28 May 2010

Surfacing...periscope up! =0]

Whew! This school thing is taking more of my time than I imagined! And I haven't worked a day at the deli for a week. (I do GET to work this weekend, though...)

I think just getting acquainted with procedures for writing papers and submitting them has been a challenge. There have been lots of chapters to read and then I wrote an 850 word paper on how taekwondo has given me more confidence. I also had to critique four other students' papers.

My biggest challenge was not having the right kind of word processor. My instructor wants us to post our documents in a .doc format, but my computer only did .docx, which some students can't open on their computers. So, yesterday I finally got my new laptop and with it a program that will allow me to do .doc papers. That's been a huge thing and I'm glad that problem is solved. I also downloaded Microsoft Office which I hope isn't going to be a waste of money. It's way more word processor than I need and it sort of takes over and tells you what to do. Sheesh!

I reached my first milestone college-wise with the submission of my final draft of my first paper for College Writing I. Today I began work on the second paper. It should be a lot of fun. It's a 750-1000 word essay in the form of a fairy tale starring one of my fellow students. We create a questionnaire for the other student to answer and we learn about each other by email, then we take the info we glean and write a story in the genre of our choice (mine was fairy tale) using some of the details we know about the other person. As with my last paper, we also critique four other students' papers. We also have to write a 150-word piece describing the genre we've chosen and we do a bibliography of our sources. I've written this short piece and I've posted my questionnaire on the class discussion board. I think I'm the only one who's done these so far, but since I have to work over the weekend, I thought I should get at least that much done.

Despite all of my talk about writing, my main goal is to become a nurse and I was really intrigued to see a Jewish Voice special on TV the other morning. They do medical missions trips all the time and take the gospel to the Jewish people as well. Medical missions is something I've been interested in for a long time, but didn't have any training. Now I can keep that goal in front of me to help me through when school gets challenging!

It's glorious outside! The sun is shining and the wind is really gusting through the trees. I think a storm is blowing in. I stopped off today at the local Fleet Supply and picked up some petunias and marigolds, but I'll wait for milder weather to repot them outside.

We have two new baby goats and a new colt named Bill. He's having a great old time running circles around his mom who is trying valiantly to keep the other mare in the pasture away from her child. It makes for great entertainment!

Well, I'll probably go outside and help Bob with some chores in a while, but first I'm going to visit a few blogs. It's been a while!


17 May 2010

First day of school...

Things are coming together!

I drove into town to listen to 3 audio lectures because I thought my computer wouldn't "let" me do that. After the librarian had to do some tweeking on her computer so I could listen to the lectures I decided to try the same tweeking on mine and, voila, it works on my home computer as well! Just had to enable some add-on thing and remove a pop-up blocker.

My books arrived, so I'm ready to begin reading the chapters for which I already listened to the lectures. (That was a convoluted sentence!)

I have 5 chapters to read this week and a 2-3 page paper to write, so if I don't procrastinate I'll have plenty of time to finish. I have the weekend off, so I'll do my final typing of the paper then. Then it has to be put on the discussion board next Tuesday so another student can critique it. Whew! I've got some learning still to do as far as making sure it's done on Microsoft Word (which I'll have to go to the library for) and how to put that on a "thumb drive" (my daughter has one) and then get it onto the discussion board. Technology sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it after doing it a time or two. Thankful for my daughter's help!

I look forward to having a laptop with all the right bells and whistles so everything can be done in one place!!

14 May 2010

Farm Work and College Talk...

What a gorgeous day! It's been raining almost non-stop for WEEKS, but today was sunny, beautiful and in the 70's. Perfection for northern Minnesota!

Bob and I (it was a day off for me) enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and just relaxed, watched some news and discussed plans for the day. Then, when we felt like it, we got ourselves outside and began the job of putting up two sections of electric fence. These were necessary to make a buffer zone between two pastures of horses we didn't want too close to each other. Untangling barbed wire and dragging it around was a good little workout. After the fences were up we turned the horses out into fresh pastures and they all looked so happy! We were tired and hungry after a few hours outside so supper sure tasted good.

Looking out my window now I see the lengthening evening shadows with sunshine still lighting up the treetops. It was a day well spent!

My last post sounded a little negative about the college experience, but things are smoothing out. I just have to hang in there during the nerve-wracking parts and know that "this too shall pass". I messed up my FAFSA a bit by putting in the wrong year for my birthday!! =0/ But I've sent in a correction and I think everything will turn out okay.

Got registered for two of my classes at the registration on Tuesday and then screwed up my courage and registered for a third class from home using the online registration. Sitting in the room full of registrants trying to figure out the registration process was a new and slightly scary experience, but I soon realized that most of the others in the room were in the same boat, so why worry?

Bob and I made a quick trip to the college yesterday (about an 80 mile round trip!) so I could ask some questions, since you can never get through to the right person on the phone. Like the last time we turned up unannounced, Pam the receptionist answered all our questions. That lady is a-MA-zing! They don't pay her enough!

Anyway, I'm all signed up for classes and I picked up my Algebra text, which I won't actually need until June 28. The materials for my "Intro to Nursing in Long Term Care" class will be handed out on the first day of class. I also ordered my "College Writing I" texts online. (A young gal who is Pam's assistant showed me how.) I'm taking CWI via Distance Education because it's an evening class. I'm really liking the people I've met at the college so far. They're very down-to-earth and helpful.

My "College Writing I" instructor emailed all of his online students and asked us to tell him something about ourselves and give him our contact info in case he needs to call or mail something. I enjoyed coming up with a short piece about myself. He sounds very nice and I'm looking forward to beginning that class on Monday.

I hope you're all having a wonderful day!

08 May 2010

Catching up on my reading...

Looking over my course descriptions for the next year I get the distinct feeling I won't have much time for recreational reading. So, I'm quickly finishing up a few books that I have been reading slowly.

Just finished "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. A good book that inspired me to live out my Christian life in practical ways instead of just thinking about it! Long road ahead...

I've been reading "Hamlet's Dresser" at work on breaks and I'm nearing the end. For a man who had an emotionally damaging childhood his adult life turned out pretty well. Interesting reading. Not for young folk because of some language, but an interesting inside look at a dysfunctional childhood. Also full of behind-the-scenes glimpses of theater productions of Shakespeare.

Now I've got to speed read "Wild at Heart" to write a review. I've read it before, but this edition has some new stuff. I want to get that review done and out of the way ASAP. (It's a wonderful book, BTW.)

My daughter has been trying to help me find my way around the college website, but I'm still having problems with passwords that don't work, etc. Hopefully we'll get these things ironed out on Tuesday at registration. It looks like I'll be doing an online class here and there to get everything in.

Au revoir for now! =0]

06 May 2010

Officially accepted!

My transcript has been recorded and I've been officially accepted to the college!

I had to fill out another FAFSA and a form for summer semester financial aid, which is separate from the aid you get for the fall and spring semesters. That should do it for financial aid forms. Now...I wait...

Next Tuesday I will go to orientation in Detroit Lakes since I will hopefully be on vacation on May 18th when Wadena has their orientation. Between now and then I have a "trial schedule" form to fill out with the classes I plan to register for for summer and fall. I'll work on that this weekend.

I still haven't told my boss. At what point do I accept the fact that I'm going to college...for real...and my boss probably needs to know?!? Maybe that point is after I've registered for classes. Sounds good!

I'm off to bed. My deli job is wearing me out. I feel sore and stiff every morning. Almost like I did a vigorous workout the day before. Man! I'm gettin' too old for this! Hopefully all of this bookwork will be a welcome change.

Shalom! =0]

04 May 2010

Journaling About My College Journey

It looks like college preparations and classes will fill a lot of my life for the next two years. (Speaking in faith.) So, I will try to journal about this experience for the benefit of others my age who might be interested in dipping their toes in the waters of collegiate life. =0)

"Collegiate" sounds so fancy and big-time. The school I've applied to is a small community and technical college in a small Minnesota town.

Hubby and I (he went for moral support and hopefully to think up some questions that I might miss) visited with an advisor at the college today. I had hoped to register for classes, but my high school transcript had not yet been "officially" entered into the record, so I will go to an orientation next Tuesday where I will be able to finally register for summer classes.

One other hurdle we had to finish jumping was to fill out a FAFSA application for student financial aid. This didn't take very long online here at home. We need to call tomorrow to see if we filled out the correct one.

This will be a journey of many little steps and lots of details!

I was nervous this morning before our meeting but Bob (hubby) was very encouraging and assured me that I am very smart (his words!) and can do a great job. It's nice to have someone give you a nudge when you begin to stall! The advisor was very nice and our meeting went smoothly.

It looks like I'll sign up for "Intro to Nursing in Long-Term Care" (CNA training) and "Introductory Algebra". Since this is a summer semester these classes will be compressed and intensified, so they should keep me busy. My daughter, Micah, gave me her Algebra book from last year which should be the book I will be using. If not, I can still use it to get a head start! Algebra will be later in the summer.

I still haven't mentioned any of this to my boss at work! I'm waiting to see what happens at registration next week and how much financial aid I qualify for. I will probably still need to work Fridays and some weekends. I have to balance things so I have the energy to keep up with school but we also need to eat. (Well, maybe not as much, lol!)

In all of this God is our provider and Matt. 6:25-34 is our motto!

I'm hoping that by acquiring nursing skills I will be opening up some new areas in my life that God can use.

The journey continues...