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What was your favourite part about returning to school?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Blogging, Education, Memories | Posted on 05-09-2011

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The NaBloPo­Mo prompt for today:
What was your favourite part about return­ing to school?

Back to School by Lel4nd (Leland Francisco)

That’s not an easy ques­tion. It wasn’t cool to acknowl­edge being hap­py to return to school each year, of course, so while I was glad, I didn’t real­ly acknowl­edge it to myself. As a result, it is more dif­fi­cult to access those mem­o­ries.

Even though I knew there would be end­less amounts of review each year, I was always excit­ed about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of learn­ing some­thing new. After we left Gads­den, I was able to look for­ward to school library access, too. (The ele­men­tary school I attend­ed in Alaba­ma didn’t even have a library, and back then, the Gwin­nett Coun­ty Pub­lic Library wasn’t the award win­ning facil­i­ty that it is now.)

I also had a secret hope that maybe this would be the year when I would meet some­one like me. Some­one else who didn’t fit in. Some­one who pre­ferred books to most peo­ple, who either didn’t go to church or was only there because his or her par­ents forced the issue, who would be will­ing to dis­cuss the ques­tions brought up by all the con­tra­dic­tions in the Bible and var­i­ous church’s teach­ings (and how preach­ers and oth­er church lead­ers actu­al­ly lived). Some­one who didn’t think it was bad to be intel­li­gent, maybe even some­one who would admit to day­dream­ing and mak­ing up new sto­ries about peo­ple they’d read about, or com­plete­ly new sto­ries of their own. The kind of peo­ple you didn’t run into just because your par­ents bought hous­es in the same neigh­bor­hood, or went to the same church, or worked for the same com­pa­ny.

I did meet some­one who became a dear friend in the first week of my Junior year, on the bus, in fact. She even lived in my neigh­bor­hood! I con­tin­ue to be amazed by the fact that I said some­thing to her first, as she’s far more extro­vert­ed than I have ever been. Dorothea is a trea­sure, and I will always be thank­ful for meet­ing her.

School & More Reading

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College, Education, Reading | Posted on 02-07-2008

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Reg­is­tra­tion clos­es tomor­row, so I have to decide before the end of the day whether or not I’m tak­ing class­es for sum­mer semes­ter or not. Bah. I want a break, but if I’m not in school my stu­dent loans come out of defer­ment.

I’ve been read­ing – and lov­ing–Patri­cia Brig­gs’ Mer­cy Thomp­son books. They’re a lot of fun, so I’m push­ing them at Sam, too.

Brig­gs has some amus­ing infor­ma­tion on her site about sil­ver bul­lets, includ­ing a reprint (with per­mis­sion, of course) of an old Gun World arti­cle, Long Ranger, Go Away!

Cohousing?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College, Education | Posted on 19-05-2008

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I’m work­ing on my final project for the tech­ni­cal writ­ing course, which is a com­par­i­son of cohous­ing devel­op­ments to sin­gle-fam­i­ly and more tra­di­tion­al mul­ti-fam­i­ly hous­ing. I’m find­ing it dif­fi­cult to find any of the books I want to use as ref­er­ences in the library (school or two coun­ties). Do any of you who are local hap­pen to have books on the sub­ject? Copies of Com­mu­ni­ties mag­a­zine, maybe? I’d appre­ci­ate a chance to look at such things rather than need­ing to buy them via Ama­zon!

School Happy

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College, Education, Geekery, Writing | Posted on 18-05-2008

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I final­ly got the grades from the first tech­ni­cal writ­ing assign­ment I turned in last week, and the peer reviews I did on two of my class­mates’ rough drafts. I got full points for all of them!

I was wor­ried about one of the peer reviews, because the per­son chose to do a set of instruc­tions for start­ing to cross-stitch. I know too much about that top­ic to eval­u­ate it well from a beginner’s point of view, and that was the intend­ed audi­ence. I actu­al­ly approached the pro­fes­sor with some ques­tions, and won­dered if I should swap reviews with some­one new to stitch­ing. Hap­pi­ly, the pro­fes­sor said I pro­vid­ed a bal­anced review that reflect­ed my expe­ri­ences as a for­mer begin­ner and cur­rent­ly expe­ri­enced stitch­er, and that I was respect­ful through­out. I was try­ing very, very hard to avoid any hint of con­de­scen­sion, and it appears that it worked!

My top­ic was “Cre­at­ing Your First Pod­cast,” and that received full points, too. It had to be done with a Flesch–Kincaid Grade Lev­el less than 8th grade, which was not easy. I got it down to 7th grade, and couldn’t go any low­er. The pro­fes­sor said that was due to the tech­ni­cal terms I had to use, and was per­fect­ly accept­able.

Winter Semester Grades

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College | Posted on 08-03-2008

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A week into Spring semes­ter, I final­ly got my Win­ter semes­ter grades: 99.7 in the career class, 97.6 in the project man­age­ment class. I should still have a 4.0, then.

I’ve got to get my and Katie’s FAF­SAs done. I should have already done it. It feels so weird to think about the fact that she’ll soon be in col­lege, too!

Never, Never on a Sunday

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College, Education, Family, Fun, Geekery, Movies | Posted on 24-02-2008

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Nope, not Sun­day. Most­ly. Well, maybe some­times. Damned ear­worm!

I was try­ing to be Very, Very good today as I wrapped up my assign­ments for the semes­ter. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I got com­plete­ly dis­tract­ed by the fact that I hadn’t done a bloody thing with Pagan Par­ents since adopt­ing the site. I got it work­ing at a min­i­mal lev­el, so it should be easy to add con­tent now.

Hint Hint: Con­tent! I need con­tent! Col­lab­o­ra­tors! Seri­ous­ly, if you have opin­ions about par­ent­ing as a pagan, or you know of resources that I should link to, please let me know. If you know some­body who might want to write an arti­cle or blog with us there, have him or her con­tact me.

Semester Is Past the Half-way Point!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College, Writing | Posted on 10-02-2008

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And so far, I’ve only lost one point in my Project Man­age­ment class, none in the oth­er class. That was due to a stu­pid mou­s­ing error — bad hands! Oh well, if that’s all my hands cost me this semes­ter, I’ll be hap­py.

The career course required us to do “long-term career plan­ning” this week. I don’t know how use­ful their idea of career plan­ning is, to be hon­est, in today’s econ­o­my. There aren’t many peo­ple who can count on mov­ing up steadi­ly in one path, due to the fact that the econ­o­my changes so much more quick­ly than it did 30 to 50 years ago. Do I feel san­guine about mak­ing pre­dic­tions as to where I’ll be, pro­fes­sion­al­ly, in 30 years? Um, no. For one thing, I’ll be 71 years old then! For anoth­er, I’ll be hap­py just to get back to work, peri­od!

Today’s Thing-a-Day time was spent col­or­ing. It was nice.

I have a hap­py Sam­bear danc­ing in front of me, because he just post­ed Chap­ter 17 of Heart of the Hunter. He already hit his word tar­get for the nov­el, but hap­pi­ly, he isn’t stop­ping ’til the plot is wrapped up.

Adult: FMS from What?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Geekery, Humor, News, Sex | Posted on 05-02-2008

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I have a Google Alerts search going for “fibromyal­gia,” because if there’s some­thing out there that will make this crap bet­ter, I want to know it yes­ter­day. The alert brings in all sorts of non­sense from quack reme­dies to naysay­ers, in addi­tion to the actu­al con­tent.

Today’s alert takes the cake, though. Some­body wrote to Dan Savage’s Sav­age Love col­umn ask­ing, “Can I Sue Some­body for Fist­ing-Induced Fibromyal­gia?“1

Savage’s med­ical expert is out of touch regard­ing the lat­est FMS research, but I have to agree with his reply to the let­ter-writer.

Sam and I tried to game a lit­tle tonight, but he was sleepy and I’m fad­ing, too. I did some writ­ing today, and more web­i­fy­ing, and worked on a cou­ple of school assign­ments. Then I got all-too-obsessed with try­ing to fig­ure out how to make the out­put of a cou­ple of Word­Press plu­g­ins work nice­ly with my tem­plate.

I hope y’all had a love­ly week­end!


1 http://​www​.vil​lagevoice​.com/​p​e​o​p​l​e​/​0​8​0​6​,​s​a​v​a​g​e​,​7​9​0​4​4​,​2​4​.​h​tml

School update

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College | Posted on 10-12-2006

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School is going along fine. In fact, anoth­er semes­ter is almost done for me, and Katie’s almost at the end of her semes­ter, too. She’s kick­ing ass and tak­ing names. Now that she’s set­tled aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly, she’s stretch­ing out into some extracur­ric­u­lar stuff and mak­ing more friends. We’ve man­aged to con­nect with a Girl Scout troop, (final­ly!) despite sil­ly paper­work slip-ups.

I think I need to rearrange my class­es for the next part of the semes­ter (I’m already reg­is­tered), but this unit’s class­es are going very well, and I’ve actu­al­ly learned use­ful (in one class) and inter­est­ing (in the oth­er class) stuff.

I had told the school when they ini­tial­ly did my tran­script eval­u­a­tion that I didn’t have as many upper-lev­el cred­its as they said I had, but they insist­ed that I’d done my major work and wouldn’t real­ly lis­ten. Weird­ness­es kept com­ing up, and I kept push­ing about things like the Hope Schol­ar­ship not com­ing up in my finan­cial aid pack­age. Some­one final­ly said, “Oh — you aren’t eli­gi­ble because you already have a bachelor’s degree.”

What? Um, no. You see, I’m in the Bachelor’s Degree Com­ple­tion Pro­gram because I don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet. Capiche?

Well, it seems that when Mer­cer Uni­ver­si­ty sent over my tran­scripts, they couldn’t man­age to just pull the tran­scripts for Cyn­thia Rober­son (my name when I attend­ed that school) with my Social Secu­ri­ty Num­ber and my Mer­cer Stu­dent ID. No, they also sent over Cyn­thia Armistead’s tran­script — some­one whose name was Cyn­thia Armis­tead when she attend­ed Mer­cer and got a bachelor’s degree, some­one with a dif­fer­ent SSN and MSI and mid­dle ini­tial. And instead of notic­ing these dis­crep­an­cies, my school blithe­ly entered this tran­script in and gave me cred­it for her work!

So there’s been a whole big deal about get­ting all of my tran­scripts again, and re-eval­u­at­ing them anew, and chang­ing my planned class­es to reflect the results. I’m get­ting two sorts of atti­tude from the bureau­crats I have to deal with in straight­en­ing out this non­sense: peo­ple who obvi­ous­ly think I should have shut up and tak­en the cred­its, and peo­ple who think I was try­ing to pull a fast one (hence the busi­ness about them get­ting all my tran­scripts again, direct­ly from my old schools) and re-eval­u­at­ing them).

For­tu­nate­ly, the class­es I’ve tak­en so far are class­es I need­ed to take. Yay. The class­es that start in a cou­ple of weeks are in ques­tion, so I need to talk to my so-called “advi­sor” about them. The “advi­sor” is the per­son who deals with every­body who is in the bachelor’s degree com­ple­tion pro­gram. She doesn’t do indi­vid­ual advis­ing, real­ly. She doesn’t give a fly­in’ flip about me or my plans, abil­i­ties, back­ground, etc. She meets with stu­dents once, when they enter the pro­gram. That’s it. That’s the plan. She doesn’t want to see us again. She’s not hap­py that she’s had to talk to me more than once.

I was just way spoiled by my mar­velous advi­sor at South­ern Poly, Dr. Mark Stevens. Nobody else can live up to that stan­dard. But this woman shouldn’t have the same title. She’s a paper­work-stam­per.

I’m actu­al­ly enjoy­ing the data­base por­tion of my cur­rent business/​computer course so much that I’m look­ing at which tech­ni­cal con­cen­tra­tion in the bachelor’s degree com­ple­tion major would give me the most oppor­tu­ni­ty to go deep­er into the top­ic.

Oh — with the oth­er person’s bachelor’s degree tran­script, I had some­thing like 91 trans­fer cred­its. That’s the max­i­mum you’re allowed to trans­fer into the school. With­out her tran­script, just using my cred­its, I’m com­ing in with 79 cred­its. The sci­ence class I’m tak­ing now should have been my last “core” class, but this school counts “Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy and Soci­ety as a 400 lev­el class. The STS class I took at South­ern Poly was a 200 lev­el class. So one more core class, some busi­ness and man­age­ment stuff required for my major, and then the tech­ni­cal con­cen­tra­tion cours­es. Three full semes­ters, at least, maybe four, since there may be pre­req­ui­sites required for some of the tech­ni­cal con­cen­tra­tion class­es that I don’t have yet.

That’s not too bad — just anoth­er year of school, real­ly. Wow. I can see the end.

I’se a student! But still a crip, too

Posted by Cyn | Posted in College, Education, Health | Posted on 14-09-2006

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Well, I’m offi­cial­ly in school and off to a run­ning limp­ing start.

I made it to my sta­tis­tics class on Tues­day, but only after a nasty fall. I was only about 20 min­utes late, and the pro­fes­sor was more than under­stand­ing. I was utter­ly lost for the first part of the class, but by the end of it I felt very com­fort­able. I can do this.

My body took over on Wednes­day, though. I slept all day, despite alarms and phone calls. Seri­ous­ly – I did not wake at all until after 2:30 or so, and I believe that was because my blad­der and need for pain meds final­ly won out over the need for more rest. So much for the week­ly blood test appoint­ment at 11. I didn’t get much home­work done through the rest of the day, either, though I did try. Hope­ful­ly eat­ing the whole day is enough to appease the fibromyal­gia demon.

So today has been giv­en over to doing all of the week’s assign­ments for tomorrow’s course, Comp100. That’s the “learn to use Win­dows, Word and Excel” class that’s required for every­one at this school. I’m real­ly annoyed at hav­ing to take it at all. There are lots of lit­tle assign­ments, and while I know this stuff inside – out even make­work takes time.

Right now, I’m tak­ing a din­ner break. I deserve that much.

The biggest chal­lenge of that course (oth­er than fol­low­ing the *exact* direc­tions rather than doing things in more effi­cient ways) is that the text­book is too bloody big and heavy. I had prob­lems with that at my last school, too. I need a seri­ous book­stand, because hold­ing these big texts real­ly is a phys­i­cal chal­lenge for me. They’re increas­ing my pain, which makes it hard for me to focus on read­ing the assign­ments.

In hap­pi­er news, my admis­sions “advo­cate” called me today to tell me that the tran­script eval­u­a­tors had revised their opin­ion of my cred­its and giv­en me anoth­er 13 cred­its! So I’m anoth­er semes­ter clos­er to grad­u­at­ing. I think that puts me fair­ly close to senior lev­el, which means more finan­cial aid eli­gi­bil­i­ty.

Katie and I have fall­en into a pat­tern of doing our home­work togeth­er every day. That’s nice, and it helps a lot with my miss­ing the time we spent togeth­er home­school­ing.

I’m hop­ing that I can get caught up and stay there by the end of this week­end, and then have time to breathe and do fun things again. This is just a half-time sched­ule, so I real­ly need to build a lot more sta­mi­na before I try to add two more class­es next semes­ter!

You know what I want? A trike. Real­ly. A great big trike with a nice big bas­ket. I think I could ride to school near as fast as I could get there on MARTA. I might have to spend the night there before I could ride back home, but give me some time and sure­ly I’d build up some kind of con­sti­tu­tion again. Even­tu­al­ly.

I know how to ride a bicy­cle, cer­tain­ly, but my bal­ance has gone to heck thanks to the FMS and I don’t recov­er from falls well, so I’ll give in and ask the uni­verse for a three-wheel­er. Sure­ly they’re less expen­sive than the scoot­er I need, right?