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Posts tagged “fall semester

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


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


By the Skin of My Teeth

Dean's List

My first semester at Indiana University East: I made the Dean’s List!

Now I can collapse.


To All of You

…who are just finishing up your semesters- students and teachers alike- congratz to you!

And although I’m bowing out of the academic race to pursue my photography/art, I do hope that each of you continues to do well in your studies and teachings. All of my final grades are in and it’s going to be a close call, but I think I might’ve made the Dean’s List. More on that later.

Maggie, congratzs to you, and Y, you too. WE DID IT. 🙂

PortabellasMJ


Unhappy Customer

It’s 3:10 a.m. and I’ve just finished up 7 hours of Statistics. Why 7 hours you might ask? Because my professor was unable to get our class up and running for the whole first week (and our corresponding online homework site) and it set us back a week. Rather than move our schedule up by a week, he’s left the due date for 100+ 3 and 4 part math problems (some taking a 10 minute completion for one problem) at Sept. 6th at midnight. I was only able to access the site 3 days ago, so this left me trying to complete a GAZILLION freaking problems today. I actually managed this insane task- barely. (My only other option was to drop the course and that ain’t happening.) 

Rather than sleep, I’m going to jump right into my assignments in my other classes, because:

a.) They’re due today by midnight, and

b.) Who needs sleep anyway?!

The good thing about this schedule is that you’re both too busy and distracted to be depressed. 

Josh hasn’t had a day off in more than a month: We see each other in passing these days. We still managed to sneak in a dinner date last night at the river where we dined on Vietnamese just before midnight. 

I need a freaking vacation already…

The  Big Sleep


This and That

I’m honestly too tired to think of a clever title. I’m beginning to think I was mad to attempt 5 classes this semester! Alas, the boat has left the shore so onward I go. Here’s what my schedule’s looking like for the next few days:

Cross-cultural Communications– Read chap. 1 & do DB/Discussion Board-respond to 2 classmate’s posts/take exam

Research Methods of Experimental Psychology– Complete CITI training/DB postings/Read chap. 4- take Ethics exam

Ethics– “Think & Write” assignment/Read chap. 1/Read Plato’s Republic (various chapters), Lord of the Rings commentary and chapter excerpts & discussion along with The Rings of Tolkien & Plato, DB/Discussion Board on Chap. 1/Respond to 3 classmate’s threads

Everyday Psychology– Read chap. 1/Journal entry/Do both DBs and take exam

Statistical Techniques for Health Professionals– do 90 more Stat problems on descriptive and inferential Statistics + 2 quizzes and 1 test

That about wraps it up for week two!

My day began with me taking my Mom to her doctor’s appointment at 9:00 a.m. Her medication levels were off and she was toxic. Thankfully we caught it in time. Afterwards, my day was a flurry of activity but I managed to squeeze in a mile walk at the park with the dog- back to flurried activity- supper (Mom and brother fed- check!) 5 hours of schoolwork- milkshakes at Steak ‘n Shake with the fam-back outside for another late night walk with the dog. I’m pretty sure my punctuation is blown all to hell but I’m too tired to check. 

So, at almost 2:00 a.m., I’m off to slap some Proactive on my face and brush my teeth- slam an Ambien and drift off into blissful nothingness. I’ll be back when I come up for air!

Taken today at the park- Helios 44-2/manual exposure

form

punch

Louisville

Downtown Jeffersonville/Louisville, KY in the background


Let the Good Times Roll

Five years ago, my sister gave me her Honda, thinking it wouldn’t last much longer. I had been praying that very day for a miracle, asking God to help me with a car. That evening, she came over and told me that she wanted to give me her car. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! So, for five years I’ve been driving it. The water pump crashed and died last year, but all year, I’ve been driving it- overheating every two miles. Talk about trying your patience! It can be super stressful when you feel like you’re in a death trap. 

Thankfully, my Frank O’Bannon award came in a few days ago: $1,800 that doesn’t need repayed. I’m buying a new laptop for school ($70 from Craig’s List- hey, it’s “new” to me!), a new camera (Canon t3i 18 MP body only for $255- brand new- a steal) and a new copy of the Helios 44-2 film lens- imported from the USSR. And, I bought this!

1997 Isuzu Rodeo

my car

It sells for around $3,000-$5,000 used, but I was able to trade in my old car and knock a few hundred down. I gave the car lot guy $1,000 cash and drove it off the lot- I’m ecstatic. It drives smoother than butter and it’s a 5 speed, which I love.

Essentially, I still have 5 days left before the start of my semester, but I like to get an early start, so I’ll be ordering all of my books in the next hour and then loading up my laptop tomorrow: 5 neat folders- each class loaded with its respective syllabus, assignments, contact info & email instructions, and all of the other necessary bits. (You can never be too prepared.) 

My son, “Bob-Brian”, is staying over with his little lady, Mandy Tator Tots, and I’m in the best mood I’ve been in ages. 

Two-headed Monster- taken tonight in parking garage- crappy cell phone pic- Josh & I

us

I had just enough money left over to send a few hundred to my daughter and give $300 to my little brother to help him out.  I think it’s safe to say it’s a very good time in our lives. Five days of freedom left! 

Until we meet again. x


Fall Schedule

SummerFALLHelios film lens 44-2/Canon Rebel f/8/manual- taken on back deck- 8.4.14

I’ve officially made the switch from Vincennes University over to Indiana University East. My admissions counselour, Cherie, helped me register for my classes, which are:

1) Research Methods for Experimental Psychology
2) Cross Cultural Communications
3) Statistical Techniques (post-pre Calculus math course)
4) Everyday Psychology
5) Ethics

That’s a healthy 15 credit hour schedule- no small potatoes. (The most I’ve ever taken in one semester were 21 credit hours- 6 classes- and apart from one class, received 5 A’s, so I think I can swing this.)

As much as I’d love to stay at VU and explore CSI/Forensics and as much as I’d love to entertain the possibility of a future in DNA & Serology, my calling is clearly in the area of working with people on the street at the street level. Sure, a cushy office (with AC in the summer) would be great and everything- degrees hanging on the wall- but I’m driven by my desire to work with people who are drug addicts, homeless, troubled, hopeless- society’s throwaways, and those who suffer from a myriad of emotional/psychological disorders. That much I know.

A few years ago, I dropped out of school entirely, due to severe migraines that plagued me weekly. My Pastor encouraged me to return to school- if at all possible- which I was miraculously able to do. At the time, I owed the school more than $1,000, due to having to drop out. In short, I was screwed. But I was so encouraged by her letter, I called the school and asked if anything could be done to help me. I faxed in a few medical documents, proving that I’d had physical complications and the school wiped out the entire debt. (This is why I say that my return was nothing short of a miracle. This just doesn’t happen in the academic world!) She (my Pastor) suggested that I get out of Business Administration and explore other areas that would better utilize my talents, such as working with others. Had it not been for her urging, I would have never returned, so that’s always in the back of my mind. I push on for others and not just myself.

School begins in approximately 3 weeks and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m hoping to take a year off to work on my music, but I’m not sure if that will be before or after I receive my bachelor’s in Psychology.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep myself occupied by surprising my Mom’s friend with a photo book that I’m calling “Whispers from the Garden”. Her friend’s husband passed away several years ago and they shared an amazing garden behind their house. I shot some pics there last winter and will be compiling the book from my collection of pics taken of their winter garden.

Supper calls! Until next time.

Birdhouse from the garden

Birdhouse


Double Rainbow

Josh and I were driving back from seeing his family in Shelbyville and we saw the most beautiful double rainbow. The skies had broken out in a split panoramic light show of epic proportions: oversized rays were spilling out onto either side of the highway and we thought we were in for a storm. Midway through our return, a rainbow broke out into the sky. We talked about his mother and family and what a great time we’d had; the rainbow agreed and it duplicated itself- making us both smile as it followed us all the way home.

Image

(Taken with 2 MP crap-cell phone.)

Life is back to its busy self; I’m lost in my studies, teetering back and forth between Criminology and Therapeutic Interventions with Substance Abusers II- but I love it. I’ve bought a new laptop and have turned it into my essay writing machine, loading it up with Microsoft Office (Pro) and a plethora of other goodies. I’ve paid close to $4,000 in bills and things in the past few days alone, which included a $900 car debt my mother couldn’t pay. I was honoured to be able to do that for her. We haven’t two pennies to rub together hardly, but everbody’s paid and I’ve managed to book one of the most sought after cabins in all of Tennessee for our little getaway, a little place called “Unforgettable”. (Yes, the cabin is actually called “Unforgettable”.) I’ll be posting pics and updates on that at the end of September. I’ll be taking my Mom and Heidi, my oldest daughter, along with Josh. The cabin, along with the cleaning fee + taxes is $441 for two nights; an unbelievable steal for a multi-level luxury cabin in the Smokies with not one but two hot tubs overlooking the mountains, one of them being outdoors on the deck.

It looks a little something like this (website pics):

ImageImageImageImageImage

Definitely one of the nicer cabins I’ve ever seen and the reviews are incredible. We can’t wait! We’re fortunate that so many people are superstitious about Friday 13th- September was booked solid for the entire month, but the 13th and 14th were open so I snagged them immediately. (13 is my favourite number so that works well for me.) We’ll probably go to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum also; this is a dream come true as I’ve been wanting to take Heidi to the Smokey mountains for over 10 years. Well, my Mom too.

I have more to write- some things not so grand- but I’m tired and will be returning to my bed to continue reading Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath. I was far too busy to finish it a year or so ago when I checked it out at the library: I’m much more eager to do so this time, in between essays and drug and crime reports.

Josh is whistling at his computer like a deranged bird, rubbing a metal “this or that” between his lips to make a warbled sound. I can tell by his fixed gaze on his laptop game that he’s happy- his belly, fat with mesquite-grilled barbecue that we slow cooked out on the deck yesterday. There’s a pleasant buzz in the air lately. Carl is still with us and our morale has been reestablished, if not altogether fortified.

And now I’m off to bed.
Plath awaits!