photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “college life

IU East: You Rock my Socks!

I’m sitting here in a semi-daze, stunned. I’m not used to receiving phenomenally good news. Actually, it’s usually the opposite. Life has been a little crazy lately. As I previously mentioned, I’ve had to file several appeals with my university, because I was initially told that almost 90 credit hours would be accepted as transfers-in. That would’ve meant that I could’ve graduated in May of 2016- a bit earlier than what would’ve been considered “standard”. (By about a year.) So I was pretty excited by that news a year ago, and that was part of the reason why I chose my school: IU East. It’s a top-notch school- one of the best in the state, in fact.

So again, when my adviser told me (only 4 months ago) that my previous advisers had made a mistake, and that they would now have to take away almost 30 of my credit hours, I lost it, understandably. I don’t have $11,000 for the remaining credit hours. Plus, it would’ve meant that I would have had to put off my graduation date by another year. Needless to say, all of this has taken away my academic shine and I began thinking that taking a year off was probably in store for me in the immediate future. In short, I was disenchanted altogether- to say the least.

My adviser told me that she had tried to plead with the graduation board on my behalf, but came back with the news that they “never make an exception”. I may as well not even try, and count my losses with my wins along the way in this academic journey. And, for a little while, I felt myself giving up. I just didn’t have it in me to put up a fight, really. At least, in the beginning. But as time drew on, I became angry. I couldn’t believe that a school could commit such an egregious oversight and tell me to clean up the mess, as it were. It just didn’t seem fair!

Really, I was supposed to contact my adviser and go through that channel. But when things get serious, I like to handle matters myself. So, I filed an appeal. I didn’t even tell my adviser. I just did it. I pleaded my case and provided documents to substantiate my claims. And then I waited.

That was several weeks ago. I had already decided to drop my Statistics course a few weeks ago, and then filed a refund appeal, because I felt my professor was entirely incompetent. I lost the appeal due to “insufficient evidence”, although I provided the committee with 9 accompanying documents. Perhaps that was a bit much. Live and learn!

That was an $800 loss, no biggie. So when  I checked my school email today, I wasn’t expecting to find what I did. I heard back from the 2nd appeal committee and they relayed to me that they had decided to make an exception (!) and shaved 6 classes off of my advising worksheet/audit, meaning, instead of needing to take 11 more classes to graduate, right now, I only need 5. This is a huge victory!

From what I know, this has never happened in the history of this school. It’s unbelievable. That will save me roughly $6,000- $7,000 off my tuition. I have a total of $4,100 for my spring semester, so that means that I’ll need to pitch in a grand or so for my remaining class, and if I push for the summit and take 5 classes in the spring (January-May of 2016), I’ll be able to graduate with my B.S. in Psychology then, in May, and begin working on my Master’s in Forensic Psychology the following semester, in August of 2016.

This is the best news I’ve received in a long time. 🙂

And I have to say it: IU East, you just changed my entire life’s course. THANK YOU.

And Al, if you’re reading this, a million thank you’s for encouraging me to file that appeal. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support. And, I wish you much continued success in the future and have no doubt that you’ll continue having many more successful solo exhibits. 😉

sp


Darwin, Depression, and Dark Days

It’s just past 11:00 a.m.  and already 82 degrees. Josh is getting ready for work (I seem to have kidnapped him again) and I’m up with the chickens (hey, 11:00 a.m. is early for me!) and have decided to reset my sleep cycle once again. For the past few months, I’ve been up all night an sleeping during the days. I love my nights! Night time is dark, cool, and it feels like all the world is dead and I’m on a little island to myself. I can come and go as I please- do my shopping (you’d be surprised how man people shop at Walmart at 3 a.m.) and just really connect with my nocturnal surroundings. I really can’t stand mornings or getting up early and I’m used to getting things done at night. So it’s a sacrifice for me, to say the least, to flip my script entirely and give up my nights. Even my dream environments are night time- I haven’t dreamed of daylight (or day time) in years, except for once or twice.

I’ve noticed, though, that I’ve becomes increasingly depressed over the past few weeks- and that’s just not normal for me. I lead a pretty fearless life. I don’t stress out about things- I’m literally never anxious- and I stay consistently level and upbeat, for the most part. But lately, I’ve felt a few complex fears pressing in and feelings that I might not succeed. (Again, highly unusual for me. I’m a serious go-getter.) I’ve learned to section off and compartmentalize my “layers of self” to discern just where my problematic sources might be. Are they economic? Spiritual? Emotional? Environmental? Nutritional? And so, after much seeking, I’ve realized that my depression has been a combination of artificial sleep (Ambien) + a lack of exercise and sunshine. I’ve decided to cut Ambien out of my life, because although it does help in getting a person to sleep, it does little to assist in REM sleep and allowing a person to have the full benefits of natural sleep. Last night, I slept naturally and woke up refreshed at 8:30 a.m. (or thereabouts). Today, I have 50 pages to absorb (Darwin in Chapter 1- Pavlov- Chapter 2), 3 quizzes (two psychology quizzes and one statistics quiz) and 40 or so Statistics problems to work out. This is not necessarily a heavy workload.

I’ve been missing my mother and my kids but keep telling myself that I’ll see them just as soon as I catch up. Life has a funny way of choking the living &^%$ out of you, doesn’t it?

My kitchen sink has been defunct for a month now, and I’m sure that has lent a hand in my acute depression. Thankfully, Josh is going to help me fix it today. I haven’t been able to update my blog regularly for some time now, but I haven’t been in a good head space lately. Studying psychology is sort of like being under a self-reflecting microscope 24/7. At first, it’s easy to see how psychological applications apply to everybody you know, but theories and perspectives about the mind can easily be compared to certain Scriptures in the Bible about and such. At first, you can see everyone else’s ailments and how best they might be helped, etc. but at some point, you really have to apply all of that stuff to yourself. So, in an interesting way, I’ve been my pwn therapist and patient for several years now.

I could use a good vacation from myself. :0/


Sleep Deprivation= Cheap Buzz

Tomorrow is my last day of the semester. I love this floaty, surreal, semi- twilight existence that goes along with sleep deprivation. I’ve been awake for 30 hours now; not too bad. I’ve seen plenty worse. (It involved hospitalization and wide awake REM states- no place for the faint of heart, m’ friend.) I’m good for powering through a final exam and an 8 page paper in a day, however, which is what my day consisted of- just as long as I get a 12 hour power sleep beforehand. I wouldn’t recommend trying this at home, kiddies! But it’s a way of life for me, and I seem to be at my best when my world is slightly ethereal with the soft fuzzies of sleep deprivation. It pushes me over the edge ever-so-slightly so that I get a much-needed blast of adrenaline. It’s better than coffee. 🙂 (And let’s face it, it’s a free buzz that carries with it no guilt.)

I’m managing to hold on to my A still in my Serial Killers class–which I finished an hour or so ago– and as long as I receive a good score on my final paper in my Forensic Anthropology course, I’ll have an A in that as well. I have a good feeling about it so I’m betting I’ll come away from it with my two A’s in tact.

I would write more, but I’m starting to teeter over onto the floor a bit- and I don’t think I’m supposed to be doing that.

Netflix is calling.
My vacation starts tomorrow evening (a whole 9 days to myself-YES) and I can’t wait to go to some ole boring park and take pics of absolutely nothing at all. That sounds like paradise!

DreamscapeMJ


Out with the Old…

…in with the new. Semester, that is. My summer classes are almost over. I can hardly believe another year has flown by so quickly!

And so goes college life.

I’ll either be taking 5 classes this fall, or 3- depending on how much aid I receive; it’s yet to be determined. Technically, I’m only two semesters away from receiving my B.S. in Psych. and I can either knock it out in two consecutive throat-choking semesters, or spread it out for another year and a half (and keep most of my sanity in tact!). I’d rather get it over with, however, quickly.

I still have one quiz, 3 discussion boards, both final exams and an 8-10 page paper to write- and yes, that’s just one week of school! I’ve been keeping up this ridiculous pace for 5 weeks now and I think I remember what all of my children look like. 😦

I haven’t seen my oldest daughter in half a year now and although my mother only lives 2 miles from me, haven’t seen her much more. She’s working doggedly herself 6 days a week; but we do get to talk often and she’s recently joined the rest of the texting world and has hopped on board and texts with the speed (and emojis) of a 20 year old. Too cute.

I’ll have a 10 day break in between my semesters, so if anybody’s reading this who actually wants to see me- there’s your official notice! Before you know it, I’ll be up to my eyeballs in 3 psych. classes, a biology (addictions) course and a Statistics course. It’s going to be one of those semesters.

Alas, as I wrap up my summer semester and prepare to dive into fall, I love all of you, my friends- old and new- and miss you all terribly. I’ll be popping in from time to time, as always. Before we know it, it’ll be 2016!

Summer is dying and I must say, I’m going to actually miss it this time! Special thanks to my BFF and the love of my life: Josh, for giving me the best summer of my life. 🙂

My back deck- summer of ’14- first leaves falling- my beloved Helios 44-2 film lens/Canon Rebel XSI

July14


It’s Pure Madness: And I Love It

So I’ve just gone over my syllabi for the semester: I’m cramming 4 months of classes into 6 weeks. That alone is madness.

My work for this week constitutes the following:

5 chapters in Forensic Anthropology
5 chapters in The Human Bone Manual
1 study guide that requires the memorization of the names and locations of 100+ bones in the human body
2 videos
5 Powerpoints/Lectures
Multiple discussion board postings + citations, etc.
2 quizzes

And that’s just one class.

Multiply that times 2 and then you know what I’m up against.

But I love it. 🙂

(See you when I come up for air!)

xo


I’ve Planned Out the Next Six Years of my Life

It’s a great time in my life.

Josh and I are still best buds; Mandy Tator Tots is making home made biscuits and gravy tonight and Josh will be joining us. (Mandy Tator Tots is my son’s girlfriend and I absolutely love her to death. She’s pure gold, that one.)

My summer classes begin in 10 days, and so I’ve plotted my course in life for the next 6 years or so. When I wrap up my Bachelor’s in Psychology, it’ll be the spring/summer of 2016. From there, I’ll move on to my Master’s in Forensic Psychology (at a school with the # 2 Forensic Psychology program in the nation). The Master’s will be 35 credit hours and will take two years. I’ll then transfer my entire Master’s degree over to Spalding University (they accept up to 30 credit hours of a Master’s) so I will have only lost out on a total of 5 credit hours. Not a bad deal. Plus, getting my Master’s first and then transferring it will save me 50% of my costs, rather than going straight into my doctorate. After transferring my Master’s to Spalding, I’ll begin my doctorate (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology/Corrections. Voila! 6 years.

Don’t know about anybody else, but I’m locking this thing down with eagle focus and an insane drive. (I have to get my GPA up from 3.5 to at least a 3.8 though, or higher.)

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will stop me.

So, that about wraps up my semi-periodic update here! Time to get into school mode again. My vacation is officially over. 🙂

Jwaterpark


50 Page Cram

Yep. 50 pages.

It’s 3:42 a.m. and it’s been a hell of a night. I can’t fully disclose the details here in my blog (and I ask myself at this point, what’s the purpose of my blog, if not to dish out the juicy bits?!) – after all, merely explaining the situation would be painting a certain someone black, so I’ll spare the tale.

That said, the events of this absurd situation have caused me precious time – two days in fact- and now I have 30 pages to go with a quick deadline racing down my throat. To my credit, throughout the entire ordeal, I’ve managed to take 25+ pages of hand-written notes (genotypes, phenotypes, phyla, australopithecus and segmented chordates- let’s not leave out bilateral symmetry!) but this isn’t enough. I’m grateful that I do have a great memory; I’m still able to shove way more than is healthy in there- to the brim!

When I first began this major (in Psychology), when I was still working on my A.A. in Behavioral Sciences, I semi-read my work. I crammed (big time) and flew over the material without much care. I justified it by acknowledging that I didn’t understand much of it anyway: it didn’t hurt anything. But that was years ago. I’m getting up in my major and am a senior now. I hold myself way more accountable academically and I want to feel like I’ve earned my Dean’s List placing. So now, I memorize most of what I read and still choose to take hand-written notes over typed ones. It helps me to bond more with my work. (Much like my photography, which is why I still choose to shoot in all manual. Not unlike childbirth- I want to really work for my stuff so that I can truly reap the rewards with a greater appreciation.) So there will be no cutting corners here, in any part of my work.

I’m sleepy, I’m cranky…and I don’t remember wanting to crash out in my bed more than now. But, I have to press on! 10 pages left in Behavioral Neuroscience and 15 in Cognitive Psychology. Incentives and rewards are so necessary when mushing away the years in college. If I didn’t set up a reward after each assignment, I wouldn’t be so inclined to finish.

My reward after these two exams (merely hours from now) will be going to see Heidi, my oldest daughter. My other two kids (Brian and Brianna) will be going too. We’ll go to the Olive Garden or some other similar place. That’s a pretty strong incentive! These days, we’re all spread out across two states- they’re all just growing up so fast!

Back to the grind. (I’m pretty sure I got all the rant out.)


Flatline

I woke up this morning to a sink full of pee. Also, there are two rolls of toilet paper missing. I scroll through my mental rolodex of people, friends, animals, and other beings who have been in this place for the past 24 hours. What could this mean?

It’s kind of like the game Clue, except the wrench or gun has been replaced with a sink of pee. Josh thinks our dog did it. He does sometimes climb up on the counter (over the sink) and tear into the trash. Yes, yes, perhaps. Could he have peed in the sink? It’s possible. But the two rolls of toilet paper. How could they have simply vanished? No traces of their whereabouts. 

These are things that I can ponder over the next twelve days without the internet. I’ve been stashing game and entertainment folders like a hoarder preparing for the apocalypse. Twelve days without the internet! That’s a lifetime. I’ve been chained to this bed and laptop for days- knocking out assignment after assignment. Criminology final- check. Cultural essay (with MLA citations) in Spanish II- check. Five remaining assignments in Lifetime Fitness and Wellness- check. I’ve knocked back 4 classes (and my finals) a month early in preparation for the internet crash. I remember taking pictures outside…and shadows! I like shadows! Two more days of school madness and it’s over. I’m hobbling through the finish line but dang it, I made it.

Image

 

 

I’ll be back with stories of my graduation. Until then, farewell all!
♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻♪♥☺♫☼☻