Archive for college

University Shizz

Posted in My University Life with tags , , , , on Thursday, June 11, 2009 by dragonsvamp

So of course I have yet to be considered a resident of Michigan in the eyes of the university here but that’s probably never going to happen even if I ended up living my whole life here.  I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to take yet another year off of college August 2009-July 2010 (took one from January 2007-January 2008 the first time) this coming school year.

I didn’t want loans to accumulate and then I graduate in major debt. I decided taking this year off would give me a few months to pay off my $5500 loan from last school year and a few months to save up enough to go to college without taking loans out next fall (not this coming fall 2009).

Apparently, now I have to reanalyze my situation. I got a nice whopping belated birthday present from the university- or at least I’d like to think of it as a birthday present since I did turn 21 two days ago. I got a letter in the mail telling me that I was receiving a $3200 scholarship! That’s 1600 a semester if you want to do the math.

And what’s even better is that all that’s required is that I go to college half time, which equates to at least 6 credits (two classes) each semester. If I took two classes a semester for the next two semesters I’d only put myself back less than $500 (tuition out of pocket) for each semester. That’s as opposed to the approximate $2000 I had to put in for last semester’s two classes.

Perfect right?

Now if I do end up getting the raise I’m hoping for at my full time job I’ll have myself all set up for next year. (AlhamduliAllah). I was getting worried over next year because this year was very difficult. I had classes at college, my full time job, part time job at the library, scattered hours tutoring, babysitting, transcribing and chauffeuring to keep me able to afford my lifestyle. And I didn’t want to deal with another year of all that work especially when taking into account that my sister was moving in with me.

I hope I find out about the raise by the time I get back from Norway because then I might just end up taking a trip down to good ole home town SoCal to get some sun and beach and salty water recharge before getting back to the hum drum of work and college.

*Fingers Crossed*

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The Slab of Marble

Posted in University in America with tags , on Saturday, March 28, 2009 by dragonsvamp

Educational progress:

Slowly chipping away at a slab of marble with a wooden toothpick.

Ooops the toothpick just broke! Now what will I do?!

Well that’s how it feels. Yes, I’m a senior and still 20 but it feels like I’ve been in college for ever (which is since 2005) and I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. I keep on wanting to add to my majors, minors, and certifications and therefore am causing much confusion when it comes to what classes to take and how to do it all so that I may use up my time wisely.

Not working so well apparently. I probably should talk to a counselor and see what she has to say concerning my education. Last semester I decided I wanted to do a double major- English and Math. But after taking Calculus and getting a nice tidy D in it (it’s their fault allowing me to test straight into Calculus- I haven’t taken a math class since I graduated high school back years and years ago! But no- plop- they send me straight to calculus.) I realized that I should stick to enjoying teaching Algebra and leave the other big girl stuff to people with more passion for math.

So what now? I’ve got four courses left and I could graduate with a normal no frills English degree. If I want to add a minor or two that makes the count go up by at least ten more classes (some of which I’ve already completed). And add the beautiful teacher’s certification- I’m stuck in school indefinitely because I can’t even start on the certification (which in itself is another 20 some credits) until I’ve got 18 credit hours (or 9 courses) completed in a teaching minor (which is Speech in my case).

Add to my problems the fact that the university I’m attending (even though its considered one of the top ones in the states) has limited courses available for those who work full time. So most of my classes are offered during the day time and I can’t attend them because I have to work. Not many courses are offered after 4 pm and if they are they’re few and far between. Hence my feeling of chipping away at a slab of marble with nothing more than a toothpick- maybe a piece of hay is more like it.

But as a friend told me recently- I’m only 20 and already a senior. It’s not like I’m behind or not getting much done. But when all your friends around you are graduating and moving on and even those who came to college after you have the end in sight it feels quite dreary. Though it feels like I’m going no where I’ve accomplished quite a bit since I turned 17 and entered college.

But why doesn’t it feel like that? Why do I feel like I’m getting no where?

Finally an A+

Posted in Michigan, University in America with tags , , , on Sunday, December 7, 2008 by dragonsvamp

When I walk out of my calculus class I sometimes feel incompetent and unintelligent. Yes everything the professor explains in class makes sense but when I try to apply it afterwards I can’t seem to get it right.  It’s an odd feeling coming from a straight A student when I was in high school. And in college my grade averaged from B+ to A.  So it is difficult to accept that I’m doing really bad in this class.

As I was saying, I leave the class feeling pretty much like a stupid student. But then I go to my Survey of African American Literature class and feel like I’m the smartest one there. I can actively engage in all the discussions and ace all of my papers and exams.  So, consequently, I walk out of this class feeling very intelligent.

It’s a very weird when you get those two conflicting feelings at the same same semester more or less the same day and time. 

I’ve been feeling very bad lately over how terrible I’m doing in calculus and really needed a confidence booster.  I got that last Tuesday. It was my last AFA class and I was going to find out how I did in the course over all. The professor was leaving the country the next day and so had planned out our course so that we’d find out our final grade (and complete our final paper) before the last class meeting.

For the first twenty minutes of the class he talked about how he enjoyed giving the course and how impressed he was at our input and etc etc etc.  Finally, he told us that our class averaged about an A- with a handful of A and only one A+.

I had turned in my final paper the week before, after rushing through writing it and so felt that it wouldn’t live up to my previous papers and course work.  Therefore, I was hoping I at least got an A but was expecting an A-.

Finally, he gave out our final papers so that we may see our grade on that and then collected them because he couldn’t give them back (something about having to keep it for records) and he hadn’t had time to make copies of all of them so if we wanted a copy we’d have to get that after class was over.

I got my paper and it had , in large red ink, 23/25. I flipped over the 7 pages of writing and on the 6th he made a very nice comment of how he really liked my writing and my in class discussions etc. The 7th page contained my extra credit paper, which I did just on a whim because I thought my main paper wasn’t as good as it could be. On that last paper was, again in red ink, written EXTRA CREDIT 5/5. So in total I got 28/25 on my final.

In all honesty, I was surprised. I didn’t expect to get such a good grade on this last paper.  The professor then collected all our papers and gave us our final grade envelopes that contained a detailed account of the semester’s assignments and their scores. I open mine and see a nice healthy looking A+ as my final grade.

You can’t imagine how much of a confidence booster that was.  But it didn’t stop there. 

I followed the professor back to his office after class was over to get a copy of my paper. He asked me what I was planning on doing after I graduated and suggested that I go into communication. He was very impressed by my writing and discussion skills and said my presentations were really good.

My was that a REAL confidence booster and yet that wasn’t the end of it.

He then suggested that I go study in Europe for a semester and said he would personally help me find scholarships and fellowships that would pay for it. I have been planning on taking a summer off and going to Europe, but if I can get a free ride as well as learn more then why not?

This is what apparently happens when you end up making a good impression on your professor besides the fact he ends up being the Chair(person) of the department.

Well at least I know I’m doing extremely well on two of my four courses. Lets hope I pull through on the other two.

Fingers crossed.

(To all out there who celebrate: Eid Mubarak!)

Never Gonna Win

Posted in life experiences, Michigan, University in America with tags , , , , on Sunday, November 23, 2008 by dragonsvamp

Apparently, I must be the only exception when it comes to good grades, studying and the relationship they have.  It’s common knowledge that the more you study for a cours the more likely you are to do well- right?

So why am I freaking doing worse?

Two examples:

1. Calculus: Exam one came and went, I didn’t study much for it. Crammed like hell about ten minutes before the exam began and I passed the test.  Exam two came up and I took half a day off of work to study for it. I went straight to the library and studied for about four hours before the test and felt very good about it. I failed said exam. And not just failed, I got 20 points less on it than I did on the first exam. So it wasn’t a barely fail. It was a major fail.

2. Biology: Ok so I “bomb” the first exam and quiz. I get better on my quizzes because I’m able to study a little bit more for them. Don’t do well on my second exam but the time I had planned to study for it got majorly screwed up so I only had about twenty minutes before the exam to cram. Still passed both exams. Of course I didn’t do wonderfully on them, but I did enough to pass and have a C average in the class.  Last Friday I had the third exam, I literally had all day to prepare for the exam and I did. I felt very good going into the exam and even left feeling like I’d done so much better than I had on the first two exams. I wasn’t rushed and I felt I’d retained enough of the information this time to do well. I just checked on my grades today and found out that I barely, just barely, passed the third exam. In other words out of the three exams this is my worst grade. Additionally, the past two quiz grades were horrible.

Of course I’m sailing through my two other classes with a most definite A in both but those come so naturally to me that I don’t even need to study much for them. And whatever studying I do have to do comes easily to me.

So am I just weird and an exception to the general rule? Or am I doing something wrong here? Anything wrong with the equation? 

*shrugs* I should ask my calculus professor.

If I could Sing…

Posted in My University Life with tags , , , , on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 by dragonsvamp

…I would sing right now.  My grades are out! I’ve already known how I did in two of the three classes I was taking last semester but had no idea how I’d do in my hardest course- American Poetry.

Now let me tell ye about this course. I was the only undergraduate in there.  The freaking professor’s daughter was graduating from Harvard and all the students in this class were passionate about the course and about their lives (most were teachers who knew half of the stuff to begin with).  In my first class meeting of the semester I seriously considered dropping the course. Everyone there was so learned and educated and most definitely had more practice writing papers. I mean seriously five papers for this class- four of them over three pages at least and the last, the monster, which was 40% of your grade, had to be over 18 pages ( and that’s 18 pages of text not including the citation nor the cover page or any of that stuff- 18 pages of pure utter black and white.

I left that first class meeting ready to go to the registrar and drop the class.  Too bad they closed at 5 and my class let out at quarter to 7- they were already closed.  But am I glad I stuck around. I learned so much invaluable stuff in that class and though sometimes it tended to feel drawn out since we only met one day for three hours a week.  But I came to be known as the girl that is always there early and always has something to say (even if it isn’t very educational or correct or intelligent- and sometimes I read into some things too deeply).  

I was once late for my class (I had to take a math placement test since I was adding that major) and when I walked in 20 minutes after 4 they all stopped and said ‘There you are! Now we can really start’ (or something along those lines). 

The professor was very vague as to what she wanted in the papers that we were supposed to write and provided no rubric or guidelines.  I was on my own.  It took me to the fourth paper to get a B+/A- (the other three were Bs) and I wrote my last paper twice before feeling good about it and even then I decided it was horrible and only edited it once because I couldn’t stand looking at it again (haven’t even opened the file since I printed it out to give to the teacher).

Then I had this dream about a week ago about how I got an A in psychology and an A+ in creative writing (which I did in real life) and then I saw on my report card a big fat C.  C for my American Poetry Class. NO WAY!

I flipped, in my dream that is.  That would mean getting like 10 out of 40 on my last paper.  I was completely distraught and was wildly running around campus trying to figure out how the hell I blundered so badly. Everyone I met and asked told me once you got a grade you can’t go back and change it no matter what.

I woke up.  Then I realized, during my last meeting, that the professor hadn’t graded my last paper.  That meant having to wait a long long time (ten days) to find out my grade.  I had already figured out my grade for the other two classes because the professors used blackboard but this one didn’t.

The university just posted my grade and yes I had an A and an A+ (since I could tell you hands down those came super easy- the classes didn’t need much effort-exertion) but the grade that means the most to me is that B+ standing so proudly next to my American Poetry row. I mean seriously WHOA. B+ means I got at least an A- in my last paper- meaning I figured out what the professor was looking for FINALLY!

I’m absolutely ecstatic! I have a 3.76 gpa! I need to celebrate- but I’ve got work tomorrow and that won’t finish until like 9pm at the earliest because I babysit right afterwards. Besides I don’t have anyone to party with. *Sigh* I guess I’ll just be super happy for the next week or so and jump around at odd times and clap my hands in the middle of doing something that completely has nothing to do with my grades. That should be fun and freak/weird a few people out.

They’ll look at me all weird and be like ‘what’s wrong with her?’

WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO! *goes away to party- ehm sleep* (or at least try- *cough*)

Work/Uni ::Spring Break::

Posted in Work Arama with tags , , on Sunday, April 6, 2008 by dragonsvamp

Well spring break has come and is almost gone.  I can’t believe it. I’ve been looking forward to spring break (unlike when I was dreading winter break) and the week before spring break dragged like you wouldn’t believe.  But here I am writing as all things must come to pass. Tomorrow is the last day of spring break and though I’m refreshed from my break I feel as though I didn’t get enough time off. 

As when I last talked of my week, I’ve been really busy (again unlike the boring two weeks of winter break). I only had spring break off of work (at the private school) and so still had my college courses to attend.  Then I had to go to my math councilor and take the math placement test. I babysat and cooked and cleaned and hung out with friends.

I also worked on homework.  I believe I’ve done the most amount of work in one week’s time this spring break than any other week of this semester.  I had to write a short story (it’s still in the process of being written and is so far 9 pages long), I also had to write a 1500 word or more paper for my creative writing class (all finished. Next week is my last 1500 words for the semester), I also read two chapters from my psychology book for my test that was on Wednesday.  This is the first time I read anything in the book for my class.  The last time I went through the book I only looked at the pictures.  

And I am currently working on this 18 paged monster of a paper I keep whining about. Seriously, I have barely any space on my bed to sit let alone sleep. It’s completely covered with library books, notebooks, scraps of papers, folders, and pens and pencils.  So far I’ve written five pages- almost a third of the way through!  I’ll probably get the professor to read it to make sure I’m on the right track.  I don’t want to write 18 pages and find out that I completely went off track and end up with a B on it!  

And that’s not all folks! No sirrree.  I’ve got one last extra credit paper to write. It has to be at least two pages about a study of my choice from a book called Forty Studies that Changed Psychology or something similar to that title by Roger Hock.  I might not need the extra credit but since I’m on a brink of A-/B+ in this course I’d rather get the extra boost and get an A without the minus if I can. 

So what next?  What’s planned for my last day of spring break?  Well I’ll be going to soccer of course. That’s a Sunday ritual.  But after that I’m going to the university library and get my hands on that psychology book.  I can’t check it out of the library so I’m going to have to take notes and write my essay there.  Hopefully I can finish it and come back tomorrow evening with that paper ready to be edited (by the friends I’ll end up shamelessly begging to read it for me) and then ready to be shipped off to the professor.

If I get this paper done tomorrow and keep progress like this with the 18 paged monster I’ll truly be in complete and utter amazement at myself! If this actually happens I’ll be breaking away from the ever over-shadowing presence of procrastination! I’ll be able to prove to myself that I, Kloude of all kloudes, am not a complete and utter procrastinator! (Because you know what? The two last papers aren’t due until the 16th and 17th and my short story’s rough draft is only due this coming Monday and the final isn’t due until the 21st or 23d.)

Ahh but work is on the horizon.  Once works starts back up again I’m going to be swamped! I’m also part of a committe that’s organizing a weekend trip/conference to Shanty Creek for this memorial day weekend. I’m going to be in charge of looking after and keeping entertained the elementary aged kids for one and a half hours two times a day for the two days of the weekend (six hours in total if you’re not able to comprehend what I wrote. Yes I know I get confusing when I get excited). We’re meeting bimonthly and the next meeting is this Wednesday (have yet to get anything done for the meeting that I’m supposed to).  I also had planned to organize the yearbook layout for the yearbook class this week so that we can get cracking on putting it together when we meet this Tuesday.  Haven’t done that yet (ok ok I’ve got to procrastinate somewhere! My education is the priority here- sheesh so stop looking at me like that!)

I’m sure i’ve forgotten to do something else but that’s typical of me.  Just wish me luck the next two months go by as quickly as possible. Summer break has never looked so appealing as it does now. I need a few months break to recoup from the stress of working three jobs and going to college etc etc etc.  And I look forward to get a taste of something new. I want to work at a job I’ve never done before (we’ll see how easily I can find that). I want to have a job but not feel stressed about it being my life-line and that’s what my summer jobs will hopefully be like since I’ll still be getting my salary from my full time job I won’t be in dire need of a job during the summer and so it’ll be purely out of my WANTING the job instead of needing it. I do miss my kids though. I hope they (all 18 of them) miss me too.

Oh yes! I also signed up to take an astronomy class this summer.  I am kind of nervous about it but really excited at the same time. As long as I don’t have to memorize too much information I’ll be completely fine.  But I welcome a change from studying English.  This semester the change was taking the psychology class. In the fall hopefully the change will be in taking a math class (haven’t taken one in over three years).

Anywho, I’m quite sure you’re brain is going on strike right now if you’ve even been able to bare through all of the above to get to this last paragraph.  I applaud you.  If you got here this means my writing isn’t as boring as I think it is.  If you haven’t gotten here yet that means I’ve deservedly lost my readership because I’m just plain too boring to be handled. 

I guess I should sleep if I want to get anything done tomorrow. 😀