Archive for the 'Classes' Category

Commencement

After long thought, I decided to attend my graduation commencement a couple weeks ago. But when I made this decision, I decided that I would only do it under my terms. I wasn’t going to invite everyone just for the sake of doing so, and I wasn’t going to make a gigantic deal out of it. So I invited my mom, my brother, my aunt & uncle, and my best friend and her family, and left my sister out of the invitation rounds, choosing not to tell her at all that I was going to do it. I thought it would be better than saying to her, yeah I’m doing it but you can’t go because I don’t like you.

We also decided to do a small casual dinner with everyone afterwards at my favorite restaurant, but nothing major. My friend’s family decided not to go to this part so it was mostly my family and everyone told stories of their graduation, as one might expect to find at such a party. I decided since I was going ahead and doing it that I would go all out, so not only have a little dinner, but I also got graduation pictures taken, I went and got a nice outfit that could be used to graduate as well as pictures and interviews in the future. I ordered said pictures, and will order my walking pictures as well, both of which are very abnormal for me. And I went through all the crap to get a cap & gown and what not, I will likely be donating to my school at some point of my life, but I want to wait until I have more of an income before I do that.

The commencement itself was fine. My friend had a friend who was also graduating who invited me to sit next to her, which I did and was glad she invited me because otherwise I would have felt much more alone for the whole thing. I got to talking with some guy who was sitting next to me as well and had a fairly good time throughout. Scott Van Pelt was the special speaker. It was kind of odd, I didn’t feel he represented me at all as I don’t know who he is in particular, he had references to cartoons I’ve barely seen, and jokes targeted at a younger and different crowd. He definitely was not a speaker intended for me, but at the same time he did a fairly good job and had a couple good jokes to tell and interesting stories on how he got to become an ESPN anchor in the first place.

The whole ceremony itself went rather well, and I think it will turn out well in my life that I did choose to go to this, but for now I am a bit torn on whether it was all worth the time and money that it cost.

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Laxxed

I have been kind of laxxed the last few weeks on updating this site. It has been a very trying couple of weeks and when push comes to shove, I just have not really felt like it.

Last week I got an F on a paper for my Frank Lloyd Wright class and this kind of put me in a tale-spin. I feel that this is my favorite class, that I am learning the most from it, and that the paper I wrote was among my best papers over the last couple of years (of which my worst grade has been a low B). With only two total papers I felt the only thing left to do was to drop the course entirely. This was a very difficult decision because I really did like the class, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter for my graduation so I just decided to kick it. It will help me get a little more time at any rate.

However, this drop will leave me without my best study time which has been the four to five hours between classes on Tuesdays. Because of this, I decided that I will stick around campus for an hour or two after classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to make up the time. And sometimes I plan to still go to my FLW class as the prof doesn’t take any attendance. I really have found that I get much better studying done away from home than at home. I get too distracted there.

As if this wasn’t enough for my psyche, I have been having a wealth of “relationship” dreams which have been putting me into a state of eternal loneliness. I haven’t really felt that I could talk to my roommate about any of these problems either so I have this sense of being alone that I just haven’t felt in a very long time, if ever. I feel very alone right now, both for not having a girlfriend, and for not having anyone that I feel that I can reliably talk to who actually understands what I am going through.

It isn’t all bad though. I’ve been really getting into my books from Recent fiction and my recent paper for it came very easily to me which I was happy about. In addition to this, I saw Across the Universe this past weekend and this combination has left me feeling very artsy. Because of this, I have gotten back into writing my book and I am pleased with this progress. I feel like I really am doing a better job at fleshing out my story, though sometimes I think I am setting into the details a little too much.

To Commence or not…

So it is getting to the time where I really have to decide whether I want to go to the UW commencement ceremonies and get a yearbook picture taken and the whole nine yards or not. This has actually turned out to be a rather difficult decision on my part. At first, I was just giving a flat no to any who asked… fully intending NOT to do it. It isn’t my style after all… I think graduation ceremonies are boring as heck and far far over rated. I never really have felt a desire in all my life to go to these things…

But then, I only get one chance here, and ever since I was a little kid I wanted to go to the UW Madison. In fact, to this day it is one of my proudest moments, that I not only made it in, but that I am doing a fairly good job at being here. I love being at this college. So I sit and contemplate it because I wonder if I will regret it. It is a huge accomplishment of one of my very first goals in life and maybe I should take a moment to be proud of it. Yeah it’s a retarded thing to have these ceremonies… they are always overly pompous and sitting and watching 5000 students graduate leaves much to be desired… but still…. will I regret it if I don’t? Who knows what man I will be in 20 years… I may appreciate looking back at all things I did in my life and knowing that more than just I recognized it….

Laptops

I have long hated laptops. They have been a huge fad over the past few years where more and more people are getting them for apparently no reason. I mean unless you actually travel a lot, most people don’t actually need a laptop. I mean, in this age you do need a computer, but you get a much better computer for a comparable price when you actually buy a real computer… laptops are essentially a waste of money for all those who aren’t hardcore travelers… and a lot of people buy them even though they aren’t. So now, I am thinking of being a lemming and buying a laptop… but why?

Well the initial reasoning is to help my note taking… a lot of people these days bring laptops into class to take notes in class, and even record the class on webcams and microphones. I cannot deny that this in itself would be worthwhile, especially considering I have about 4 hours between classes on Tuesdays in which I am sitting doing homework. Well if I had a laptop I could be working on essays as well. However, this logic is very low as I am in my last semester of school and the purchase of a laptop is more worthwhile when you have more than a year left.

The secondary reason I’d buy one is to help me with my writing. Now let me explain. When I am home, I get super distracted. Something that I don’t think is uncommon for writers. I sit around and play games or watch TV or other things when I’m home and before I realize it the day is gone and I haven’t done anything.  My thought process is that I could bring the laptop out to lounges or coffee shops or libraries, or even take vacations out of town where I could more easily work on my writing without getting distracted by household things.

So the idea is appealing to me… but it is $600 I don’t have to spend on frivolous things. On the other side, if it helps write books which make me more than $600 can I afford not to? But what if I don’t use it ever? What if, even though the thought is good, I never go out of the house to use it as I say I would. After all, I am very good at making promises to myself (like going out every day/week to go exercise) and not fulfilling these promises. So what makes this one different?

It doesn’t help any that my roommate has decided to quit her $18 an hour job because she doesn’t like her boss and now I may need to help pay for more of the rent than we originally planned….

Still… it could help me get a book published…

First Week

My first week of classes has come and gone. Overall, I like my schedule quite a bit, I only have one morning class, and the classes are fairly well spread out so that I only have 1 class every day and 2 classes on Tuesday & Thursday, giving me plenty of spare time nearly every day to play games and study.

Every semester I pick up 5 classes with the intention of dropping down to 4 after I see which is the one I want to drop the least. This semester I had to have 2 english classes of which I took The Figure of the Rake (some sort of lush not the garden equipment) and Recent fiction, the latter seems interesting the former is the bigger requirement. I also took my usual gaming class which I didn’t want to lose so basically the two classes that I had as options which I needed to drop were Frank Lloyd Wright and Churches Under Hitler.

From the get go, I wanted to drop the Frank Lloyd Wright class as it was on two days a week, and ran till 5:15pm at night on Fridays (which interrupts my pick up for my daughter), so dropping this class would have allowed me a better schedule with her, but also given me Fridays off completely, and the Hitler class was also only one time a week as well as directly after my English class on Tuesday. However, the professor for Wright was really really good where the Hitler class had a somewhat boring prof as well as a ton of work to be done for it as well. This made it so I pretty much had to drop Hitler despite the fact that Wright would have been an easier drop.

Still, despite having a late class on Friday, I’m pretty appeased with my schedule. I am particularly excited about my Recent Fiction class, of which we are currently reading “Crying of Lot 49.” Which is a brilliant book written by Thomas Pynchon. The book has very largely inspired me  to think about my own book in different ways. For one, I have long struggled with the point of view of the book, largely being attracted to the first-person for the perspective I get, but understanding this to be a much more difficult type of book to read than the third-person perspective, even for myself. This book is written in the third-person omniscient which to me seems like a great compromise, giving a feel like the first-person gives, but without the much of the same difficulty. Overall, I think the book is brilliant and is a great start to the course, hopefully they are all as good as this one is.

Back to School

Well tomorrow is my first day of classes of the year. Given that my car roof is still broken, I am needing to borrow my roommate’s car to get to class, and I have made an appointment with my brother-in-law to bring up my car and get it fixed over this coming weekend.

So I’ve gotten all my class print outs ready, put them in my notebook, got my notebook prepared with a pen & all. I got my schedule worked out with my roommate about how we should deal with drop offs & pick ups for her work since I will need the car. And I have the iPod up to date with my latest podcasts and my new playlist that I made over the last week.

To prepare mentally, I spent the afternoon finishing up the book I was reading from the summer (I will likely put a small review of it up over the next few weeks), I played both Tabula Rasa as well as EQ2, I read some of my Equinox magazine (again I will likely put a review of that up shortly as well), and watched as much Heroes as I could as I will likely not have a ton of time to watch em once school really gets under way.

I’m still not really ready mentally for school, but we gotta do what we gotta do. I am a little excited over seeing some of the classes, and am also very hopeful that some other classes open up and allow me to have a better schedule, but overall I am very pleased with my current schedule.

Back

So over the last couple of weeks I haven’t been updating my site as much largely because finals were on. Last night I finished my last final paper and sent it in, so now I am officially done with school and plan to get back to updating this site.

Since I’m starting a new summer I thought I’d lay out what my goals for the summer are.

1) Calenderize myself. I’ve never been a huge fan of Calenders, but lately I’ve been forgetting appointments and birthdays like there is no tomorrow. I am sure it is my medication which causes memory loss, but it worries me to the point that I really need to become a slave to a calender. I’ve already set up a new iGoogle homepage with the calender on it, and installed a calender attachment to my browser, now I have to set up the calender. I think the calender could also help me keep on schedule with my writing and my exercising as well.

2) Ramp up exercising schedule. I want to get out and exercise at least every other day if not every day, so I’m gonna try to do that. Right now I’m thinking flipping between a walk and a geocache.

3) Work for my mom, again. Just to pick up some extra cash.

4) Finish my book. I need to get my book done over the summer so that I will have time to publish it and hopefully begin making money off it by the end of next semester.

5) Clean my house. In particular my desk which has become aweful due to not getting it completely clean over spring or winter break. Might as well give the rest of the house a good cleaning while I’m at it.

6) Finish random school things. I have a few random things to do for school like ensure that my geometry class finally gets transfered in without  making me have to attend 15 more credits in the school.