These last few weeks of the semester are so busy and they are flying by so fast! I can't believe we only have a week and half of classes before finals. It is crunch time for classes and everyone is getting ready to finish up those semester long projects and papers.
Last week I was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. It recognizes students for academic achievement in the biological sciences. We had a great time at the initiation, and I am looking forward to getting involved next fall.
The Equestrian Department has been quite productive in the last week as well. I had several sorority sisters compete at a recognized Hunter Jumper horse show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They all came back exhausted but happy with their horses' performances and with some great memories with the show team members.
The Equestrian Department also hosted a USEF/USDF recognized Dressage show this past weekend. I volunteered to work in the show office on Sunday afternoon. There were a lot of great riders and horses at the show. I got to see some amazing tests! This is the first recognized Dressage show I've been to and it definitely won't be the last! Watching such athletic horses perform precise movements is really amazing, and seeing it on television just is not the same!
My Mentor-Mentee project is finishing up for the semester. After a bit of trial and error with finding a website host, we successfully created two horse health scenarios. Next week I will be presenting the project in a LEAD presentation with my mentor, Professor Jean Kraus. It has been great fun and I've learned a lot! I will be passing the project on to another student (who happens to be one of my sorority sisters) to build even more scenarios in the upcoming school year. Next year I will be participating in the same type of program as a Cox scholar with Dr. Nicholas Pullen and his mammalian cell culture research. I am really excited for the opportunity!
We have Alumni Weekend at The Woods this weekend. We will get to meet so many previous WWU students. I am really excited to reconnect with people who graduated last spring, and also to meet some of the alumna of our Alpha Phi chapter!
Over spring break, I went to both Universal Studios and Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Since we did so many different things, I decided to do one post about our Universal vacation, and another about our Disney adventures.
We got to spend one day in every park! When we arrived at Disney we settled in to our cabin. They have these campgrounds on property that have nice little cabins which we really enjoyed! It was nice not listening to people in the hallways or the elevators, and we were still close enough to take Disney transportation to the parks. The first night we went straight to Magic Kingdom. It is open the latest, so after a day at a different park we usually went there afterwards.
Our favorite section of Magic Kingdom is Tomorrow Land. We went on the Stitch simulation ride, where he escapes the intergalactic police. Then we took down Emperor Zerk in the Buzz Lightyear laser shooting ride, and our favorite ride in Tomorrow Land is the Space Mountain Roller coaster. Space mountain is inside and dark so you can't really see where you're going but there are stars lit up all around you! My Dad's favorite ride is Buzz Lightyear, but a close second is called the People Mover. It is an older ride that takes you on a tour of Tomorrow Land. You just get to sit and enjoy the breeze!
The second day we spent in Animal Kingdom. We went on a safari, experienced what it was like to be a bug in The Bug's Life, and rode the Yetti roller coaster. The best part was the food! We had a great dinner in the park at the end of the day. They had Asian type cuisine and I had the best ginger salmon I've ever had!
Disney's Hollywood studios had my favorite rides. We got to go on the Rock and Roll Roller Coaster. It takes off and goes from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds! I have not been riding roller coasters for very long, and I really liked this one! Another family favorite is the Tower of Terror. I'm not such a big fan of that since it drops you, but everyone else enjoyed it.
We spent the last day at Epcot. We traveled all around the world in just a few hours! We also got to ride up into spaceship earth. They show how technology has developed since the beginning of man, and then you get to build your own future! We also rode on the test track where you design your own race car and compete to see whose holds up better on the test track throughout your ride.
Spring break was a crazy week! I had a ton of fun with my family at both Universal Studios and Disney Parks. We did visit Disney about ten years ago, and even though a lot has changed some of the rides I liked then are still my favorites now. I strongly suggest going to visit Universal and Disney at least once, I know I'd like to go again!
Since returning to The Woods time is flying by! We are in the last month of school. The weather is beautiful, the horses are happy, and everyone is getting down to business in preparation for finals. I can't believe this semester is going by so quickly!
Spring break was last week and I had a blast! I met my family in Orlando, Florida for a week of Universal Studio and Disney adventures. Since we had so much fun and did so many things, for this post I'm going to focus on Universal Studios. Look out for my Disney World adventures next week!
I had a very early flight last Saturday to get down to Orlando. We wanted to get started as soon as possible, and that meant waking up at two in the morning to catch the earliest flight available! Luckily I caught a cat nap on the plane. My dad and older sister Grace arrived in Orlando the night before, so they were my welcoming committee. We headed straight for the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Studios.
The hotel was huge! They had this really cool fountain out front and the water changed heights constantly. The hotel was within walking distance to the parks, and because it was "on property" we had the ability to go into Harry Potter World half an hour early! Universal Studios has two parks, one called Universal Studios and the other called Island of Adventure (which is home to Harry Potter World). We spent the first day at Universal Studios, the second at Island of Adventure, and the third at both parks.
The first thing we did was the Despicable Me adventure. We were trained to be minions and saw what happened after the movies end. When we came out of the ride, there was a photo opportunity with the minion mascot!
One of our other favorite rides was the Mummy. It was an indoor roller coaster where we went through the tombs in the movie. We ended up riding that one five times by the end of the three days at Universal.
The family favorite ride at Universal Studios park was the Men In Black ride. We went through a monster simulation where we got to be the M.I.B. agents and we shot targets with laser guns. Those type of rides are always a big hit for my dad, and the rest of us enjoy trying to beat his scores!
There were many other rides and attractions at the Universal Studios park that we enjoyed, like the Shreck ride, Monster Make Up show, Fear Factor Live, and the Transformers ride. The Island of Adventure, however, may have been the highlight of our whole break!
The first thing we did was head straight for Harry Potter World. My sisters and I grew up with the story of Harry Potter unfolding, so it is definitely a family favorite. The Hogwarts flying adventure ride is the most popular ride at Universal. The line can get upwards of three hours minutes after the park even opens! We were very lucky to have the extra hour since we stayed on property, so we got there early two days in a row to hop in line. It was still a wait, but nowhere near three hours!
Before we even left, people were telling my mom that if we wanted to go on a great roller coaster, we had to ride the Hulk. I haven't been riding roller coasters for very long (I was quite afraid of them until about a year ago), so I was nervous when we first saw it but it turned out to be a blast! We rode it three times!
One of the coolest parts of Island of Adventure was the Dr. Seuss area they set up. The shops were all cartoon like and they had characters everywhere! It felt like going back in time to when I used to read those books as a kid. We got to take goofy pictures under the Sneetches train tour.
Universal Studios is a great place to go, for people of all ages! They have attractions and events for everyone, from kid to adult. Three days was the perfect amount of time to see both parks and enjoy the shows. If you're ever in Orlando, it's worth the stop! Also, if you do go, the fast pass is worth it. Wait times go way down and we were able to do. We did so many fun things in three days, and I'm not even halfway through the week! Look out for Florida Fun (Part 2) next week!
It is a busy time here at The Woods! In the past week I have done so many different things, it has been great.
Last week we had campus wide Greek Week! All of the fraternities and sororities across campus came together as a community and talked about what it means to be Greek and gave to a great cause. Every house had a Greek God/Goddess to wear a backpack everywhere they went to raise money for the Buddy Back Pack Program. This program was started by a school teacher when one of her students was crying because they had to go home for a break and they knew there was not going to be regular meals like lunch at school. Now the program provides food for kids to take home so they can have regular meals all the time!
Other than raising money, the Greek Gods and Goddesses participated in a Greek trivia, chapter members received Greek Awards, and we had an all Greek BBQ. We also spend time volunteering for SERVE, a local soup kitchen. It was a very fun and eventful week!
Over the weekend the Dressage program held the Completely Relaxed Spring Schooling Show. I did not ride in the show, but I did help work it. It was really neat to watch all the different riders perform their tests. For Dressage, the goal is to get a certain percentage on a certain test in a certain level. Each rider performs their test (or tests) individually, and then is scored by a judge. I got to work in the scoring room so I learned a lot about all the different types of tests. Coming up in April is the USEF/USDF licensed Dressage show. I am very excited to get to watch and help with that too!
My Mentor/Mentee project is moving along quite well! Last week my mentor, Professor Jean Kraus, sent our first website module to one of her classes for a test drive! I can't wait to meet with her later to discuss the feedback.
In the Biology world I have been learning more and more things not only in my classes, but also as a work study. Dr. Nicholas Pullen has been doing some research with live mammalian cell lines (including some cancer), and he has been teaching me how to keep the different cells alive! I am really enjoying the experience. It is really fun to get to have this type of lab experience.
It is crazy how quickly the semester is flying by! I already had my advising appointment so I can sign up for classes next fall. It is crazy to think that once we get back from spring break it will be April!
I am really excited for next week. My family and I are going to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL! I will be sure to take pictures and get some quality time with my family!