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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In which we receive a check in the mail, witness the effect of a snowstorm on our community, and discuss college

Yeah the title sums it up :P

Since I last posted, we have had no END of developments.

Our financially-struggling robotics team received a check in the mail last Tuesday: this allows our team to participate in FIRST this year. Team thrilled, Bethany awed and ecstatic. The donor, someone I have never met, who somehow got enough of an idea about robotics from my many and passionate posts about the joys of FIRST. Thank you.

And the weather.
Let me explain first that our corner of the PNW [Pacific North-west] gets snow on average twice a year.  The fall of more than an inch is a signal for 'MASSIVE PARTAAYY TIME!!!'
More than half an inch, and all the local school districts can be counted on to panic and cancel school. Last night there was a Facebook event started [by someone in the PNW, I think] and it now has over 3000 guests: titled 'No school Tuesday'.

A few years ago we actually had a snowfall around Thanksgiving [we still talk about that]. This is rare however, usually we only get a snow in December or sometimes as late as March.

Anyway, this summer the fearless weathermen forecasted that we would have a 'cold wet winter' [ie, snow]. The entire town has been talking about that since August, I think.

Starting early last week, the weathermen talked eagerly and portentously of snow coming [last] weekend. Despite the ongoing warm wet weather, our town was simply a-buzz. Remembering the big ice storm last year [roads were out for a whole 18 hours], the all-team bonfire organized by the local robotics teams was cancelled.  No snow materialized, and it was only chilly over the weekend. The weathermen, undaunted, commenced pushing back the snow forecast to Monday night.

Monday at school, amidst pouring cold rain, teachers and students alike gazed longingly out the window at non-snow. I was amused to see reports beginning to come in, of snow in the northern part of the state, Washington state, and the mountains to the east [which don't count, because you can snowboard year-round there].
Yesterday evening, in between preparing for a calculus test scheduled for today, I glanced out the door. It was dark by 5 PM, but no snow....the weathermen, now beside themselves, were detailing to-the-minute movements of 'this big Arctic air-mass' which was supposed to produce snow after 11 PM.

Right around 10:30 last night I was killin' time on Facebook, and noticed that every. single. person's. status for the last half hour was some variation on 'snow!', 'SNOW!' or 'SNOWWW!!!!!!!!!'  Mom looked out the door, and behold, it was in fact snowing. It was starting to pile up by the time I went to bed.
Was woken in the small hours of the morning by my mom, who had listened to the bus-route reports and announced that school was cancelled. I went back to sleep and slept until nearly noon :P

Okay, so the grand total of snow was less than an inch. But it is supposed to get well below freezing tonight, so the meltage will likely refreeze into really scary patches of black ice. We are counting on a delay, at the least, tomorrow.

And now for the witty and introspective detailed social analysis of snow upon our town. After a late and luxurious breakfast, dad and I headed into town to buy meal fixings for Thanksgiving, in case the roads should be bad and the crowds worse, tomorrow.
Brushed snow off the car with much jollity and wearing of gloves and knee-socks.

Quick digression here! We have been on a years-long search for Really Good Knee-socks. There are several criteria which must be met: mostly wool, soft, cannot fall down in a puddle around one's ankles. We made a foray to 'the Scottish store' in a city to the north of here, specially to buy socks. They were and I each got several pairs. Soft, woolly, don't fall down. SO WARM.

Town was BUSTLING. The stores probably did a FAR better business today because of the snow, hehehe. Got food at every fancy-food market in town....Co-op, Trader Joe's, Market of Choice. Oranges, potatoes, ginger ale, cranberries, milk, etc etc. It's kept snowing a bit all day too. Great fun. Got home and made hot chocolate, cranberry-orange sauce, sampled the ginger ale, and so on.
Oh yeah, social analysis! I don't know if this is true in other parts of the country, but it seems bad weather [or even the threat thereof] causes people here to be a little more chipper and so on. Also they are thrilled to have the excuse to wear their real cold-weather clothes: jackets, woolly hats, gloves, scarves. They would never admit that they are probably a little overheated in these clothes, because it never gets very cold here....

Our town simply shuts down, as previously stated, if there's even the hint of an ice-storm. The newspaper will be busily talking about the snowstorm for days. Kids can grow up, practically, between really good snowstorms. Bethany is quite inexperienced in brushing snow off the car satisfactorily, as we learned today when we started driving and were blinded by a little flurry of snow blowing up in front of the windshield. 

This weekend we also had a lot of college discussion, and the upshot is that I am seriously considering relocating to Texas for college at Le Tourneau U. It's a Christian college with a large engineering focus, something that is very hard to find. We've kinda gone back and forth [every day a different decision], because of some issues to do with vaccinations, the Gulf oil spill, vacation plans, and so on. 

I really do hope it works out. I've wanted to have 'the full college experience', cliché as that sounds, complete with dorms and roommates and so on and so forth. Apparently the food is pretty good too, which I hear is quite unusual, lol. So! Looking at Computer Sci.  and starting to make packing lists. I am like kinda REALLY excited at the thought of setting up camp on my own, I must say.  As I emoted the other day, 'one big long camping trip!'.  I'd plan to come home for Christmas and summers, I am NOT thrilled about summers in East Texas, hehe. 

Needless to say I have a few reservations. One, Oregon State [where I'd been planning to attend] has a reputation as a good computer school. On the other hand, I will probably wind up living at home if I stay here, and I have a feeling that will lead to having a very hard time finding 'my own little niche' so to speak. I hear it's hard enough the first year at college, without living four miles away from campus. 
Two, parents will miss me a lot. 
Three, I will miss parents and friends and Oregon.'s it actually. I am ready to go, should it work out. But I really really hate indecision, so let's hope we can make up our minds -.-

Should I go, look forward with glee to posts of all sorts from the college freshman living away from home for the first time. Wouldn't the patriocentrists have a conniption. 

And now, off to take a walk, then a shower, then prepare some form of dinner. I love snow. 


Anonymous said...

Tell you what, I'll let you keep the snow.

Both on and off campus have their advantages/disadvantages, both were great. The interactivity is mostly up to you. If you live off campus by yourself, interactivity can go way up - kind of an inverse correlation to grades, if I remember right.

Katie said...

If you're looking for a Christian school with a great CS program, look at Wheaton. Don't let the liberal arts focus fool you - the program is simply wonderful.

Bethany said...

Sorry I'm so late commenting on this... Blog-reading tends to slide down the priority list when life gets busy... But I wanted to mention that my husband, my brother-in-law, and I all graduated from LeTourneau, and I would recommend it in a heartbeat. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about it, though it's been 6 years and I'm sure some things have changed.

Bethany said...

Other Bethany, here's an even later reply to that comment :)
I really wish LeTU would have worked out, but due to a couple of reasons it is more or less off the table now. I keep hearing good things about it though.....
the big reason was that we heard the town of Longview isn't really a safe place. Campus is supposed to be very safe though, as you probably know....did you ever see much of the town? Although I hear college students really don't have time to leave campus very much, heh.

Katie, I looked into Wheaton a bit and it seems very only concern is the weather, I am honestly not too enthused about all-winter snow, much as I may enjoy a 1/2 inch sprinkling here :P Thanks for the recommendation though, I will keep it in mind.