Wordless Wednesday: First Day of Fifth Grade


First day of 5th grade – 1990 and 2011 – Turquoise shirt and hot pink backpack

Like mother, like daughter?


It’s Over…mostly

I just submitted my term paper and attachments for my final for my critical writing and reasoning class. I had until midnight MST, but I’ve been up since 4 am working on it (as I have been 5 out of the last 7 days). I’m exhausted, I’ve got the minimum length…and I just can’t THINK about it anymore. Never in my life have I been more relieved to turn in a “barely adequate” paper. At least that’s how I feel about the quality of it. I talked to my academic advisor today, who said that the requirement was to have a submission in by May 15th, but there was a loophole that if it didn’t meet the standards on the rubric, I would be able to revise and resubmit it by June 15. So I guess I’m taking advantage of the system…but in a twisted way it seems like exactly the way the worst semester of my life should end.

Tomorrow night I’m still planning on my quickie California trip. I’m hoping to get on the 7:30 pm flight out of Detroit. If I don’t make it, I’ll be able to coordinate with Taylor’s high-speed and take the car home. I want to make it to the Huntington with Liz, Chris and Mary’s wedding reception, see my in-laws, grab some In-n-Out, and hopefully see the ocean (Dockweiller Beach is about 10 minutes from LAX). Now that I can purchase Zed passes, I’m feeling a little more confident about flying non-rev on an almost full return flight. Cross your fingers for me!


Today, instead of getting my last two assignments of classwork done for my Critical Writing class, I only got about a paragraph and a half done. I’m sick of the topic I’ve written on all term, I know I’ve only got 5 more days to finish the class, have major writers block, and everything else to do seems so much more appealing. Today I have…

-Said goodbye to Taylor for a 3-day trip
-Been to the primary activity day
-Went grocery shopping and turned in our recyclables
-Paid ALL our outstanding bills (Thank you, economic stimulus check!)
-Babysat my neighbor’s daughter
-Took a nap
-Took a walk
-Cleaned out the fridge
-Decluttered and took out 3 bags of trash
-Uploaded pictures onto Rosie’s Myspace
-Made devil’s food banana bread
-Made tentative travel plans for Memorial Day weekend (Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Palmyra?)
-Composed this blog

Part of the reason I’m having a hard time focusing is that I can’t submit my current assignment until my prior one is graded (I turned it in 4 days ago, and it’s still not graded). But I can’t turn in my final paper until the current assignment is graded. There’s such a time crunch, but my current assignment requires feedback from the last one. So it’s a bit of a waiting game, but I’m hurried at the same time. The joys of online classes. *sigh*

Just 5 more days to go…

Updates and Priorities

I found this sign at a sandwich shop in Canton. What a great life philosophy, eh? Thanks for the comment love in the post below! My best response yet (of course, it took a threat!)

I leave for Boston tomorrow night. I’m more excited about this trip than any other trip in a long time. I’ll be a VACATION. I’ll be staying in a Fairfield Inn (my favorite) I won’t have to worry about only doing kid-friendly activities, or just “hanging out” like Taylor usually wants to do on vacation. Cola and I are going to be seeing the sights and recommuning with our Irish heritage. And I’ll be designated driver on one of the most drunken days of the year. I want to see Harvard and MIT, Salem, Emerald Necklace, The Charles River, Fenway Park, Jamaica Plain, Chestnut Hill, Concord, and drive up the Cape.

Yesterday I finally resolved my Circuit City complaint. I went into the Westland location again, armed with copies of all my emails and receipts. The manager from my original visit was let go, and the new manager was in training in Florida. So I worked with the regional HR rep for Circuit City (their offices adjoined the store) and he apologized profusely, refunded the additional installation fee and gave a $24 service credit. So I walked out of the store with $93 credited back on my debit card and a smile on my face. It pays to be persistent!

I’m really, really behind in school. I’m supposed to have 50% of my coursework done by tomorrow’s conference call for my Critical Theory and Writing class, and I’m still finishing up module one. I also am still figuring out my algebra/statistics class…but now that Taylor’s into his class…we can work through it together. I decided I need to be a casual blogger again. It’s going to hurt…blogging has become my favorite hobby.

I’m going to make some of my chocolate banana bread pudding once I post this, homework for a few hours, go to the gym, and homework for a few more hours. Gotta make up for part time effort on full-time coursework!

My score

For those who only know what’s going on in my life through my blog, I just wanted to let you know that I passed my final!

I got a 78%…which is pretty great. I talked to my advisor who said the 54% passing score on the test was equivalent to a B…so I did great.

I’m still not sure how I did so well. So many of my answers were only guesses. But I’m happy nonetheless.

Tonight is Nikki Forova at Genghis Cohen, then a night on the town in Hollywood with some of my favorite Cali people.

The big exhale…

I am done with the semester….at least 99% done for now. I can breathe again. My evenings will be much more free for the next month. Unfortunately, I also think I just bombed the final. After 4 months of studying, analyzing, memorizing, preparing and praying…I thought that I was justified in walking confidently into the University of La Verne testing center.

Boy was I wrong.

For two hours and 80 questions, I was forced to stare at a computer screen with my heart beating fast and my mind blank. I’ve never been a good test taker, except for in French class (I always seemed to be more intelligent en Francais) Questions were asked that I knew the answer to…but the multiple choice selections never seemed to include the answer I was certain would be correct. All of my silly mnemonic devices (like how you AdaPT to the PATh/Goal theory and SMuRF communication styles) did me NO good. I was left guessing. And most of the guesses were shaky because any of the answers could have been argued to be correct. Terminology that was not used in the textbook, glossaries, and pre-made course flashcards was the majority of the test.

The course that I’ve been taking is a 12-credit one. Not just a total of 12 credits=1 full-time semester of 1-3 credit course choices. It’s 12 credits = pass the class or you don’t get credit for the whole 5+ months of work. I’ll have one chance to retake it, so hopefully I can redeem myself if I don’t get the 54% pass threshold. Usually on tests I’m able to tell right off if I got half the questions right. On this one…who knows.

I have to wait until Monday for my score. So much for a totally relaxing study-free weekend.

At least I have Genghis Cohen to look forward to on Saturday night.


“You can’t let your personal issues conflict with your business or educational goals.” Aquarius, Yahoo Horoscope, 8/16/06

I’m just over two months into my semester at WGU. I finished the introductory course (Education without Boundaries), I’m about 2/3 done with my 12 unit Leadership and Professionalism course, and hope to finish another class by November. My switch into working student at WGU has been a lot more successful than the semester I took at the U of U in 2005. I had time to work on coursework while I was working in Pathology, but it was hard taking up an evening a week to been in class. I like a lot of things about the online format. I have a loosely-recommended course of study to follow, but I can excel ahead if I like, or can take a week off if “life happens”.

Getting an education isn’t easy. I was the wife of a student for 4.5 years with Steve, and I’ve been the wife of a student with Taylor for almost 3 years. For all of the procrastination I’ve remedied, flash cards I’ve written, unexpected student fees I’ve paid, and crazy finals’ weeks that I’ve endured…I feel like I should be higher up in the academic spectrum than an undergrad senior. Even though my major is Business Management, I know more about health sciences and aviation than I ever thought I’d know. I should have an honorary triple major or something beyond my second MRS degree. I guess that’s part of being a wife.

Taylor’s nearing the end of his first week at Pinnacle. So far it’s been either basic HR/orientation/introductory stuff, or review of what he was learning at Jet U. Pinnacle pays for a decent extended-stay hotel for their new hires, much nicer than the dorms at Jet U. He’s rooming with Clint, a buddy from Jet U. It’s been a super hot and humid week in Memphis. The Memphis airport is very close to Graceland, but Taylor doesn’t want to brave the heat and crowds for the Elvis’s 30th Deathiversary.

Goin’ Back to School

Current mood: contemplative
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes

In the last few weeks, I’ve decided that it’s time to continue my education. I have my associate degree in Humanities, but only have taken 6 credits beyond my AA. Taylor will be finishing up school this summer, and it’s time for my education to meet my experience. I’m going to attend WGU online for a BS in Business Management. I will probably do a healthcare admin add-on as soon as it’s available. This is a copy of the entrance essay I just completed:

Western Governors University Entrance Essay

As we mature, our attitudes often change, and we learn to view things differently. Think about an important change in your attitude toward a person, a group of people, or a set of ideas, values or traditions.

Write an essay in which you contrast your earlier attitude with the attitude you now hold. Explain why the change has taken place.

When I was a child in elementary school, my least favorite subject was physical education. My P.E. teacher was always in a bad mood, favored the boys, and criticized me for being non-athletic. I grew up in an overweight family that went on an occasional walk on sunny, Oregon days; however, exercise was a chore and I tried to avoid it whenever possible.

I have struggled with my weight since my childhood. Our family would eat large, calorie-laden meals, with heaping bowls of ice cream for dessert. I was teased incessantly for my chubby appearance and cellulite. I became a yo-yo dieter for the next 15 years.

In 2000, I had some massive medical complications after the delivery of my child. My daughter was normal and healthy, but my illness (lung failure with sepsis) was further complicated by my obesity. It was a multi-year process to regain full strength and health. I changed my eating habits, and increased my activity slightly.

Unfortunately, my weight and stress-level always correlated with each other. If I was hungry or lonely or bored, I’d walk to the kitchen for momentary satisfaction. After a period of uninsured-unemployment last year, my weight skyrocketed even higher than I could have ever imagined. I began to experience pre-diabetic symptoms, was lethargic, and had very low self-image. I looked in the mirror and hardly recognized myself.

But instead of using the stress in my life as an excuse, I decided to take a proactive approach to my health. I joined Weight Watchers, signed up with a gym, and began to dedicate my time and energy into becoming the healthy and happy person I always imagined myself to be.

As I diversified my exercise routines and ate correctly, the weight started to come off. I traded around elliptical trainer, weights, treadmill, swimming, hiking, and yoga. My results encouraged me to push myself harder physically. I began to feel the benefits of exercise-induced endorphins, and it felt great! With each step I’ve taken towards wellness, other areas of my life have fallen into place. At this point, I’ve lost 35 pounds and become a self-proclaimed fitness nut. I have become more organized in my professional and personal life, and have made new goals for myself, such as finishing my bachelor degree.

I look back at the terrible health habits I grew up with, and can see the early steps taken towards poor health. But my success hasn’t just been for myself, it has been for my family. I am the mother of a beautiful six-year-old girl, with the “fat genes” on both sides of the family. I have been able to foster a love for fruits, veggies, grains, and physical activity in her. I encourge her with positivity in healthy eating and lots of physical activity. It is my goal to not only improve my life and health, but to instill these healthy behaviors in her. I hope she never has the self-image issues I faced, and still face from years of dealing with an ugly self-image. I am so happy that I have risen from the poor health habits of my past, and become a more healthy and happy person through the process.

Currently listening:
Eyes Open
By Snow Patrol
Release date: 09 May, 2006