that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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some summer snaps

Here’s some pictures from the K.C.S.O.U. (kate’s current summer of unemployment) thus far. Noteable moments so far? Countless beach fires, time with family, school ending, and getting a sun burn on the right side of my body yesterday while playing Scrabble at the lagoon (yes, only my right face cheek, arm, leg, and chest… so weird).

These pictures are from UVic’s summer institute (so my June school) when we went to the high ropes course up in Shawnigan, Josh’s wedding, a couple beach fires, and yes, more fishing excursions. Hopefully the captions work and tell you what’s up.

Anyway… enjoy!

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thoughts

Just wanted to give a shout out to my older brother — I was blasting the Barenaked Ladies yesterday afternoon on my iPod before going to MEC to buy a coat. Needless to say, MEC and Barenaked Ladies has Adrian written all over it…I felt ALMOST like he was there with me.

I went to Beacon Hill Park today for the first time in ten years. There were ducks that we threw pinecones at and then like last Sunday, I fell down again on our way to the ocean. I need to stop moving.

First final exam tomorrow. Awesome.

On a diff. note, here’s a good song — it’s so good. It’s Coldplay’s “Lost” remix with Jay-Z.


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raise your glass..

I just finished what will probably be my very LAST 3000 word history research essay in my university career. Feels pretty darn good. I think I’ve written three or four per semester for the last three years.

Plus it’s sunny so I am open to celebrating on our deck with a cold one.

I cannot believe it — the end is in sight!

Cheers!


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this is so stupid it’s awesome

Right before reading break (which was last week), I wrote a midterm for my Weimar and Nazi Germany class (awesome, awesome class). The Prof is a bit of a Nazi (in the loosest sense of the word, he/she’s outta control intense and hard) him/herself so I was nervous about it. When I wrote the lame thing, I all but cried to my mom, etc. over how brutally I did and I even wanted to skip that class today for I knew what was waiting for me. By the time 1:00 pm hit, I had worked myself into a painful acceptance for the 55% I was sure was waiting for me.

I got an A! That NEVER happens. Usually if I say I did bad and felt bad about it, I DID do bad. This is historically stupidly awesome and I want you all to share in my joy! JOY I TELL YOU.

Hip – Hip – HOO-ray!

In other news, Amanda made me chef’s salad for dinner tonight, I got a new basketball, had coffee with a friend, talked to Ang, found out I may have a computer virus which sucks, saw a gorgeous prairie sunset on Jes’ blog, and decided that I need to take some more time to myself.

In other words, sleep tight my friends.

Cheers!


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drowning

Is it possible to change 24 hour days to 48 hour days… just until Friday? After our insane drive home (12 hours instead of 6?), and delirious, drugged silliness (heavily medicated Kate — I am quite sick), Mallory and I did not arrive on time nor in time for me to get work done last night. So now I am trying to finish my assignments in order to spend all day tomorrow studying for my Thursday midterm.

And the quiet voice in your head whispers “Do you think she’s tired of it?” You be she is.

AUGH


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manageable time frames

I was trying to find the best describing verb to my current season at the University of Victoria. As a prayfully pending potential English teacher, I enjoy these types of exercises, coming up with words. And it took a bit but now I am completely sure of it: I am BORED. Seriously. I am in 3 introductory courses this semester and I am so bored. I have to take them in order to graduate but ‘oh my gosh’ (as my 5 year old ‘roommate’ would say), is it ever frustrating…in a boring, not angering…way. I mean, in one class there is one other girl than myself who is in her 4th year, and we were commiserating over how university seems to teach us to be critical thinkers. So when I offer an opinion that is ‘outside the box’, I get pounced on by the younger people in the class, because I am wrong when in actuality, we just think differently. Welcome to years of practice. It’s just hard to put myself back in 1st year status, and I think that I am allowed to feel this way given that I’ve been at it for 5 years.

So at church last night I decided I need to break this boredom into manageable time frames so that I don’t fall into a coma… or get too ‘cocky’ and end up doing poorly. Here we go:

3 days – Mom, Dad, and Jayme are here for Marli’s grad.
1 week – Thanksgiving in Pen
2 weeks – My first midterm
1 month, 1 week – Fall reading week in Penticton (10 days home)
2 months, 2 days – First semester classes are over
2 months, 2.5 weeks – First semester finals over and Christmas break
4 months, 2 weeks – Winter reading break… Mexico?
7 months – I have a UNIVERSITY DEGREE.

2 more years – I am a TEACHER.

Actually, this is disgusting. And unmanageable. I think university is increasingly becoming overrated. Not to mention boring.


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awkward abyss

So I am back in Victoria. Waoot (cross between wahoo and woot…I learnt that in my young adult lit class two days ago). So far, it’s been the most relaxing transition back to school yet.   Maybe it’s because I just moved into Rutherfords, which has been wonderful. Maybe it’s because it’s not all ‘new’ to me anymore, UVic etc. But I think it’s just because I am in my FIFTH year of post-secondary education and I am ready to punch a hole in the wall.

I know this dark tunnel has a light called “Katie Justine Stam, BA” at the end of it, but five years is a long time. Long time. In five years, I learnt how to cook, do my own laundry, study until 5 am, live on quesedillas, use transit systems, live in a city, mend a broken heart, trust God, rollerblade without falling on my face, cheat the textbook system (libraries), and pump my own gas… honestly, I don’t know how much more I can take.

Added to the brilliance of taking five years to do my four year first degree (I still have to do another one to be a teaher), is the fact that I transferred provinces. So this year is littered with first year courses. Which is bloody (cue the deep British accent) awkward. The other day in my History 105 class, our prof called attendence and asked us to say what our “History” experience is – and to be honest. So one by one, the students said a myriad of responses including one or all of only these three phrases: “I took history 12”; “I took History 12 and this is my first university history course”; or “I didn’t take History 12 but this sounds interesting”… until he called my name. To which I responded “I am doing this backwards, I am in my grad year, this is a pre-req, and I’ve take probably 7 other history courses and this semester I am taking Canada-America Relations, US Foreign Policy, and WWI on top of this course.”

The prof, sympathetic and full for remorse, mouthes “I am so sorry.” Then later asked me why in the world I put off an intro course for so long. I was thinking, The same reason I walked from Armena to Camrose last week… I have no idea!

On another note, my profs are all fantastic and I am taking SIX courses this semester so I am on overload… or I will be. My new “roommates” are fabulous, too. And my new car is fine but it cost 390+ dollars to buy a parking pass for UVic so I am struggling with that financial strain.

I guess with the added pain of leaving my mom behind (I love you), I really just think I need to get over myself, the fact that I am still at university and in first year courses (don’t even get me started on my Intro to Human Geography class) surrounded by first years, and embrace what this year has in store. Sound convincing? I don’t think so either. You should see the finalized list of goals I have set. It’s just so awkward.

The reality is that I am fired up to be here and graduate before starting the next and becoming “Katie Justine Stam, BC BEd”… but I am desperate to get on with my life. Ya know?

See you and me have a better time than most can dream of,
better than the best, so we can pull on through, whatever
tears at us, whatever holds us down, and if nothing can
be done, we’ll make the best of what’s around.” -DMB


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twinkle toed

It’s all over! Whew! I wish I could say that this year flew by too fast, just like the last three… but it couldn’t come soon enough. A little word to the up-and-coming university students? Make sure you take five courses every semester and make sure you take the right ones. Otherwise you’ll be like me, finished my fourth year after a provincial transfer, still needing a whole other year before I have a degree. I would like to think it’s worth it… but somedays I am frustrated.

However, the feeling of relief that comes after the last final exam never changes, especially the last one in April; that feeling of awesomeness that you just could care less what your grades are, you’re done and you can’t feel the ground beneath your feet (or your thumb, wrist, and fingers for writing so much) in the sheer amazement that you pulled it off.

That’s where I am right now. After a drink with the roomie on the couch before the night ends and packing begins. If this is as good as it gets, I think I will be glad I proved [atleast to myself] that I can do four years of post-secondary and still anticipate another couple years. Remembering my very first year, hauling out the couch to the grassy area between residence and the pond, laying there when Paul came screaming out of the school yelling “SUMMMERRRR”… to now, just chilling alone.

It’s that same old feeling.

Heinous.

Nostalgic.

Painful.

Exciting.

Worth it?

You bet.

Twinkle toed.


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heinous

I just wrote a Shakespeare (LAST ONE EVER!!!) final for three hours straight. That means, three of my final exams are done and I have one more. It is tomorrow night (Tues) at 7 pm. I haven’t even LOOKED at the material yet. I’ve organized it, but not LOOKED at it yet (having three other finals will do that to a person). What I want to know is, do you think if I wake up at a decent hour tomorrow, I can study enough? My brain is fried and the couch is looking awfully comfy for a Kate-night-in-front-of-the-television-to-rest-her-overloaded-brain. Or do you think I need to study tonight too? Thoughts, opinions?

Please use discretion when responding to this post, I do not take kindly to being labeled a procrastinator. Especially when I just busted out three, three hour finals in the last four days.

The course tomorrow is Race and Ethnicity in Canada and it’s partially open book.

I will be checking this post continuously, so the more feedback the better.

Thank you.