Friday we made the trip to Houghton, MI to see my sister graduate from Michigan Tech. I had never been to Houghton before, but it was pretty much like I expected it to be - cold, depressed looking, full of nerdy Tech students. Campus had a different feel to it than Baylor, or Tennessee for that matter.

Baylor = sorta big, liberal arts school, fairly conservative campus, private Baptist school
Tennessee = large, public school, party school, fairly conservative campus
Michigan Tech = small, public school, mainly engineering, socially acceptable to be an alcoholic

Sometimes I like to play the game "what if X had (or hadn't) happened in my life." I was playing that this weekend when I was at Tech. Had I gone there, I wouldn't have gone into social work. I probably would have ended up staying in something scienc-y/math-y. My life would have been completely different. And I don't think I would have enjoyed my college experience as much. Don't get me wrong, Tech is a great school, just not for me. I really liked my time at Baylor. There was such a family/community feel to it. That is also lacking here at UT. Which is why I'm also glad I didn't go here (or any other large state school) for undergrad.

One thing Tech does have going for it (and UT for that matter) is there is a lot of outdoorsy stuff to do - hiking, skiing, camping, etc. Central Texas was lacking in that a bit. Although I did appreciate being able to go camping nearly year round in Texas without freezing.

I did enjoy my weekend. It was great to see (some) of my family and see Allie psuedo graduate. And now I finally can picture Houghton and Tech in my head after hearing so much about it for years. Although I didn't get to see it in all it's glory. It's not quite spring there yet so everything was still brown and gray. I'd like to go up again in the summer or fall so I can truly appreciate the area better.

Here's a picture I took from our hotel:

Yes, that is snow on the ski hill. It was cold.