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This is where I’m going to share ten things with you on Tuesday because I think alliteration is fun. And I’m going to alternate photos and sentences because I like patterns.

1.  I learned about The Monty Hall Problem in my class, and spent the whole weekend teaching it to all of my friends.  Check it out. (After re-reading this, I’m really surprised I still have any friends.)

2.  I took this at the La Jolla Public Library right after I got my library card and checked out a stack Mary Higgins Clark books. Proof that librarians can have a sense of humor.

Library jokes.

3. Just when I thought that I experienced the epitome of a yoga dude being annoying, last night I sat between TWO dudes (the only ones in the class) who thought that the appropriate distance between yoga mats is only about 7 or 8 inches.  During one pose, the only thing I was concentrating on was not getting stabbed in the eye.

4. In “Teaching Content Literacy”, my group had to make a Venn diagram of The Black Plague and AIDS. Nailed it.

Group venn diagram on the black plague and AIDS. Nailed it.

5.  On a side note, I’m still not sure how the aforementioned class is going to help me teach math…

6. Apparently, you can’t play this word in Hanging with Friends. Muggles.

Couldn't play it. Muggles.

7.  When I get a corgi one day, you can fully expect me to stop writing on this blog and contribute full-time to this site: OCD: Obsessive Corgi Disorder.

8. Two words: Mathematical Miracle. I dub thee “Blessed Grocery Purchase”. But seriously, has this ever happened to you?

Mathematical miracle.

9.  If you are ever looking to be bored out of your minds, go right ahead and check out the “teacher website” I created. The pictures are the best part.

AND LAST, BUT NOT LEAST…

10.  On Wednesday, August 17th, the biggest event to ever transpire on my blog will take place…drum roll please….Tyler Tarver is guest posting!  If you know me in real-life, then you know I’m always lol-ing over something this guy has written.  He is a math teacher in Arkansas (yes, people live there), but his blog is about much funnier things than math.  He recently came out with a book Words & Sentences, and is doing to 2-D Book Tour via guest-posting.
Read (or just buy) this book.
My copy. You can’t borrow. You have to buy it.

So this is what YOU have to do:

  • Mark the date August 17th, 2011 on your calendar so you don’t miss this guest post.
  • Read some of my favorite posts of his to get all warmed up.  I wouldn’t want you pulling any muscles

Dear Seth

Letter from my 13 year old Self

Email Forwards and Creative Sarcasm

Happy April Fools Day

What is a blog you highly recommend?

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So I just got back two days ago from Sublimity, OR, a very small city outside of the capital Salem, where my grandparents live.  Kevin and I went up there for a week, right after school got out…a much needed break from the ridiculous quarter that we both had.  Fall quarter of my senior year was a non-stop stress ball.  This means that a week of relaxation, good food and the beauty of nature was exactly I needed.  My grandparents were so gracious to have us for the whole week, and my grandma made sure we gained about 5 pounds while we were there.  Her cooking was AMAZING, to say the least.  I’m almost positive that my love for cooking (and feeding people) came from her genes.  Another highlight of the trip was visiting Paneza Nellie’s…which is about the cutest, quaintest and delicious bakery/pizza place.  In the morning you can enjoy homemade pastries, cinnamon buns and fair trade coffee, and in the evening they make the best Italian food, especially their pizza.  My grandparents’ friend John owns the place and his whole family works there, making everything from scratch.  If you are ever in Oregon, near Salem, you really should go here to eat…but make sure to look up the hours, because they can change.   Anyways, here are a few pics from the trip that I stole from Kevin (hope you don’t mind Kev!):

My Grandma and Me

My Grandma and Me

Kev and I with Hannah

Kev and I with Hannah

Two Peas in a Pod

Two Peas in a Pod

Hannah...the monster

Hannah...the monster

Paneza Nellie

Paneza Nellie

Paneza Nellie's Pastries

yummmm....

bread quote

My thoughts exactly...

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns and Coffee...delish

Coffee with Kev

Coffee with Kev

Walking to St. Boniface

Walking to St. Boniface

Lunch at the Oregon Gardens

Lunch at the Oregon Gardens

The Abbey at Mt. Angel

Exploring Mt. Angel Abbey

Wow, so it’s been over a year since I have added anything to this site, and I will try my hardest not to let another year go by before I post again.

Anyways, I went to Malawi, Africa this past summer (yes, I realize it’s December) and I spent a couple weeks there helping out at Children of the Nations with an amazing group of people from my church, including my boyfriend Kevin and my roommate Lisa.  You can go to my facebook and see a plethora of photos from the trip, but to keep things short and classy, here are the black and white Holga photos that I just got developed recently (yes, I did wait a long time to develop them….it’s not easy or cheap anymore to get medium format b&w film developed..and i’m a student, sheesh, give me a break!)

Fanny

This is Fanny, one of the women in Chilombo that I got to spend a lot of time with.

The kiddies in Chilombo!

The oldest woman in Chilombo...maybe.

My crib @ COTN Headquarters

Blurry image of Njewa, where we stayed.

Possibly a special Malawian flower.

Leaving Malawi...tears.

Goodbye to the Warm Heart.

Here are some shots from all over Italy on my Holga! Hope you enjoy them, just for the photograph itself!

So I’m finally back home…got here on Saturday night! Would have written sooner, but I have been letlagged and narcoleptic. Looking at a computer screen was a surefire way to ensue a nap. I just wanted to tell you all that I am no longer in Italy. However, I miss it SO much and I am overwhelmed with my experience. If any of you ever have the opportunity to go to Italy, no  matter how many obstacles might be in the way, you need to do it! Not even just Italy, but anywhere new and different! These experience are priceless, and even though I will be paying back my loan for many years to come, I can’t think of anything I would have rather taken out a loan for. And everytime I write a check to  my bank, I will remember what it is for, and smile.

Anyways, the last week of Italy was amazing! We went to Vatican City and Castel St. Angelo, played in a soccer game, attended opening night of the opera Carmen at the Baths of Caracalla, and went to see AS Roma play soccer at Stadio Olimpico! If I wrote about all of these,  I would be writing all day! All I can say is that these will forever remain as some of the best moments of my life. Take a look at the pictures and get a little glimpse as to what I saw! Enjoy!

P.S. This isn’t the end of my blog…I will continue to write and even post stuff from Italy, but in much smaller doses! I am still waiting on my holga pics I took there, so when I get those back from the photo lab I will post those! There are tons more digital pics I took there that I never posted, so when I get the time I will show some of those and maybe share a story or two about them! 🙂 Love you all and thank you for reading and commenting! You made my trip even more enjoyable!

Okay, so I will just give you a quick overview of what the city of Pisa was like. We were only there for a few hours, but we were able to see the church, baptistry and the leaning tower….and a lot of people on the grass “holding it up”…haha.  Before I forget though, the walk there was really special, because Andrea (our Italian helper man) took us past an original Keith Haring mural on the side of a building! It was SO cool, because I love his pop-artwork and used to look up his murals and want to see one! I was totally surprised when we walked by! Apparently he used to have many murals in Italy, but they were all destroyed by some crazy leader, except for the one in Pisa. Pictures are below!

Anyways, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually leaning! Surprise surprise. Ha.  As we were walking you could see it in the distance, positioned next to the church and it looked way cooler in person than in pictures! We had an appointment to climb the stairs to the top (not just anybody can show up and do it). It was REALLY scary! I was scared climbing up the Doumo in Florence, and this was much worse.  The stairs are all made of marble that has been walked on for years upon years, so it has become quite slippery. And you could actually feel yourself gravitating towards one side of the building as you walked up the leaning spiral stairs.  AND they were very steep and the stairway was very narrow. So for someone who is afraid of falling down stairs, this was terrifying, but I did it! The view from the top was beautiful!

We then went into the baptistry for a very special event.  This building was designed with amazing acoustics, so that if one were to stand in one spot and sing, the sound would fill the room.  I took a short video clip so that you could hear it!

Afterward, we went into the church and it was beautiful.  It was the same church that Galileo attended as a young boy, as he grew up in Pisa.  The story goes that he would sit in church and look around the building at all of the paintings and objects, as he probably got bored.  One day he noticed that the chandelier above the pews (there should be a picture below) was not still, but actually swinging.  He decided to time how long it took for it to make a full swinging arc, probably using his pulse as a timer, as that it how they counted during that time.  Another Sunday at mass, he noticed that it was swinging again, but making a much wider arc.  He decided to time this one too, as he figured it would take longer for the object to make a full arc if it was wider. To his surprise, it took the same amount of time as the smaller arc!  This lead to him developing the Pendulum Theory later in life, that the swing of a pendulum is independent of it’s amplitude (the arc of the swing). There, now you know something new!

Well, enjoy the pictures! Miss you and love you all! 🙂

Alright, so Venice was amazing, but we left early monday morning and took another train to Florence. We arrived in the afternoon and started walking to our hotel.  As we walked into the streets, I noticed all the shops…and they weren’t just any stores…these were high end fashion stores and as we walked further, the names got bigger…Prada, Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton…all on one street, Via Tornabourni…one of the most famous streets for fashion in Italy, let alone the world. And this is the streed we turned on to get to our hotel.  I was in shock when we stopped at a hotel right next door to Armani and across the street from Prada! The high life, all for a bunch of math nerds!! Haha. The hotel was amazing, but the city and the experiences we had there were priceless. The first day there we ate an amazing Florentine lunch and walked straight over to the famous Doumo (dome), at the church Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.  The dome, designed and built by Brunelleschi, the famous architect, is one of the largest domes in the world, surpassed only by that of the Pantheon by a mere foot or two. It is the largest brick dome however, and is in the shape of an octagon, with pointed arches. There were almost 500 steps up to the top, of which we climbed all to see an amazing 360 degree view of Florence and the Tuscany region.  Florence is such a gorgeous city, almost completely Renaissance in style, while Rome is full of architecture from all centuries.  We were also able to go inside of the church itself and view all of the murals and statues.  Every single church in Italy is a work of art, absolutely gorgeous.

The next day, we went to Basilica di San Croce, where some of the most famous Renaissance artists and scientists are buried, such as Galileo and Michelangelo.  Again, it was beautiful.  Afterwards we got lunch, where we tried more specialties of Florence. For the appetizers we had cheese and pear, with spinach. It was SO good. Then we tried rabbit, yes, rabbit! It is truly a Florentine favorite, and it was actually pretty good! Kinda tasted like my mom’s pineapple chicken! Ha. Afterwards, we walked over to the famous Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. There we were able to see Masaccio’s famous artwork, “The Trinity”, which is one of the first truly perfect works in perspective, meaning that he perfected the 3D realness of the work.

The next day, Wednesday, was probably the most memorable of all.  In the morning, we went to the famous Uffizi Museum, where we were able to explore on our own.  We saw the famous work “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, the painting of Medusa by Caravaggi, and many other masterpieces.  No photography was allowed inside, and rightfully so, since it is already hard enough to slow down the decay of the art without thousands of flashes a day.  We then had lunch, where we tried the other famous Florentine dish, wild boar.  It was served in a homemade pasta and was actually very good! Just like pork.  Afterwards was the real treat.  Our professor set up a private tour of Palazzo Vecchio, the Florence town hall, by Maurizio Seracini, the man who is the head of the project for finding Leonardo Da Vinci’s lost work of art, The Battle of Anghiari, which was known at the time to be more important and grandiose than both the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.  Seracini is an incredible man, and if you have ever read the Da Vinci Code, he is actually the only real life character mentioned in the book.  What makes him so amazing is that he is able to beautifully weave together both science and the importance of cultural heritage.  He actually introduced us to the mayor of Florence who was exiting the building as we stood outside.  He was on his way to catch a train, but stopped long enough to tell us that we were very lucky to be with “the genius of Florence”. Seracini was born in Florence, then moved to San Diego to attend college at UCSD, where he got his degree in bioengineering and a minor in art history. At that time, UCSD did not offer enough art classes, so he shuttled to UCLA twice a week to take his classes there.  After college, he had to go back to Florence for his army duty, in the 1970’s.  Shortly after, while he was standing outside of Palazzo Vecchio, he randomly saw a professor of his from San Diego.  He approached him and the professor asked him if he knew of any scientific ways that they could use to find the lost Da Vinci painting.  He told us that he went home and spent the entire night writing a proposal for the professor of all of his ideas, wanting to intern with him on this quest.  Ever since then, it has been his job and passion to solve this mystery.

Our tour was amazing.  He showed us thermal images he took of the many of the rooms, to show the original structure of the building which was remolded multiple times.  Then he took us to the “Hall of the 500”, the main council room that he believes the painting is located in, within the walls.  To read the main skeleton of the information he shared with us, here is an article from time magazine that describes why he believes the painting is here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1584801,00.html

What the article doesn’t mention is that in just a couple months they will be using a nuclear technology to try and detect organic molecules (paint) within the wall that he believes the painting is under.  He described every single precaution they took, because like he said, this building is not a lab where you can make mistakes, it is a historical site where you cannot afford to do an procedure unless you have every single base covered.  He not only discussed his work, but he gave us one of the most inspirational speeches that we have heard, encouraging us to look for opportunities in life and not restrict ourselves to one area of study, but to channel the wisdom of the great people in past, who were interested in all areas of life and how they were intertwined.  At the end of the 3 hour tour and lecture, many students had tears in their eyes, because we were so inspired and in disbelief of the amazing opportunity that we just had.

Well, sorry this was so long! Here are some pics and I will write about our small trip to Pisa in a new post! Enjoy!