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April 10, 2000
Sixteen Sheets of Paper

While I was on the phone with Stuart a little while ago I counted the number of pieces of paper I will be turning in for the second problem of our astrodynamics problem. The grand total was sixteen including two graphs, my MatLab program code, and all of the data. Now that I think about it that doesnít encompass the last part of the problem (discussing our solution versus the accepted solution) so I guess there will be at least seventeen sheets of paper in the end. Bear in mind that this is only for the SECOND of two problems and the first one was probably twice the amount of work. My other group members, Todd and Mike, have devoted themselves to solving the first problem. Dr. Fitz-Coy is going to love grading this one! I doubt if we will ever see these projects after we hand them to him on Wednesday, but I am confident that my group will have an acceptable solution to generate an acceptable grade. I will be happy to see this little mountain of paper leave my hands.

Let me begin my ramblings will a summary of my weekend. To get to the point there is one word that can describe the entire span - astrodynamics. Our project/second exam was assigned essentially last Wednesday morning and I spent the whole weekend toiling away at it. Luckily I didnít have any other homework assignments to distract me and I believe that is a first for a weekend this semester. Even tonight as I sit at my computer the next homework assignment that I have to work on is due Friday (forgetting about the usual circuits lab report that is always due on Thursday). What an odd feeling this is to have enough time to sit leisurely at my computer and type up a diary entry around midnight on a Monday night. My astro group is meeting at 9 AM in the morning so I guess I had better think about getting to bed soon if not about schoolwork.

On Saturday morning Stu presented his research findings from last summer at the aerospace department undergraduate conference. As I went to bed on Friday night I realized that I should actually be there at least once to hear his presentation because I would be angry with him if he didnít do the same in my position. Of course I wanted to hear his presentation, but I had gotten the impression from him that he didnít really care if I was there. I surprised him on Saturday morning (at 9 AM) by walking into the lecture hall in the new engineering building without telling him I was coming. I think he was happy that I came and that made me happy as well. By the way, his presentation was great but I had to leave right after it was over because my astro group was meeting later and I had work to do before then.

I think I walked for more than an hour on Saturday. That time includes all of my roaming around campus the entire day. At some point during the day I thought that I might take a walk for exercise sometime later, but when I got home I realized that I had essentially already fulfilled that requirement, even if it was in small increments. I met with my astro group from 1 PM until 4:30 PM on Saturday. On Sunday we met from 11 AM until 4:30 PM and then later from 9 PM until 11:30 PM. By the end of our meeting last night we were convinced on a solution for the first problem of the project and problem two had long since been solved. Things were looking good. Dr. Fitz-Coy gave us a one-day extension on the project so now it has to be finished by 5 PM on Wednesday - this is not going to be a problem. As I mentioned earlier I only have the discussion to finish on my part of the project and that can be done in about twenty minutes. I havenít had a whole lot of input on the first problem, but I have served as a consultant when solutions are being tested for validity or legitimacy. I also mentioned earlier that my group is meeting tomorrow morning at 9 AM. Since I donít have class tomorrow I donít really have any other responsibilities other than this project. Maybe we can finish it early and breathe a sigh of relief when everything it is over.

My main reason for wanting to finish early tomorrow is that I can go out with Stu for his birthday. Stuís twenty-first birthday is Wednesday, but he is planning to go out tomorrow night and buy a drink at midnight just to say that he got one on his birthday. I have two presents for him and the third (a Reeseís peanut butter pie from Dennyís that he wants) will come as soon as it is convenient, probably this weekend. Our AIAA members (except for me) are all leaving for their convention in Savannah, GA on Wednesday after class so Stu wonít actually get to celebrate his birthday too much then. I am going to be one of about five people in my classes on Friday and that is going to be interesting. I donít know why I didnít decide to go to the AIAA convention too. I guess I didnít see any real reason for me to go!

Sunday is the one-year anniversary of my first date with Stuart. I can hardly believe that it has been a whole year! I am going home this weekend to go to the Lincoln High School production of ďOklahoma!Ē but I will be back early Sunday due to a Rush workshop at 1 PM. Maybe this will be my excuse to steal some quality time with my boyfriend. Too bad I have the Rush workshop from1 to 5 PM and then a meeting at 7 PM. Grrrr. One day, Stu, we are going to have some time together! Right now I plan to spend some quality time sleeping and dreaming of my sweetheart who is about to turn twenty-one. I can tell I have been typing for awhile because I keep making lots of spelling mistakes. It is time for bed and so I must end my ramblings. I really need to write more often so these entries wonít be so amazingly long!