Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Class that Might Just Kill Me

Let me start off by stating that I LOVE what I do. I love working in a research lab, performing my own experiments, and learning something new everyday. I even enjoy my classes (or at least 2/3 of them)… But there’s this one class, and this one professor, that just might be my undoing.

You know it’s going to be bad when one of the first things mentioned in your new graduate student orientation is “Tips on How to Pass This Specific Class”. Yeah, not a good sign. I’ve been told by the other graduate students that this class is sort of your “Initiation to Grad School”. If you make it, you’ll do fine, basically. Also not a good sign.

The professor for this class is AT LEAST 80 years old. No joke. He wears a lab coat to class, uses an old-fashioned projector screen instead of powerpoint, and carries around a retractable pointer-stick. Basically, your typical old college professor who refuses to get with the times. I’ve deemed him “My Crazy Professor”.

Not my actual professor, but you get the gist :-)

I’m beginning to agree with the other grad students that this man has in fact died and reincarnated a couple times, because he just will not go away! And it’s not like the university can retire him because he’s a tenured professor, so he could technically teach until the day he dies. So long as he doesn’t kill me first…

The man is an outright bully in the classroom. And a horrible teacher to boot. He has managed to teach an entire midterm’s worth of material in just one month (no joke, I’ve filled an entire one-subject notebook with notes up until the first exam). He has put up example problems and then picked on individual students to answer the question and THEN mocks them if they don’t get the answer fast enough. He’s pretty much gotten to the point in his life where he no longer cares what people think, which is terrible for everyone around him, but especially his students.

I cannot get out of this class, as it is required for my degree. And Lord help me, I REALLY don’t want to have to repeat it. But I need a B to pass it. And his tests are impossibly difficult and filled with nonsense, trick questions. For example, there was a problem on the test that he had mentioned in class briefly the day before the exam. The day before! And the example problem he had given us was 10X easier than the problem he expected us to solve on the actual exam. Really???


We just got our grades back from our first exam, and my grade was less than stellar. And way less than passing… My only saving grace is the knowledge that this class is divided into two sections, with a second professor teaching the middle portion (two exams worth) and this crazy professor teaching the first and last portions (two exams worth). From what I’ve heard, the goal is to get an A with the easy professor’s exams so that when you completely bomb the other two exams, it all evens out to the B you need to pass. I can only hope…

In the meantime, I’ll just be over here re-listening to a bunch of recorded lectures (because my crazy professor doesn’t know how to speak at a normal rate of speed) and furiously jotting down notes. At least I get a little bit of a break before he comes back at the end of the semester. Praise the Lord and Hallelujah!

Well, I hope this made you either laugh with me or cry for me. Cause I’ve done plenty of both in the last month, believe me! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 9: A Picture of the Town Where I Live

This one seemed almost a little too easy to me. Post one picture and that’s it? I want more! So I’m giving you more. :-)

Here, in chronological order (because I’m completely OCD about things like that) is a picture of every town in which I have ever lived. Enjoy :-)

Auburn, GA - I love this cute little town. It’s home to my dad’s parents and most of his family, and is where I spent the first 4 years of my life. And apparently it’s also the safest city in Georgia. Who knew?!?

Lewisville, TX - Lewisville is located north of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. My family lived in this area for 9 years and I have a lot of happy childhood memories here.

Kyle, TX - When we moved to this town in 2004, it had one red light, a fried catfish place, and a Dairy Queen. It’s now a bustling little town with its own Walmart. Even though we only lived here for 2 years, I have fond memories of the friends we made and all the BBQ we ate :-).

Phoenix, AZ - We first moved to Phoenix in 2006, I moved out for college in 2009, and then I moved back again in 2012 after I graduated from college. Even though I consider Columbia, SC to be my current home, I will always refer to Phoenix as “home” because that’s where my family lives :-).

Flagstaff, AZ - I lived in Flagstaff for 3.5 years while I attended Northern Arizona University. If it wasn’t for the multiple feet of snow we would get every winter, I’d move back in a heartbeat.

Columbia, SC - My “Home Sweet Home”! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

DIY Painted Cork Coasters

When it comes to DIY, I love a good furniture makeover, but what really gets my DIY heart thumping is the little stuff. You know, those little projects that don’t take a lot of time or money, but still make such an impact on a room. Like this one!

I’ve been in dire need of some coasters for my living room. Namely, I only owned one... Plus, it didn’t really match my new decor. I considered buying a set, but why would you when you can make these in under an hour, for a few dollars, and they’re completely customizable!

All it takes is a set of circle (or square) cork coasters from any hobby store, some painters tape, any acrylic paint colors you desire, and some cheap foam brushes. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

These would also make great gifts - inexpensive, easy to make, and something everyone can use!

You can mix it up by making an ombre set, playing with the color combinations, using different widths of tape, and of course you can make any pattern or design you want. Frog Tape even makes painters tape in a variety of shapes: from scalloped, to wavy, or even chevron! These coasters are a simple, easy, DIY project, but they make a big impact. I think I’m in love! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 8: Best Trip of My Life

By far, the best trip of my life was to New York City to celebrate my high school graduation. My parents took my sister and I on a four day weekend to New York as my senior trip, and we had a blast! Our hotel was right on Times Square, we got in a ton of sight seeing, and even saw Mary Poppins on Broadway! But who really wants to hear it from me… I’ll let the pictures do all the talking!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fabulous Finds

Welcome to another edition of Fabulous Finds with Julie! :-) In case you didn’t catch the first post in this series, be sure to check it out here.

1. Floating Built-in Shelving Unit by Marie & Ben on Apartment Therapy

Even though this amazingly gorgeous and extremely functional shelving unit was custom built by Marie’s dad, that doesn’t mean I can't still drool over it, right?!? Who wants to build me one??? Anyone? Ok… maybe when I own my own place :-).

2. “Love the Journey” FREE Printables by The 36th Avenue

There’s nothing I love more than a great free printable! Ok, scratch that. I love anything that’s free :-). But aren’t these just so cool? I can’t wait to find a place to hang one… I’m thinking gallery wall!

3. Poppin Desk Accessories

I was introduced to Poppin by one of my favorite blogs, The Lovely Side. As you know, I am currently designing my new office space, and these desk accessories are a great way to add a splash of color and functionality! Check out her review of Poppin accessories here. So far, I think my favorite combo is the aqua/lime green set pictured above. They also have four brand new colors: navy, grey, coral, and mint! Go check them out!

4. Scarf-Print Maxi Dress from Nordstrom

I love the pattern and color of this dress! And it’s totally work appropriate, as well as a great summer party dress. Now I just need to wait for a really great sale at Nordstrom…

5. DIY Receipt Clipboard by Crafty Echo

I’ve been looking for a way to organize my receipts so they don’t end up wadded up in the bottom of my purse, or thrown into a growing pile on my kitchen counter. This DIY project is a great way to keep your receipts organized while also keeping them in plain sight so you don’t forget to file them. Plus who doesn’t love a great washi tape project?!? 

*I am not affiliated with any of the above entities. Just linking up to show you where you can find all of these fabulous items for yourself.*

Friday, September 5, 2014

DIY Crochet "Rope" Rug

I know I can’t be the only person who has seen those rope rugs on Etsy and Pinterest and then drooled thinking about where you’re going to fit one… And then… you see the price tag. $400 for a rug made out of rope and simple crochet stitches is not my idea of a wise investment. Especially since its main purpose is to be stepped on.


Considering that I love to crochet, I figured it couldn’t be that hard or that expensive to make my own. Turns out rope is REALLY expensive. Like $50-$100 a box expensive (for a project that requires 3-4 boxes). No wonder those rope rugs cost so much! I considered making the same rug out of t-shirt yarn, but I was already making one (I promise, tutorial coming soon, but it’s not finished yet!).

I then turned to the blogosphere for ideas. Turns out you can crochet holding multiple strands at once, thus making the yarn thicker. Who knew?!? Find out more about the technique here (it’s written for a knitter, but you get the gist). It’s also a lot easier than it sounds. I found the biggest, softest yarn I could find (I went with thick wool), and doubled up the strands to make the yarn appear as big as a length of rope. Super easy and way less expensive!

Tip: Use the two strands from the same skein of yarn. Most yarn balls you buy from the store come with one outward strand and one inner strand (you usually find the inner strand as you’re getting to the end of the ball and it starts to tangle with the rest of your yarn). If you pull the inner strand out and line it up with the outer strand, it will guarantee that both strands end at the same point (in a loop). Since not all yarn skeins are the same, you may end up running out of one skein with a little of another skein left over if you use two different skeins of yarn at once. If you use a cone-style yarn ball or rolled your own, you’re out of luck. But it will still work, you’ll probably just waste a little bit of yarn at the ends.

In total, I spent around $35 in yarn (it was on sale and I had a coupon!), which isn’t bad for a rug this size (about 3 1/2 ft in diameter). I used 6 skeins of yarn for this project. You go through it a LOT faster when you double up the strands; by the end, a single skein would barely make it around the circle one time. So if you want a really big rug, plan on buying a whole bunch more yarn than I did.

This is the pattern that I followed. However, I didn’t make it through all of the rows because I ran out of yarn (I stopped after row 9 in their directions). Thankfully, I ran out of yarn at a good stopping place! I also added a crochet border by simply crocheting 1sc, ch 3, skip 1 stitch, and 1sc in the next stitch, all the way around the rug. And, in case you were wondering, I used a size “S” hook (about the size of your standard carrot stick).

I love my rug! It cost a tenth the price of the ones on Etsy, and I didn’t have to pay for shipping! Deep sigh of relief for this poor grad student! This project was so easy and worked up so fast, I probably only put 5 hours total into it (off and on). And since it is made of soft wool, it is so much nicer for a rug than thick, scratchy rope. Love it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Recap + First Week of School

Hope everyone had a great 3-day weekend! I got to spend Friday night and Saturday with my sister in Greenville, SC. We went shopping, watched a movie, talked girl-talk, and celebrated her birthday at Olive Garden. It was great! Sunday was full of time with good friends, frozen yogurt, and games. Today was a lovely, relaxing day and I also started putting together my new office space! Pictures coming soon!

Welcome to everyone stopping by from iHeart Organizing! Link parties are a great way to meet new bloggers, find great ideas, and love on the hosting blogger. If you’d like to see more of the Crafty Grad, you can subscribe via email or follow this blog by clicking on the links to the right of the screen. As always, feel free to leave comments below. I love hearing from my readers and I try to respond to every comment in a timely manner. If you don’t see your comment right away, remember that I do moderate every comment before publishing so this can remain a site free of offensive or profane posts. You can also follow me on Pinterest at my personal page; my username is jly616.

Well, the first week of school is over. I had a great week, and managed to stay up to date on homework, classes, and my research. Phew! No wonder they gave us a 3-day weekend! :-) Hopefully once I get into the swing of things again, I’ll get back into my normal writing routine. I’ve been spending most of my free time working on little projects around my apartment, so get ready for a bunch of apartment-related posts! Hint, Hint: bathroom makeover, office design, crochet rugs, and painting furniture are all on the upcoming posts list!

I’m also loving this 30-day blogging challenge! It’s giving me a chance to share a little bit of myself with you, all while allowing me to work my creativity muscles as I branch out of my normal blog post topics. It’s a win-win! If you’d like to catch up, you can find the first post here, and then just follow the links to each day’s post from there. Feel free to join in if you want! The more the merrier!

The best part of a 3-day weekend is knowing you're already one day into the work week! Have a great short week everybody! Check back later this week for apartment updates galore!