Virginia preps

Instrument checkride write-up - success!

2023.05.31 14:21 ClayCrucible Instrument checkride write-up - success!

I passed my instrument checkride yesterday (yay!) and I thought it might help other folks who are working on instrument or thinking about it for the future if I shared my write-up. My flight school sends pretty much all of their students to the same DPE, so they had a tremendous amount of information about past checkrides to share with me, and they asked me to do a write-up of my own. An edited version of that is what follows!
TLDR: I started instrument training three months ago, did the written before any flight lessons, added 50 hours to my logbook in those three months, and passed the checkride with just barely enough instrument hours to qualify (I had to time build a bit in the past month). DPE said I did great, even though I had some nerves and we changed the flight plan a lot in the air!

Background: I began my instrument training about three months ago with the Sporty’s videos for ground school, Sheppard Air for test prep, and a perfect score on my written before my first instrument lesson. I started instrument training with another flight school in a simulator for a G1000 Cessna 172 for two lessons before I decided I wanted to be able to fly the Cirrus SR22, so I switched to NoVA Pilots (Leesburg, Virginia, KJYO) for instrument plus Cirrus transition training. I came into this training with about 110 total hours, most of the 50 PIC cross country I needed, but only 4.0 of the 40 hours of instrument time I would ultimately need. Zero hours in Cirrus aircraft, though I did have my high-performance endorsement from Cessna 182 training.
Instrument training: I started flying as much as possible throughout the end of March, all of April, and the first half of May. I did a total of 22 flight lessons, plus a handful of flights on my own or with a safety pilot once I had enough experience to solo the SR22. I did two flights that qualified for the long cross country, with the one I highlighted for the checkride going from Leesburg to Charlottesville, Baltimore, Harrisburg, and Martinsburg, with two ILS approaches, one VOR, and one RNAV GPS. I went into the checkride with 3.7 hours of actual instrument and 38.6 simulated, or 42.3 total. My logbook ended up with 160 total hours.
Checkride prep: I did four total mock checkrides, two each with two different instructors. The flights were exactly what the DPE planned for us to fly, though different from what we ended up flying! For the oral, I had all of the materials the DPE asked for in his email from ten days prior to the checkride, and I printed out everything that would otherwise be electronic (mainly a copy of my Foreflight logbook, the flight plan, performance calculations for the scenario flight, personal minimums). I arrived to the conference room an hour before the scheduled start time and arranged materials in four areas:
· Pilot qualifications: Pilot certificate, medical certificate, ID, knowledge test results, ground school certificate from Sporty’s, SFRA training certificate, Cirrus icing course certificate (not required, but nice to have), logbook with endorsements, printed copy of my IACRA form.
· Airplane qualifications: Engine logbook, propeller logbook, airframe logbook with Post-It notes for the relevant sections (annual / 100 hour, pitot-static inspection, transponder inspection, etc.). I also had the NoVA Pilots binder to show current hours on the engine, plus the POH (since no one else was flying the plane that morning).
· Documents for the flight scenario: Weight and balance, aircraft performance (takeoff and landing distances), ICAO flight plan, NAV log from Foreflight, Leidos Flight Service full briefing report including weather and NOTAMs (80 pages). I don’t think we used any of this during the test – for the flight plan we used Foreflight on my iPad, and we just talked through the rest.
· Reference materials: Physical copies of the FAAIM and ACS, printouts of diagrams for electrical, fuel, and pitot-static systems, PilotsCafe reference sheet. The latter came in handy and the DPE liked it – he had a copy of his own on hand.
Oral examination: We took around two hours total for the oral, starting with the qualifications and electronically signing IACRA. The DPE explained what he would ask about, the ability to take breaks, the plan for the day (oral, then a lunch break, then flight).
Questioning was straightforward. Beyond my flailing on whether the transponder inspection was required every 24 months or 12 months for a minute, I was able to answer questions satisfactorily. Lots of focus on risk and options.
· Always keep fuel in mind – if given a hold with a 30 minute EFC time, how does that affect planning? I might request a route elsewhere, and I would definitely let ATC know if I’m in a “minimum fuel” situation, which is different from “emergency fuel”.
· If my glideslope fails while on an ILS, I can fly it to localizer minimums, and I need to let ATC know about the equipment failure.
· Know about icing and where it can form. If there’s no AIRMET Zulu for icing even if it’s cold enough, there’s still risk of unexpected moisture or perhaps it’s only light icing, which doesn’t get an AIRMET but is still a problem. If there are no PIREPs, maybe that means no one else is foolish enough to fly! And even though I’m flying a FIKI certified aircraft, if I encounter icing the plan has to be to get out of it.
· If an ADAHARS fails, this aircraft automatically uses the other as a backup, showing an appropriate notification. What does the POH say about continuing flight in this scenario? Go to the Abnormal Procedures section and see.
· If Alternator 2 fails, what happens? Alternator 1 will keep things going, but the aircraft isn’t approved for IFR flight on one alternator, so getting to the ground where you can get it fixed is important.
· If the static ports somehow both become blocked, there’s an alternate air source.
· MOCA would typically only be used if I need to get low to avoid ice, for instance.
· If I’m flying on Victor airways using GPS and there’s a GPS failure, I can use VOR navigation.
· If I have a passenger who really needs to get to their destination, I’ll make sure I have an alternate way of getting them there (flying commercial, driving). GA means you need to be prepared to scrub a flight for safety at any time.
· Know about circling minimums, circling radius, and the inverted C (white C on the black background). Similarly, know about the inverted T symbol and inverted A symbol (bonus points for inverted A with NA – not authorized for use as an alternate airport, likely because of a lack of weather reporting).
· In the debrief, the DPE pointed me to AIM 1-1-17 to talk about being able to use an expired navigation database if you verify that your waypoints are all correct. I was extra conservative on that question, saying that I would need to update the database before flying.
Flight portion: The DPE fully briefed me on the flight plan ahead of time:
· Depart Leesburg on runway heading, climbing to 1,200 MSL (he originally said 1,300 in the conference room but said 1,200 in the runup area). Expect vectors to Martinsburg airport.
· Fly the ILS 26 at Martinsburg to minimums, expecting to go missed.
· Fly the published missed into the hold at MRB VOR.
· Fly the VODME-A approach to Winchester, circling to whichever runway is in use. Plan to go missed there and then expect vectors to the next approach rather than the published missed.
· Fly the RNAV GPS 32 approach to Winchester, likely starting at either JASEN or DORGY depending on which direction we went after the VODME. Expect to fly this one partial panel with no autopilot. Fly this all the way to a landing – full stop, taxi back.
· And then done! Fly back to Leesburg with no foggles.
That was the briefing, anyway! The DPE explained that he would play the role of Potomac Approach throughout. I didn’t realize at first that this meant that he wanted me to “check in” with him after departure (he had to prompt me for that when I asked if I could climb once we were past the 1,500 foot Bravo shelf).
I tuned Martinsburg weather in COM2 active in the runup area and Martinsburg tower in COM1 standby, with the hope of getting info about which KMRB runway was in use as early as possible. On departure from runway 35, we climbed out on vectors and then direct MAPEL for the ILS 26. No chatter on KMRB tower, and winds were light, but slightly favoring runway 8. As we approached MAPEL and the DPE had “cleared me for the approach” we heard another aircraft check in and receive runway 8. Mild oaths ensued from the DPE, and he “cancelled my approach clearance” and had me “request” the VODME-A to Winchester.
I flew that approach, starting at MRB VOR. Lots of traffic working out of Winchester, and runway 14 was in use. We were in a rough spot for actually squeezing into the pattern for landing, so I descended to pattern altitude (above minimums), turned right to enter left downwind for 14, descended to minimums by the time I turned base, and flew a low approach at minimums over the runway and away to the east.
One approach complete.
The DPE gave me an altitude to climb to and a vector, and cleared me for the ILS 32, cleared direct JASEN. I got myself re-situated with the foggles and the autopilot back on. As we approached JASEN he said we would actually fly this as a localizer approach instead of ILS (so, non-precision). I think this was largely so we wouldn’t get in the way of conflicting traffic coming back off 14, staying higher. I reset the minimums to LOC level and noted my step-down fixes and time component.
Between JASEN and CLADD, the DPE “failed” the autopilot and “failed” the PFD by covering it with an opaque film. I went to reversionary mode and flew the localizer approach by hand, using the MFD. As we got to minimums, another aircraft took off from 14 straight toward us without making a radio call of any sort until they were 200 feet above the ground. We diverted around them to the left (safety pilot call), then turned right over the airport and back to CLADD to fly the published missed.
Two approaches complete.
This was all still hand flying, and the DPE was figuring out his next move as I hand-flew the teardrop hold entry at CLADD. I did a second full lap in the hold (the first one I had to extend a bit to avoid traffic), stressing the whole way about maintaining altitude, airspeed, and the holding course, but I did it!
Hold complete (x2).
Finally, the DPE said that since we were flying a nice, fast SR22, we could fly all the way to the other side of the airport and do the RNAV 14 to LPV minimums for our precision approach (for the purpose of the checkride). Autopilot back on at last, as I navigated us off to the west.
Along the way, the DPE took me through a couple of unusual attitudes. I screwed up the nose low attitude at first, adding power before realizing my mistake and reducing it, but correctly leveling the wings and bringing the nose up. He noted that I jumped the gun a little there but I fixed my mistake, and he was satisfied. He then did a nose-high attitude, which I did fine with. Then back on course with the autopilot.
Unusual attitudes complete.
I had loaded the full RNAV GPS 14 from SOGBE, but the DPE cleared me to ZENDI, originally at 3,700. I requested 4,200 at ZENDI, which he gave me. From there, things were much easier! I correctly configured the autopilot in APR mode, confirming that GP mode was armed, and I babysat the speed and the checklist usage to get us fully on course. I flew the approach to LPV minimums, at which point the DPE told me to go visual and land. This was probably the best landing I’ve ever had in the Cirrus – super gentle and smooth.
Three approaches complete.
I did a full stop taxi back and pulled into the runup area to run my checklist to prepare to return to Leesburg. Then a nice, simple, visual flight back with no drama. The DPE actually pulled out his iPad to take a picture of the airport as we approached 17 on a three-mile final – it was a lovely day. One more nice landing at Leesburg, taxi to park, and my instructor met us at the hangar as the DPE congratulated me! Two hours on the Hobbs for this flight.
Debrief: After putting the plane in the hangar, refueling, and cleaning it up, the DPE and I drove back to the school and my instructor met us there. The DPE had surprisingly little for me in the debrief. He shared a couple of recommendations for continuing my IFR education – IFR Magazine and the Aviation News Talk podcast. He suggested I make my personal minimums a little more conservative. He explained the expired database usability issue. He noted that I could have used FPLN when in reversionary mode to have better awareness of when I had passed each checkpoint (I was a little unsure when hand-flying and started my next descent a bit late, but still got to minimums). That was really it! He complimented my flying and printed my new certificate, and posed for a picture shaking my hand. Wonderful day!
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2023.05.30 03:44 Small_Bet_9433 Big Ten Programs (Legends Division + Maryland) That Have Played Teams They Have Never Beaten

I know what you're all probably thinking, "Legends and Leaders, what is wrong with you?". But hear me out! All must know of the divisions the Big Ten used from 2011 to 2013! Rutgers and Maryland joined in 2014 when they switched to the East and West divisions, so I tallied the responses from my comment on my previous post to decide who of the two would be the legend. Tomorrow Rutgers will be the leader along with Notre Dame. The year in parenthesis is the date the teams last played each other. As always if I missed any dates or matchups, please let me know!
  1. Michigan
Arizona State (0-1) (1987)
Kansas State (0-1) (2013)
Mississippi State (0-1) (2011)
Oklahoma (0-1) (1976)
Tennessee (0-1) (2002)
Texas (0-1) (2005)
TCU (0-1) (2022)
Toledo (0-1) (2008)
Wesleyan (CT) (0-1) (1883)
Cleveland AA (OH) (0-1) (1891)

  1. Michigan State
Alabama (0-2) (2015)
Army (0-2) (1984)
Auburn (0-1) (1938)
BYU (0-1) (2016)
Colorado State (0-1) (1998)
Florida State (0-2) (1988)
Georgia Tech (0-3) (1985)
Houston (0-1) (1967)
LSU (0-1) (1995)
Louisiana Tech (0-1) (2003)
Texas Tech (0-1) (2010)
Saint Louis (MO) (0-1-1) (1924)
Marietta (OH) (0-1) (1920)
Haskell Indian Nations (KS) (0-1)
Fort MacArthur (TX) (0-1) (1917)
Creighton (NE) (0-2) (1923)
Cornell (NY) (0-1) (1926)
Chicago (IL) (0-1) (1923)

  1. Minnesota
Arizona State (0-1) (1969)
Hawaii (0-1) (1997)
North Carolina State (0-1) (2000)
Notre Dame (0-4-1) (1938)
Oklahoma (0-2) (1986)
Tennessee (0-1) (1986)
Texas Tech (0-2) (2012)
Virginia (0-1) (2005)
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight (0-3) (1944)
Chicago Naval Reserve (IL) (0-1) (1918)

  1. Iowa
Colorado (0-2) (1992)
North Carolina State (0-3) (1992)
Miami (FL) (0-4) (1992)
Oklahoma (0-2) (2011)
Stanford (0-1) (2016)
Texas A&M (0-1) (1931)
Utah (0-1) (1978)
Physicians & Surgeons (IL) (0-1) (1897)
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight (0-2) (1944)
Great Lakes NTS (IL) (0-4) (1943)
Doane (NE) (0-1) (1895)
Denver AC (CO) (0-1) (1893)
Centenary (LA) (0-1) (1930)

  1. Northwestern
Akron (0-1) (2018)
Arizona (0-2) (1976)
Arizona State (0-4) (2005)
Arkansas (0-1) (1981)
Florida (0-2) (1966)
North Carolina (0-2) (1977)
Southern Cal (0-5) (1995)
Tennessee (0-2) (2015)
Texas A&M (0-1) (2011)
Texas Tech (0-1) (2010)
Washington (0-3) (1984)
New Hampshire (0-1) (2006)
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight (0-1) (1942)
Harvard Prep School (IL) (0-1) (1886)
Denver AC (CO) (0-1) (1893)
Chicago University Football Club (IL) (0-2) (1890)
Chicago Naval Reserve (IL) (0-1) (1918)
Carlisle Indian School (PA) (0-1) (1903)

  1. Nebraska
Arkansas (0-1) (1964)
BYU (0-1) (2015)
Duke (0-1) (1954)
Georgia Tech (0-1) (1990)
Georgia Southern (0-1) (2022)
Houston (0-1) (1979)
Ole Miss (0-1) (2002)
Stanford (0-1) (1940)
Southern Cal (0-4-1) (2014)
Saint Louis (MO) (0-1) (1907)
Iowa Navy Pre-Flight (0-1) (1942)
Carlisle Indian School (PA) (0-1) (1908)
Camp Dodge (IA) (0-1) (1918)
Butte AC (MT) (0-2) (1896)

  1. Maryland
Houston (0-1) (1977)
Miami (OH) (0-1) (1969)
Marshall (0-1) (2013)
Nebraska (0-2) (2019)
Notre Dame (0-2) (2011)
Ohio State (0-8) (2022)
Oklahoma (0-4) (1967)
Oregon State (0-1) (2007)
Stanford (0-1) (2014)
Texas A&M (0-2) (1958)
Washington (0-1) (1982)
Wisconsin (0-4) (2022)
Walbrook AC (MD) (0-1) (1901)
Swarthmore (PA) (0-1) (1919)
Princeton (NJ) (0-2) (1922)
Mount Washington AC (MD) (0-1) (1906)
Haverford (PA) (0-2) (1916)
Gibraltar AC (DC) (0-1) (1900)
Gallaudet JV (DC) (0-1) (1898)
Curtis Bay Coast Guard (MD) (0-1) (1943)
Columbia AC (DC) (0-1) (1894)
Chicago (IL) (0-1) (1926)
Chemical Warfare Service (DC) (0-1) (1918)
Carnegie Mellon (PA) (0-1) (1921)
Baltimore Medical College (MD) (0-1) (1897)
Alexandria Episcopal HS (VA) (0-4) (1900)

*Don't sleep on Iowa Navy Pre-Flight!
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2023.05.29 18:18 Budget-Football6806 Chance me for CS

Demographic: Asian Male, Competitive HS in California, no hooks
Intended Major: Computer Science
GPA / Rank: 3.9UW, 5.3W, ranked 200/723 💀
SAT: 1570, 1460 PSAT
Coursework: AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A, IB Computer Science SL, IB Chemistry SL, IB Prep Human Geography, IB Literature I, Advanced Alg II, IB Analysis 2, IB Analysis 3, and some AP/IB Spanish courses (there are more in senior year)
-Competitive Math
-Research with a professor, in the process of publishing
-Internship at a major game development company (want to go into game development)
-Clubs (Computer Science, Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish Honor Society, Chemistry Olympiad, Physics)
-Made games with Unity and participated in game jams
-Cofounded a program that worked with local farmers and stores to redistribute misshaped fruit
-Ran some small workshops to tutor kids on how to make simple games through Unity
-3x AIME Qualifier, Distinguished Honor Roll on AMC
-Qualified for Mathleague Nationals
-DECA State Finalist
Haven't done these yet. I'm confident that I'll be able to write good essays and I'm planning to heavily lean into my passion for game development in them. As for LORs, I didn't really have great relationships with my teachers (or any at all), so I'm not too hopeful.
Schools (haven't made a full list of what to apply for yet):
-UT Austin
-University of Virginia
-University of Wisconsin-Madison
-Texas A&M
submitted by Budget-Football6806 to chanceme [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 21:40 SKwiatks Written In the Stars Ch. 13: Lay Your Healing Hands On Me part 3

Clementine comes in from the down pouring rain and makes sure the gates are secure from the big storm that has been threatening all day. She shakes the rain off of her jacket as Aasim closes the door behind her.
"Crazy how fast the storm came. Almost thought It would miss us." Aasim said as he peers outside.
"Let's just hope the gates hold," Clementine said casting out into the sheets of heavy rain.
"Yeah, the last thing we need are walkers invading our walls." Aasim looks at Clementine as worry sets in her eyes. "Don't worry, I'm sure the extra support of scrap metal from the raider's supplies should hold it. We will inspect it once the storm passes. Willy and I will keep watch of the dorms tonight, just in case. You should get some rest, you did well today Clem."
"Thanks." Clementine heaves a sigh of relief. She knows AJ will be sleeping with Tenn for the night as Tenn always has issues with big storms, so it looks like it is a Lou and her kind of night.
Clementine makes her way to her room and opens up the door, and to her surprise, it was romantically lit with candles and a lantern beside the desk. There were sheets aligned at the bedside as well as stacks of pillows. "Louis?" Clementine asks as she closes the door behind her.
Louis pokes his head out from underneath the bed sheets, "Oh there you are."
"What have you done with our room?" Clementine asks as she questions him and looks around.
"Figure we can have a date night since we haven't had one in a while, and build a pillow fort," Louis said all innocently which always melted Clementine's heart.
"A pillow fort really?" Clementine asks.
"Yes really. It will be like we are camping just without a tent. Well, sort of...Besides, I got some pretzels waiting for you." Louis incises her a bit. Clementine giggles and joins him under the fort.
"When did you have time to do this?" Clementine asks.
"Well, when you were out prepping for the storm. I know I should help but with the day you had, wanted to give you something to look forward to when all is said and done." Louis eyes her. "And AJ is with Tenn tonight, so figure you, and I can have some romance time."
"You are so cute, and I got to admit this is really romantic." Clementine smiles. Clementine blushes as she tries to hide it from him. She hates it that he can get her to soften her tough girl look, and become all mushy.
The thunder outside begins to pick up as the hard rain can be heard splattering on the glass and wood on the window. Clementine looks at him, "So any plans for our romantic evening or just this."
Louis looks at her and softly comes over to sit behind her, "Well was thinking of playing a game of cards with you, but with how stressed you are, I will offer you a massage if you want it Or we can sit and talk about what hap-" Louis started to say, but when he mentioned it Clementine got emotional and shuttered away. He bit his lip and wanted to take away whatever it is that is upsetting her.
"I don't want to talk about it. At least not right now Lou." Clementine finally spoke after a moment of silence. "I don't want to spoil the mood."
Louis nods to that, "So massage then? I promise I won't hurt you. I am pretty good at it, giving massages I mean."
Clementine smiles and nods to that. She knows how well he read her mood and knows when not to push things. Being a leader is tough, and he knows this, so being her rock when she needs him to be is all Clementine can be grateful for. Louis begins to massage her tighten shoulders as Clementine stares at the flickering light of the candle and lantern. She closes her eyes to feel the tension leaving her body as Louis loosens up those strained muscles. "I tried to help her, and she shoves me away..." Clementine voiced out loud.
"Vi?" Louis asks.
Clementine nods in silence. It has been several weeks since Clementine found out Violet is being extremely friendly to the girl Maya from the other group she has trust issues with, and since then Violet and she are still on shaky ground. Aasim told her how Violet got injured and when Clementine tried to help Violet shoved her hand away and told her to piss off. Ruby was the only one besides Tenn that Violet allows to talk to and sometimes Louis.
Louis didn't say anything and just kept working on Clem's shoulders. "She yelled at me this afternoon after getting cut from securing the gate and the walls for the storm. I came and offered to help her get up so Ruby could examine her. She told me to fuck off pretty much. I don't understand what I did to hurt her. I wish things could back to where they were. I miss having her as my friend another girl I can talk to, besides just Ruby."
Louis finally speaks near Clementine's right ear; "I can try talking to her if you want. I know her a bit better than you do. Vi and I kind of go back a ways."
"I don't want her to hurt you the way she has hurt me." Clementine looks at him with worry in her eyes.
"As I said, I know how she runs. She uses her cold heart to push away people as a defensive mechanism the way I use jokes, to protect her heart from getting broken." Louis confesses. "She isn't trying to be mean and cold towards you darling, that is how Vi is sometimes." Louis tucks a lock of Clementine's beautiful soft curly hair behind her right earlobe. And kisses her cheek for reassurance. "She will come around. Just got to give her time and space."
Clementine heaves a sigh as he does that, "It's been several weeks, Louis."
"I know. But she will come around." Louis kisses the back of her neck and shoulders. Clementine smiles, as she feels loved by him. She leans her back against his chest and lets him hold her for a while. They listen to the storm rage outside for a bit then Clementine looks at him and reaches inside his coat pocket grabbing his deck of cards.
"Hey." Louis shouted, "Those are mine."
"Truth or dare?" Clementine looks at him with a cheeky smile.
"I thought you didn't want to play a game?" Louis asks as his eyebrows rose.
"To take my mind off of what happened, besides I need the distraction of the shitty day I had." Clementine said as she shuffles the cards, "So truth or dare?"
Louis raises his eyebrows in a cocky way, "All right. Bring on your best game Clem." And gave Clementine a smirking grin.
Clementine slyly smiles at him and placed the shuffle cards in the middle as she draws one from the pile, and so does Louis. Louis has the eight of hearts and Clementine has the two of spades. Louis eyes her, "Well I guess I win, hmmm let's see, Truth. Would you rather eat a spider or kiss a snake?"
Clementine blinks up at him, "What kind of question is that."
"A warm-up one for later." Louis challenges her. "So which one? Eat a spider or kiss a snake."
"Kiss a snake no contest." Clementine answers.
"Why?" Louis said with curiosity, "Some snakes are poisonous and can bite you, you know."
"So as some species of spiders. And I hate spiders. So if I have a choice between a snake and a spider I will take my chances with a snake thank you." Clementine confesses.
"Interesting. So you are afraid of spiders, duly noted." Louis snickers.
"I'm not afraid.... I just don't like them." Clementine plays it off cool that she is not afraid of them when she actually is, and Louis saw right through it.
"I will kill every spider that comes your way darling, and I will protect you from the big bad eight-legged creature." Louis teases her as he made his hands gesture and move like a spider.
Clementine rolls her eyes and playfully smacks Louis with a pillow as she smiles at him for defending her honor. She takes another card from the pile, and Louis does the same. Louis drew three of the clubs, and Clementine drew ten of the diamonds.
"Let's see, dare." Clementine looks at Louis and sees his face flush a bit.
"I dare you to lick the mushroom." Clementine pointed to the plant on the broken bookshelf.
"Really, that it?" Louis looks at her.
"Well that or run outside in the storm streaking to tease the walkers, but it is too dangerous outside," Clementine said kind of teasing him.
Louis nods and then goes, "Okay." He gets up out of their mishap tent and goes over to the bookcase where Clementine has her collection of animal skulls and a plant. He takes the vase that holds the mushroom and licks it. His face scrunches up as he spat the nasty taste from his mouth. As he did that Clementine laughs at the sight of Louis doing that. He loved to hear her laugh, which made the task worth it.
Louis rejoins her underneath the bed sheet fort and looks at her with amusement, "As much as that tasted nasty it was worth it to hear you laugh."
Clementine looks at him with eyes glowing with love. She takes another card already and waits for Louis to draw a card. Louis drew his third card, and it turns out to be the five of hearts, and Clementine flips her card over to reveal the jack of spades. Louis drops his head, as Clementine's smile grows ever more. "Looks like I win again."
Louis looks back up at her, "Just don't ask for any more dares that will ruin my image."
"No dares this time. Uh... truth." Clementine said. She thought of a question she had wanted to ask him for a while, "What is the significance of the tan jacket you always wear?"
Louis looks at her and smiles, "It belongs to my dad. One of the things he accidentally left in my boxes when I got shipped here after I destroyed my parent's marriage. I guess it is my last memory of my parents and life before everything went to shit." Louis answers her.
Clementine nodded and gently added, "And that is why you go to sleep with it on every night?"
Louis looks to her, " only get one question for that, and you asked it what is the significance of."
Clementine nods to that, "Well...since you kind of confirm it with my question earlier, I will take that as a yes."
Louis shyly looks away from her, as she guessed right. He draws another card from the pile between them, and Clementine does the same. Louis showed his card as Clementine did too. Louis has the King of clubs and Clementine has the nine of hearts. Louis smiles and looks at Clementine, "Since you asked something personal of mine that I always keep near my heart, what is the significance of the raggedy old hat you always wear or used to, now that AJ wears it."
Clementine smiles at him. She usually would get mad at anyone teasing her about her hat, but Louis, who she fell in love with makes her want to share a bit of her life before the outbreak started, with him. "It belonged to my dad. He used to wear it all the time when he did yard work or play with me out in the yard. It was his favorite baseball team, I forgot the name of it and what the D actually stands for, but Javi told me it is a famous baseball team he used to remember." Clementine paused briefly to look at Louis, and his hand met with hers. She felt his thumb rubbing her knuckles to her left hand. She then took a breath and finish telling him about her parents, "before he and my mother went to Savannah for a trip and left me with my babysitter Sandra, he told me I could borrow it not keep it. Then the world ended, and I never saw my parents again. So I kept it all these years as my remembrance of my parents as a keepsake."
Louis looks at her as she shared a bit of her life story with him. "Well, I'm sure your dad would be proud you kept his favorite hat all this time. And even pass it down to little AJ."
"Yeah, he would've." Clementine looks at him with admiration.
Then she reaches for another card, and Louis does the same. Although Louis was still in a trance of what Clementine just told him about the significance of her hat and what it means to her. He now understands why she gets a bit mad whenever he tries to take her hat from her. Louis flipped his card over and revealed the king of hearts and Clementine had the Jack of clubs. Louis gleefully did a victory pump in the air, "Yes, I win again. Um...dare this time."
Clementine braces herself for the dare she is about to receive. Louis pulls out two pieces of old candy. "Okay, pick your poison. I dare you to eat a stale old gummy bear or a rock-hard piece of taffy."
Clementine looks at him suspiciously, "You knew I was going to play a game with you tonight, didn't you."
Louis shrugs, "Wasn't sure about your mood darling, but since you suggested it I wasn't going to say no. Besides, I always come prepared." Louis smiles. "So what will it be stale gummy bear or rock-hard taffy."
Clementine reaches for the gummy bear, took it in her mouth, and ate it. It was bland and out of flavor, but it was better to go down than rock-hard taffy. Now it was Louis's turn to laugh at Clementine's face as she scrunched it up with the bad aftertaste. Clementine looks at him, disregards the game, and lunches after him, tackling him in their fort tent. When she does that the sheets fell down as well as the pillows that held them up tumble down onto the floor destroying their beautiful fortress. Clementine and Louis didn't care as she tickles him until begs her for mercy and his insides couldn't take any more laughter.
"Okay...okay....stop...stop that tickles..." Louis shouts in between laughter. "Please, Clem...." Louis tries to speak in between laughter, "I can't any...more."
Clementine has him pinned on his back with his head a few feet from the dresser stand as she held his hands above his head. For her being one-legged and small, she sure has a firm grip. "Not until you say, uncle?"
"Okay..." Louis looks her in the eyes as he reaches up and plants a kiss on her lips that seems to have shocked Clementine as she loosens her grip on him and kisses him back. Something sparks in her heart that night, as she wanted him at that moment. Like really wanted him. He pulled back just a bit to look Clementine in the eyes and smiled, "I guess I win with that, huh...."
Clementine looks at him and breathes profoundly, "Louis can I ask you something?"
Louis looks at the fort, then back at her, "Kind of ruined the game a bit, but sure.."
Clementine lightly smiles at his reply then she looks at him deeply in the eyes, and being serious for a moment. "Have you thought can I explain this in a way that doesn't freak you out..." Clementine looks away, unsure how to ask this of him. She closed her eyes and softly spoke the words she wanted to say to him, "Going farther than second base with me."
Louis eyes her now as his mouth runs dry at what she is proposing here. His heart thumps in his chest as he stares at her unable to speak. Clementine notices his silence as she looks back into his eyes, "Louis?"
Louis coughs as he tries to say something serious and not in a joking fashion, "You mean, have I uh...thought about moving past that and going the full home run with you." Clementine nods as he is picking up her baseball analogy of having sex and hooking up. Louis looks a little shy at first, but there is a calmness in his eyes as he looks deep into her golden depths. He leans up and places his hands on her cheeks and seductively kisses her deeply as he responds to her question. He always felt that way about her but never knew how badly she wants to be with him. He was waiting for the more opportune time but this moment with her with him like this was more than he could ask for. He pulled back to look her in the eyes and breathlessly said, "Yes."
Clementine looks at him and smiles, feeling the fire in her soul and heat with him. She then leans back down to continue to kiss him passionately and seductively, as he wanted this as badly as she did. She was saving this question later in the game of truth or dare but she got her answer. Louis kisses her deeply as she feels his tongue collide with hers. Her hands move up his chest to his collarbone as she strokes the smooth skin. Louis soon breaks their kiss as Clementine allows him to sit up. He soon goes back to kissing her tenderly and works up the next move he plans to do. Still keeping his lips locked with hers, he moves his hands up by her shoulders and slides them down her arms and sides until he finds the ends of her denim jean jacket and slowly tugs on it to take it off.
She felt Louis slip off her denim jean jacket as it falls behind her. She looks at him and closes her eyes again as he kisses her tenderly. Clementine soon moves her hands up around Louis's upper arms and soon do the same taking off his long coat jacket and letting it fall behind him. He kisses her lips once more, and she lets out a pleasing moan at his touch. Louis's heart was beating insanely fast with the rush of excitement. But he wants to savor this moment between her and him and tries not to rush it. Louis breaks contact with Clementine's lips momentarily as he moves down the slope of her neck, leaving hot kisses behind with each movement down to her collarbone, where he sucks on her soft flesh some.
Clementine felt electricity flow through her, as she never felt this way with anyone before. And when she felt Louis kissing her neck, she felt like she was in heaven, and for the first time, let her walls come down and just be loved. The feeling Louis is giving to her was out of this world. She wonders if this is what true love is like. Her head tilts back as Louis kisses her neck, and her eyes roll back some to feel the intense feeling Louis is giving her, as Clementine's mouth agape a bit. Louis moves back to her lips as she crashes with his movements without missing a beat. Everything was a blur, leaving Clementine feeling lightheaded with love when Louis flipped her on her back as he posed above her. She smiles at him a loving smile when she felt his nose rub against hers in a tender way, as he breathes heavily along with her own breath. She doesn't know which is louder her own heart beating wildly with Louis's or the thunder booming outside.
Louis looked at her and breathlessly spoke, "My heart is pounding."
Clementine places her left hand on Louis's chest as she feels his heart beating wildly along with hers. She looks up into his soft chocolate eyes, which she loves so much, and never breaks eye contact with him. Clementine found the end of the collar on his green shirt, and with her fingers, she gently tugs on the collar to lower his lips back down to her own as she kisses him profoundly, moving in seductive ways for a little while until the passion was growing, and they wanted something more. Her tongue collided with Louis's once more as she felt him cupping her face with his thumb caressing her cheekbone. They kiss like that for a bit until Louis pulls back and takes Clementine's hand to guide her to sit up with him. It made it easier for them to remove each other's shirts. She feels Louis as he slowly unzips her white-stained hoodie and lets her hoodie glide off of her. He soon lifts up her white undershirt so that her bra remains the only piece of clothing left at the top half of her body. Clementine does the same removing his green shirt and letting it mingle with her denim jean jacket and her two other white shirts. They both stare at each other with loving eyes as they admire one other of their bare skin.
Louis looks in awe at the woman before him and sees the battle scars on her left arm. Her scar on her lower forearm and what looks like a branding mark on her upper left shoulder. He knew Clementine comes from a dark past, just never knew how much. He reaches out and tenderly strokes the brand on her shoulder. Feeling the indented skin under his fingertips. He felt Clementine flinch a little at his touch. He can tell she never let anyone know what was done to her. Louis then looks upon Clementine's sympatric face when she looks up at him. No words spoke between them, but their eyes said everything. Louis then did something that she was not expecting him to do. Louis kisses her brand on her shoulder tenderly and softly, moving down to the scar on her lower arm. He wants her to know that none of her battle scars matter to him. He loves all of her, and he wanted to let her know that and not just say it but let her feel it.
Clementine closes her eyes and grips the bed sheet she is sitting on top of to Louis kissing her scars as she is being open and vulnerable with him to have him love her like that. Clementine lets out a soft pleasurable moan when Louis kisses her sensitive skin. She never let anyone see, not even AJ, of the scars she had to endure when she was younger and all the painful memories and sacrifices that came along with it.
She felt his lips run over her scars, then back up the slope of her neck and finally to her lips. She let out a satisfying moan against his lips as he made contact with them again. Clementine momentarily breaks her contact from his lips as she eyes the man before her. Clementine looks at Louis as his torso is smooth, and she smiles when she notices his very fine abs and chest. A soft look came over her eyes as she reached out and touched the smooth skin on his chest. Caressing her fingertips over his soft, smooth flesh, smiling at every touch. His adorable freckles scatter down his nose, his cheeks, neck, and onto his chest. Making him even cuter and more handsome, and she can't believe her luck in finding such a man who is a reflection of her. She can make her own star constellation in his freckles.
When she touches his torso, Louis closes his eyes as she sees him holding back tears of joy and love, as if someone loves him for the first time. Clementine smiles as she kisses his neck hard, leaving love bites down his neck for the first time, and slowly moving to his collarbone as her fingertips continue to roam over his smooth torso. She smiled, and a little giggle escaped her lips as she felt Louis twitch a bit from her touch and explore his chest with her fingers.
Then she felt an old scar on Louis's right side of his torso that made her stop kissing his neck and chest as she gazed down onto his body and where her fingers rest on. She notices Louis also bares some battle scars of his own. Near the right side of his torso, just above his ribcage, was a deep scar; on his back, she feels healed up deep scar tissue. She sees the pierced skin on his left shoulder where Abel shot him. Clementine closes her eyes on the gunshot wound on his left shoulder for a moment. With a sigh, Clementine opens her eyes as she does the same action Louis did to her moments ago and reaches out and touches the bullet wound scar upon his left shoulder tenderly. Feeling a bit guilty that she was the direct cause of letting this happen to him.
She looks up at him with awe in her eyes just then. Then she reaches over and kisses a tender kiss on his bullet wound to his left shoulder, which is healed up, and kisses his other battle scar on his chest. Letting him know she loves him with scars and all just as much as he loves her. She felt Louis tremble as she kissed his scars and trailed back up his body towards his lips again and crashing her mouth onto his as she encircled her arms around his strong neck and pulled him back down to the bed of pillows that now lay scattered on the floor.
Louis lets out a satisfying moan of pleasure when Clementine kisses his own battle scars. When she leads him down onto the bed of pillows to make love to her for the first time, he is in heaven and knows for sure she wants to be with him at this moment just as much as he wanted to be with her. She let her one good leg fall as Louis moves his legs in between hers. Clementine moves her one good leg over Louis's as she entwines them. Louis continues to foreplay a bit with her as he removes the last remaining clothing from him and her as, for the first time, they are both naked with each other. Louis uses one of the loose sheets as a blanket to cover his lower abdomen as he lowers his body onto Clementine as she closes her eyes. She felt Louis kissing her neck and slowly moving up to her jawline as he caresses her ribs and moved his arms up hers until he finds her hand and fingers. She looks at him and moves her head to kiss him tenderly and deeply, giving him all of her love.
Clementine feels Louis getting in position as he entwines his fingers to hers. And slowly, he moves against her body in a slow rhythmic way. She squeezes his hand tightly and feels ecstasy for the first time as Louis makes love to her. When both she and Louis reach the climax of their lovemaking, she feels Louis's whole body tremble and shake of the love he is feeling from her. Clementine's body trembles, too, with the love she feels from him and the pure ecstasy bliss that makes her weak in the knees. She still feels Louis's toes curl inward with the pleasure he is still feeling with her.
Louis crashes down near her as he rolls onto his back feeling very happy and satisfied. Still breathing hard, trying to find his breath as he pants with what he and Clementine just did moments before. Clementine is still trembling with the sexual excitement she just did with Louis. Both of them lay in silence as the rain poured outside until they regained their breath to speak.
Louis is the first to break the silence. "Wow....that You were, wow...."
Clementine uses Louis's jacket to cover her naked body some as she gazes up at him, "Is that all you can say,"
Louis looks at her as he slides closer to her and reaches out to caress her sweaty cheek tenderly, "Yes, because, oh my god, that was amazing. You are amazing and so incredibly beautiful. You leave me breathless. I may have died back there and was in heaven with you. Because, oh my God. And got to say, with all the practicing I have done in my early teen years, nothing compares to the real thing of doing it. And you....just amazing." Louis was so speechless he couldn't form words to express how happy she made him.
Clementine smiles brightly at him and tries not to laugh at his expression of them having sex for the first time. Clementine closes the small gap between him and her and kisses him again. Partly to quiet her boyfriend on the rambling of his happiness with her and because he was too cute to not have a lip lock again with him.
In the midst of kissing him, Clementine moves slightly to be on top of his body with Louis's coat draped around her shoulders as she peers down into his chocolate-brown eyes. Louis gaze up at her all love-struck. Then without even realizing it, she says the words her heart told her all along. "I love you, Louis." Louis's eyes were wide with shock, and so was Clementine's as she said those words for the first time. Clementine bit her lower lip as she looked at him, "Shit, Sorry, I meant to say that to you before we...and just never came out until now, and I didn't know how to express what I felt or how to say those words and me. a-" Clementine started to ramble as Louis reached up to passionately kiss her.
Louis smiles at her and thinks she is so adorable when it is her turn to be flustered and doesn't know how to respond. Louis shuts her up with a kiss to her lips as he reaches from behind her head, which causes Clementine to lose focus as he intimately kisses her in his response to her words.
When he pulled back and moved his hand on her cheek and stroked it tenderly as he smiled very brightly, looking into those beautiful golden depths of hers when he repeated the words right back to her, "I love you too, my darling Clementine." Clementine reaches her hands to meet his, where Louis is cupping her face, and her smile widens. Clementine moves her head to touch her forehead to his and nuzzles her nose tenderly to Louis's. Louis then guides her head to rest on his beating heart and entangles his fingers in her hair as he smiles at her love for him.
The night fell upon them, and when Clementine was fast asleep next to Louis. Louis watches in awe of her as she dreams. He eventually moves to blow out the candles and turn off the lantern so he doesn't set fire to their room. Louis tucks a piece of Clementine's hair from her face behind her ear and kisses her forehead. He then felt her unconsciously move closer to him and nuzzle the nape of his neck with her little nose. He smiled at that gesture and holds her naked body near his under the sheet that they were wrapped in, although Clementine ended up using Louis's long brown coat as her blanket to snuggle up in. Louis smiled at her and thought it was the most adorable thing to have her wrapped up in his jacket. Every man's dream is to have their girl in their clothes, which melted Louis's heart. Between the rain falling outside and the soft breathing from Clementine, the sounds from both soon drifted Louis off into a nice sound sleep. Louis slept in Clementine's embrace until the following morning.
The storm raged outside, making this moment between Maya and Violet magical, as the two of them started to get heated in their making out. Maya was heavily making out with Violet as she felt her heart racing with Violet's. Maya felt under Violet's green shirt to feel her soft white skin against her fingertips. Maya kissed Violet's neck, and a soft moan came deep inside Violet's throat from being pleasured. Just when Maya was about to take off Violet's shirt, as she was lost in the moment with Violet, suddenly Maya's mind got transported to another time and space where she blacked out in front of Violet and was unresponsive. Fuck!
Violet was enjoying the touch from her new girlfriend, and when she saw Maya unresponsive from her kissing, she thought she had gone to sleep, "Maya? Maya. Okay, you got me going there." When Maya was still unresponsive, Violet was getting to be concerned. "Maya! Maya, this isn't funny anymore. Wake up! Maya!" Jesus Christ, what do I fucking do now! Violet slides out from underneath her girlfriend and props her up on the back wall near the sign. This place is cursed and waited.
Maya's world went black, and her heart stopped for a moment. Violet disappeared, and Maya was in another world. She looks and is in a bedroom. "Violet?" Maya calls out, and no answer. She looks around and looks to be a child's room. Maya places her hand on her head as she slowly rises from the floor. "Where the hell am I?" Maya spoke as she shook her head. She looks into the space before her, and in the dim light, she sees drawings of a spaceship, comets, a girl shooting hopes on one wall, and lots of basketball references. Above her were the glow-in-the-dark sticky stars you put up on the walls of a room. It was in the shape of one of the constellations. Draco. Maya glances over at the closet door of this room, and a name in purple writing stands out to her as Maya's eyes open wide. Violet!
Am I in Violet's room when she was a little girl? Why? Just then, a noise from the tv set in another room broke Maya's thoughts of questions as she turned out of what looked to be Violet's bedroom and wonders down the hallway. She touched the plastered wall and noticed pictures of her past. Her mom and what looks to be her grandparents. Then her eyes fixated on a little girl standing with her grandmother next to a school sign, Alexandria elementary school, in the photos. Violet.
Maya reaches out and traces the smile on her face, and stares into her eyes so love so very much. Maya sees that Violet looks like a happy kid by the look of these pictures, but smiling at times can be deceiving. Maya moves down the dark corridor of the hallway and sees an old lady in a rocker, and a little blonde girl sitting below her feet. Maya watches from a distance, and it pains her to see her new girlfriend so in pain. She looked and saw a young Violet watching tv what looked to be a disco band of veggies. As Maya turns her attention back on this old woman, which she guesses is Violet's grandmother, she looks so sad and crying as she holds tight to a picture of what looks to be her late husband. The look in this old woman's eyes told Maya everything.
Maya watches as this lady gets up from a rocker and heads out down the hallway where Maya is standing and disappears into the master bedroom. She was only gone for a few seconds, and when the old lady came back out with a .22 rifle Maya's blood ran cold. Maya wanted to scream and shout don't do it, but her voice had no power here as this was a vision of the past. Maya watches in horror as the old woman pulls up another chair behind a young Violet and put the rifle on that chair. Maya watches as this old woman puts the barrel to her chest, reaches down, and pulls out a back scratcher. Maya shook her head and then screamed, "No, no, no! Don't..Don't!"
Maya wanted to close her eyes not to see what she didn't want to see, but she witnessed it all and heard a bang from the rifle, Maya sees the old woman slumped over in her rocker, blood pooling out of her gun wound, and the gun hit the floor. Maya turns back and sees Violet glued to the tv set, traumatized by hearing her grandmother commit suicide in front of her. Maya looks at her and to the dead woman, and now she understands fully why Violet is so standoffish. Jesus. Maya thought and couldn't imagine that pain and image. She then sees a time jump as a young Violet enters Ericson Academy for Troubled Youth. Holy fuck, the same school Robert sent Louis to! It really does exist out here. Maya looks at the gates and the crest of the school. She sees Violet's mother walk past her exiting the school, turning her back on her daughter with a good soul. Violet's mother had the same shade of spring meadow eyes and blonde hair as Violet. Maya watches Violet's mother hop in her silver car and take off, never to be seen again. Maya closes her eyes and felt the betrayal in her own heart of seeing a parent walk away from their child.
Maya turns back to look at Violet standing at the gates, watching her mother leave. It pained her to see her lover so small, and felt forgotten. Maya wanted to go to her and hug her, but the world around her flashes to white, and she hears Violet's voice calling out to her to bring her back to the world of reality.
Maya! Maya!
Maya snaps forward, panting at what she just saw and taking deep breaths.
Violet was shaking her to get her to come to, "You passed out or something, and when you didn't respond, I got scared. You scared the shit out of me. What the fuck is going on?" Violet spoke as panic set in her voice. "What the fuck happened to you."
Maya took deep breaths as she tried to regain what she had just seen. Once her heart was evening out, she looked into Violet's eyes, "Sorry about that. I never wanted you to see me like that when I have these just happens at times. I'll be fine."
Violet still doesn't understand shook her head as she glares at Maya, "Maya, you are freaking me out here. What is happening to you, what...." Violet looks to her at her with her hands on her cheeks, stroking her.
Maya took a moment as she looked at her girlfriend, "I saw everything."
Violet, still confused, look at her, "I don't follow you. You saw everything? Of what?"
"Your past, Vi. How your grandmother committed suicide in front of you, pretty much. And your mother left you at Ericson's Academy for troubled youth." Maya leans forward with a pounding headache and blood dripping from her nose. Fuck hadn't had this bad vision before to cause a nosebleed.
Violet looks at Maya with wide eyes, "That...that is..impossible. How can you know of this, and how do you even know about Ericson?"
"Cause I saw it in my vision just now." Maya winces at the burning pain in her nose from the blood coming out. She leans her head against the cloth tapestry behind her as she explains to Violet everything of her past, "You grew up in a trailer park outside of Alexandria, Virginia. I saw your room when you were a little girl. Had drawings of spaceships, comets, and a girl playing basketball. And up on the ceiling were glow-in-the-dark stars in the shape of a constellation of Draco, the dragon. And your closet had your name written in purple. Then after you witnessed your grandmother's suicide, your mother sent you to a school, and the look in your eyes as you saw your mother drive away...." Maya said as she closed her eyes for a moment, then looked at Violet, "I now understand why you keep people from your heart and why you are scared of falling for me. Because everyone you look to has left you feeling abandoned or unwanted." Maya closed her eyes and felt her pain as Maya let out a heavy sigh.
Maya looks up at her, "I am not lying when I tell you am a clairvoyant. I get visions where I go back in time and relive past events as if they are happening in real-time., like how I saw you and your friends on the beach of the river and the aftermath of the Delta's boat blown up. And just now, I relived your past on your worst day." Maya wipes the blood from her nose as she leans back against the wall, pitching her nose to stop the bleeding. "I don't know why now; it gave me visions of your past as a warning or letting me know how to care for you."
Violet was just shocked that Maya told everything precisely to the fine details of where Violet lived before she came to Ericson, that only Violet would know. She looks down, "How often do you have these 'visions' of yours."
Maya looks to her, "Not that often, just when it serves a purpose for me to know what is important. It's a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I can use my gift to help others, and sometimes...." Maya pauses and looks away, "Sometimes I wished I didn't have this gift and wished I could have something else.." Maya confesses.
Violet scooches closer to her girlfriend and asks, "Why?"
Maya looks down over her left shoulder, "Because sometimes I wish I didn't see the gory details of my visions. Those images stay in my mind. And I can't unsee them.." Maya looks out over the mattress and closes her eyes.
Violet nodded and then asked Maya the question she wished she never had asked, "Did you see...her killing herself...." Violet spoke and the she, Violet was referring to is her grandmother. Violet looked at Maya and the expression on Maya's face as she squinted her eyes tighter when she asked that Violet knew and Maya didn't have to verbally say it as a confirmation.
Violet leans her head on Maya's left shoulder and reaches out to touch her left hand and hold it. Knowing that vision shook her. Maya had seen something that Violet didn't have the courage or was too afraid to witness herself. Violet then, in a soft voice, said the words she had withheld for a long time and only said these words to one other person. "I love you, and everything that you are, Maya. Even your gift you view as a curse. I love everything about you, and wouldn't change a single thing. I love you, my rugged Indian warrior." Violet snuggles her head on Maya's shoulder and left kisses on her bare skin giving Maya all the love in her heart for her.
Maya looks over, wraps her arm around Violet, and lovingly kisses her head. And the two hold each other in silence, listening to the rain fall outside, until they fall asleep in each other's embraces the rest of the night.
submitted by SKwiatks to TeamViolet [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 16:12 rideaselle Help Me Choose: Colorado vs Virginia Commonwealth

Hi everyone. I really need help deciding between these two schools. Colorado is IS tuition, better ranked, and has more research, but I feel like VCU has the experience I want of community, living next to campus, and visiting my family more (mom is sick). I have to decline one of these ASAP and I feel like I'm switching everyday. Please help.
Colorado:(Ranked 20th on PD list, costs ~$330,000)

Virginia Commonwealth: (Ranked around 67th, costs ~$385,000)
Both Schools Have in Common:
I'm interested in neuro or rad subspecialties, but this may change of course. I'm not sure how much the difference in research opportunities or ranking could impact residency apps, and I'm not sure how heavily to weigh the price difference of the schools. I usually see a larger difference in IS vs OOS costs, so that makes me weigh it less heavily but 50-60k still a lot of money.
submitted by rideaselle to premed [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 00:27 PC2000WA One Year Exploring the USA April 2022-2023 ~61k Miles

One Year Exploring the USA April 2022-2023 ~61k Miles
Hello,I had posted earlier about my trip on the WA State BDR. After that adventure I ended up staying on the road, without any real plans, for roughly another year. For those of you who I have already met here in the community - it was a true pleasure chatting.:)
Anyhoots, I thought I would share some of the highlights of the trip, photos, and how my 2015 Toyota Tacoma and Overlanding teardrop did in a combination of Overlanding, Stealth, and Camping scenarios.....roughly on a path of Live Music, National Parks, good Vegan food, and connecting with new and old friends.
Oregon Desert
I am not exactly sure how to share the depth of my trip with the community here, so I though a combination of my setup, stats, gear that served well and didn't, some personal takeaways (there are no armature philosophers), and some other facts/favorites. If this sparks up some conversation, Ill do my utmost to answer any questions.
Relevant Portions of my rig setup:
2015 Tacoma Limited: ~193,000 ODO (Bought new)- Old Man Emu Nitro Sport Suspension w/3" lift and heavy duty leaf spring additions- Full body armoSnorkel/roof racks- Roam Adventure roof boxes- Two 5G Jerry Cans (used ~8x)- Starlink RV WiFi (legit)- 1Kw and 200Mw Yeti Power Banks w/solar- Heavy duty dog barrier (Panda Safety)- 10k Lb Warn wench (used ~12 times)- Electric Chainsaw (used ~5x), Full Toolkit- Planer mobile kerosene heater (Used frequently)- Bumper Stuff
2015 TrailersNW Ambush Trailer: ~100kODO- 2" sorta-heavy duty steel frame (reinforced after BDR)- Matching KO2's - carry only one spare- Timeberland Axeless Suspension w/4" drop- Custom Aluminum Build/Marine grade battery- RhinoRack Batwing 270' w/full panels- Tepui Heavy Duty four season rooftop tent- Coleman propone stove- Dometic 45L FreezeFridge Combo- Couch/Matress- Baltic Birch stain-resistant interiocabinets- Geyeuser Portable Shower
My trusty travel companion, Panda, and I set a rough course from Astoria, OR to Virginia Beach, VA.
Highlights included:
States Visited: 28 + MexicoCities/Placed Visited: 236National Parks: 13Total Miles: ~61kTotal elevation gain/loss 1.5M Feet
Favorite Park: Carlsbad Caverns, NMFavorite camping: MOAB and Mills Creek, N.C.Favorite City: Nashville. TNCoolest People: Oklahoma City, OKColdest Camping: Great Basin State Park (-10 w/windchill)Hottest Camping: Phoenix, AZPanda's Favorite: Dog Beach, San Diego, CABest live/authentic Music: Memphis, TNMost expensive gas: $7.10 Sacramento, CALeast expensive gas: $2.25 El Paso, TX
Best Vegan Food: MeMe's Twisted Potato, Little Rock, ARLeast Favorite Vegan Food: Wasn't Vegan, Fort Bliss, Tx
Favorite piece of overlanding gear: KOs TiresLeast favorite piece of overlanding gear: Dometic ThermostatsFavorite piece of camping gear: Gransfors Bruk Wildlife Hatchet (I prep food with this rig)Least favorite piece of camping gear: Geyser Shower (hose froze/broke)Favorite Piece of Electronic Gear: Garmin Overlanding GPS (Stealth camping sites)Least Favorite Piece of Electronic Gear: MyGarmin InReach seems irrelevant latelyFavorite Clothing piece: Anything woolLeast favorite clothing piece: one sock
Gear Fails:- Truck window broke into 3 times. The tint from last break in never settled in the cold weather and ended up peeling in the 4th window.- Timberland wheel bearing. I didn't grease per schedule and it caught fire on the freeway. It was quickly put out and I was able to creep ~20mph to a hotel to order a new bearing assembly.
Personal Fails:- Lost my wallet and ID in epic Northern CA snowstorm. I had my passport and my banks sent new cards ahead to my new location. I had some emergency money in the armrest safe.- Laundry was a challenge on the road. I now carry 5x the same of everything. Shirt, socks, pants- same.
Some of my personal lessons learned:
  1. People everywhere seem super cool- I met hundreds of new friends. The polarization of people via the media, to me, is absolutely shocking. I am constantly reminded of the saying, "Hate doesn't move armies, devotion move armies"
  2. You NEVER know who can shred on an instrument. It's really a magical thing....a persons relationship with their instrument. I tried to find live music in every town I went to, and it was a pleasure to watch the post-covid music scene thaw . I practiced almost every day on the road, and people seemingly are always helpful to teach.
  3. Do not eat 3lb of pistachios in a 24hr period.
  4. The steath/overlanding out-of-the-way areas to camp are the absolute best way to go, not only from a budget perspective. The people you meet in these areas, whether locals or travelers, seem to have a more authentic-ness about them.....less in a rush.....more relaxed....easier to strike a convo with.
  5. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to take this trip, in a solo manner, with a senior dog. It truly has changed my perspective on this country, people, business, finance, religion, and politics. My life philosophy framework comes from am emerging thinking called Sentientism, through which two questions about everything are asked: 1) What's Real and 2) What matters. Through these lenses on this trip I have determined: 1) Anything with living energy I am willing to call God. 2) Self-Discipline = Self-Love. 3) Nobody is greater than me, nobody is lesser than me.
Anyhoots - again, thought I would post my adventure and some of the relevant highlights.:)
Marrowstow Island, WA

Seattle, WA
Ocean Shores WA
Mountain Top Campground: Tarentum, Pennsylvania
Mills Creek, NC
Caleb, KY
Great Basin

Felled Log on trail - Near Canadian Border

BLM Camping - Quartzsite, AZ

Typical Evening Dinner - ElDorado Hot Springs, AZ
Starlink RV Satellite Setup - LEGIT!

Panda - Virginia Beach, VA

Spanish Valley - MOAB
submitted by PC2000WA to overlanding [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 22:48 Artistic-Ad8383 Undecided

I'm a PGY 4 radiology resident currently about to take boards. Unfortunatly I am also in the middle of fellowship ranking. I am very undecided about my rank list and i was hoping others could offer opinions/advice.
Background: I'm a young single male from the north east with family and friends scattered along the east coast and midwest. I myself am sick of living on the east coast, but feel compelled to be in the area for my family and since my greatest concentration of friends are here (though i rarely see them). I finished medical school in colorado, and loved my time out there. I prefer varied climates, although i dislike humidity.
Current programs I am ranking include:

Thomas Jefferson Univ-PA
U Colorado SOM-Denver
Emory Univ SOM-GA
Brigham & Womens Hosp-MA
University of Virginia
Yale-New Haven Hosp-CT

I have never been this indecisive in my life and coupled with board prep I am finding it very hard to make a final decision. I appreciate any insight on either living in these areas, the hospital atmosphere, or opinions about what you thought was important to prioritize when fellowship ranking.

FYI: Radiology fellowships I applied to are all 1 year programs.
submitted by Artistic-Ad8383 to Residency [link] [comments]

2023.05.23 14:48 PetersburgMutualAid School union members are fighting for collective bargaining. They say the board is stalling to vote on the resolution. by Joyce Chu, The Progress-Index

School union members are fighting for collective bargaining. They say the board is stalling to vote on the resolution.
Joyce Chu The Progress-Index
PETERSBURG—At the May 17 school board meeting, an administrator got up to read a proclamation recognizing teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week as a teacher wearing a red shirt that said "No decisions about us without us" shook her head.
"Whereas, teachers are trusted, respected professionals who must be empowered and supported to do their best work and to provide high-quality, innovative learning experiences that serve all students...whereas, every Virginian knows a great teacher who made the difference in his or her life or in the life of a loved one, and we thank those educators during Teacher Appreciation Week and always..."
After the reading of the proclamation, teachers were asked to stand up in recognition of their hard work. As they stood, they held up signs that read “Vote for collective bargaining now!” for the school board and superintendent to see.
During the public comment period, teachers came up to urge the school board to pass a resolution that would allow them the right to negotiate their contracts, salaries, and working conditions.
“Petersburg public school students deserve qualified teachers like myself in every classroom, and unfortunately, decisions have not been made thus far to ensure that,” said Demi Williams, a teacher at Pleasant’s Lane Elementary.
"Not passing our resolution is hurtful to employees like myself who have suffered and endured the school year. Not passing the resolution says to others that Petersburg doesn't value their employees. not passing the resolutions says to the community and all stakeholders involved that teachers are easily replaceable when we know that's not the case. Not passing the resolution adds to the general generational trauma that has plagued the city.”
Some school board members stared blankly at Williams and others did not make eye contact while teachers cheered at the end of her speech.
Some felt the teacher's appreciation proclamation was purely performative.
"If the board truly believed what they wrote and said then they would not hesitate to pass our collective bargaining resolution," middle school history teacher Vannay Kirkland told the Progress-Index. "The fact that they would acknowledge us as cornerstones of the whole system but cannot negotiate a contract with us smacks of hypocrisy and empty virtue signaling."

Why teachers care about collective bargaining

Collective bargaining is crucial for them, and anyone employed by the school district, to be able to negotiate their salaries, benefits, and working conditions, members say. Working conditions can be anything from class size limits to having a prep period, to having breaks to use the restroom, and any other health and safety issue.
In 2020, the General Assembly overturned a 1977 Virginia Supreme Court decision that banned public employees from having the right to bargain their contracts, opening the door for teachers across the state to have a greater say in their treatment.
But the General Assembly’s resolution must be adopted by the school board in order to be in effect, which the board has the power to deny or approve.

Union members feel the school board is "stalling" to vote on the resolution

Petersburg teachers and union members are frustrated by what they see as a “delay tactic” by the school board to vote on a resolution that would allow them to have collective bargaining.
Teachers and union members involved with the Petersburg Education Union worked in earnest to gather the required signatures and documents to present to the school board. They collected a total of 532 signatures on authorization cards from employees across the district, accounting for over 80% of employees--which exceeded the required 51% of cards needed. After getting the cards validated and notarized, they sent a copy to every school board member and the superintendent on Jan. 31 to let them know they have all the documents necessary to open up collective bargaining.
Under the General Assembly statute, the school board is required take a vote on whether or not to enter into collective bargaining “within 120 days of receiving certification from a majority of public employees.”
That would mean that the board has to cast their votes by May 31, said Evette Wilson, union representative and retired teacher. But the board doesn’t seem to be honoring this deadline. Instead, the board’s attorney told Wilson that they have until Aug. 17 to cast a vote, based on a different timeline of when the attorney verified the cards on April 17.
Other localities that were able to get the resolution passed for collective bargaining have counted the 120 days from when the authorization cards were first notarized, said Wilson.
“If other localities interpret the statute as we do, why is Petersburg choosing to be the odd child?” said Wilson. “We see that as a delay tactic.”
The P-I reached out to the board's attorney, Haney Phinyowattanchip PLLC, for a comment on the reasoning for the later timeline but has received no response.
Policy analyst Chad Stewart of the Virginia Education Association thinks that the board might be framing this resolution in the wrong way. "They should be doing everything they can to accelerate this process because it's in their best interest," he said.
The timeline of when the school board votes on this resolution has a huge impact on this coming year, teachers in the union say. It directly impacts their decision to leave or to stay in the district.
Teachers need to turn in their contracts by June 15 and decisions on whether to stay or leave the district are riding on whether this resolution gets passed. If the school board decides to vote on the resolution in August, union members say that that will be too late, including Williams, who has received offers from other schools.
"Do I continue with the same working conditions knowing that this resolution may not get passed?" Williams said. "They're telling us what our working terms and conditions are, which are deplorable. Do I have the mental capacity to stay for that long?"
The P-I reached out to school board chair Kenneth Pritchett and vice chair Steven Pierce, as well as Superintendent Tarama Sterling for a response on their stance regarding collective bargaining and the reason for the delay and received no response.

Not having collective bargaining increases teacher turnover, research shows

Collective bargaining reduces teacher transfers and turnovers and lessens the reliance on first-year teachers to staff schools, especially in high-poverty districts, according to a 2006 study conducted by the American Federation of Teachers drawing national data from the U.S. Department of Education.
However, without a collective bargaining agreement, high-poverty schools hire new teachers three times more than low-poverty schools.
“We want [the resolution to pass] so badly. Not only would it be good for the school system, but it would be good for the community,” said Freda Curtis, a member of the union. “It will cut down on the recidivism of teachers having such a large turnover because teachers have a seat at the negotiate the things that they need in the classroom.”
Petersburg already has had a high teacher vacancy rate of 7%, and more teachers are poised to leave by the end of the school year.
The Petersburg City Public Schools job postings shows that there are 21 teacher positions for hire, as well as 45 other positions open for the administrative and support staff side. Wilson says that she knows of at least 14 more teachers that are planning to leave from just one of the schools by the end of this year.
But Petersburg's teacher vacancy problem is much worse than what these stats can tell due to the number of teachers who are not fully licensed, says policy analyst Stewart.
Petersburg has the highest rate of provisionally licensed teachers in the state, at 31%. Provisionally-licensed teachers do not need a teaching credential to teach, as the only requirement is to have a bachelor's degree and no criminal history. They can only teach for up to three years with a provisional license.
"Of all divisions that could use collective bargaining, it's Petersburg," says Stewart. "The conditions are so challenging that unless they can have a little but more decision making at the employee level they're probably going to keep hemorrhaging workers."
In addition, high teacher turnover is directly tied to student performance, as a 2013 study showed that it led to worse reading and math scores especially with Black and lower-performing students.
“Unfortunately, it’s the children who will lose out,” said Wilson.
Two months ago, two of Williams' students moms passed away in unforeseen circumstances. Since then, those children have latched onto her as a pseudo-mom, and Williams have formed close bonds with them. One even called her at 10 p.m. and told Williams that she loved her.
“See my worth that my students see in me,” said Williams. “That's why I want to cry because it's like, you don't even know what I mean to these kids. And if I leave I'm just another body.
"If they sign a resolution, I will consider coming back because that means you really value what we're saying," said Williams.
Joyce Chu, an award-winning investigative journalist, is the Social Justice Watchdog Reporter for The Progress Index. Contact her with comments, concerns, or story-tips at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) or on Twitter @ joyce_speaks
submitted by PetersburgMutualAid to u/PetersburgMutualAid [link] [comments]

2023.05.20 04:50 Valarie_the_valkyrie Just registered for my VTNE, looking for the best way to study.

About two days ago I registered to tqke my VTNE and I am waiting to hear back on a test date. I am incredibly anxious about this exam because of how important it is, and not knowing what in the world is going to be on it. I am in Virginia which is considered an agricultural state so I am expecting some of those types of questions, however the rest I am unsure. Did anyone have any good study tips that were free or not tremendously expensive that really helped them. I have the Mosby and Mometix prep books already, will those possibly be enough?
submitted by Valarie_the_valkyrie to VetTech [link] [comments]

2023.05.19 12:55 CABRAEXAM STUDY ROOMS! Silent/Video/Mic/HarryPotterAmbience/BreakCafe/DailyVentSession !! PLEASE JOIN US DAILY :) !!! Lets get motivated together!

STUDY ROOMS! Silent/Video/Mic/HarryPotterAmbience/BreakCafe/DailyVentSession !! PLEASE JOIN US DAILY :) !!! Lets get motivated together!
Hello everyone!!! My friend and I stayed up a bit later than usual to create a study space for us Bar Applicants!!! We would love if you would accompany us DAILY!!! :)
Our goal is to create a supportive and motivating community where we can study together and help each other succeed.
We encourage you to make studying with us a daily habit. Consistency is key when it comes to bar exam preparation, and by studying together, we can hold ourselves accountable and stay on track.
Glimpse below:
Hosting Harry Potter Ambience Study Room
  1. Silent Study Rooms - These rooms are designed for quiet and focused studying. You can choose from:
a. Silent Study Library - A space where absolute silence is maintained. No sound or talking allowed, perfect for deep concentration.
b. Practice Exam Room - Use this room to simulate the actual exam environment and take practice exams in silence.

  • 2. Video and Microphone Study Rooms: These rooms are for those who prefer a more interactive study environment:
a. Study Room A, B, and C- Feel free to turn on your video and microphone, engage in discussions, host YouTube Videos for background study ambience (e.g. Harry Potter Study Ambience!) and collaborate with other applicants.

  • 3. Study Break Cafe: Use this room when you're away from your computer or taking a break from studying. It's a place to relax, socialize, and rejuvenate before getting back to focused studying.

The purpose of these study rooms is to hold yourself accountable to study, feel a sense of comfort knowing that others are studying during the same time as you, and to avoid feeling isolated during this challenging process.

  • Member Roles:
To make the most of your experience, we kindly request you to provide some important information that will help us tailor the discussions and resources to your needs.
Exam Taker Status (optional):
  1. Retaker
  2. First Timer
  3. Attorney Applicant
  4. Other
  1. Working & Studying
  2. Studying Full Time
Bar Prep Programs:
  1. Barbri
  2. Themis
  3. Adaptibar
  4. UWorld
  5. Other (please state program(s))
Bar Exam Jurisdiction:
  1. UBE Jx
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. Delaware
  5. Georgia
  6. Louisiana
  7. Hawaii
  8. Mississippi
  9. Nevada
  10. South Dakota
  11. Virginia
  12. Wisconsin
  13. Other - (Name your Jx)
(We will update your roles as soon as we are online)
This information will allow us to share resources and experiences specific to each program and connect with others who are studying for the same bar exam. It's an excellent opportunity to foster more targeted discussions and build a supportive community.

  • Daily Vent Session Chat Room:
Daily-vent room is a safe space for you to text your feelings, frustrations, emotions, or any irrelevant stuff during this process. Whether you want to vent about a difficult practice question, share your anxieties, or simply let loose and bang your keyboard, this room is here for you.
Remember, it's essential to acknowledge and address our emotions during this journey. By providing an outlet to express ourselves, we can relieve stress, gain perspective, and build resilience together.
Feel free to be vulnerable, raw, and authentic in this space. We're all here to support each other, and sometimes, letting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic.
Remember, for those who do not want to socialize: you don't have to turn on your camera or microphone. You can be a complete silent turtle in your shell and just join the silent study room or Study Rooms A-C to turn on some study music through the YouTube hosting feature. The point is to have a sense of comfort and know that others are studying at the same time as you :). (Kind of like going to a library not knowing anyone and sitting down quietly to study without interacting).

Please invite other applicants who may benefit from this study group. Together, let's support each other, share our knowledge, and conquer this challenge.
We hope we can see you studying with us daily <3  :
submitted by CABRAEXAM to barexam [link] [comments]

2023.05.17 19:45 VoxIgnotum Questions from a homeschooler

I'm new to the group and I hope it's okay to ask this question. I have read the rules and I believe my post adheres to them. I want to share a bit about my background. I grew up in what I can only describe as a religious cult. It was evident that it was a cult because it actively hindered any opportunity for real achievement outside of its influence. Throughout my childhood, I was homeschooled, although I use the term loosely. When my family moved from Florida to Virginia when I was 12, my parents completely stopped educating me and my siblings. It wasn't until I taught myself at the age of 16 that I finally learned how to read.
Now, at almost 30 years old, I have spent the past decade trying to pretend that I'm not years behind my peers, and it's taking a toll on me. I get frustrated because when I make an effort to learn something, I can usually grasp it quickly. I have a genuine passion for learning, and although it might be a coping mechanism rooted in whatever trauma, I genuinely believe that I am intelligent. However, the vast amount of knowledge I lack is overwhelming. During my teenage years, I taught myself multiple programming languages, which I continue to do today. I am endlessly fascinated by computer science and aspire to work in data science, but aside from what concepts I've learned from programming my math level is at best pre-algebra.
I have enrolled in a community college 4 year transfer program and as of now I'm starting in the fall. However, the 4-year degree I want requires me to learn calculus and statistics. I have been placed in a lower-level prep course, and I'm terrified of what lies ahead. Is it even remotely possible for me to learn algebra 1 & 2, geometry, and trigonometry within 2 semesters? I have been self-learning online for the past 2 months, but every time I think about the amount of knowledge I still need to acquire, it becomes overwhelming. My second question is, is it worth attempting to achieve all of this at such a late stage? I know people often say it's never too late to better oneself, but realistically, is pursuing a 4-year degree in my late 20s without a high school education actually worthwhile? Should I just accept that my parents took a baseball bat to my knees and just try to scrape what fulfillment I can from a job that doesn't require an education? Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
submitted by VoxIgnotum to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]

2023.05.17 19:29 VoxIgnotum Questions from a homeschooler

Hello Teachers,
I'm new to the group and I hope it's okay to ask this question. I have read the rules and I believe my post adheres to them. I want to share a bit about my background. I grew up in what I can only describe as a religious cult. It was evident that it was a cult because it actively hindered any opportunity for real achievement outside of its influence. Throughout my childhood, I was homeschooled, although I use the term loosely. When my family moved from Florida to Virginia when I was 12, my parents completely stopped educating me and my siblings. It wasn't until I taught myself at the age of 16 that I finally learned how to read.
Now, at almost 30 years old, I have spent the past decade trying to pretend that I'm not years behind my peers, and it's taking a toll on me. I get frustrated because when I make an effort to learn something, I can usually grasp it quickly. I have a genuine passion for learning, and although it might be a coping mechanism rooted in whatever trauma, I genuinely believe that I am intelligent. However, the vast amount of knowledge I lack is overwhelming. During my teenage years, I taught myself multiple programming languages, which I continue to do today. I am endlessly fascinated by computer science and aspire to work in data science, but aside from what concepts I've learned from programming my math level is at best pre-algebra.
I have enrolled in a community college 4 year transfer program and as of now I'm starting in the fall. However, the 4-year degree I want requires me to learn calculus and statistics. I have been placed in a lower-level prep course, and I'm terrified of what lies ahead. Is it even remotely possible for me to learn algebra 1 & 2, geometry, and trigonometry within 2 semesters? I have been self-learning online for the past 2 months, but every time I think about the amount of knowledge I still need to acquire, it becomes overwhelming. My second question is, is it worth attempting to achieve all of this at such a late stage? I know people often say it's never too late to better oneself, but realistically, is pursuing a 4-year degree in my late 20s without a high school education actually worthwhile? Should I just accept that my parents took a baseball bat to my knees and just try to scrape what fulfillment I can from a job that doesn't require an education? Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
submitted by VoxIgnotum to Teachers [link] [comments]

2023.05.17 03:24 Academic_Injury4891 chance a first-gen latina for UVA, W&M and Georgetown!!

Want to preface this by saying I just finished Junior year, and this is mostly for me to see what I should work on over the summer and first semester of senior year, so a lot of it is a rough estimate!
Demographics: First generation Latina from VA, parents are both immigrants, low income (>80k) Originally from a low income majority hispanic region, moved to a more competitive, rural PWI school sophomore year. Second person on my moms entire side of the family to go to a four-year university.
Intended Major(s): Political Science, International Relations, Maybe a minor in Latin American History
ACT/SAT/SAT II: Taking the SAT in June and two more times after that, got a 1210 on the PSAT without studying so I'm aiming for a 1400-1500 with a LOT of prep
UW/W GPA and Rank: UW: 3.75 W: 4.34
Should be top 10% or 15%
Waiting for regular decision so I can include first semester grades to bump GPA.
Coursework: AP/IB/Dual Enrollment classes, AP/IB scores, etc
Full IB diploma candidate (4 HLs)
Maximum rigor freshman and sophomore year,
4 on AP comparative government
All weighted courses junior and senior year
Virginia Service Seal
Global Seal of Biliteracy
Basically every national honor society: Spanish, Science, NHS, History
Every basic GPA award like honor roll and stuff
Planning to apply to a ton of scholarships this summer, hopefully will make this better
Extracurriculars: Include leadership & summer activities
Planning to do a fundraiser at my church and raising money to build schools in Central America as my passion project.
Essays/LORs/Other: I would say writing is a strong suit of mine and I have great ideas for essays, lets say 8.5/10
I am aiming for pre-law, will probably say I want to be an immigration lawyer to create a good plot-line for my essays.
Will ask my history teacher who likes me, and my youth pastor who is a history teacher at my old high school who i've known for 6 years that also majored in political science and a Georgetown alumni, I know his will be phenomenal.
Safety: James Madison, George Mason, and VA tech
Target: American, George Washington and UCSB (technically a reach cause of out of state i think?)
Reach: UVA, William and Mary, and my dream school, Georgetown
Please please PLEASE give me suggestions, it's tough figuring this out on my own, I appreciate everyone who reads this so so much!!!!
submitted by Academic_Injury4891 to chanceme [link] [comments]

2023.05.16 23:13 Obvious_Woodpecker99 App Review/ Finalizing School List

Would appreciate any feedback on my app...I know it's too late to change much for this cycle, but feel free to lmk if I have too many "reach" schools I should remove

ORM (South Asian), Female, Maryland resident. 19 y/o at the time of application
Graduating this month from UMBC with B.S. in Information Systems and B.A. in Biological Sciences
total GPA: 3.86, sGPA: 3.84, AO: 3.88
MCAT: 514 (C/P: 129, CARS: 128, B/B: 127, P/S: 130)
Clinical hours: 200 hours as a medical scribe + 150 hour as an ICU volunteer
Shadowing: 30 hours total (8 with a pediatrician, 12 with family medicine physician, 10 virtual shadowing)...yeah ik this is kinda weak
Research: 80 hours as an undergrad research assistant (unpaid) at the bio department of my uni, working with planarian worms and studying the genes behind their regenerative abilities
Teaching Assistant: about 50 hours as an undergrad TA for human anatomy & physiology (unpaid, taken for credits). was in charge of grading for about 12 students.
Nonclinical volunteering: 70 hours at a food bank + 35 hours as a meal prep/server at a local religious org
Nonclinical paid: 120 hours as a data science intern, analyzing patterns on traffic and crime rates in cities to reduce congestion and improve urban health
Hobbies: baking (whoop de doo call me basic)
MD schools: Albany, Drexel, Eastern Virginia, Geisinger Commonwealth, George Washington, Georgetown, Howard, Jacobs, Johns Hopkins, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Penn state, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, University of Maryland, Virginia commonwealth, Virginia tech, Western virginia
DO schools: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
submitted by Obvious_Woodpecker99 to premed [link] [comments]

2023.05.15 09:51 Turito_Brand_Am Why should I take AP Precalculus?

AP Precalculus is a course that is designed to prepare students for college-level calculus. It covers a variety of topics such as functions, trigonometry, polynomials, and sequences and series. This course will benefit students who plan to pursue a STEM field in college by providing a strong foundation in mathematics.
The Benefits of AP Precalculus
Colleges and universities with AP Precalculus credit available are illustrated here,
submitted by Turito_Brand_Am to APexam [link] [comments]

2023.05.13 23:59 TreeLicker51 SUP camping with the Hydrus Paradise: a detailed report

Here are a few pics and videos. More in the writeup below:
I recently returned from my first attempt at SUP camping, which took place over two nights in the Deer Island Recreation Area on Philpott Lake, Virginia. For a first attempt, I would say it went quite well. Here I’m going to describe in detail the trip and how I prepared for it. I hope this will be of some help to other people who want to try SUP camping, but are not sure how to get into it. Skim it or read all of it at your discretion.
Before I got into SUP, I was (and still am) a fairly avid backpacker. Although SUP camping and backpacking have obvious differences, if you have experience as a backpacker, then you’re already several steps ahead on the learning curve towards getting into SUP camping. In both cases, you need to think about how much weight you’ll be carrying and how it will be distributed, about being prepared without over-preparing, about keeping important items dry, about safety and navigation, and, of course, about gear selection. Here was my setup (some of the stuff I brought, like a leash and spare fin, isn’t listed there). A lot of my backpacking gear came in handy here, though there were some important changes, like the replacement of an ultralight trekking pole tent with a heavier freestanding tent, and (obviously) the replacement of a backpack with a drybag (if you’re curious about my backpacking setup, see here).
As SUP camping is an inherently dangerous activity, I took several measures to keep myself and my dog, Amber, safe. First, I wore a 2 millimeter NRS shorty wetsuit, which I thought would be appropriate for these conditions. I also carried a .5 mm longsleeve NRS Hydroskin wetjacket in case I wanted to put on an extra layer. I am very glad I went no thinner than 2 mm. I couldn’t find any data on the water temperatures but it was probably in the lower 70s or high 60s (FYI: this feels cold), while air temps were in the mid-high 70s.
I also wore a life vest. I did not want to find myself suddenly immersed over my head in water of that temperature. Amber wore a life vest as well.
In case of a serious emergency, I had a Garmin inReach satellite communicator, which is waterproof and can send text messages and SOS signals in areas where there is no cell phone service. Despite this, I was within cell phone range for the entire trip, as the Philpott Lake area is fairly developed.
For food storage I used a BearVault 450 bear canister. I’m not certain if black bears visit Deer Island, but these are also handy for keeping rodents out of one’s food. Normally when backpacking I use a kevlar sack combined with an odor proof bag to keep bears out of my food, as this is considerably lighter than a bear can, but weight was less of a concern here, and the can also gave some extra structure to my drybag.
Finally, I took into account dangerous bugs, namely ticks, which are abundant in the mid-Atlantic and, objectively speaking, are more of a threat to humans than are black bears. To keep them off me, I soaked all of my land clothes in permethrin. I didn’t use permethrin on neoprene garments and would not recommend doing so. At one point I was walking around barefoot in my campsite, and it was not long before I spotted a tick crawling on my leg, so permethrin-treated socks were definitely a good idea. I always return from outdoor excursions nervous that I’ll find one on me.
My SUP Setup
I used a 2020 Hydrus Paradise, which is a 12’6” by 30” touring board that can handle well over 20 PSI. I had it at 17 for the entirety of this trip. Hydrus’s web site does not mention camping as a use for the Paradise, but it performed excellently, and I see no reason why it couldn’t handle a longer expedition. In addition to its high weight capacity, the Paradise, like all of Hydrus’s iSUPs, features amazingly durable construction; while probably not an ideal way to handle it, I was able to drag it over some jagged rocks without leaving even a scratch.
One minor drawback of the Paradise for SUP camping is that the included bungee tie-down system will not be adequate for storing large drybags; however you can easily rethread it with a longer cord so that the tie downs cover more of the deck, or you can do what I did and just run bungee cables over your drybag and hook them into the D-rings. This was more than adequate to keep my drybag secure, and easier than shoving it under criss-crossed bungee cords. It also made it easier to place my drybag exactly where I wanted it. The Paradise also features D-rings towards the back of the board where one could place an additional big drybag for a longer expedition.
In addition to the big drybag that contained all my camping gear, I had a smaller drybag with items that I might have wanted to access while paddling, as well as a pump for the unlikely event I had to patch a leak. This was my initial setup. After disembarking, I noticed that I felt a bit unsteady, which I attribute to placing the big drybag too close to the front of the board; on my return trip I placed the drybag closer to the center and felt plenty stable. The drybag I used was 85 liters and was also the storage bag that came with an inflatable canoe I bought a few years ago.
Amber lay down directly behind me, which was ideal since there is a chance of hitting her in the face with the paddle if she is in front of me, especially since she likes to look over the edge of the board.
For extra stability I used a 9” touring fin that screwed into my fin box, but I also kept a spare fin, a 6” tool-less swept back keel fin from Hydrus. The latter was mostly in case I encountered shallow water. I used to hate screw-in fins because the screw-plate was very difficult to place and would keep falling into the fin box, but then I discovered that it’s easy to avoid this by simply threading the screw in a few millimeters and using it to guide the screw-plate to the exact location I wanted it.
There was also my paddle, the Hydro TempoX from Black Project SUP. You can do just fine with something less expensive, but its light weight and superb handling definitely made my voyage easier. If you’re curious about BPS’s products, get on their mailing list; they often send out pretty generous coupons.
Portable water filtration systems are another great innovation of the backpacking industry that can be fruitfully applied to SUP camping; unlike the bulky pump-filters of yore, modern filters weigh almost nothing and take up minimal space. I used a Platypus Quickdraw, which can be threaded onto most plastic water bottles and drunk through like a straw, or attached to a collapsible dirty bag and squeezed into other containers. If I was thirsty, all I really had to do was dunk my water bottle in the lake and drink through the filter. There was a pump near my campsite that was not working, but it didn’t matter. Note that if you go SUPping in saltwater, you will need to carry your own water supply.
Food and Cooking
My only kitchenware was a 700 milliliter TOAKS cookpot, which weighs just over 3 ounces, and a titanium spork. All of my “cooking” consisted of dehydrated meals that came in stand-up pouches or that I prepared and ate directly out of my cookpot; for lunch on the second day I had a premade sandwich. I also had lots of snacks, mostly dried fruit, Clif Bars, and protein cookies that you can find at REI, and I used dissolvable electrolyte tablets in my water, as well as a few energy gels, before and during paddles. While convenient and requiring minimal time and preparation, I’m not really crazy about the waste this produces and am thinking about alternatives that don’t also require me to carry around and wash a bunch of dishes. For dessert I had a bunch of marshmallows which I roasted over a campfire.
To heat up water I used a wood-burning stove. This thing has a very neat design; it features two metal cones that can easily be rolled up and stored compactly, and the whole system weighs just above an ounce and is fitted to my cookpot. (Fuel-burning canister stoves are a more convenient alternative and can also be fairly lightweight.) There was plenty of dead wood on the island which I gathered for both the stove and for the fire pit in my campsite. Here’s a video of it cooking ramen noodles.
Sleep and Shelter
In the backpacking world, quilts are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to sleeping bags. They differ from sleeping bags in that they lack a bottom, saving both weight and space. Drafts can be sealed out with pad attachment systems, and for colder temperatures, a quilt can be paired with an insulated balaclava to protect the user’s head and neck, although this was not necessary for the high-50s degree nights I encountered. The quilt I used for this trip was Katabatic Gear’s Flex 30. Katabatic Gear makes extremely high quality quilts, and I like the Flex for its versatility; it can be laid out flat like a blanket for warmer conditions, or cinched around the user to keep out the cold. Katabatic Gear also uses a really innovative pad attachment system that seals out virtually all drafts.
My sleeping pad was a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Uberlite, which is Therm-a-Rest’s lightest sleeping pad, but which also provides very little R-value. R-value is the amount of insulation a sleeping pad provides beneath you, and it can make a huge difference in terms of warmth. If you’re losing warmth beneath you then no amount of insulation from your sleeping bag or quilt will keep you warm, and a fully enclosed sleeping bag makes no difference as the material beneath you is compressed and thus loses its insulating properties. I’m a very cold sleeper, and the Uberlite paired with the quilt and my sleep clothes was just enough to keep me comfortable.
For a “pillow” I simply used the stuffsack that contained the clothes I wasn’t wearing. I dislike most inflatable camping pillows due to their stiffness and tendency to slide around on the sleeping pad.
The tent I used was an inexpensive freestanding tent I got off Amazon. At six pounds, this is not a tent I’d use for backpacking; in the latter case I reach for an ultralight tent that pitches with two trekking poles. This can be fiddly to set up, however, and since I could afford some extra weight and didn’t want to stow trekking poles on my board, I opted for this instead.
Clothing (on land)
The relatively warm weather meant that I could leave heavier insulation like my puffy jacket behind. During the day I wore a synthetic T-shirt that I also wore beneath my wetsuit when paddling. The material is quick-drying and meant for watersports, but the shirt can also make a good hiking shirt or even a simple day-to-day T-shirt. My pants were a pair of stretchy synthetic hiking shorts. I also had a pair of synthetic socks that I wore most of the time with sandals. Again, the socks were permethrin-treated and meant for bug protection, although in the short period after disembarking I would wear only the sandals so that my bare feet could dry out.
I never wear cotton for outdoor activities, as the latter is not recommended for outdoor pursuits due to its tendency to retain moisture, which can lead to blisters, chafing, and in extreme cases, hypothermia.
At night time I donned a loose-fitting pair of synthetic long johns and a Polartec Alpha hoody that I had custom made (Dan Timmerman does amazing work). Polartec Alpha is a relatively new material that has an amazing warmth-to-weight ratio and is highly compressible.
Hygiene, Electronics and Miscellaneous Stuff
Medication and toiletries like deodorants, lotions, and hand sanitizer can take up a ridiculous amount of space if kept in their original containers. For these things I used tiny containers that I purchased from, which sells miscellaneous paraphernalia for ultralight backpacking. Here’s an example of a container that stored my medication (the sunglasses are for comparison). I also used their “thumbprint” toothbrush, which is less than two inches long and weighs just a couple grams, and a travel-sized tube of toothpaste. These plus a few first-aid items (band-aids, alcohol prep pads, bacitracin) were stored in a ziploc bag.
I had two small microfibral towels from REI, one for myself and one for drying off my board, as well as a bandana that I use as a cloth for cookware.
Though I didn’t end up needing it, I had a 5000mah power bank that weighs about 6 ounces, which I kept along with a few charging cables in a small drybag.
There were pit toilets near the campsite, but if you’re going SUP camping in the wild you should probably get one of these and learn how to dig a good cathole.
Lastly, I had my collapsible REI Helinox camp chair, which weighs just over a pound and made sitting around camp extremely pleasant.
Why do I mention all this stuff? After all, this is a SUP sub, not a camping sub, and certainly not a backpacking sub. However, your gear selection has everything to do with your SUP experience: the right selection of lightweight, compact gear can make a huge difference in terms of stability, speed, and space on your board, not to mention quality of sleep, nutrition, hydration, navigation, and other concerns that will significantly affect your days on the water. Lightweight gear doesn’t have to be expensive, either. There’s a saying when it comes to selecting camping gear: “Choose three: comfortable, inexpensive, durable, lightweight.” These criteria can vary by degree, however, and if you take the time to research the market, you can probably strike a balance somewhere.
Day I
I stayed on Deer Island for two nights, both nights at the same campsite. Reservations were required beforehand in order to camp on Deer Island, which I made several days in advance. It was a five-hour drive to the parking lot near my put-in, which was about 1.5 miles from the island (route here–also, Caltopo is great for planning paddling trips). The attendant advised that I use a put-out spot closer to the island, but I wanted to do a slightly longer paddle to get a sense of what it was like to haul gear on my SUP, and 1.5 miles isn’t that bad.
I started by paddling down a gentle inlet that led to the wider lake. Once there, I noticed it was windier than the forecast had led me to believe. The latter was a factor that made this trip less fun than it could otherwise have been. Another factor was the presence of a lot of motorboats in the area. Philpott Lake is not exactly remote wilderness; the whole area is surrounded by campgrounds, picnic areas, and boat ramps. For the next SUP camping trip, I am hoping to find somewhere more secluded, scenic, and devoid of motorboats.
It was probably about 5:30 PM when I arrived. I paddled along the shore of the island for a little while, choosing between several well-marked campsites that line the shore. One slightly annoying aspect of the shoreline was that it was rocky and elevated above the water (pic), so instead of a smooth landing, I had to hoist my board awkwardly over a bunch of rocks, but it wasn’t that bad. Amber was very excited to explore a new place and immediately went into zoomy mode while I set up camp, which did not take too long. I spent most of the remaining daylight gathering firewood–you need a lot of it if you’re using dead twigs and branches–and relaxing in my chair.
Shortly after sunset I noticed the water was very calm, so I decided to go for a short evening paddle. This was only the second time I have gone nighttime paddling. It was nice, but the glare of my headlamp on my arm as I paddled was somewhat unpleasant. When I returned I prepared one of the standup meals, then spent the rest of my waking hours roasting marshmallows, sitting by the fire, and alternating between enjoying the sounds of the night and listening to a podcast on my phone. It had been a little while since I did any camping and I didn’t sleep all that well that night, even though I felt pretty comfortable (I did sleep much better the following night).
Day II
After waking up and eating breakfast, which consisted of dry foods that didn’t need any prep, I decided to take Amber for a paddle around the island. Again, it was windier than I had expected. I decided to start the trip going upwind so I could go downwind on the return, which was a really good decision. The wind was not so bad that I couldn’t stand up, but it kept trying to steer me off course. During my paddle I encountered a lot of boaters and jetskiers. A few were considerate and slowed their speed when they saw me, but many weren’t, and I had to kneel so as not to be knocked off balance but the wakes they left. I’m honestly not a fan of recreational powerboating–I think the cons outweigh the pros–but that’s a debate for another time.
The rest of the day was spent gathering firewood and chilling in my campsite. I considered going for another evening paddle but decided to rest up instead.
After leisurely breaking camp and packing everything up, I headed back. This final day was by far the windiest. To avoid a nasty crosswind, I had to paddle upwind to a point that was way off my course in order to paddle downwind back to my starting point. The downwind portion of my return journey was a wonderful relief; the Paradise glided gracefully through the water with barely a sound.
Overall, the trip was fairly uneventful. I didn’t see much interesting wildlife aside from a lizard, which I think was a five-lined skink, or any interesting plant life other than a few mountain laurels, but it was a great opportunity to test out SUP camping for the first time, which was really the whole point of the trip.
If you can recommend a more epic destination for SUP camping, let me know in the comments!
submitted by TreeLicker51 to Sup [link] [comments]

2023.05.12 23:04 WhimseyMeander Lab threw out my 72-hour fecal fat test :-(

Even though I specifically and emphatically told my GI doc I wanted to do a full 72-hour quantitative fecal fat test, she stupidly/absent-mindedly/mis-informedly sent the lab an order that said "timed 72-hour test" with a time interval of "random." The lab was understandably confused and reached out to her for clarification, to which she responded with "I'm ordering a random test." Because of my earlier discussions with the doc and her nurse, I had already turned in the 72-hour collection. When the lab got the "random" order, they decided the 72-hour collection was no longer needed and threw it out.
I am so incredibly angry and frustrated by this. The six days of eating a high fat diet in prep for this test made me really ill and I do not want to do it again.
I had three "random" samples come back abnormal back in 2019 (23%, 23%, 24% fat) even though I had not eaten a high-fat diet beforehand. (My health provider again f*cked up by not telling me I needed to do that.) My understanding from Mayo (where the samples are processed) is if a random test comes back abnormal it should be confirmed with the 72-hour test, which is what I was trying to do.
GI doc is now saying I should just do a "random" test instead of re-doing the whole 72-hour thing. But since I already have three abnormal "random" results from four years ago I'm not sure why a new test would be helpful. If I do decide to do it, does anyone know if I need to eat the high-fat diet first?
I also just did a fecal elastase test which came back at 293. My health care system's range (of course) is "anything over 200 is normal" but I was told by Virginia Commonwealth's GI dept. that they look at anything under 500 as evidence of pancreatic issues. I've read the same here on this sub. I know my GI doc is going to say "see, it's normal, told ya so!" so if anyone has a link or resource to direct me to in support of the higher range please share it! TIA!
submitted by WhimseyMeander to pancreatitis [link] [comments]

2023.05.10 20:11 Omegladon Innovation Zoysia plugs help.

Innovation Zoysia plugs help.
Hey everyone, I'm hoping I can ask for some help without being crucified as my ignorance in this subject is quite high. After a lot of persuasion from a coworker and my wife diving head first into the rabbit hole that is grass varieties, she after researching a bit decided on getting some Innovation Zoysia plugs from Sod Solutions, and by that, I mean she got extra excited, and I will have plugs delivered Friday. I grew up in the middle of a forest and she in a big city in Taiwan. She was somehow under the impression I knew how to grow grass. (LOL?)
My thoughts on the matter are, with this small order I'm going to focus on doing this the best I can given my constraints and short notice and to learn the ins and outs of starting a new lawn the size of a freedom garden. If this goes well I will consider prepping more of my yard when I have more time and perhaps plant additional areas this year. As money is a concern for us, we are ok with it taking a several seasons to fully grow in for each area we do, (planting each plug about a foot apart).
So what are the big things I need to do to get ready? I have the next two days off where I can prepare and apply whatever products I need to. Then 4 days to maintain until I'm out of town for a week. There are so many different types of weed killers, and preemergent and techniques I'm just overwhelmed and really want to get it right without accidentally just killing all the plugs.
There so happens to be a spot we cleared by removing packed down leaves that were left by a tree cutting company over the winter. I'm thinking this would be the best area for the sod since there's no real competition. The soil seemed very alive and full of earthworms. Not sure if I still need to place weedkiller if I stay in the bare areas, or if I need to rake/till the soil.
Extra details:
I am in Zone 8a, in the lower south east corner of Virginia.
My weather coming up: Newport News, VA 10-Day Weather Forecast - The Weather Channel
Pictures of the grass in the rest of my yard if you're curious (Yeah it's a mess, no idea what it is.)
submitted by Omegladon to lawncare [link] [comments]

2023.05.10 19:35 Necrolancer96 Summoning Kobolds At Midnight: A Tale of Suburbia & Sorcery. 74

Chapter LXXIV

Somewhere, West Virginia, USA.

The time was near, Morty thought as he got ready. The sun was setting and the ball would be held once night came. He himself was dressed in a royal blue suit with gold livery and a golden lion mask adorned his face.

The sisters, who always shadowed Morty since his kidnapping, were dressed in nice burgundy curtains. They were the only thing that would fit them for the occasion. Like wise they weren't wearing masks for the same reason.

As he finished the final touches he nodded to the sisters and the three left his room and made their way to the foyer where the ball would largely take place. The dining room was also opened and the backyard was cleared a few yards from the door for guests to mingle without disturbing, and being disturbed, by the goblins.

He descended the stairs as the goblin orchestra played a mix of Strauss and Bach... poorly. Knowing the notes and actually playing them was a challenge the goblins were now dealing with as the classical works were horribly butchered.

Hopefully they get better the more they play, Morty thought as the idea that he shouldn't've taken the goblins on their word that they could play classical waltz music!

But too late now, Morty thought as he watched the rest of the goblins go about the early stages of the party. He "promoted" several of the serving staff goblins and had them wear ball gowns and suits his family had. They were kiddie sized but it was barely noticeable on the greenskins.

The Red Caps however chose to wear their military "colors" as their attire. All of them wore various masks that usually had something to do with their stations. The Red Caps wore masks of fierce beasts like hawks or lions like himself. The serving staff wore simple carnival masks. While the goblin socialites wore various bird masks like cranes or ravens.

He rushed to the kitchen and made a quick check around to make sure everything was ready. The Hors D'oeuvres and other pretentious finger foods guests usually liked to make themselves feel fancy were being prepped for when the ball officially began.

Drinks like punch bowls and quality booze were on tap as expensive glasses were wiped off and set out. Though he hoped the guests didn't notice the punch being far too sweet or the smudges on the glasses.

Morty went out-front and waited with the valets. Well, they were just goblins that were assigned to watch the guests keys for the evening. But that wasn't the point! The point was for it to make people feel fancy! So Morty waited for the guests to arrive.

The Colonel pulled at the collar of his uniform as he stood out-front of the pawnshop. He didn't know why he felt so warm. It was cold tonight yet he felt like he would faint from how warm he was! Since he has been interacting with the pawnbroker, Molly she said her name was, he's felt particularly warm when around her.

He didn't know why, he never felt this way around others. Human, goblin, or otherwise! Yet here he stood just outside the door. Both sweating and shaking at the same time. It was unbecoming of a officer of his rank and stature!

Eventually however Molly's curiosity at the hobgoblin standing outside her, glass, door was stronger than his courage as she opened the door.
"Is there somethin' I can help you with Colonel?"

The Colonel found he had a hard time speaking right now. His throat was dry and even swallowing took more effort than it should. He thought it pathetic when he finally stammered out a reply.
"Y-y-yes. T-t-t-the G-g-general is having a b-b-ball tonight."

"Yeah, I know about that. The Duvals have one every year. What about it?"

Why was it so hard to talk, he mentally yelled and berated himself.
"I w-w-was wondering if y-y-y-you would like t-t-t-to go with m-m-m-me?"

The woman stared at the Colonel for a long moment. Unsure if what she just heard was correct and whether or not he was finished speaking. After a second of no more words she started to think. The ball the Duvals threw every year was supposed to be some big deal, at least that was what they said it was supposed to be. Only the Mayor and town council ever went, them and some out of town people that were probably family.

So then why would the Colonel, whos name she didn't know other than the rank she gave him, want to take her to some fancy party, she thought as the Colonel continued to squirm under her gaze.

"W-w-why?" The Colonel stuttered, a bit surprised at the simple question.

"Yeah, why do you want me to go to some fancy ball with you?" She asked as she planted a hand on her hip and cocked a questioning brow.

"I-i-i-i don't know." He said simply, because it was the truth, he didn't know why he wanted her there, and with him.

"What do you mean you don't know?"

"I mean I'm not s-s-sure. It would just make me h-h-happy if y-y-y-you would join m-m-m-me."

Awww, Molly thought as it finally clicked. He was asking her on a date! She did admit that she liked his striking yellow eyes and the authority he usually had when she would watch him go about his patrol throughout the neighborhood. Besides, not like anyone else is going to do it. They all had other things to worry about.
"Sure, why not? Its not everyday you get to go to a ball is it?!" She said a bit excited as she thought more about it.


"No! Folk like us never get invited to these types of parties!" She exclaimed as she went back inside to lockup the store.

"Uhm, where are you going?"

"Well I can't go to a ball in denim and leather now can I?!" She said as she climbed the stairs to her home to get changed into a prom gown that she hoped still fit.

Why aren't they showing, Morty thought as he tapped his foot impatiently. He heard people of influence liked to be fashionably late but at this point it was just plain rude!

The socialites and other goblins have already started to mingle with one another as the ball officially started. He saw a few Red Caps, and even the Colonel, leave but he wasn't sure quite why.

Not like it mattered. He had plenty of security for the night and could afford for some of them to go AWOL for the night, and the night only. If they didn't show up again he'd have them drawn and quartered! Of course he would have to find horses to do that. Though maybe the cars he still had could work?

Then he saw movement! Were they walking, he thought. It was weird for the Mayor and the council to walk all the way here, but he wasn't going to complain. Of course his brief surprise turned to disappointment as once the figures entered the lights of the estate he saw them to be mixed couples of the Red Caps and some local women.

They weren't women of influence, just the regular Joe, er Jane, shmoos of the town. Bored gas station clerks, tired waitresses, a few that he was sure weren't even out of high school yet. Though given that some of the Red Caps were WEEKS old he wasn't sure whos cradle was being robbed.

One of the last to arrive was the Colonel and a young woman wearing a simple emerald green prom dress. Like a few of the others, the Colonel carried her bridal style the way over. They didn't have, or need, cars. That would be a waste of their endurance training! But it also wasn't proper for a man hobgoblin in uniform to let a lady walk such a distance!
"General." The Colonel said simply with a nod as he set down his date and led her inside.

At least his officers were ingratiating themselves with the locals, in their own way, Morty thought as he resumed his impatient waiting.

The Colonel led Molly past the General and the sisters and into the foyer, where the wonderful(ly bad) waltz music was being played. If the Colonel were a bit more observant he would notice the humans cringing at the off notes of the instruments. But even if the band was mediocre it was still something to behold as so much wealth was on display!

Champaign in clear(ish) glasses! Those fancy wieners and other meats and cheeses on little toothpicks! Even the dresses and suits were amazing to look at! If one didn't notice the worn and fading color and tears. But those would only be noticed by a "cultured" eye, and none of the humans that had showed up so far cared if they did. They were just glad to have a full, free, meal and a nice party to go to.

For Molly the real entertainment was watching the various greenskins bump into one another as they attempted the waltz or tripping over their dresses or bumping into something, or someone, because they could barely see through their masks! She was waiting for the Colonel to ask her, but from the looks of the other Red Caps it was obvious that none of them knew how to dance.

So that left it to the humans to show them a basic dance lesson on the fly. She grabbed the Colonel's rough tanned hand and placed his right hand on her waist while she held the other at length to the side.
"Normally your hand would be over mine, but I can guess that you don't know how to dance. So for this I'll be the lead."

The Colonel nodded as his face blushed and he had trouble looking into her eyes and instead opted to look down at their feet. His polished boots and her nice heels. This was considered rude when dancing, but given the circumstances it was more adorable.

So she slowly guided the Colonel into a simple dance.
"One, two, three, and one, two, three."

Eventually the Red Caps and their partners found a groove and started to enjoy their evening, even the other goblins paired up and copied their movements.

Morty on the other hand was still stewing outside.
"Where the fuck are those tubs of lard!?"

As if by answer a car drove into the gravel driveway. Finally, Morty thought. The car didn't belong to any of the council or the Mayor. Not even the Sheriff or his dumb deputies. A single man got out and walked towards Morty.
"I believe this is for you?"

The man handed Morty a envelope and got into his car and drove off into the night. Morty looked between the taillights and the envelope with confusion. He opened it and pulled out a single folded piece of paper. On it read simply.

Dear Mortimer,
Burn in hell.
Signed, The City of Somewhere.

His hand shook in rage at the sheer lack of respect! They didn't even have the curtesy or respect to do it in person, instead they send some errand boy and a single letter!

The sisters looked at Morty with concern while the nearby goblins looked at him with fear. The images and tale of Morty and the orc was something they all remembered or heard about and none wanted to be on the other end of his wrath! His wrath however was directed at the letter in his hands as he tore it to shreds!

"They dare disrespect me!?! Those worthless fucks snub ME!?!?! If it weren't for me and my family there wouldn't BE a fucking town of Somewhere! They should be crawling on their chubby arms and legs and kissing my fucking feet in gratitude! I could've killed them and put a fucking pig in charge and the town would be better off!" Morty ranted and stormed back into the ball.

The music was still going, though it was little better than when they began. But Morty didn't care and his fury cleared a path between the groups of dancers and socialites as he made his way to the kitchen for some liquid remedy.

"Your boss seems heated." Molly stated as she watched Morty stomp past them.

"He has much on his mind." The Colonel replied.

She doubt that, but she didn't voice it though. She was enjoying her evening with the Colonel and wasn't going to let the Duval ruin it because he was in a foul mood for some reason.

Morty snatched a bottle of bourbon from a shocked servant and chugged the whole thing.
"Filthy ingrates!"

The sisters just watched with worry, unsure what exactly to do. Should they stop him, or just let him tire himself out? Thought they didn't have to decide long as Morty grabbed another decanter and chugged it. So much so quickly had an obvious affect.

His mask had slipped a bit and his voice slurred even as his eyes squinted as he sneered.
"I'll make them pay! Thoshe, thoshe fattiesh!"

The third decanter pushed him further and his threats turned to mumbles as the alcohol quickly hit him and he became unsteady on his feet. Orga made to pick up Morty and carry him to his room but he snapped at her.
"I'm not a fhucking child! Itsh my houshe and I cansh do what I want!"

He grabbed a bottle of wine and hobbled his way out the kitchen. The sisters, despite his outburst, followed him. Though not as close as before. They weren't afraid of Morty in the slightest, but they were worried that if he thought they were smothering him he would lash out at the humans. It wouldn't matter if he killed a greenskin in his drunken fury. But if a human died at his hands it would cause more problems for them. It was already a chore to protect him when he went into town on occasion. They didn't need MORE humans wanting to kill him!

It was one thing to kill in protection when you had no choice, but if it wasn't a problem then why make it one, the sisters thought as Morty bumped and spilled booze on guests as he hobbled through to the stairs. The sisters and a couple Red Caps cleared the way for him.

Morty grumbled as he unsteadily climbed the stairs. The music and dancing stopped as they watched the pitiful sight. The sisters followed to keep him from falling. As Morty cleared the landing he wandered down the hall and away from the party.

With him and his foul mood gone the party resumed. Though not for long as it was still getting late and his outburst still soured the mood. Eventually the humans were escorted home by their dates. The Colonel led Molly to the base of the stairs to her home above the pawnshop.
"I had a good time."

"I-i-i-i did as well." The Colonel stuttered back, during the ball he was mostly fine. But now that he was alone with her his nerves returned to play havoc.

"Maybe we should do somethin' like this again? Though perhaps not quite as fancy?" She asked as she blushed slightly.

"I-i-i-i'll think of something." The Colonel replied as his face also blushed a bit.

She bit her lip and leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. She blushed harder and giggled a little as his own face reddened greatly. She gave him a little wave and climbed the stairs to her home.

The Colonel stood there in lamplight just staring after the pawnbroker. His heart was hammering, his knees were weak and his arms were heavy. The only thing that broke the spell was a noticeable hardening in his nether regions.
"That's new."

It was something that the other Red Caps had started to notice and even feel. It just added more to his theory. The Colonel left the pawnshop with a warmth on his face, a bit of uncomfortableness in his pants, and questions in his mind.

Morty meanwhile stumbled down the dark hall. Mumbling curses while he sloshed his booze about the place. He stopped when he came to a portrait of his father that he hadn't had the time to take down yet.
"Happy you misherable bashtard?!"

He kicked the bottom of the painting and it fell with a ruckus. He leaned it against the wall and glared at the portrait.
"Hope you like that shallow fhucking grave I left you in?! Only regret it washn't a pig shty! Being turned into pig shit would've been more fitting! But a goblin latrine had to shuffice!"

Morty unzipped his pants and proceeded to piss on the expensive painting even as he downed the rest of his booze.
"Resht in pissh!"

He didn't bother to redo his fly as he smashed the bottle into the wall where it shattered. He grumbled and wandered over to where his door was, or what he thought it was. Though he didn't quite make it as he passed out trying to open the door.

The sisters sighed in relief and picked up the heavily inebriated Morty and carried him to their room. Where they gingerly stripped him, and themselves, before turning in for bed. The rest of the staff knew what to do to clean up.

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submitted by Necrolancer96 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.10 15:24 kittehgoesmeow What A Day: Once More, With Ceiling by Julia Claire & Crooked Media (05/09/23)

"The writers are striking because of streaming, they can't get paid. Where's the money? And I know I'm going off-script right now but fuck it." - Working man’s ally Snoop Dogg supporting the WGA strike during a (totally unrelated) corporate panel interview

Don't Debt Me Down

So Republicans are really doing this, huh?
As the standoff continues and our nation hurdles ever-closer towards default, we do not envy Janet Yellen right now.
The debt limit fight shows that there are no winners when congressional Republicans have any sort of power or leverage, because they use it to advance the most nefarious ends 100 percent of the time. It’s good that Biden (seemingly a Big Tent reader?) appears to get this now. Because no measure is too drastic to stop Republicans from harming the global economy out of their bottomless spite and greed.

Under The Radar

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to unveil its long-awaited plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants next week, and will reportedly set greenhouse-gas emission limits for new and existing power plants based on projected reductions from carbon-capture equipment. This is the most aggressive approach the EPA can take to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, even if carbon capture is unproven, as critics claim. But the EPA is also a bit hamstrung due to the right-wing Supreme Court’s ruling last year in West Virginia vs. EPA, which limited the agency’s legal power to regulate the power sector. It cannot force utilities to shut down their fossil-fuel sources and switch to renewable energy. Instead, the EPA could base its rule on improvements to power-plant efficiency. Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act also included huge tax credits for carbon capture, which allows the EPA to argue that carbon capture is an economically sound solution. Fossil-fuel interests sort of love carbon capture, because it requires little change to revenue sources. Meanwhile, environmental organizations have opposed the technology. Two years ago, over 500 such organizations signed a letter insisting that carbon capture is not a climate solution, calling it a “dangerous distraction” that “is unproven, too expensive, harms communities, and prolongs dependence on fossil fuels.” The Center for Biological Diversity submitted comments to the EPA’s proposed plan criticizing carbon-capture technology, but did not suggest an alternative to their rule.

What Else?

A New York jury unanimously found disgraced former president Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing (read: assaulting) columnist E. Jean Caroll and defaming her with malicious intent, and awarded her $5 million in total damages.
Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Rep. George Santos (R-NY). The precise charges haven’t been revealed yet, but the FBI and DOJ have been investigating allegations that Santos violated campaign-finance laws for some time now. Santos is expected to appear in federal court as soon as Wednesday, and because Republicans are super cool with crime (when Republicans commit it) House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will not force Santos to resign as he awaits trial.
Tucker Carlson will forgo $25 million dollars from his Fox News termination agreement by breaking its non-compete clause in order to re-launch his show…on Twitter. Worst of luck in your terrible endeavor!
Disney has expanded its free speech lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is reportedly returning to the Senate after a nearly three-month absence. Okay, I guess!
Three of the mass-shooting victims in Allen, TX, were members of the same family, parents Kyu Song Cho and Cindo Cho and their three-year-old son. Their six-year-old son survived.
Disgraced crypto scammer and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried filed a request to dismiss the federal criminal charges against him late Monday. Lol.
The treasurer for the (for some reason) still-active presidential campaign account of rapper-Nazi Kanye West resigned after telling a federal regulator that Ye’s campaign advisor Milo Yiannopoulous (hooo boy) had possibly broken federal campaign-finance laws.
Christie’s has come under fire for auctioning 700 pieces of jewelry from an Austrian empress whose German husband “built a retail empire” in the 1930’s on the backs of Jewish people who desperately sold all of their assets in an effort to flee Nazi Germany.
New guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force propose that all women should start screening for breast cancer at age 40 instead of age 50, because the horrors of womanhood never cease!!!
Meta CEO and all-around weird guy Mark Zuckerberg won a gold and silver medal at his first jiu-jitsu competition. Glad to see Mark found a way to relieve the stress from running companies that have subverted global democracy!

What In The World?

Violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians continues to escalate. Israel carried out a series of airstrikes Tuesday morning in densely-populated areas of the Gaza Strip, killing three senior Islamic Jihad commanders as well as at least 10 civilians. Among those killed were two of the commanders’ wives and several of their children, as well as other civilian bystanders. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, around 20 more were wounded and some were in critical condition. By midday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets carrying the bodies on stretchers in Gaza City, with coffins for the children carried next to those of their parents. These kinds of targeted killings are rare, and it is expected that Palestinian militant groups will retaliate with rocket fire, as they have in the past. Israel’s domestic-security commanders ordered the closure of schools, beaches, and highways in cities and towns in southern Israel in anticipation of retaliation. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtyyeh, the Egyptian government, and the Arab League all denounced Israel’s airstrikes.
In related news, on April 8, six masked Palestinian gunmen shot and killed 23-year-old Palestinian Zuhair al-Ghaleeth for his alleged collaboration with Israel. A bulldozer dropped his body, full of bullets, into an unmarked grave the following day, and his family and friends refused to pick up his body at the morgue. This is the first murder of a suspected Israeli intelligence asset in the West Bank in almost two decades.

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Light At The End Of The Email

President Biden came out in support of the WGA writers strike, saying he hopes the writers “get a fair deal” as soon as possible.
Evil corporate giant Goldman Sachs will pay a $215 million settlement for a class-action lawsuit brought by female employees over decades of discrimination against women in pay, performance evaluations, and promotions.


sam greisman on Twitter: "We saw you from across the bar and want to colonize you"
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]

2023.05.10 01:15 bassetgator [RF] Duncan Hines Blueberry Muffin Mix

I grew up in the 1970's in Northern Virginia, my Dad commuted into DC every day for work. My Mom, Dad, bro and sis and I lived in a little apartment. Since then I've been all over the US and traveled to more than 40 countries - I would never stoop to say we were poor. We had a home, a car, Christmas happened, some years we got to go to the beach for a few days. For sure there were kids at school who had more toys, better clothes, more exciting vacations and parent's with cooler cars. But we got by and we managed to have fun.
My Mom did most (all) of the cooking. When my Dad was cooking it was something weird - breakfast for dinner, or frozen turkey TV dinners, he was a good Dad, loved by many but not known for his meal prep skills. But - the man could bake. He baked bread (basic white loaf bread) and he was famous for his made from scratch lemon meringue pie.
My Mom almost did most (all) of the grocery shopping. Once my Mom sent him to the store twice in one day - both times he couldn't remember what he was supposed to get. So, he bought a flour sifter. As one does. He was no dummy - his mind was just always full of things like navigation in space, women as priests in the Catholic Church (he was for it), and all of the books every written by George Eliot.
Every now and then, when my Mom went to do the weekly grocery shopping (she also kept the budget and knew when we could spend a little extra) , she would find some kind of treat. And, every now and then one of those treats turned out to be a box of Duncan Hines Blueberry Muffin Mix!!! I remember her taking out of the bag and showing it to my Dad.
The next Saturday morning somehow we would all be in kitchen early - making muffins! Well, not all of us I suspect some of the muffin making parties were designed so that she could sleep in on a weekend morning.
My sister was the oldest and was certain she knew everything. So she was in charge of reading the directions, opening the package, mixing, turning on the oven and telling everyone else what to do. My Dad told her she had to let my brother and I help. He got the job of opening the can of blueberries. I was just baffled by the whole thing. Especially the can. It was just a can, about the size of a cat food can or a tuna can (both of which made me uncomfortable) and it had no label, no markings, just a can. And inside it was this thick gloopy dark purple stuff - I had seen real blueberries and this made no sense to me.
No idea, it probably takes 20 minutes to make those muffins, but it seemed like a major undertaking. Eventually though the time would ding! The kitchen smelled like the most amazing bakery in Paris (pretty sure I had no idea where Paris was at the time - but somehow I just knew that).
My Dad would put on the oven gloves and pull the trays and out dump the muffins onto the counter. And we'd grab them burning our fingers, rip off the papers and - this is the best part of this whole story - but huge globs of room-temperature butter on them! That weird purple goop had magically transformed into blueberries and the muffins were perfect - I questioned if my sister might really know everything (turns out she doesn't but I love her!).
I haven't thought about those stupid muffins in 40 years. They probably aren't very good. Not sure they even sell them anymore, seems like you can buy muffins anywhere these days and they look bigger and nicer and better than those old 1970's muffins.
My Dad passed away a couple years ago, right in the middle of Covid. He had been suffering from Parkinson's for several years and was deteriorating. When the time came, the only comfort we had was that he in a better place an no longer suffering. Covid just made it difficult to hold a real funeral, and a proper send-off. I think that's weighed on all of our minds.
I try to keep that in mind, but I miss him and get sad sometimes.
This morning, like any random Tuesday. I got in my truck and drove downtown to my office. Like any random Tuesday I stopped at the Starbucks in the lobby of my building to pick up a coffee to get me through the morning of online meetings.
It was crowded and the line was long. Someone had ordered a muffin and they could not be located. The Starbucks girl was holding it up and yelling "Blueberry Muffin! Who's got a Blueberry Muffin??"
I felt like I was hit by a spaceship traveling at the speed of light and was transported back to that little kitchen in Virginia. And we were making blueberry muffins! It was all there in front of me, the smells, the butter, the cat running towards the sound of the can opener as it opened that magic can.
I didn't break down, I didn't cry. But when it was my turn and the girl at the counter asked how I was, I said "Oh just allergies, haha!."
It was a hard moment - I'm a 50 year old man, we don't do "feelings". But as I walked to my office, it occurred to me - this is one of the first times I've thought about him since he left us - that wasn't just sad. It was bittersweet. But it was happy. Those few seconds were the highlight of my day. It was fun. It was us. It was how we used to be in what seemed like a much simpler time (though I'm sure it wasn't as simple for my folks as it was for us).
You can read stuff about grieving, people can tell you stuff. But all you can do is go through it in your own way. It's taken me a few years, but I think/hope/feel I can forget about the Parkinson's and all of that, forget the hospitals. None of that matters.
Fuck Parkinson's. I'm going to eat a lot more blueberry muffins.
submitted by bassetgator to shortstories [link] [comments]

2023.05.09 14:45 Moody1114 AITAH for making my teenage sons go to the Barbershop?

*had to edit age. I had 16 yr old down as 26z
Long post alert!!! #DadProblems
We have 3 teenage sons 20,17 & 16 years old. I started cutting their hair when they were small because Barbershops were $20 for a 5 yr old haircut. I couple years after moving to Virginia I went to Barber School to help me improve on cutting my kids hair & received my 1500 hrs. At the same time I was pulling major OT at work. I even cut at a Barbershop for about 8 months while I prepped for my State Board. But while I was in the Barbershop cutting I lost the love for cutting hair. So I left shop & concentrated on work, and only only cut my kids & their friends hair. Fast Forward now where they all are working & are acting ungrateful towards me. I do t mind cutting their hair but they expect me to drop what I’m doing & just cut their hair at a moments notice. No I don’t roll like that. I was cutting them up every Sunday until they got too busy to get their hair cut, then random request for haircuts would come. But my last straw was yesterday evening the kids were mad I didn’t cut their hair because they weren’t ready when I was, but now they gathered up talking about their lining is crooked & this & that. That really hurt my feelings. Every time I cut their hair I have them go to the bathroom & look in the mirror to see if it’s good or not. When there’s a problem I fix it. But don’t come to me 5 days later saying it crooked when you’re combing your hair over your lining. So yesterday they were complaining & I told them to go to the Barbershop then. Mind you they only been to the Barbershop I worked at & 1 other. The other barbershop used some dye or fibers that broke my boys out. So they go to mall to Barbershop and no one is taking walk ins, they need an Appt. They come back home talking about Dad we’ll pay to cut our hair. Nope, damage done. Make Appt at shop.
So my question is AITA for sending them to the shop for a $30-40 haircut over my feelings being hurt & feeling unappreciated?
submitted by Moody1114 to AITAH [link] [comments]