Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 23rd - 26th Challenge

Hi it’s Christina –

Good morning! We are finally home, and I finally have reliable internet! That means you are going to get an enormous post. I’ll label each of the days at the top so you can figure it out easily. (You may want to scroll down to the bottom so you can read in order, it may be a little confusing otherwise.)
Hard to see but these are
Grecian steps with a waterfall
flowing over those pillars
in the back

I got a phone call from Lys yesterday morning. She got her schedule. She only has four classes this semester, but those four classes are worth sixteen credits. At Champlain, she was signed up to take five classes this semester, but those five classes would have only been fifteen credits. How lucky is this child? She signs up for classes the day before they start, and her earliest class starts at nine-fifteen, and her latest class ends at three-fifteen, and she has a nice break between classes to be able to get food if she wants it.

Fountain in front of Slane
Hall at HPU
I thought for sure all that would be left at this point were the early morning and late night classes. Also, because the way Champlain was set up, Lys has already completed courses HPU students don’t even get until their junior year, but because she has already taken those classes, she is allowed to take other junior and senior classes, which means Lara and Lys are going to be in some of the same classes together.

As predicted, Lara and Lys are really hitting it off. Sunday night, Lara was going to meet friends she hadn’t seen since she left school in May, and she asked Lys to come with her. They had plans together for last night as well, and they are scheduled to go to the steakhouse for dinner on Wednesday. 

Dining hall around the corner
from Lys' apartment
On the other hand, it looks like Makayla won’t be staying. Apparently, other than putting her bed together, she isn’t unpacking. I do hope she has the common courtesy to pick up her stuff though, because when she left on Saturday, her stuff was strewn everywhere. Even when I left on Sunday, her things were all over the common area – piles of framed pictures on the dining room table, boxes and a painting against the wall, and an ugly hairy white rug was left in the living room as well. 

Gazebo near the volleyball court,
horseshoe pits, and cornhole courts,
across the street from Lys'
When Lys came back to her room to change on Sunday, Makayla’s stuff was all over Lys’ bed too, but there was no Makayla in sight. I realize the room is small, and she probably needed the space to be able to organize her stuff. Heck, we had things on her bed while we were unpacking. But to leave the apartment, and leave your junk on your roommate’s bed is just rude. Honestly, Makayla has been doing nothing but complaining since the second she walked in the door, so for everyone’s sake, and sanity, I hope they find her a single room somewhere or this is going to be a VERY long year.

We got a late start leaving yesterday, my hope was to be on the road by nine – so much for best laid plans. Paulie and Dani did not want the breakfast provided at the hotel, and elected to sleep late. We didn’t check out until almost eleven, and from there we went to Waffle House for breakfast. I was a little leery about stopping there because my friend Sharon can’t stand Waffle House, but another friend, Wendy, swears by it. My opinion, the coffee was great, the eggs were a tiny bit overdone, and the hash browns could have been a little crispier, but all in all, it was pretty good.

Just another shot of campus
So we finish up breakfast, and you would think that meant we were on our way home, right? Wrong. We needed to make one more stop. The K-Mart down there was going out of business, so they wanted to swing in. Dani wanted a few new movies to watch in the car on the ride home – the ones we had she has seen a zillion times. Paulie needed headphones because the ones that came with the car were shot (he didn’t think he had any reason to bring his earbuds with him on the trip); and I needed to replace the sunglasses I left at the restaurant on Saturday night. 

We did well. Dani’s movies were 40% off, and the rest of the stuff was 50% off. It was strange, and a little sad, going into a store that was closing. All the remaining items were consolidated into what was probably a quarter of the original space. There were even sold signs on some of the fixtures. 

Pilot Mountain
I elected to take a different route home. Because we left so late, I figured we would be hitting the DC area right around rush hour, so I was not going to deal with 95 and its traffic. The route we took was about fifty miles longer, but it was gorgeous. We went through the Blue Ridge Mountains. We were moving constantly, and made it home, stops and all, in eleven and a half hours, half an hour less than on the way down, even with the extra mileage, and probably the same amount of stops.

Okay, since you are getting four days’ worth of posts all in one day, I should probably wrap up. I hope you have a marvelous day, and happy writing!

Hi it’s Christina –

Robert's Lawn where convocation
took place.
Good morning! ARGH!! I was able to get on the internet this morning for a few minutes, but then I ran to the lobby real quick to get some coffee, and when I came back, poof – no internet. It’s beyond frustrating!

Bagpipe procession
Convocation yesterday was lovely. The students were seated while the HPU orchestra played, and the staff procession was lead in by a bagpipe band. There were several speakers, one of which was the HPU president. He seems like a wonderful man, and the growth he has brought to HPU since he has been in office is truly amazing. This year’s incoming freshman class is 1,470 students. In 2005, the entire student body of HPU was only 1,450. He has more than tripled the actual acreage of the university, brought in an incredible staff, and has made the campus absolutely breathtaking. 
Dr. Nido Qubein

My favorite part was when the dean of music sang You Lift Me Up and Challenger flew over the students. The ended the ceremony with their choir singing the alma mater, but for some reason the sound wasn’t clear, so I have no clue what the words were.

Lys’ day yesterday was packed with campus events, so while she was doing them, we did our last little bit of running around. The set of mixing bowls she bought was chipped, so she returned them on Saturday, but we were not able to find another set. Yesterday we checked three more Wal*Marts and all three were out, so no luck with the bowls. She was a little disappointed, but I eased her frustration with the ice cream I bought instead.

These signs were everywhere
Dani had made Lys a mosaic poster as a gift, so we went and hunted down a frame to put it in – we actually found one at Staples on clearance, so we got it dirt cheap. Then, Dani wanted to get her sister a bouquet of flowers, so we did that as well.

While we were arranging the flowers and hanging the picture, Lys’ last roommate arrived. I know yesterday I told you her name was Miranda, but it turns out Miranda was the person who was supposed to take the other double with Lys, not Makayla. The girl in the single’s name is Lara, and she is a SWEETIE! And, ready for this? She has the same major as Lys. What are the chances of that? Three girls, all from New Jersey, two with the same major (I don’t know what Makayla’s major is, she never said), all randomly put together. Now, if this had all been put in the works months ago, then yeah, the chances would have been pretty good, but Lys just got the room on Friday, and Makayla got it on Saturday – Lara has had the room since April.
One of the statues at HPU.
The campus at night was

Lara did warn Lys that since she hasn’t chosen classes yet, she’s going to get stuck with all the early morning and late night classes. Lys will be selecting classes today. She’s supposed to give us a call later to tell us what she got, but I’m not holding my breath for the call. Her day is going to be crazy, and when she gets back to her room tonight, she’ll more than likely just crash. 

Classes officially start tomorrow, and she has no books, does not know which buildings hold which classes, and she still has to figure out how the shuttle works and how much time she needs to allot to get from her room to her class. The next few days are going to be a disaster, but I have every confidence she will get it figured out.

Oh well, it’s 8:30, so if we want to get breakfast for free here at the hotel, I have to rally the troops. I hope you have a fantastic day, and happy writing!

Hi it’s Christina –

Good morning! Well it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get on the internet here at the hotel, so Tuesday morning y’all are going to be getting a crazy long post. I won’t give you four challenges though, that would be crazy, so you can chew on the one from yesterday for a while.

Lys got an early Christmas present. We ran to Bed Bath & Beyond to exchange her bedding, and to pick up a few things we had forgotten, like a Britta pitcher and filters. Then we went over to Wal*Mart to exchange the set of sheets we got from there and to return the mixing bowls. (When we unpacked the bowls, we noticed one was chipped.) While we were there, Paulie found a really good deal on a TV, so we got it for Lys’ living room. 

Lys' Kitchen
It looks like Lys has a roommate, well, for the next week or so that is. Her name is Makayla and she’s from New Jersey too. There was a mix-up with her room as well, so yesterday she had two rooms to choose from, and she chose to room with Lys. It’s going to be interesting though, because supposedly this room is much smaller than the ones she has had for the past two years at High Point, and she brought a whole lot of stuff. A small closet and four drawers, just ain’t gunna cut it for Makayla.

The room's all set
Supposedly Miranda, the person who is supposed to be in the single room, is moved in at another location, so Makayla and her mom are working diligently at getting Makayla moved into the single room. If that happens, then Lys may have her room to herself. We’ll just have to wait and see. Although Lys would like the bigger bed, there is no way I am returning the bedding again. If it does happen, then I think if facilities just removes the second set of stuff in the room, then the twin bed would be fine. As I said, we’ll see.

The Living Room
Initially I was concerned because there was only one dresser in the room, but between the closet and the drawers under the bed, Lys got all her stuff into two dresser drawers, the under bed drawers and the closet, and she still has room to spare. It took all day, and Dani busted her butt helping her sister, but she is in and settled. Her wall hanging is up, and all her pictures are hung. We still need to figure out what to do with poster Dani made her. Her kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and linen closet are all squared away as well. 

Lys' dining room
Convocation is at 9:00 this morning, and we are praying the weather holds out. It is scheduled to be outside, and if it is, we’re all good; but if it isn’t, and they need to move it indoors, then we’re going to have a problem. If it’s inside, then only the student and one guest can attend. We have one student and four guests. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Okay, I need to get ready, so I’m going to boogie. I hope you have a fantastic day, and happy writing.

Hi it’s Christina –

Good morning! First I want to thank you. You folks are GREAT prayers. I’ll tell you why in a minute. 

We made it to North Carolina. It took twelve hours, but we’re here. My mom booked us at the Days Inn about five miles from campus, and I am pleasantly surprised. It’s a little dated, but really, it’s not too bad. They did only give us two towels though for four people (two of which are teenage girls) – not going to fly.

My husband drove down with my mom, and I had the girls with me. We got separated about a half an hour out of High Point because of traffic and I had to make a stop for gas, but other than that we managed a five hundred mile trek following each other.

I called the apartment complex a little after ten yesterday morning and after I answered a couple of questions, they told me they would be processing our paperwork and they should be able to get back to us in a few hours, but they warned it could take up to twenty-four. A little before noon we get a call from Joe at the college saying he has been working for two days trying to find Lys a spot on campus, and he may have something. He’d let us know by four. At three, he calls back. He found something, and we could go over and take a look to see if we wanted the place. 

Wanted the place? Seriously? Housing on campus, included in the tuition, with twenty-four hour shuttles to the main campus, in a secured gated community. Ah… yeah we were taking the place.
Liz - what a sweetie!
Paulie and my mom went to the hotel, and the girls and I went directly to the college. We check in and Liz, a rep from the college, shows us the place. It’s nowhere near as posh as Lys’ apartment would have been, it’s not even as nice as the rooms they show on the college’s website, but it’s fine. It’s a two bedroom unit Lys will be sharing with two other girls. One girl has her own room, and Lys may or may not get a roommate, depending on if the other girl accepts her accommodations.

This does mean that the bedding we brought down will need to be returned, and we’ll need to go and purchase new bedding today. It also means Lys could have brought down her mattress topper and electric mattress cover. We’ll see if there’s something inexpensive down here, and if she wants it, she can bring it back with her after break, or I can see how expensive it is to send it UPS.

Lys' new home - isn't it cute?
The room is a little on the small side, but she does have her own closet, which will help. Plus, she has a full kitchen, oven and all, so that made her happy. The toaster has to go back, they’re not allowed, but she is going to need everything else we brought. She has a little front porch with a rocking chair, and she has a little back patio as well. The place was originally designed to be senior housing, but the school bought it up for dorm space.

Mail pick up is right across from
her front door.
Hopefully this crew will wake up soon so we can get started, because we have a ton to do, and it is going to be a scorcher today. I ran over to the lobby for some coffee at 5:30, and by the time I got back, I was melting. If it is that bad already and the sun isn’t even up, I am dreading what the rest of the day is going to be like while we are hauling junk into my daughter’s dorm.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you the best part. Around four we get a call from the apartment complex. Lys was “conditionally approved”, which meant she needed to get a grantor to cosign the lease. The grantor needs to provide all sorts of financial paperwork, paperwork that was back in New Jersey, twelve hours away. So, if Joe hadn’t miraculously come up with this dorm room, Lys wouldn’t have had any place to stay. See, I told you, you were great prayers.

Our home for the next 3 days
The internet here at the hotel is hit and miss even though they have four different wifi hookups. I can’t get on the internet right now, but when my hubby wakes up, I’ll ask him to wave his magic wand and fix it. I’ll post when and if I can.

I hope you have a great day, and happy writing!

Your Next Challenge is:

Use the following in a story: A Paper Towel Roll, Mud, Chewing Gum

You have ten minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count, and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.