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Weekend and School Update

The girl and Sam both had busy weekends. Katie went out Friday and Saturday, playing D&D with friends first, then going to a party with her sweetie during my and Sam's date Saturday night. Sam had a computer to deliver Saturday morning, then ran around picking up some things. He went out again yesterday, to the library for me and to the grocery store and the farmer's market and I'm not even sure where else. Then he did an intervew for his podcast last night.

This is the last week of my classes for the semester, so I did a paper for one class and created my slides for a group project presentation in the other, then had a couple of quizzes. Monday night we do our presentation online, and see the other groups' presentations. That class doesn't have a final, but I do have to take the final for the management class, then I'm done.

Next week I start a class everybody is apparently supposed to take around the beginning of their studies, since one of the assignments involves creating a "plan of study." DeVry seems to have a lot of these "because we said so" classes, which is annoying. I'm also taking my first technical writing course at DeVry, though. It will involve more group projects, a bane of my existence.

It's one thing to work together in a business setting, where people's jobs depend on their performance. It's quite another to be yoked with people who just can't be arsed to pull their weight and apparently think Bs are high grades. I'm absolutely appalled by the number of people in the 400-level classes I had this semester who cannot create a coherent paragraph, much less write a paper.

I had the required "write a research paper" class over 20 years ago, at another school. Either the standards have fallen horribly, or Mercer had higher standards than I realized. (I won't even bother comparing Agnes Scott's standards to DeVry. It's too painful.) Of course, if either of those schools had remedial courses of any sort, I was unaware of them. Those "teach you what you should have learned in middle school" classes are a fact of life in all the University system schools and DeVry. I know that there were some when I took classes at Georgia Perimeter so many years ago, but they seem to be more and more important now. I honestly don't think they belong in any institution of "higher learning." If you can't read, write, and do basic math before you get to college, you have no business being there, because you do not have the essential tools required for success. I suppose that makes me an elitist.

It's going to be odd going back to 100 and 200 level courses next week. By the time most students do get to the 400-level courses, the true dregs have dropped out or risen out of that status. Threaded discussions are such a huge part of online classes that you get far more exposure to your classmates writing than in a face-to-face class, and you quickly find out who can't or won't write and who has no clue about how to discuss issues without degenerating into total nonsense. That part of this semester hasn't been as bad as others, at least. I did still run into nutcases insisting that this country was founded as a "Christian nation," but that's pretty much to be expected anymore.

Dragon Con, weekend planning, and back to school

I won't be going to Dragon Con unless a ticket (or pass - hey, I'm willing to do panels, ya know) falls out of the air. Sam will be running games and the girl will be working the con, so they both got passes. 🙂

I'd happily meet out-of-towners for lunch or something, though. Jeannie, you still coming?

I expect lots of fun photos (with you in them, not just of the crowds!) and stories from y'all next week to make up for not going, of course.

I'm trying to plan some self-care so I don't get too lonely and grumpy over the weekend. I'm figuring in stitching time, definitely, but could use some suggestions as to movies to watch while stitching. I never go to the cinema, so you can safely assume that if it's been out in the last two years, I haven't seen it (except Serenity, of course!).

Other suggestions for the weekend?

My current "fun" reading is Widdershins by de Lint, but I'm not really getting into it for some reason. I need to see if the library has something fluffy like the "Undead and ____" novels. Yeah, they're easily bought, but I read them like literary M&Ms, so the high cost of paperbacks just doesn't seem justified. Dekalb's library doesn't suck, but I miss Gwinnett's far better selection of genre fiction, as well as living close to a branch of the PINES system as we did in Cobb.

I did something for me today, though: I put things in motion to return to school. If all goes as the school thinks it will, I could actually be doing some online classes next week! That is, if they give me the financial aid package I want. If not, I'll wait 'til January. But I'd really like to go back now, as I'm feeling extremely empty-nested with Katie gone back to school. I don't want to do just online classes, because I really miss the discussions of a "real" class and I think it would be good to have something regular for which I have to leave the house.

On the other hand, online classes take lots less energy, which leaves more for the actual academic pursuit and the rest of my life.

Happily, Katie prefers doing her homework next to me rather than holing up in her room as I did at that age, so I get a fair amount of time with her when she's home. That really does push the need for a laptop, though, as she can't be online (or just typing) and be in the living room with me and Sam. When she had one she made really good use of it.

I really like the fact that she's attending a school with a good location and community ties. We couldn't really ask for better than where she is in that respect. I'm looking forward to moving closer to the school, though.