Spring Semester 2014: Week 1

For the first time EVER I have started a new semester and I have not had a freak out moment. Monday evenings class was canceled because of the dangerously cold weather and I did not have to attend my first class on Tuesday because classes were canceled until 11:30AM due to the still dangerously cold weather.  Even though I missed two classes I still received the syllabus for each of them and I had assignments to complete, but even so both classes appeared manageable.

On Tuesday I had to attend my class that starts at 11:30AM.  I kept checking the school website in the hopes they would cancel classes for the day.  My kids were off school.  It was so cold.  When I got to school my car said it was -3 degrees and adding the windchill to that it was more like -15 to -20 degrees.  With each step I took on the way to my class I contemplated dropping the course.  It was utterly inhumane to have people walking outside at this temperature.  I kept walking though, even though my fingers felt like they were going to fall off through my multiple layers of gloves.  Once I made it to class and warmed up I began to think sensibly again.  I have to take this class.  It was hard to get in.  I need it for my minor.  It is only offered at the main campus and it makes sense I do it now, plus I liked the teacher, the syllabus, and the content.  Once this weather leaves us I will be fine.  My walk back to my car was absolutely insane.  My ears hurt so bad I nearly cried.  I have never experienced anything like this.  I decided when I got home I would curl up in bed and this is what I did.

On Wednesday my kids had a two-hour delay.  I drove Brenden to school at 9 and Aubrey got picked up at 9:45.  I had to do carpool at 11 for the Elementary school.  I decided to work on my online classes, but my day was less than productive because of the late start.  I vowed to finish up my online stuff on Friday.  I think after taking J-term, I am so confused by ALL this time I have to complete stuff. For now, everything seems so manageable.  I hope it doesn’t change.  The fact I am not stressed out scares me a bit.  I don’t know what to do with it – you know?

On Thursday, I attended both of my classes at the main campus.  I enjoyed them both and I am back in teacher mode.  I did find out we are required to attend several seminars at 8:30AM.  I chose not to freak out about this and try to work it out.  After I talked to Brian, it was clear I could not work it out so I emailed my professor and told him I can’t attend.  I can’t be at the main campus until 10AM; that’s the reality of my situation.  I was not aware of this requirement when I registered for the class and it is unreasonable to spring it upon us the first day of class.  What if people have another class at that time? If I had to meet this obligation for a job, that would be a different scenario.  Jobs pay, school takes your money.  This is the difference.

Today is Friday and I am going to be productive.  I have to finish up my work for my online classes and then do a bunch of reading.  None of it is stressful and I certainly hope it stays that way!

Underwhelmed

For once in my life I would really like to know what it feels like to be underwhelmed.  I am going to take my history final today.  I have until Sunday, but I want to get it over with today.  We have to write an essay.  He gave us three prompts and one will be randomly selected for us.  The prompts are so broad and each could really require a textbook length response.  I emailed and asked him what he would like us to focus on for each question and explained his prompts were too broad.  His response was he made them broad so we could choose.  Well…I don’t like that answer because what if I choose wrong or leave something out or I don’t say enough. We are supposed to write only 600-1000 words. I could seriously write a book and this is really stressing me out.

I have to do this today.  Kiley has 3 games tomorrow and 1 on Sunday.  I would really like to go to her games without this hanging over my head.  I hope I can pull this off.  I will be very sad if my GPA suffers because I decided to take a 24 day 100 level history class with a crazy professor who shatters hopes and dreams. Seriously, the more teacher education programs I go through, the more I realize how some people should not be professors.

The Home Stretch

I have 6 days left of J-term.  Looking in the long-term, I know I will be happy I took these classes, but right now life is just a tad bit too intense.  To explain, let me tell you about my history class.  Now remember J-term is 24 days long.  In this 24 days we are reading an ENTIRE history textbook which covers the years 1500-present.  It has 1,187 pages, plus a prolouge and some Roman Numeral pages we had to read.  In addition to this, we have 6 forum posts plus replies (I have to read 70-90 blurbs from my classmates in each forum), 2-3 short writings, which are really full blown know your stuff essays, A RESEARCH PAPER!, a mid-term, and a final exam.  Anyone out there think that might be a bit much for a 24 day class.  On top of the History class I am also taking a Journalism class. Journalism has been a lot of work too, but it is the amount of work I would deem appropriate for a 24 day class.  I am also partial to Journalism, but evenso, I know I am not being bias when I say my history teacher is insane.

Well…time to get back to work.  I. CANNOT. WAIT. UNTIL. SATURDAY!!!!!!

Module

After taking several online classes I have officially come to hate the word “module.”  Why must they use this word?  Seriously, like, let’s all be normal and call them “units” or “lessons,” you know regular words.  Did all online professors go to a seminar and were told by the powers that be, “Hey, let’s use the word ‘module’ for our online classrooms so we can set the tone we are educated and serious about online learning.”  Seriously.  I will be happy if I never have to see the word “module” again, but this is not likely considering I am taking two online classes next semester.

And yes…this side-note is a complaint put forth in an effort to delay completing another stupid module for a class I am currently taking.

J term: Day 6

J term is 24 days long.  As of today, I have calculated my children will be home for 13 of those 24 days.  Now, 7 of those days are weekend days, and 2 of them were already scheduled days off on the 17th and 20th, so knowing the full context it seems I may be creating a bit more drama than necessary. In reality only 4 days have been added to this number, but evenso this takes the percentage of known time to actual time from 37.5% to 54%.  Meaning, had I known my children were going to be home more than half the time I would be taking classes that I ONLY took because they were going to be in school, I might not have taken them.  Plus, this is January.  Who knows how much more it will snow or how many more days we could be hit with Arctic blasts from Canada?

Oh well, I am still able to get my work completed so the only thing of consequence is the guilt I feel for spending 10-12 hours of the day glued to my office chair.  I mean I have given pause for the occasional distraction of putting out a fight or to view the new fort that has taken over our great room.  
I just wish I could be more present when they are home, that is all. SIGH….

J-term: Day 5

Day 5, yes I am counting the days on the weekends because I have been working like a crazy person day and night. I have so much work to do.  I am only surviving because I actually enjoy the material I am learning at this point.  My children had snow days on Thursday and Friday and today they are off because the high temperature for today is -3 degrees and the low is -7 degrees.  After adding in the wind chill factor it’s like -40 degrees outside.  Needless to say, no one had school, even the colleges, including the one I attend canceled classes.  Of course because both of my classes are online I still have work to do.  I project they will not have school again tomorrow as the temperature will not be above freezing until Wednesday.  I would typically rejoice having a snow-day, but I have so much stinkin’ work to do I cannot enjoy my kids.  It is frustrating, but I will be thankful on January 25th when I have completed 6 more credit hours.  I have also been unable to fulfill my field experience hours because we haven’t had school.  Whenever my kids do go back to school it will be at least a week before I can work in the field because the teacher I am assigned to work with is showing a movie for 3 days and then she will be doing MAP testing.  I am actually kind of relieved because it gives me a chance to do my schoolwork…and maybe get ahead.  We will see.

I dream of the day when a snow day means a snow-day.  Where I can drink coffee and relax with a book I selected to read for my own personal enjoyment.  Someday….

J Term Day 1

Today is the first day of J Term.  During the next 3 weeks I am taking two-3 credit hour online courses along with volunteering 30 hours at a local Junior High. I may be certifiably insane.  Of course today it snowed and my children did not have school.  As happy as this snow day made me it has done little to ensure my confidence that I am going to be able to complete all this required work.  In fact, I have already contemplated dropping one of the classes.  I won’t though.  I keep telling myself I can’t.  I will be so happy on January 25th when I have seen this difficulty through…although two days later I will for the first time in my college career take on 15 credit hours in a single semester.  Again, I know I am insane or at least I will be by May.  Spring is the busiest time of year for my kids and their sports. We travel almost every weekend and I am gone every afternoon and evening driving to practice or watching track meets, soccer games, and baseball games.  It cracks me up when people say they are busy and their calendars are full of social events they have opted to attend, socially (yea, I am really making a point here – social events that you opt to attend do not give you the right to say you are busy.) I only wish I might be able to attend a single social event.  Maybe in the year 2017.