October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Okay, so here's the song that is traditional in my family (my mom wrote it)

Every Halloween there's ghosts and goblins
Every Halloween there's ghosts and goblins
Every Halloween there's ghosts and goblins
Knockin' knockin' at my door.
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
That's what the little ghouls say
Trick or treat
Trick or treat
That's what the little ghouls say

Okay, there's much more, but that's the first verse.

So I have the best Hermione costume - but I'm not going anywhere. I'd rather not show up to lab tomorrow really groggy and dead from no sleep. Plus, I'd like to get rid of this cold before it turns into the flu.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

September 07, 2007

Job & SAC Fair

I am SO happy right now. Unbelievably happy. Johns Hopkins has a bassoon that I can play, and they NEED a bassoon player. Really cool. I'm really happy about that. I said goodbye to my basson back at Homestead; I hope Sophia treats it well. But, um, I can't afford to buy one. Bassoons, for a good wood one (as if plastic comes close.), start at $20,000. And at that price, I can't buy it. There are always several on eBay, but, I can't afford $5000 either. So, I'm really really happy. I can still play bassoon. Lets hope I packed the reeds.

I'm going to the band meeting tonight at 7:30. I hope I can join the pep band too, with my totally awesome piccolo. Its green (well, for Homestead, but green is one of my favorite colors, and it was only $90 on eBay. Way cool.) and gold. I marched it in band last year, and apparently from the stands, it looked like I wasn't even holding an instrument and that I was faking it. I assure you, I was actually playing out there.

My financial aid forms are finally fixed. Finally. Until next year, I'm sure. So, I still have everything saved in its little folder, ready for next year or even next semester.

I also went to the Job Fair today. Lots of cool stuff there, too. Free candy. Free chocolate (and i'm not even a big chocolate fan). I filled out 3 tax forms because I actually had the two documents with me that I needed to prove I can work in the United States. So, that's all done. I just need the job. There's a desk job at the Digital Media Center that sounds really cool. Especially since i've used Photoshop and Illustrator, and web design, and 3D studio max, and others. Lots of stuff. That one sounds really cool.

Hmm, what else? tomorrow I have my SAAB interview. Cross your fingers! I really want to get that one.

Well, in about 20 min. I'm about to go to the mailroom and ask where my books are. Especially since one of them is $125 and i'm no longer taking the class. I need to send it back to Amazon to get my refund and buy a different textbook. Plus, it has my Expository writing book.

Okay, happy Friday, everyone!

September 04, 2007

I am THE one

Well, today I got urgent news. My add/drop abilities were canceled because I had not paid all of my college tuition. Johns Hopkins thought that I still owed over $11,000. That would then bring it to full price, even though I got financial aid, and I know that they know I got financial aid.

So, I've been having problems with them since April. Once they finally told me what I needed to do (after numerous phone calls with numerous people.... some of which no longer work there), I immediately sent it in so that I could get my financial aid. Turned out that I needed my lawyer to write a 3rd party "no-contact" letter. The day I receivedthe letter from my mom's lawyer, I faxed it over. almost immediately.

Then I got my financial aid offer. A $3500 federal loan, work-study, and a Hopkins Grant. This was better than the Cornell offer. To go on a tangent, Cornell & the other IVY leagues guarantee 100% of your financial need to be covered with aid. This, I have found is not the case. I can understand them offering loans, that is not my problem with it. Although i hate them, I understand that loans offer valuable skills for the future, such as budgeting and credit. However, when Cornell broke down the financial offer into different sections, it was different. In the loans section, there was, again, the Federal loan, a Cornell loan, and a loan that I had to look for MYSELF. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but what kind of aid is that to me.?! I would have to research and obtain a loan all by myself. that's not aid, but this isn't the point of the story (which, btw, keep up with the financial aid officers. call them. often.)

Then the bill arrives in July, and I pay off what it said that I had to pay through an e-check. the way the system works, you don't pay for the part that's expected financial aid. I signed the eMPN (federal loan), and accepted the Hopkins grant. I thought I was all set for the new school year. But then something funny happened. My bill said that I was all paid up, that i was completely ready, whereas my account summary had me owing over $11,000. Not fun. So I called up the office, and they fixed that. Okay, all done.

But today I got an email stating that my add/drop privilages were going to be denied because I hadn't paid. So I checked my account, and it said that I still owed them money! They weren't supposed to let me in the university if I still owed money at this point! For some reason, I checked my financial aid offer, to make sure it was still there. And yes, indeedy, it was still there. But it said that I hadn't completed it all. WHAT? that's what the lawyer letter was supposed to do. And the website said that they received it and accepted it. So why wasn't the other stuff waived?

So, I call them. Of course, no one answers, and after a long rant with my mother over administrations, I print all the pages, gather everything possibly related to my financial aid/billing, and I head over to the actual building to camp out in front of their offices. And what time do they decide to tell me? Right when I had an orientation activity that I paid for. I want my $30 bucks back for that Inner Harbor trip that I spent in an office trying to straighten out their goof. Anyway, I get there, and apparently, I'm not the only one with a problem with the financial aid. From the little bits of conversations that I heard, all the kids with the last name Kim got messed up, and well, they just didn't follow through on me.

After waiting FOR-EV-ER for the counselor to come, I grab the lawyer letter, proof that I faxed it to them on the same day as the letter was written (which was back in may) and the records of all the phone calls I had with them. They simply didn't follow through with what they had to do. They had entered in my letter, but they "conveniently" forgot to click that it waived the non-custodial stuff. Well, there's a fine howdy-doody. Now, folks, I know follow through is my big problem, but, that's usually with cleaning. NOT WITH OTHER KIDS COLLEGE CAREERS. As you can probably tell by this long rant, i'm really really mad about this.

Then, they had the nerve to tell me that it wont' be fixed until 4:00 pm tomorrow. bugger. So I work my way down to Student Accts/billing to go fix it myself. Really, these departments should be next to each other and/or integrated. no one talks to each other. I need the add/drop ability to get a required class (i'm dropping macro-economics for mechanical engineering 101+Lab), and I can't wait for the financial aid to clear, because, well, the way its been going, I don't know when that will happen. So I wait a few minutes, per the financial counselor's request, then I get to billing, and yet again, theres a line. Whooptido. lines. When its my turn, I tell the guy that i really don't owe the $11,000+, that I'm working on it w/financial aid, and that i need to get rid of the restrictions on my account. You see, it wasn't my fault that you guys don't talk to each other. Then, they had to go verify this information, because the written note + fax records + lawyer letter + numerous phone calls just couldn't cut it. Then, the guy said that i was right, but that he was only able to get rid of the alert, but couldn't fix the billing problem.

I immediately check the financial stuff once I get to my dorm. Its all waived now, but the money still hasn't credited to my account. If its not there by, like, 4:30 pm tomorrow, guess who's going back down to financial aid. Not to mention, now there's yet another form to fill out. Nice. Thanks for telling me ahead of times, folks.

Now, I don't drink, nor do I ever plan to drink. But after today, I was seriously like, "now I need a drink" sort of thing. Communication is the key. Follow through is the new f word. So I purchased a ginger ale from the market below the dorm and I binged on M&M's while watching two movies and knitting. by this time, I had already missed the bus for the Access Pass/Inner Harbor trip, so I was stuck around campus. So i might as well feed my soul with some knitting.

I ran out of yellow yarn for my knitting project. I guess that hat is gonna remain an UFO. I did a little more work on the scarf, but it really doesn't look that big of a difference. its about half way done. the next step for the scarf includes decreases in moss st. which I've gotta figure out. wish me luck!

My advice to the high school seniors applying for financial aid: Call, and call often. Things are often muddied up with administration, and will only get done if you consistently talk to them. It really is a good idea to get to know them. And you don't want to talk to the guy on work-study acting as a secretary. You want the actual counselors, and if they don't help you, the deans. don't stop until it gets done. Actually listen to this, by the way, it could save you a lot of hastle in the future. I even did this and it still got screwed up. talk to financial aid.

End rant. Tomorrow is gonna be a bright new day "with no mistakes in it, yet" (yay for Anne of Green Gables.)

September 02, 2007

The Course of One Day

In the course of one day (the first full day, I might add), I have managed to....

Get locked out of my dorm. This one was my fault.

Called Maintenence in order to fix the doornob on my dorm while I was locked out. It was so bad it bent the RA's master key.

So this was partially my fault and partially the old dorm's fault. But, maintenence was really really nice about it, and so was my RA, so all's well. The door works almost perfectly now; the hardest thing to do is to pull the key out of the lock. So don't hesitate asking for help, its all around.

Knitting-wise, the office scarf I've been working on is turning out pretty well. Its that sort of thing that you knit while watching tv or the sort (In my case, over the internet/dvd's).
Just like a suit jacket front. one of my wackier ideas, but its working out really well.

August 27, 2007

Is this what you call nerves?

So, I leave at 3:00 AM on Tuesday. I have so many emotions going on right now, it's hard to keep track of all of them. The following reminds me of the menu at Cafe Gratitude.

I Am Excited -- I'm going all the way across the country. I'm going to a place that I've only ever been once before. I'm going to a place where there is snow. I'm leaving all of my familiar settings for one that I will be lost in for about a month or two. It's a feeling of adventure.

I Am Nervous -- I've yet to buy my books..... I know, I know, I should have been on that much earlier in the summer, but I really didn't want to pack them. I didn't want to ship them either. So, I'm buying them really really last minute. I'm also nervous about my classes. I've been to college classes before, at the local community college, http://www.foothill.edu, but never at a private 4-year college. I'm the first person in my family to go to college right after high school. My mom and my aunt (who just graduated) both went back to college, but neither have that dorm experience in order to give me advice.

I Am Happy -- After years of working to get into college, I'm finally starting it. I remember as a little second-grader, being asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My answer was always "I wanna go to college." This is not a joke. Ever since I saw Tufts University when I was really little, I wanted to go to college. Now I'm finally going

I Am Sad -- I'm leaving all of my pets. I'll miss them all. I'll miss Inky (the rabbit) grunting at me as I give him food. I'll miss Daisy (the dog) responding to my attempt to teach her Spanish commands. Needless to say, she now responds to "Que la la cena?", my mom's interpretation of "quiere la cena?" I'll miss the cat's way of waking me up in the morning by sitting on my face. I'll miss how Thunder and Lightning (the rats) will run after popcorn and then hide it in their cage. And I'll also miss my mom and brother (as annoying as he can be).

I feel like I have so much unfinished business here, and yet, I am extremely happy to be leaving California. I'm ready to start a new life as I ship all of my things tomorrow, then fly out on Tuesday.

Good Morning Baltimore!

August 26, 2007

Love/Hate Free Internet

I'm very glad Sunnyvale has free internet through Metro Fi. What I hate is that at the top of every page is an advertisement that messes with the HTML of all pages. I've been trying to access that required Alcohol Edu class that I have to finish by the 30th, and because I've got that stupid bar of advertisements at the top of my page, I cannot click the next button. Hopefully the Sunnyvale library has a different internet connection so I can complete it in one session there. But then again, I don't think there's audio on those computers. What are the consequences if I don't complete the course until school? I wonder if my hotel room has free WiFi.... and if it has those stupid HTML ads. As the title suggests, hate/love relationship. I love that it's free. Internet should be free. But those ads screw up a lot of pages that have specific coding. I'm gonna have to call the toll free number.

For other news, I'm just about done packing. I have one box left to seal, and thats the one with my totally awesome bookends. They're actually Pirates of the Caribbean aquarium decorations, but they've got a straight side that will be perfect for bookends once I attach weights to the bottom.

Oh, and my second cousin (we're much closer than that makes it sound) got married today. It was out in the redwoods of Los Gatos. It seems kinda weird to say that she's now Rachel Smith; I've just about grown up with her, as she's less than one year older than me. Well, I wish her luck when she moves to Seattle.

As I continue to update my new Ipod (I have inherited the family curse. I am quality control. any electronics I buy will fail under warranty within a week. It is a good idea to buy the extra warranty for me). Lots of song titles to type in. Seems like Vista doesn't let Gracenote import song titles. Well, it's entertaining, sometimes. I'm finding lots of songs I didn't know were on some cd's.

And for the knitting, I'm currently designing a scarf that is sort of like a business suit. sketches to follow.