An update on school

Barring a catastrophe (or government bureaucracy), I’ll be heading back to England in about two and a half months. It seems unreal how fast this year went by.

After a somewhat slow spring in terms of updates and news, I finally received solid information on my loans a few days ago. I’m thankful that the bank-managed Stafford loans were replaced with government-managed loans. The interest rates are lower and my school can take a more proactive approach instead of waiting for a bank to get back to them.

I ticked down the checklist — completing the FAFSA, filling out a promissory note, completing online loan counseling and sending Kent the updates — and now I wait, with a lot of pressure off my shoulders. I’m hoping I have solid acceptance information in a few weeks, so I can arrange for my airfare, my housing (yay Woolf College!) and my visa.

Until I get my news, I’m trying to be productive. I started a list of stuff to take with me, I’ve been researching Canterbury and what to do there, I’ve picked out a new bed set and I’m starting a sports editing internship with The Kansas City Star. My job starts Monday, June 28, and barely a week and a half after it ends, I leave. Very heady. I don’t think it will really set in until I get my visa stamp, and maybe not even until I get on the plane.


Parting with an old friend

I’ve known him for more than five years (I guess it’s a him?) and he’s been a loyal companion. He puts up with constant use, he rarely complains and he goes with me everywhere. Despite being on the older end, he still looks pretty good. He’s my silver fox. Or at least, my aluminum fox.

He’s my 2005 PowerBook G4 laptop.

I bought him with my own money, along with my 5MP Canon point-and-click (which is also on notice), a first-generation iPod Photo and a printer. He got me through the end of my senior year of high school, three years at KU, a year in England and two (soon to be three) summer internships. I’ll always have happy memories of him.

But it’s about time to move on.

Before I leave for school in September, I plan on hitting the Apple store and picking up my aluminum fox’s great-great-great-grandson: a 15.4″, 2.66 GHz, 500GB HD, antiglare-screened MacBook Pro. And probably a 32GB iPod Touch, but only because that back-to-school promotion is on and my current iPod is going to be four years old at Christmas. I swear.

Getting a new computer for a new school year got me thinking about my relationship with my current computer. I have term papers, photos, music, website designs, page layouts, manuals and God only knows what else on here. It represents half a decade of accumulated digital “wealth.” I know I’ll miss his familiar keys, size and weight. It’s going to take time to get used to a newer model.

But he’s been gimpy lately. These newfangled websites slow him down, and he’s not as quick on his feet as he used to be. His keys show signs of wear, his top panel sticks up slightly (an oopsy in Indianapolis) and he’s getting harder to keep clean. Despite belonging to a “multimedia journalist,” he doesn’t have the juice to run most applications I’d use. So I think the humane thing to do is put him out to pasture — recycle him or pass him along to someone else. He’s still got a good life in him; I just don’t think it can or will be with me.

Oh, I’ll miss him.

What your team says about you

I, like most people I know, am watching the World Cup. I try hard to watch all of the matches, but getting up at 6 a.m. to watch South Korea pound Greece is pretty difficult. What makes the Cup so awesome and so popular is that everyone can have a horse in the race. You don’t even have to root for your native country. So how do you decide for whom to root? Well…

Brazil: You like playing it safe and going with the obvious choice. Way to go out on a limb there.

Spain: You like going with the obvious choice, but someone already picked Brazil in your office pool.

England: You may or may not have a Wayne Rooney altar in your sock drawer and you’re also a glutton for punishment. 1966. 1-9-6-6. That’s all.

Italy: You’re still living in 2006. Those guys might as well be hauling oxygen tanks around with them.

United States: You’re American.

France: What do you mean Zidane’s not playing anymore?!

South Africa: You feel compelled to root for the home team. Or you’re not sure how the seeding works.

Germany: I’m in love with you.

The Netherlands: You’ve mistaken Deutsch for Dutch. Luckily the Orangemen are good and won’t embarrass you too much. They might even win!

Mexico: You’re American.

Argentina or Chile: When you want to go South American but also want to avoid a cliche.

Portugal: You woke up and asked yourself, “How can I make myself even more annoying?”

Australia: You just like saying “Socceroos” over and over again.

Ghana: If you’re going to root for an African team, it’s going to be one that can actually advance.

Ivory Coast: See the above.

Cameroon: You read the profile of Samuel Eto’o in Time and now you’re smitten. Who wouldn’t be?

North Korea: You’re worried about what might happen to them if they don’t do well.

Serbia: You’re basing your choice on what team has the most attractive men.

Switzerland: A country wedged between France, Italy and Germany has to be good, right? Right?

Uruguay or Paraguay: The ‘guay’ ending is a dead giveaway that there’s some good footie going on.

Slovenia or Algeria: You just want one or both of them to upset England and/or the United State.

Japan or South Korea: Because an all-Europe/South American knockout round would be so boring.

I’m told that there are 32 teams and not just 26. And I’m sure someone, somewhere, is rooting for the six that I’ve missed. But … eh.