On Monday I took my morning run for 1:25h. It was really warm outside and the sun was shining brightly. I love watching the waves while running and how they reflect the sunlight. Furthermore, I had a good granola breakfast today. Then I went to college for geology class. There we had a quiz and a guest speaker today. She was a project manager from the State Coastal Conservancy and talked about their aims, mission, coastal erosion, projects in California and climate change which was really interesting. Furthermore, our teacher told us that she will put the final exam online after our last lecture and we can take it until the regular time of our final exam. It will be multiple choice and more questions but if we like our grade we can take it if not we can try another time on the regular date of the finals. Oh, and we got our other exam grades back: I got 111 points (out of 100) again haha!
Back at home I did some workouts and studied entrepreneurship. Furthermore, I wrote the famous marine biologist Holly Luis (which I met in October at her speech) for a meeting before I leave Santa Barbara. Moreover, my task is to figure out how I can obtain my grades and transcripts. Therefore, I have a lot of email communication with my counselor at the college. Also I talked with Gaby my horse riding instructor back at home about riding there in the future. Then I went to college for Pilates class. There we had to do our posture analysis and trunk flection test but we got to workout for 45 min. The last classes of this course will be posture and fitness assessment like in the beginning to compare ourselves with our previous evaluations. Furthermore, we have to write an essay on our progress and journey through class and have a final about the vocabulary, Pilates basics and history as well. After that I met Maja at the library to practice our entrepreneurship presentation. When we were done it was already dark but we could see the last sun rays which was really beautiful.
Back at home I studied a little bit more of entrepreneurship. For dinner we had some awesome spaghetti again but this time with angel hair pasta which is really thin (like our soup noodles in Austria).
In the evening I showered and the finally skyped with Huppsi for 1:25h. I had promised to skype with him last Friday but then I was so busy. We had a lot of stuff to discuss and new information to check up on. It was a real nice and funny conversation today. Then I made myself some tea, relaxed a little bit and read my book before I fell asleep because I was quite exhausted.
On Tuesday I woke up at 6 am just to discover that surfing class was cancelled today, I don’t know why. Therefore, I tried to sleep a little bit longer but couldn’t. Then I did some workouts, had breakfast and studied oceanography before I went to college for my classes. In entrepreneurship we finished our last chapter in the book about China and in oceanography we learnt about climate change and the various impacts on marine life. In the afternoon I cycled for 2:15h and did some grocery shopping at lazy acres. Then I did the ocean lecture questions, submitted a Pilates assessment, studied oceanography, completed my entrepreneurship notes and did a news flash for oceanography as well. For dinner we had some vegetables, couscous and salad. In the evening I went straight to bed and chatted a little bit with my friends back in Austria before I fell asleep. This day wasn’t really special but the weather was getting more and more cloudy and cooler as well because tomorrow and maybe Thursday and Saturday is it supposed to be raining. We will see…
Wednesday I went running for 1:40h and almost did the whole half marathon distance. Today it was colder like the weather forecast promised and the clouds looked like rain. It is supposed to rain at 12 pm but we will see. After my breakfast I went to geology class where we learnt about mineral resources. At 11 am it really started to rain a little (also nieseln) and you couldn’t hear the drops falling on the ground but the air smelled amazing. At around 1 pm it stopped raining but the air and nature was really moist. After some workouts I revised my geology study guide, wrote some emails and studied oceanography for the quiz tomorrow. It got pretty cool and windy so I drove with my big rainjacket to college for Pilates class. There we had our post fitness evaluation today and got to work out as well.
During the afternoon the sky got quite dark with a lot of heavy dark blue rain clouds which almost look frightening. Today I did some rain modifications for my bike as well.
Back home I studied oceanography and submitted the post fitness evaluation for Pilates. For dinner we had some delicious cornbread and chili with a big salad with pomegranate seeds.
In the evening I felt quite cold and took a long hot shower. Tomorrow surfing class is cancelled because it is a big amount of rain expected during the night therefore the bacteria levels in the ocean are going to be very high. Surfing and therefore exposing ourselves to these conditions wouldn’t be a good idea. Furthermore, it started slightly to rain at 7 pm I think. At first it was not much, but the sound was very calming and beautiful. Then at 9:30 pm it started to rain even more and more. I am glad that the dry nature finally gets some precipitation. After I finished everything I made myself some tea, a hot water bottle and played Nintendo.
Luckily, it rained the whole night. In the morning the air was nice and moist but it really cooled down. It has about 17 degrees right now, everything under 20 degrees and I am already freezing. I don’t know how I will handle the cold back in Austria. Eventually sometimes the sun came out and then suddenly it started to pour again with strong winds like a real rain storm. I could even hear some thunder. After some workouts I made myself some breakfast and studied oceanography and geology.
Then I drove with the bike (hopefully I will not rain more heavily today) to college for entrepreneurship class there we learnt about the direct selling method of Mary Kay. In oceanography we had our last lecture quiz ever and talked about plastic in the ocean. After class it started to pour again with thunder and lightning strikes and everything. Unfortunately, my bike is at west campus far away and I have to cycle back home. It poured the whole afternoon and we also got to see a rainbow in between. In lab we had a quiz today again. Our lab today was about ocean acidification. Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere combined with sea water and forms carbonic acid with dissolved calcium carbonate and impacts calcifying organisms like corals and urchins which build their houses out of calcium carbonate. It was really interesting, we did an experiment with yeast where we measured the pH level and the CO2 level and had to design a graph about their correlation. Furthermore, we got to look at different marine species (urchins, sea stars, sponges, foraminifera, algae..) impacted by acidification. Dominique and I also took a picture with put professor Michelle Paddack together because I might forget to do that during the finals week.
When I finished lab it was already dark and it rained, I should have known it. California is really not made for rain, you can see this because the streets and pathways are flooded and the people go crazy literally. Back at home I did the study questions on today’s lecture about plastic.
For dinner we had some different vegetables, ham from thanksgiving, cranberry sauce, sauerkraut, sweet potatoes, couscous with vegetables and a big cabbage salad. Today Carmen put out some Christmas decorations as well. Afterwards, I studied oceanography and prepared my entrepreneurship presentation. Furthermore, I received a postcard from Philipp today! Thank you again, I really love it! In the evening I just had some tea and pumpkin pie before I went to bed.
Friday I ran for 2:20h. While running I encountered cute dogs as well. Today the sun was shining bright but there was strong wind blowing, a perfect day for surfing. The storm last night broke many branches and they were lying all around and the waves were really big. Back at home I had breakfast, did some workouts and my nail polish. Furthermore, I studied geology. Carmen is all about the Christmas decorations right now, I can’t believe that December starts tomorrow. I also got to study pilates and my entrepreneurship presentation.
In the afternoon I went to my hairdresser appointment to tame my hair a little bit. She was really nice and did a really good job I think!
For dinner we had some awesome meat lasagna with a big salad with pomegranate seeds today. In the evening I reviewed Pilates and oceanography. Furthermore, I did the laundry. Before I went to bed I made myself some tea, a hot water bottle and also used a third blanket because I was very cold today. Because I wasn’t feeling well Carmen borrowed me her fuzzy socks and bathrobe for sleeping as well.
Saturday morning I did some workouts before breakfast. Then I studied geology, oceanography and the entrepreneurship presentation. During the day Carmen decorated the whole house and got a fake Christmas tree as well. Furthermore, she took me and Olivia to Lazy Acres for our shopping.
Afterwards Carmen showed me her famous Christmas cookie recipe for Mrs Fields Cookies. They consist of a lot of butter, sugar, oatmeal, flower, chocolate drops, Hershey’s chocolate and walnuts – pure sweet fatty bombs of millions of calories, perfect for Christmas. It was so much fun making them together with Carmen! I really enjoyed it and it reminded me auf baking at home with my grandma. I tried some warm ones fresh from the oven and they were amazing!
After I had some fried egg rice with vegetables for dinner I got ready for the End of Fall Semester Party 2018 of the Coral Group downtown. It was amazing! There they had set up gingerbread cottage building kits, pies, cakes, ice cream and everybody got his or her own California state flag where everybody could sign or write a quote or anything. Then we also received or volunteer certificates, Mia and Lindsay had their species, they were giving away awards for example for the person who gets lost most easily or who is the biggest player or whatever. At the end their was a video and photo slide show of the whole semester with all our memories of over 150 international students. It was really amazing! Next to partying with my friends for maybe the last time ever the best thing for me was reading the quotes on my California flag. I am really thankful for this opportunity having spent the semester here and making valuable experiences and friends for a lifetime!
Sunday morning I ran for two houres. Today it was really cold (13 degrees) and I have a little bit sore throat as well. After some breakfast I practiced my entrepreneurship presentation, studied for the geology quiz and reviewed 2 chapters of entrepreneurship as well. Shortly before noon I drove with my bike to Stearns Wharf to buy a birthday present for Dominique at the Sea Center. Spontaneously, I skyped with Sabrina and Bastian at the wharf, I really miss them!
Then I met Mia and Christian for our adventure hike downtown. We started off at the 7 falls hike. These are tiny little waterfalls. Surprisingly, they even had some water which was flowing down. This was the easy mostly flat part of the hike. After the creek the fun part started. To get up to cathedral peak the highest top here in Santa Barbara we had to go rock climbing literally. We had to use ropes, climb through caves and the way was always very steep. It was amazing and really exhausting I am really not used to climbing. We rested just below the top and took some amazing pictures of one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. My phone said that we did about 150 stories and 4 hours of hiking and climbing! Even though it wasn’t the real top (because we had not enough time before the sunset) we named it Coral Peak after the coral group. This was the best hike (I would say rock climb) ever!
Luckily, we made it back in one piece before the sunset. Totally exhausted I cycled back home just to get ready for dinner with Christian. We went to Mesa Verde probably for the last time for me. I had some harissa cauliflower and he had a mushroom lasagna, it was delicious!
Back at home I took a long shower because I was feeling really cold again. Then I baked my beloved granola again, might be the last time as well. During baking I looked at some questions from oceanography as well. Really exhausted I ate one of the Christmas cookies and went straight to bed. Next week I will be very busy, let’s see what the end of the semester has in store for me…