Tasty Buttered Toast

Quips and Quandaries from a re-employed house husband

Archive for the category “School”

Schools Out Forever!

Ok, well, maybe not FOREVER… but for an extended period of time to be sure.

I recently completed my last round of finals for a while and can consider myself a college graduate once again, this time with an Associates of Network Administration.

With any luck, I’ll be able to post a little more often as I won’t have homework, tests, or other general school preparation to deal with.

Until next time… which I hope to be sooner than the 5 months since my last post.  🙂

Happy Festivus! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Slacker Jones

Attention!  Attention!  I’d like to make an announcement…

I… am a slacker.

I know you what you’re thinking…”say it isn’t so!  You’re smart, funny, your family is super cool, and some might say you’re devilishly handsome… how can this be?”  While all those things are mostly true, it still remains that I have been slacking on a key household duty… my lawn.

My poor neglected front yard

I’m of the school that says if you have a lawn, you should do your best to make it as manicured, primped, lush, or welcoming as you can.  A man’s lawn is almost an extension of his personality… soft grasses, flowers, landscaping that compliments its surroundings can give one feeling, while dry earth, wilted shrubs, and prickly weeds can give the complete opposite.

Where weeds come to party.

My yard has been doing me as many favors as I have it this summer.  With spring and summer classes, homework, spending time with the family, I haven’t paid the proper attention to my responsibilities as our family’s chief yardsmith.  I haven’t fertilized like normally would, watering has been left to Mother Nature (any of you in the mid west know that this hasn’t exactly been a great year to make that decision), weeds have overrun the landscape like an unwanted gang deciding they are taking over a city block.

Some have a picket fence, I have a row of ugly clover.

I had always tried to keep up with the Joneses.  In fact, one of my neighbors has been given the nickname Mr. Jones because I would try to maintain a lawn of equal or greater value than his.  He’s probably embarrassed to look out his front window with this abomination of a lawn across the street.

If a yard can have acne, mine would be the spokesperson on the late night infomercial.

But, now that summer classes are complete, I have approximately 3 weeks to try to whip my lawn back into shape.  Show it some TLC and remind it that I never left, but had in fact been here the whole time.

Weeds, bugs, and other unwanted baddies… I’m putting you on notice. I’ve lots to do and not a lot of time to do it, so be ready to be gone sooner than later!

Education

I’m questioning my education
Is my education who I am now?

So… this past Friday I became a college graduate.  Granted it’s been almost 14 years since my last day of high school and this being my third college that I’ve had the honor of attending; I will have something to show my long days and tired afternoons.  This journey has been one of many nights where I didn’t think I would make it to the finish, and actually took quite a few years off while I found my direction.

I had the great fortune to marry Kate, who, being an educator by trade, was more than supportive of my going back to school.  I think what really helped me go back was something she said when I was trying to decide if school was the right choice for me.  I knew I needed more education to get ahead or open up additional career options, but I was stuck.  Then she said it…

“So to school for something you enjoy.  It doesn’t have to be for what your job is right now; just because your job is sales now doesn’t mean that is what you have to choose.  You like computers and technology, why not pick that?”

And there you have it…it’s like a light switch had been flipped and I knew what I wanted to go to school for… and in the fall of 2008, I applied and registered for classes to start my new path towards a CS degree in Network Administration.

While you’re deciding, I’ve been finding
Looking around in the here and now.

And then it happened… In the fall of 2009, I was let go from my place of employment and I wasn’t anywhere close to finishing my degree.  I had only been going to school part-time, a class or two per semester, whatever my schedule or budget could handle and now I was in serious trouble with finding a way to cover tuition, books and the whole lot.  Not to mention that without a degree finding new employment was going to be a serious challenge, especially in today’s job market.

I met with my adviser.  I wanted to know what my options were for financial aid since it was the middle of the semester, I had a pile of classes to finish and I knew I needed to keep 1st shift hours available so I could still continue the job search.  While reviewing my transcript, he noticed that, while being on the path to a Network Admin degree, I was only 10 or so credits away from finishing an Associates in Liberal Arts… so the path took a little turn.  Now, instead of taking computer courses and following a set path, I had new pressures to finish that degree as quickly as I could…

I’m questioning my education
Rewind and what does it show?

And with great pride, I can say I’m a college graduate.  I made the Dean’s list a few times, managed to maintain a 3.9 GPA since going back to school.  Of course, now that I have the one degree down, class starts up again on tomorrow (Monday) and the path regains its original direction… hopefully in a couple more years, I’ll have another degree to hang on my office wall someday.

Could be, the truth it becomes you
I’m a seed, wondering why it grows

* lyrics from the song Education by Pearl Jam, composer: Vedder

Over 30 Required Class Exemption? I Think So

I’ve made no effort to hide that I’m a back to school parent.  In fact I’m proud to say that I’m a mere three credit hours away from graduating with my first Associates degree.  I think that is rather impressive considering it’s only taken me 12 years to get that degree.  I do have one issue however.

Of those three credit hours, one of them MUST be a Wellness class.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being healthy, getting exercise and striving for a more active lifestyle; but to REQUIRE that a back-to-school adult take one of these classes I find it to be a little ridiculous.  I’m mean, really.  I think if you’re a student that is over 30, you should be exempt from having to take a Wellness class…. either that or offer classes in the evenings so I have options with regards to my potential work schedule.

I was thinking about taking bowling for my wellness credit, until I realized that all the classes were offered at 10:30 in the morning or 1:30 in the afternoon.  How can I possibly clear that with a potential employer?  I can’t, that’s how.  It’s very aggravating to have to try to fit this type of class into a schedule that is already full up with home life, married life and parenting.

Yes, perhaps I’m just on a whine train here and I should be happy that I’m able to take these courses and get a degree… If I had known I was going to need this wellness credit to graduate I would have taken a fitness class when I went to college the first time.

School Back In Session

The weather had changed… it’s much cooler out than it has been for quite some time.  The humidity is gone for the most part, a welcome change for those of us sitting in class rooms with no air conditioning or fans to move the air around.  I am taking two classes this semester, EN249: Technical Writing and COM131: Fundamentals of Public Speaking.

I can’t say that I’m overly excited about the speech class, and really, who is excited about public speaking?  Most of us would rather have bamboo shoots put under our fingernails that to get in front of a group of strangers and make a public display.  To be honest, the idea of getting in front of my fellow students, most of which I don’t know beyond the first class doesn’t scare me.  I’m more concerned with the subject matter that I’ll be asked to talk about.  From what I’ve noticed from my professor thus far, I have a feeling that he will assign some topics that will get us out of our comfort zone just a bit.  I know this will make me a better speaker in the long run, but right now I’d rather talk about something I’m comfortable with rather than new subject matter.

The technical writing class is actually one that I’ve been somewhat excited about.  Probably because I don’t mind writing documents, and learning the proper formatting and techniques are interesting to me.  Sorry, just letting my inner geek shine through, proper formatting can be interesting to me.  Wow.  After writing that down I realize just how ridiculous that is.  Oh well, perhaps as the semester wears on I won’t think this way anymore.

Grievance

As the post title implies I have one.  A bookstore should have books; most do have books, sometimes even books that you are pretty sure no one would want to read.  A college bookstore should have text books for those classes that are being offered for the next semester.  Here is where my grievance comes in.

I’m taking a class at GRCC this summer, a class that happens to start on Monday.  Being the responsible student that I am I ordered the book as soon as the bookstore knew which one would be needed.  I have yet to receive the book and it is already Thursday.  The bookstore has had my order since early last week and all they can tell me is that it is currently on back order.  No idea for how long, just the fact that it’s on back order.  This really has me worried considering this class is an accelerated course; meaning they are going to cram 15 weeks of material into 7 weeks of class time, so time will be of the essence.

My professor has recently been made aware of the current book shortage and hopefully can get to the bottom of the situation.  I’m not exactly the speediest of readers so I could use as large a head start as I can.  I should mention that the class I’m taking is Macroeconomics, so you know that reading will probably not be a page-turner to say the least.

… stay tuned.  I have a feeling this class will become a hot topic in the weeks ahead.

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