Katie, Me and Schools

Well, we’re wait­ing for Katie’s final grades for fall semes­ter while enjoy­ing win­ter break for both of us. We had Sam home for the first half of our breaks with us, but unfor­tu­nate­ly work­ing for a school isn’t quite as lux­u­ri­ous as being a stu­dent.

Katie has had most­ly As in her progress reports across the term, so I expect that should be what we see on her report card. We’re work­ing on an alge­bra refresh­er/wrap-up here at home, as she’ll be going into geom­e­try at school when she goes back next week. I don’t hon­est­ly recall using a great deal of alge­bra in geom­e­try, do you? Of course, I absolute­ly loathed geom­e­try and nev­er “got it” to any real extent. This does­n’t bode well for home­work help this semes­ter.

She has tru­ly loved her art class. While she has had more access to art sup­plies at home than I ever had in school or out­side it, and I’ve tak­en her to a fair num­ber of muse­ums and tried to give her some ground­ing in art his­to­ry, I’m no artist. She’s learned more in that one art class than I could have ever taught her, and she’s hun­gry for more. So hun­gry! I should have giv­en her access to art class­es ear­li­er, obvi­ous­ly — but hind­sight is 20/20. She wants to take sum­mer school class­es this year, and I’m even more in favor of it if it means she can con­tin­ue her pur­suit of art.

I’ve already got­ten my grades. The fan­tas­tic sup­port I’ve got­ten from Sam and Katie made it pos­si­ble for me to get As in both of my cours­es for the first half of fall semes­ter. The sec­ond half of fall semes­ter (Devry does things odd­ly) starts on 8 Jan­u­ary. I’m tak­ing all my cours­es online again, as that works bet­ter for the fam­i­ly and my ridicu­lous body.

Oh, I near­ly for­got! We got the results back from Katie’s first PSAT. She did­n’t do so great in the math, which isn’t sur­pris­ing, not hav­ing had any geom­e­try yet. She did­n’t do too bad­ly on it either—84th per­centile, some­thing like that, as I recall. She ran out of time on that sec­tion. She was in the mid to upper 90s on every­thing else. We were a bit con­cerned, because the coun­selor at the high school could­n’t be arsed to get Katie’s accom­mo­da­tions in place in time for the test, but obvi­ous­ly it turned out quite well any­way. The accom­mo­da­tions will be in place and she will have passed geom­e­try before she takes it “for real” next fall, when it counts as the Nation­al Mer­it Schol­ar­ship Qual­i­fy­ing Test.

Well, back to “stor­ing up” sleep and tak­ing pic­tures of every­thing, most espe­cial­ly spoiled lit­tle Kiyoshi the solar-pow­ered cat. I miss spend­ing this much time with Katie on a dai­ly basis. It was much nicer, but she does love her school. She is obvi­ous­ly ener­gized by the aca­d­e­m­ic dis­course, even by dis­agree­ing with an annoy­ing teacher. She was ready to try out her wings, and we had a good school near­by where she could do so. I’m glad we could go back to home­school­ing if we chose to or need­ed to do so, but I’m glad the fledg­ling’s flight is going so well, too.

“School days, school days, good old golden rule days”

Is that how the lyric goes? I know, I can Google it. I should be in bed. If I get any­where near a lyric archive, I’ll get sucked in and there’s no promise that I’ll get any sleep at all!

That’s impor­tant, as I have my first class tomor­row! It should real­ly be some­thing that I could sleep through, hon­est­ly, as the school insists that I take “Com­put­er Appli­ca­tions” in prepa­ra­tion for my oth­er cours­es. Despite the fact that I have used the MS Office suite for years (well before it was a suite), and have trained count­less oth­ers to use Word and Excel, I haven’t had any for­mal train­ing in using the appli­ca­tions. Because I can’t show any col­lege work that proves that I can use the appli­ca­tions, I have to take the course, like every­one else.

I’m try­ing to think of it as an easy A, but that nev­er works out on these things that I feel I should be able to comp. Did you know that if you know a pro­gram so well that using key­board short­cuts is sec­ond nature to you, the com­put­er­ized tests used by temp agen­cies and the like will decide that you don’t actu­al­ly know the soft­ware very well? They’re look­ing for an exact series of mouse clicks, not the key­board short­cuts. I have this dread­ful fear that the course will use com­put­er­ized test­ing in this course, and there will be prob­lems like that.

Any­way, on a brighter note, after I’ve tak­en that class, I’ll be able to log in and start work on my oth­er class’s assign­ments. It actu­al­ly start­ed Tues­day, but I was­n’t enrolled ’til Wednes­day. The school’s com­put­er sys­tems don’t offi­cial­ly “know” a stu­dent ’til she has swiped her stu­dent ID through the atten­dance what­sis in a class­room at least once. Very frus­trat­ing — I’ve been try­ing to get in to that sys­tem since I was reg­is­tered, and nobody actu­al­ly fig­ured out why I could­n’t do so ’til late today. I’ve yet to get any­one to tell me how to con­tact the pro­fes­sor, either, as the idea of just talk­ing to the human (and I assume there is one) to ask about assign­ments seemed an out­ra­geous notion in that world of ultra-com­put­er­i­za­tion.

The oth­er class is def­i­nite­ly going to stretch me. I’ve nev­er tak­en a sta­tis­tics course before. It’s been, um, near­ly 20 years since I took ANY math class. Please don’t tell me any hell­ish sto­ries about that sub­ject, as I’m ner­vous enough already. If, how­ev­er, you under­stand this stuff are will­ing and able to help me, for good­ness’ sake, speak up! Any help is much appre­ci­at­ed!

I’ve still got to go through the joy of work­ing with the dis­abil­i­ties office. I did meet the coor­di­na­tor, though, and she seemed down­right friend­ly. That was such a shock that I could hard­ly remem­ber the ques­tions I need­ed to ask her! (Good argu­ment for always writ­ing them down ahead of time.)

I am going to have to upgrade my com­put­er, as every course at this school is part­ly online. The min­i­mum tech­ni­cal require­ments start with a proces­sor and video that put my much-loved lit­tle lap­top to shame. I’m unclear as to what they’re expect­ing to do with all that pow­er — it isn’t as if my major is one that involves CAD or any­thing of that sort — and I’m rather annoyed. The geek in me, of course, is thrilled — but the rest of me says, “We can’t afford that!” It’ll mean going back to a desk­top, most like­ly.

It isn’t as though my par­ents were pay­ing the first time around, so they aren’t going to help now, either. Any­body wan­na adopt me to send me to school? You’ll get the world’s most mar­velous grand­daugh­ter, and she’s old enough that you would­n’t be asked to babysit, even.

Yes, I’m only tak­ing two class­es. I’m try­ing to be more rea­son­able about pac­ing and tak­ing care of myself this time. Maybe I won’t end up with pneu­mo­nia again 🙂 And to that end, I’m off to bed now.