Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And the saga continues...

I still haven't turned in my English portfolio yet. This time the main reason isn't my procrastination! I had it all ready to turn in, then went to check the website to find the building, and saw this note that said, "Call first before turning in your portfolio." I dialed the number I saw, and discovered that I had done my cover letter all wrong, and needed to include more papers. I called before campus was closed yesterday (as you might recall, at 12:30), and the lady that I talked to said that she would send an email with more information. I didn't get the email, so when I called this afternoon (campus closed until 11 am today... lovely freezing rain), he sent it to me again. Apparently they had the wrong email address (didn't hear the last letter I said *sigh*). I won't get much done on it today since I had classes all afternoon, and my husband and I are going out for dinner tonight. I only have one class tomorrow, though, so I'll have all afternoon to work on it. And really all I have to do is re-write the cover letter (2 - 2 1/2 pages single spaced). The good thing is, I found out that if I turn it in this week, they will work to have a decision on it before the drop date, which was what I was worried about. Yay!

I'm not sure why we're going out for dinner tonight, but I'm not going to complain. We rarely go out, even on the weekends. When he called I was in class (fortunately I remembered to have my phone on vibrate), and when I called him back he asked if I was busy (ie club meetings), then said he was thinking about going out for dinner. He sounded rushed so I didn't ask why. I'll find out when he gets home. Tres excitement!

My husband is leaving on Monday for a 16-day (give or take a couple days for travel) training exercise in South Carolina. He didn't get a choice about when he was leaving, and they only gave him about a week's notice. Usually people know about a month in advance, he told me. This means we'll miss Valentine's Day together. And while I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day because it seems to me to be mostly made-up and too commercialized (like most "Christian" holidays), it's still a nice excuse to do something nice with my honey. We'll do something the weekend after he gets back, maybe. Then the restaurants won't be so crowded! One more reason to be looking forward to dinner tonight. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it snow

I was surprised when I got up this morning to see almost an inch of snow on the ground. I like snow. I grew up in Alaska, and I enjoy the winters (mostly). I was on the cross-country ski team in high school, and love fresh snow on the ground; snowfights, sledding, skiing, snow angels... all are advantages of snow!

However, I am now living in Maryland. And people don't know how to drive in snow! This is a worn-out line, and I've used it before, when I was living in Oregon. I thought Maryland got more snow than Oregon, though, and that people might be better about driving it! Well, in my 2-mile drive to the University this morning, I certainly didn't see it. Some people were going too slow, and other people were getting impatient with them, and going to fast, or making stupid moves (trying to pass on slick roads). I had class at 9:30, and I left the apartment at 9, trying to give myself plenty of time. I made it, only a minute late. It should not have taken that long! Traffic was jammed. Not quite as bad as rush hour, but pretty damn close. Usually at 9 am traffic is light. Rush hour is over with, at least by where I live, and there aren't any problems. Not this morning! Some snow on the ground and people don't use common sense. Ah, well, I stayed out of trouble.

One thing that was very annoying was caused by this woman who had gone into the ditch. A tow truck was there right as I was driving by. Well, its a narrow 2-lane road and he had to take up both lanes to pull this idiot out. Which meant me and everybody else behind me had to wait while he pulled her out (yes those are the genders of the people involved). It wasn't too bad, just annoying. I was able to do a risky move and pull around the tow truck, far to the right (the car was in the ditch on the other side of the road), almost into the ditch myself, to get around. I made it (barely), but I don't think anybody else behind me tried the move!

Classes were canceled after 12:30, as well. It didn't affect me, since my last class today was done at 12:20. Normally on Tuesdays I will have an Organic Chemistry lab, but since its the first week of classes there are no labs. I was going to do some things on campus this afternoon, but the entire campus was closing down, so I just left to come home. Slow traffic, but I didn't see any more luckless drivers in the ditch. Enough of my raving... I have organic chemistry reading to do.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Freshman English?

My advice to anybody who is thinking about transferring universities - DON'T DO IT! I transferred last term, from Oregon State University (OSU) to University of Maryland (UMD). My husband, who is in the army, was transferred to DC, so I transferred universities. I want to finish my education, after all.

In high school, I did the IB diploma (IB is similar to AP for those of you who don't know), and OSU accepted my English and Biology scores, so that I didn't have to take the introductory English or Biology. But now UMD won't accept those scores (they aren't high enough), and I have to take these classes to get my diploma.

Today was the first day of classes, and my first class was freshman english. You see, last term they wouldn't let me register unless I registered for English 101, since I am already a junior. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however. I can submit a portfolio for review, to get out of English 101. Nothing I can do about Biology, though. That will just be an extra 10 credits I have to take this summer or next year. I turn in my portfolio for freshman english tomorrow, I just hope that it will be approved for equivalency, and approved in time for me to drop the course!

Now, why didn't I do my portfolio review last term, if I knew about it then, and then avoid having to sign up for English this term, you ask. Well, partly it was procrastination. (I am a very bad procrastinator). There is another reason, however. A major part of English 101 is a research paper they do at the end of the term. Now I had done a major research paper, the extended essay, as part of my IB diploma, that would get me out of English 101 (most likely). However, I had lost all copies of it. The school didn't have it anymore, since that was almost 4 years ago. So, I did my portfolio without it, citing IB publications about the extended essay, and my IB transcript on file with the university. I also included other writing I had done at OSU, but it wasn't a large research paper. Well, because of my procrastination, I didn't finish this portfolio until right before finals, and I was about to leave to go back home to Alaska. I hoped that I could find a hard copy at home in my files somewhere (my mom couldn't find an electronic copy on our computer), so I put it off until I got back, thinking that I could send my portfolio back to Maryland with Lloyd, either way, and get it in before school started.

Well, I did find my extended essay! A hard copy, one of my final drafts right before I turned it in back in October 2005. But then my procrastination kicked in, and my lap top died, so I didn't start retyping it up (I couldn't just scan it, it had a lot of notes on it) until a week before class started, on my mom's computer. So here I am, finally finishing it up and turning it in tomorrow, hoping that my procrastination won't get me stuck in English 101. My friend LP gave me the name of a guy who helped speed up her portfolio process, so maybe that will help, too. I'll know more tomorrow!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My first blog

Ok, so it may not be my first blog. I think I vaguely remember attempting blogging a few years back, when blogs were first getting very popular. But this time I mean to stick with it! I was inspired by this article, recommended by one of my animal science professors:
One of his points is that you should keep a blog as part of your "online identity" so that potential employers, professors, etc, will be able to see some of your thoughts, growth, and achievements by going online. No resume necessary! Perhaps in the future resumes will be moot, the author argues, because everything will be documented fully and (hopefully) accurately, online. Here's my start.

School at University of Maryland starts Monday. I am hopeful that I will be a better student this time, and keep up with my reading, therefore doing better in my classes. Last term was a reality check for me. I got a 3.1, where at Oregon State I had a 3.8. I want to try and pull my GPA at least back up to 3.5. That will be tough this term with Organic Chemistry II (plus lab), Calculus II, and Applied Animal Physiology. But I think I'm up for the challenge!