Epic Tale of My Cohort Experience: Week 9

Monday: 10/21/13
My kids don’t have school today.  It is their fall break.  Unfortunately, I still have class, but I will be finished at noon. My first class is fine.  We do our group presentations over our textbook.  It’s not a big deal.  I am more worried about getting my midterm back in the dreaded class.  The dreaded professor passes them back.  I am not thrilled with my grade, but I accept it and move on.  I have already determined I may still be able to pull off an “A” even with this score, but if I don’t well…I don’t. The fact that my GPA is perfect aside from might happen in this course speaks volumes about a professor and not about me and my capabilities.

Tuesday-Thursday:
I’m not going to lie…I am writing this late so I do not recall anything about these days 🙂

Friday: 10/25/13

Blah, just blah.  I am counting down.  This is all I have to keep me going.  I hate my dreaded class. Today I walked out 10 minutes before class was over because my professor just flat out made me mad. I cannot learn in this type of environment.  He is combative and aggressive and I will never ever be okay with this EVER.  I am so irritated.  Why is he the only one that teaches this class?  I am angry because I have to pay for this.  This class holds the key to my future, yet nothing about it has really helped to learn how to be a better teacher.  NOTHING.  I do the readings and what I want to discuss is the content of those readings and how to apply this information in a classroom.  Instead, he tries to have us make a personal application based on what we “read in High School” or in another class this semester.  I am 34 years old. High School was a long time ago. I spend 3 hours of my life driving to and from school each day.  After that, I spend the remainder of my day transporting my three children to their various activities.  THE ONLY THING I HAVE TIME TO READ IS THE READING I HAVE FOR CLASSES – HOW DARE YOU CALL ON ME AND MAKE ME FEEL INCOMPETENT BECAUSE I AM NOT CURRENTLY READING A NOVEL?  YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MY LIFE IS LIKE.  YOU WOULD NOT LAST A DAY IN MY SHOES!   SHAME ON YOU.  YOU FAIL.  SOMEONE GAVE YOU POWER AND AUTHORITY BY GIVING YOU YOUR JOB, BUT I AM DONE.  YOU KNOW LONGER HAVE POWER OVER ME.

The Epic Tale of My Cohort Experience: Week 8

Monday: 10/14/13

Brian is off today.  It is Columbus Day & he works for a bank.  I wish I didn’t have to go to class today, especially since my first class should be an online class or a Saturday seminar and my second class is the dreaded class, which is actually growing on me.  What can I say, I like the content & the content has started to win against the dreaded professor.

Aside from all of this, all I can think about is finishing school.  I have 13 classes left, plus student teaching.  I am trying to figure out how I can take these remaining 13 classes in 2 semesters.  I will have to take summer classes for sure.  The course list comes out on Wednesday.  I cannot wait.  I am hopeful things fall into place.

Last night I dreamt I was hired at the last minute to teach Kindergarten.   I walked into the school (which was my elementary school) for the first time on the very first day of school.  I was thinking how the first day of Kindergarten is extremely important for parents and here I am: the teacher who was just hired and my room wasn’t ready and I didn’t even have a plan.  This was a nightmare!  It made me realize how happy I am that I am going to teach high school.  I want no part of Kindergarten!  I kept thinking, “why didn’t they call Lesli? She would be awesome at this!” When I woke up, I realized I should have read The Kissing Hand to the class.  Yep, that would have solved all my problems!

I get very tired in my first class.  I have a lot of trouble staying awake.  I hope eating my lunch in between classes will wake me up.  It doesn’t and I wish I would have spent the 30 minutes getting coffee.  Ugh.

The dreaded professor decides to shake things up today.  He asks us to move and then we work on a group activity.  I feel like he picks on me.  He calls my group to the front to present what we found, except we really didn’t accomplish much during our discussion time preparing.  This fact really doesn’t show.  It goes okay.

When I leave class I have plans of going to Starbucks before I head home.  I cannot wait to get my hands on a Pumpkin Spice Latte!  I know I will not make it home without one.

I drive home and I am greeted by my husband, which was nice.  He tells me of all his accomplishments. I am thankful he is home so he can take our son to his Dr.’s appointment.  He will have his follow-up X-ray today and we will find out if he can be off of his crutches. He can.

Later Kiley has a soccer game.  It is against the number one team in our division.  We haven’t done well since we moved up this fall.  The game is great!  Very equally matched and our girls do not give up. I sit there and watch, thankful I really don’t have any homework looming.

Tuesday: 10/15/13

The course list comes out tomorrow and I can hardly stand it.  I truly had no idea how much I wanted to be done with college right now!  The fact that after this week I will only have 7 weeks left of this semester, and 2 of those are in the field, makes my heart sing.  I wish I didn’t take all my work so seriously.  I bet I would achieve the same result if I lightened up a bit.   Maybe I will try it.

Before school I run errands.  I feel accomplished.  It is a nice feeling.

Later I find out  I am being moved to a different school for field experience.  It’s fine.  I am okay with it. The more types of populations I see, the better.

Wednesday: 10/16/13

The course list is posted at 8:30 AM.  I am driving to school at this time.  After I get to school, I rush to my building and find a bench.  I pull out my laptop and begin searching.  I am immediately disappointed.  Many of the classes I was hoping to take at a Regional campus are not offered there this coming spring, even though they have been in the past.  Even so, because of this I am able to narrow down what I will take in the spring more easily.  Several of the classes I have left are only offered AFTER 4 PM.  I am not sure why.  I am meeting with one of my professors tomorrow and I will discuss this with him.  I certainly cannot take classes after 4 PM in the spring.  Too many activities go on in the evenings in the spring.  If this is the case in the fall, I can probably pull it off, but it certainly won’t be easy 😦  Again, another reason why it is not the best idea for an adult with 3 children to be in college.  I wonder if more adults would decide to be teachers if the path to this career met the needs of an adult schedule?  I could do early childhood online and a lot of middle childhood courses are offered at the regional campuses, but High School Education is only offered at the main campus and the program is very flawed.

I get tired in my first class again. I really am having trouble staying awake.  Again I hope my lunch will wake me up.  Again, it doesn’t.  Why didn’t I go get coffee.  I knew where this was headed!  Oh well. The dreaded professor walks in and tells us to sit in different seats.  I already am, which he points out to everyone – even though I only did it because someone decided to sit in my seat today.  He explains we need to get out of our comfort zones. Does he not realize having a class with him is enough to make anyone uncomfortable?  Besides, I am a 34 year old college student.  I would say I live every day outside of my comfort zone.  We go over the essay questions that are going to be on our midterm Friday.  His input is very helpful, but I can’t help getting a bit mad.  He wants us to be very direct.  He is looking for very specific things.  He puts me in a little box and I hate it.  I hate it! I hate it! I hate it!  I do not feel like I am allowed to discuss the things I want to discuss.  I am supposed to regurgitate information back to him concisely.  I want to be my own person.  He does not want us to feel this way. He has no idea the way he is teaching us may be easier to grade, but we aren’t learning.  I have only memorized what he wants me to say.  UGH!!!!!!!!

Thursday: 10/17/13

I have developed this habit of stopping by Subway on the way to class Tuesday’s & Thursday’s (well, this is only the third time).  My uncrustables have been eaten to death.  It is time to change things up a bit.  My first class goes well. Students are still giving their lessons, which means I have not had any homework for this class for multiple sessions because I did my lesson the first day!  It feels nice.  My second class is the boring class, but it goes okay today.  My professor has us complete hands-on activities.  After my classes I meet with my favorite professor to go over the remaining classes I have to take.  I want to make sure I am not missing anything and that I really only have 13 more classes.  The meeting goes well and we spend a lot of time talking.  He asks about my family.  He knows I am busy, but I really don’t think he has any idea how busy I actually am.  No one could possibly get it.  My entries in this blog don’t really even explain it and I have come to learn that it really can’t be explained – it must be lived.  Oh well.  My life is crazy.

The football game is tonight instead of tomorrow because it is being televised.  Brian takes everyone and I stay home to study for my midterm for the dreaded class, which is tomorrow.  I also need to edit the take home portion. I am freaking out about it.  I know my stuff, but one can never know what this professor will do.  He wants a very specific answer and if you stray, well he is not so kind.  He stifles learning.  I wonder if he realizes this? He only sees things one way and refuses to allow us to ponder the other side, NOT A GOOD TEACHER!  Controversies have multiple sides and it benefits no one to pretend otherwise.

I can’t fall asleep.  I toss and turn with thoughts of my exam tomorrow.  I realize I made an error on my take home portion and fix it in my head, knowing I have to wake up tomorrow an allow time to fix the one I printed.

Friday: 10/18/13

I wake up earlier than usual today because I have to take Aubrey and her friend to school then head to a seminar.  I am very nervous about my impending midterm, but I try to not think about it.  I fix my take home essay and I am thankful I realized the error before I turned it in! I arrive to the seminar early and decide to sit and study.  I wonder how much more I can possible study?  After the seminar is over I walk to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I note it takes 7 minutes to get there from my building.  Not bad.  Although, the line is VERY long.  I expect this though because I am at Starbucks on a college campus.  I have plenty of time.  I get my coveted latte and walk back to my building so I can study more.  On my way there I walk slowly and take in the beautiful scenery.  At least my college is beautiful.

I study.  I study and I study.  Finally I can take no more so I walk over to some people in my class and we all discuss our impending doom.  I wish I wasn’t so worked up.

The time finally comes and I have to go to class.  The dreaded professor walks around collecting our take home portion.  Next he passes out the test.  I look over the entire thing.  I have a moment where I think I might possibly walk out of the room.  The questions do not resemble anything we were supposed to study.  I realize I know the answers and I need to stop freaking out because we only have 50 minutes.  I begin writing, knowing the answers will roll off the pen.  I feel confident about my answers, but I am also extremely frustrated over the content of the exam.  I wish I had time to give the questions more thought.  He is getting a surface answer.  I do not have enough time to think deeply about what he has given us.  This only makes my opinion of this man fall even further, if that is possible.  I leave class relieved this is over.  I now have to focus on picking everyone up from school and getting ready for our family pictures tonight.  Brian and I won a contest which included a photo session.   Scheduling has been a nightmare, but tonight is the night.  I am happy the weekend is here – even if it means I have to wake up at 6 AM for soccer games!

The Epic Tale of My Cohort Experience: Week 7

Monday: 10/7/13

My alarm goes off and I have no idea what day it is or why I have to wake up.  I am tired.  I have been battling a headache.  I am not sure if it is induced by stress or my allergies. I get ready quickly, deciding if I can leave early enough I will drive thru Starbucks instead of trying to make coffee at home. This is the only redeeming factor in my day – this and well, the fact that I told Brian, as I walked out the door, this is the 7th week, only 8 more to go!

Later Brian emails me pictures of Cancun.  To which I replied BOOK IT. He asked me if I wanted to go on our yearly trip last night and I told him the thought of even planning it stressed me out – that’s crazy, right? His email was timely. It was right before my dreaded class and all I could think about was escape.  If need be I will hire a nanny for a week so we can go away.  I need to go away. I need to relax.

Tuesday: 10/8/13

Today I have to give a lesson to my class and record it.  Everyone else got to work with a partner.  I volunteered to work by myself – someone had to and I am thrilled it got to be me.  Surprisingly I am not nervous. This is the first day of our group lessons so I figure it is less pressure.  My lesson goes well.  It actually could not have gone any better.  I receive comments like:  very nurturing and motherly, and I felt like I was in my high school English class!

I have to give a group presentation in my next class.  It goes okay. It served its purpose, I suppose.  I head home a little anxious about how I am going to get all my work done this evening.

At 10:00 Kiley comes out of her room in tears, full of anxiety about her homework.  I spend 30 minutes trying to console her and explain to her that her homework really means nothing to me.   The problem is, the homework means a lot to her.  She claims she is afraid she is always forgetting something – not something I want my 9 year old to already start worrying about!  Ugh!  She said, “It is too hard to get everything done with this life we live!”  I concur.

Wednesday: 10/9/13

I nearly have a nervous breakdown in my first class.  My professor tells WAAAAAY too many stories when I really just wish he would get to the point.  I don’t need illustrations about how to run the first day of school – just give me a list of what you think works best.  In fact, my time would be better spent reading about your idea online from the comfort of my own home.  This class takes up too much of my time for the content it holds.  AHHHH!

Next class is the dreaded class.  The professor who made me cry decides to plop down right next to me today.  Aren’t I lucky?  He does most of the talking today, which makes me happy because really he has a lot to offer and this is what I pay for – USABLE INFORMATION from the man with a doctorate.  During class I notice the smallest of spiders suspended from the ceiling and making its way to the shoulder of my professor.  I wonder for a brief moment if I should swat it away.  I decide not to. It does however distract me and hold my attention for a long time.  It never lands on him, which fills my head with all kinds of ideas and wonder.

Today after school I have a hair appointment.  I am planning to use this time to finish reading an assignment I have been reading intermittently since Saturday.  I have plans to write my response in the 30 minutes I will have when I get home just before Kiley comes home.  This does not occur.  I spend my time talking to Aubrey.  We have a great discussion about her English class.  I love catching up with her so I do not mind I didn’t get my work finished.

Kiley is about to come home and I have a brilliant idea to clear off a portion of my desk for her to complete her homework. I have an extra Ikea chair in the dining room that I never put together.  I quickly decide to construct it so she will have a seat.  This does not go so well.  Something is not right. I find a folding chair instead.  Kiley comes home and does her homework at my desk.  I complete nothing because she needs my undivided attention.  Ugh!  If she needs this much help I may as well quit school and homeschool her.

It is time for soccer.  I leave Brian a note asking him to make the Ikea chair in my office.  I come home to find it in pieces. Apparently the chair from Ikea cannot be made!

Thursday: 10/10/13

I only have one class today!!!!  I am thrilled.  I start my morning with a trip to Fitworks.  Oh how I miss the days when I could go workout every morning.  I head to my one class.  It is uneventful and aside from getting bonus points for attending I feel my 2.5 hours commuting today has been wasted – although the drive was pleasant. The countryside is beautiful and it is nice taking in the landscape listening to Mumford and Sons. It is the perfect soundtrack for this drive.

Tonight we are headed to Chick-fil-a for dinner.  Kiley’s school is having a fundraiser.  I am very relieved I do not have to worry about completing an assignment for tomorrow.  Tomorrow is fall break. I feel so free.  Sadly I will probably study and prepare for midterms.  I have been looking forward to a quiet house. Although I may surprise myself completely and spend the day cleaning the house.  Who knows?! The possibilities seem endless, but in reality the day will fly by with not much actually being accomplished. At least I own the day and this is all I could possibly ask for.

Friday: 10/11/13

Fall Break – The day is mine 🙂

Mother of the Year

Yes, it is a title I often give myself – spend a day in my life and you would realize it is the furthest thing from the truth.  I do my best, what can I say?

This week, I rejoiced in the fact that my son stood up for himself when he was being bullied by an adult.  In fact, I happily gave him a few comebacks.  Who does this?  I am all about my children respecting adults and BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY HAD THIS OCCURRED WITH ANY OTHER ADULT IN THE WORLD HE WOULD HAVE BEEN PUNISHED.

Tonight, Aubrey asked me what was for dinner and I hoped she would forget what I said as I typed away madly in my office.  She didn’t. She asked when I was going to make it.  I told her I was hoping she would.  I really wanted to get some work finished before I had to jet off to soccer practice! She said, “I was going to, but then I thought, ‘hey you’re the mom'”.  She wasn’t being mouthy.  It was actually very funny. So I put my work aside and Aubrey and I danced around in the kitchen to Miley Cyrus as I prepared dinner.  Miley Cyrus you ask? Yes, she has lost it for sure, but she still has some good songs and the Hoedown Throwdown is something you don’t really every forget, right? Likewise, this is a moment I won’t soon forget either. It makes me realize I did not miss out on the college life by becoming a mother at the age of 19.  I can still act like a college student with my 15 year old daughter – and really it is more fun 🙂
Here she is:  uncut and I am not a videographer. The videos of me shall never be posted 🙂

The Epic Tales of My Cohort Experience:Week 6

Monday: 09/30/2013

I am in class for all but 2 seconds when my high from field experience wears off. I hate my classes. I used to like school. What is wrong? These should be my favorite classes. Why do I feel like they’re a giant waste of time? I could take them online & be just fine. Perhaps I don’t like wasting 3 hours of my day commuting. I lose so much time 😦

Plus I will sound like a broken record, but enough theory. I’m done with theory. It’s pointless in most environments. Just let me work.

Tuesday: 10/01/13

My day starts with the only class I can tolerate, but at this point I have no memory of my field experience. It has been wiped clean by the torment of yesterday. I try to recall it, but I am numb.

Wednesday: 10/02/13

Misery. Pure misery. I have reached the end of my tolerance. I have realized I am too old to laugh at the humor this professor displays. I don’t drink beer nor do I understand what he means about “getting tired of getting sick from bad beer.” I wouldn’t have gotten it when I was younger either. I have never drunk beer. I’m beginning to wonder if a 65+ year old man should try to identify with college students by discussing the act of drinking? Whatever.

I go to my second class. The professor wants a student to tell him when 5 minutes are left so he can pass back our papers we turned in on Monday. I hear nothing else but this and the heightened speed through which my blood now pulsates through my veins. I get a headache. A headache that I have early into the next morning – until I finally succumb to the pain & take Advil. I try not to. This semester has made me an addict. 

My paper BTW, in case you were wondering.  I didn’t get a perfect score (I know right!) but I got the highest score I could hope for and guess what…that’s enough for me!  (insert another )

Thursday: 10/3/2013

My day starts out with a classic lesson as to why parents don’t attend college.  Brenden’s Dr. calls.  After releasing him to play football on Monday, an over-read of his MRI shows he actually has a fracture on his knee at the growth plate.  He is to get back on his crutches immediately and be fitted for another brace that does not allow his knee to move.  Great! He has been running and walking for 2 weeks now, plus, when will I have time to take him to yet another appointment?  I should have been in the shower 10 minutes before I took this call in order to make it to class on time!

I worry about this all day long.  If I am taking Brenden to the Dr. I have to make arrangements for someone to be home to get Kiley and for someone to pick Aubrey up from her nail appointment (because fitting in a nail appointment was excruciatingly hard and I can’t cancel.  She is on homecoming court.  Her nails need to be done!) My mom can’t help because she has a Dr.’s appointment of her own to learn the results of a test she had, which is also of concern to me.  

I go to class, but I am not there.  I am trying to figure out how I am going to manage my day without my head spiraling off of my body. It is of no use.  However there was one bright spot in my day. A fellow student, (the girl who witnessed me crying!) walked into class and told me education must be the most emotional field because she saw a girl crying in the bathroom.  I told her I had just been thinking on the way to class how I have never cried so much in my life as I have this semester.  She followed by saying that she had a great field experience.  It made her confident and the first day back to class she felt belittled and insignificant.  At least I know I am not alone in how I feel!

After class I spend my commute home calling people, trying to make arrangements for the evening. Brian kept emailing me. I can’t email while I am driving.  I wish he could call me.

I end up not taking Brenden back to the Dr. The brace we already bought for WAY TOO MUCH money is fine.  He wants to go to football practice and this is where I take him.  

Brian comes home and I finally vent all of my looming frustrations to him.  I feel better.  He knows he wouldn’t last a day in my shoes – but then again, I could not walk in his either.

Friday: 10/4/2013

I head to class for a seminar.  I feel lighter, either because it is Friday or I vented to Brian last night.  I am, however, dreading the the dreaded class.  I wish I didn’t let this one professor get me so worked up.  I just flat out don’t like the way he teaches.  I would never ever run my classroom the way he does nor would I converse with students in the same way.  Except today something happened in class that made me turn a little soft toward him.  He actually made me laugh.  This may only have happened because it is Friday, and I feel lighter, and I am flat out excited for tonights football game. Aubrey was elected to Homecoming Court, four girls and four boys are elected from each grade. I am so proud of her. Seriously! In a school her size, What an honor?! So, no matter how bad my week has been or how many stress induced migraines I have to endure when I receive news like this I can smile 🙂