Tag Archive | education

New semester, new drama

It’s currently a quarter to three. I have successfully avoided going to bed by cleaning house, doing homework and now writing a blog post.  It’s not that I don’t want to bed, it’s more that in the past few weeks I seem to have lost the ability to sleep. But, as it’s not affecting my daily activities, I’m more annoyed than concerned.

I survived last semester, despite what the frequency of my posting may have implied. In fact, I thrived. I got a 3.90 GPA for the semester. My GPA is now high enough that I can get a job on campus–you know, if there were a job opening on campus that I was qualified to do–and I have started summer semester.  I have two blocks of classes–Fit For Life (a health/exercise class) and 2D design first block, and then at the end of June, I’ll start stress management (stressed? who me?) and creative writing in the second block, with an online math class all semester long.

I’m beginning to think that the start-of-semester drama might just become a regular thing. I don’t know how what happened this week compares to what happened last semester–I suppose it’s worse, but I’m not as emotionally torn up about it.

Okay, so Monday, first day of class. Minor freak out because I’m the largest and most out of shape person in my Fit for Life class–even though that wasn’t really a surprise. Fat folk would tend to avoid that class, and get the required credit from a health class that would allow them to be sedentary. My 2D design class turned out to be nothing at all like I was expecting–and will require much more work. Slightly bigger freak out about that. After spending a lot of money on books, I came home, and began working on my online math class (I am NOT going to let myself fall behind) and then…blue screen of death.  A couple of hours trying to get the computer to restart, followed by a couple of phone calls to my computer engineer of a brother-in-law, and my hard drive died. Completely.

Yay.

Granted, it was much better to have this happen on the first day of the new semester rather than, say, three weeks ago when I was finishing up my final English paper and studying for finals, but it still left me in tears. Fortunately, the Brother-in-law has a several unused computers lying around his house and he (or, more properly, Sis) offered me use of one of them until I can get a new hard-drive.

So, Tuesday, no school, I went up to Sis’s house to trade computers (eventually, I was having car trouble on that day as well) and because she wasn’t feeling good, to keep her from killing her kids (it wasn’t QUITE that bad, but I did see some spectacular tantrums). This included several very educational games of “I Spy” to wit:

me: Is it a stoplight?

G: nope

me: is a go light?

G: YES!

It’s a little scary that I’m learning to think like a four-year old.

Then home, and more time and trips to Best Buy to set up the loaner computer than should have been strictly necessary. But, it works, I’m on line, and once again stressing over random story problems with no real-world application. But, once again, I hope that this constitutes all of the drama alotment for summer semester–or even just first block–so I can concentrate on my studying and getting through school as quickly as possible.

The effects of a caffeine deprived mind on the artwork of Arnold Friberg

I made a decision yesterday.  I was wondering if my massive panic attack earlier in the week was aggravated by caffeine, so I decided to cut out caffeinated beverages for a while and see if it helps me calm down.

In retrospect, it might not have been wise to make that decision the night before my 8 o’clock  Saturday morning class.

I realized this at about 2 o’clock  last night, when my neighbor’s apartment kept blowing up.

Now, I realize that I have dogs, and they tend to bark when I’m not around to shush them, so I feel like I have to be tolerant of noisy neighbors, but really–if you’re going to turn on a loud, action-packed movie at midnight, please be aware that just because it’s Friday night doesn’t mean that you don’t have neighbors that need to get up early the next morning.   The worst part was I’m not even sure which neighbor it was–there didn’t seem to be any difference if I had the windows closed or open.

Long story short, er, shorter, I missed my class this morning.  My alarm went off, and, in a state of half-wakefulness, I turned it completely off.

Now, not all was lost, here.  I would have forced myself out of bed, but my Art History Professor teaches the same class I have from 8 am to 10:30 am again from 10:35 to 1:15ish, so I made it to the second class–she did tell us we could do that, as long as we let her know we are enrolled in the 8am class.

I have to say, much to my surprise, I think I prefer the 8 am class.  I like the students more, at any rate–if you’re going to drag yourself out of bed to go and sit in a darkened room to listen to a lecture about the difference between ionic and doric columns  at 8am on a Saturday, it’s because you really want to be there.  If you make it at 10:35 on that same Saturday, well–I noticed more people falling asleep and goofing off in the later class then I generally see in the earlier class.

Plus I missed the cute (but unfortunately married) redhead that sits in one row over and two seats up from where I usually sit.

As I was making my way to class this morning, I was laughing at myself.  I’m an art major.  I was going to an art class.  I kept seeing signs pointing the way to the “Friberg Event”.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I knew this was probably an exhibit of the works of Arnold Friberg, who taught us that the prophets in the Book of Mormon were all 350 pounds of pure muscle.  (I’m not seeing anything on the UVU website to either confirm or deny this suspicion)  but I was also reflecting that “Friberg Event” sounds like an astronomical anomaly first observed or described by someone named Friberg.

Yeah.  I know.

Sigh.

It’s been a rough day.

I woke up this morning with a headache–which is and of itself is unusual.  I get headaches frequently, but very rarely wake up with one.  I took some Advil, and then took the dogs for a walk.  When we got home, I still had a couple of hours before class started, so I laid back down, hoping that a little more sleep would make my headache go away.

Not only did it not go away, but when I woke up again, class had already started.  And by the time I would have been able to catch the bus to campus or walk there (I’m being realistic about how fast I move, here) it would have been over.

Even though it was just one of the institute classes, not one I had to pay for, I’m still really mad at myself for missing it.  I realized, later on that I could have driven to campus and parked in a pay lot–in fact that’s probably exactly what I would have done had it been one of my college classes.

This stupid headache hasn’t gone away–and it’s made me tired and irritable all day.

My other goal for today was to figure out my online class.

So, here’s the thing–I had signed up for what I thought was an online math class.  I was getting anxious that I hadn’t received any information about how to access my class–math is not one of my strong suites, and I didn’t want to fall behind.  I thought that maybe I needed to pay tuition first, but  I took care of that yesterday, and the website was showing I was all paid up.

I finally decided that I needed to get as much information as possible before I called the help desk, so I started digging deeper into this class, finding out stuff like who my professor is, and, oh, wait, what’s this?

It’s not an online class, it’s a second block class.  Which means I’ll be going to a classroom and meeting with him face to face, but not until the middle of October.

Yeah…I’m feeling really smart right now.  I have no idea why I thought it was an online class.

I’ve spent a good part of the day studying–more than I strictly feel that I need to.  Still, it will be good to get in the habit, right?  Part of the reason I struggled with college the first time around is the fact that I didn’t study.

Where do I go from here?

I literally stayed up all night last night writing.  Not a very auspicious reason for a single woman to stay up all night on a Friday night, but still…

I’m happy with what I wrote last night, but it’s in the sit-and-wait period now.  By the time the sun rose, I’d been awake for 20 hours without the aid of caffeine, so it could be rubbish.  I won’t know for a couple of days.

So my internal clock is now all messed up, and so, apparently, is my thinking, so please forgive me if I wander a bit more than usual in this post.

Mom has me thinking about going back to school, which presents me with a couple of problems.  First, the place where I got my associate’s degree is nationally accredited.  That sounds great, right?  The problem is, most reputable universities are regionally accredited, and won’t accept the credits from the school I went to.  This leaves me the option of looking at other nationally accredited schools, like University of Phoenix, and they tend to be expensive and not all that great of schools.

I know the school I graduated from left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The good thing about nationally accredited schools is that they tend to have very focused fields of study, and you can get a degree quickly.  I’ve been investigating some local schools, trying to decide where I want to go and what I want to do.

Which is frankly terrifying.

Mom is pushing me to become a paralegal.  While there are paralegal jobs available…I’m not sure.  In high school, I was interested in law and politics and the like, but that has faded to disinterest and now disgust.  Maybe if I got into it though, I’d change my mind.

I’ve been thinking about information technology.  After I graduated, I said that if I were to do it again, I’d go into IT–I like working with computers, and being a woman would give me an advantage while job searching.  But I took some networking classes in high school, and those were the only classes I genuinely struggled with.  Granted, I know that technology has changed enormously since I took those classes 12 years ago, and I probably wouldn’t be working on a computer running Windows 3.1, but still…

I’ve done a minimum of research into some of the nationally accredited schools in the area, and the field of study of pharmacy technician caught my eye.  Chemistry scares me, but I like science enough that I could solider through those classes.  I also would need to research the demand for pharmacy technicians.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream to think that I can find a field in which I can both make money and enjoy working in.   This is something that I shouldn’t make a rash decision in–it’ll take a lot of time and money, neither of which I have to waste.

So I guess the remainder of this weekend will be devoted to prayer fasting and meditation.

I don’t want to make another wrong decision.

Barely Contained Chaos

My sister talked me into coming up to her house on New Years Eve.  She didn’t have to talk very hard.  My sister and I are about a year apart in age, and have been best friends since we were little girls.  And by best friends, I mean she would tell me what to do, and I would do it.  That still happens.

We went to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy on Thursday, mostly because a local radio station was doing a satellite and selling hot dogs for 93 cents.  (I wanted to go to the aquarium, so I refrained from mentioning that 93 cents is a horrible price for hot dogs, when you can buy a package of 12 for a dollar).  A note for all people who are as agoraphobic (and claustrophobic, weird, I know) as I am–when a popular radio station is doing a satellite in a small, dark, fish-filled building, it might be a good idea to stay away.

The trip to the aquarium was–interesting, if not quite as educational as I would have liked.  First of all, I must be better with kids than I’d always claimed.  They had an exhibit where kids could touch stuff like a python and a Madagascar hissing cockroach (I’m not squeamish around bugs, but I don’t like cockroaches.  I just wanted to smash that thing).  They had a gray parrot and a blue and gold macaw in the background, so we thought they were going to do a bird show.  G and I sat down to wait for the show, and the space I chose was right next to a man with a baby girl, neither of whom I knew. I was being polite and ignoring them, talking to G about the birds and the snake and the other critters they had, but the baby had no such social graces.  She started trying to get over to me, hitting me, and making cute little baby “pay attention to me noises”.  When I finally turned to look at her, she started begging for me to pick her up, which, being the kind and generous soul that I am, I did.  Of course, once I was holding her she realized that she, in fact, didn’t know me, and instantly wanted to go back to her dad.

G was, of course, too shy to touch any of the animals, but didn’t want to leave because he didn’t want to miss the bird show.

Speaking of G, that kid makes me laugh.  He’s super-shy, but, at the same time, will do anything for attention.  At the aquarium, there is a section called “Journey to South America” which is filled with critters from the Amazon.  (Because, you know the fourth largest continent is nothing but a big rain forest.)  You can’t have an exhibit talking about the fish of the Amazon river without paying special attention to the electric eel.  There is a display near the eel tank where you can feel what it feels like to get zapped by an electric eel.  So, guess who likes to just hold his hands on the diodes?

The best way I can describe what this feels like, is one time, I was pulling a plug out of the wall, and I accidentally touched one of the prongs while it was still connected to the current. DON'T TRY THAT AT HOME! Go to the aquarium and try it there.

Um, for my readers who don’t know me personally, have I mentioned that G was adopted, and is African American?  Yeah, that’s not just some random kids hand.  And have I mentioned that he’s 3?

So home from the aquarium, for a fun night of wild partying, by which I mean putting the kids to bed too late, and then staying up and playing the wii and card games with my sister and brother in law.  So of course I spent the night rather than going home.

New Years Day got together with some of our cousins.  On my dad’s side of the family, there are about 10 girl cousins all around the same age, with my sister and me right smack-dab in the middle of it all. Family reunions rocked! (As long as you have a good place to hide when it all got overwhelming.  But that’s another story for another day.)  Three of us, plus assorted male hanger-on-ers in the form of husbands and children, met for lunch.  I have to say, the Red Robin didn’t do a good job with the food for the amount of money we spent, but it was fun to spend time with the extended family, especially the cousin who, for some reason, married a guy who, in a bid to find out exactly how crazy we all are, is attending school in Chicago to learn how to be a psychologist.

I had spent all morning yesterday entertaining the children so my sister and bro-in-law could get some much-needed rest, so by the time we got back from the restaurant,  I was feeling the late night “partying” the night before, then getting up early with G, so I laid down for a nap.  By the time I woke up, I didn’t want to go home that night, so, the bro-in-law suggested I spend another night.

So, I just spent the last 883 words basically describing the life of my sister and her family.  I honestly don’t know how she does it.  I think I could handle the mommy thing, but not necessarily 24/7.  I used the words “Barely contained chaos” to describe my sister’s house, and she just nodded.

That being said, my sister and her husband have done a really good job with G. (E’s only 2 months old, so it’s a bit too early to tell with him.)  He does a good job of doing what he’s told, for a three-year-old.  He very sweet and loving, and has a magnetic personality that makes him a joy to be around.  I’m so grateful he’s a part of my family.

I’m also grateful he doesn’t come home with me at the end of the day.

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