Oh ... Really?

Category: Midlife College Adventures

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finals are DONE!

Always a cause for celebration ... my finals are done for yet another semester in school. Yay!

This semester, I dabbled in a couple of classes that are in a major that I am thinking about switching over to ... Criminal Justice with a DHS concentration. I would really like to go into some kind of forensics, like computer or crime scene, but those concentrations are not being offered online at APSU at this time. I am still leaning towards the web developer concentration, but I would have to jury-rig up a program to meet a degree requirement. Anyway, the classes I just finished are American Government and International Relations Theory. I am expecting to get high marks in both classes. It was a fairly low stress semester, school-wise. However, my job situation still is a major source of anxiety. But for now, I can rest and relax from school stuff until September. Soon though, there will be graduations, and birthdays, and a beach trip and a wedding. I guess I better rest and relax fast!

Posted by LissaKay on 04/27/08 at 01:54 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter Blahs

Yeah I know. I don't post very often, do I? Maybe I should look into getting a life or something.

Actually, I do have a life, and quite a busy one. It's just that much of it is very private and I don't wish to share it with just anyone. Close friends and family know what is going on, and that is good enough.

The holidays are over and I survived. It was mostly good, with just enough chaos and craziness to make it interesting. My family, being quite small with just two of my kids and my parents and me, makes for a quiet and mostly calm celebration. My son, aka J-Dude, with his ongoing anger issues, seems to manage to inject his angst into nearly everything, but we have become used to it by now and it pretty much just rolls over us and we continue on in the wake of his wrath. I had been afraid that Christmas would be quite lean indeed, but I was able to pull something together at the last minute anyway. It wasn't my first choice solution, and it will really cause some pain down the road, but it was a solution nonetheless. I was able to get Ms Thang a Playstation 2, to replace the one her father and step-mother stole from her, plus a Guitar Hero III. J-Dude got his fondest wish for Christmas, now he just needs to apologize to me for being an ass on Christmas Day and he can actually have it. My parents got me a bunch of knitting stuff ... now I need 36 hour days so I can actually get some of that done. I got both of them some books they were wanting, sweaters and other keep-warm goodies. We had a yummy breakfast casserole and Panera holiday bread. It was nice and peaceful. But that soon changed for me ...

I then joined Rich and his ginormous family for a Christmas Italian feast. Ms Thang came with me for a while before she went off to a friend's house to spend the night. Quite a contrast from a party of 5 to a party of what seemed like 50! We cooked and cooked and cooked, then ate and ate and ate, for what seemed like days. Then around midnight we collapsed in exhaustion and slept the sleep of the dead. The big family holiday is quite exciting and fun, but tiring! My high school sweet heart was the youngest of 6, and my Ex the youngest of 5, so the large family celebration is something I am familiar with, and jerk Ex's notwithstanding, I always enjoyed it. Of course, just being with a special someone for the holidays is a treat all in itself, as this has not been a part of my holiday experience for many years.

In the aftermath of the holidays, we are awaiting the impending arrival of Rich's next grandbaby. We will be heading down to Birmingham as soon as we get word. We've been waiting now for a couple weeks, with mama-to-be ripe and ready to pop any minute. Yesterday, the doc told her she is 3cm dilated and baby is fully engaged. So what does Rich do? He plans a Blogfest for Friday night! I hope folks will understand if we have to make our apologies ...

A new semester in school has started. Though not official, I have pretty much decided to change my major from Computer Science to ... something else. Don't know what yet though. I am open to suggestions. I am considering Criminal Justice, but would prefer to go into the forensics concentration. APSU only has Homeland Security in their online degree program. So, I am going to look at UT and perhaps ETSU to see what they offer, either in classroom or online. (I know ITT Tech has a program, but they are hellaciously expensive on tuition ... I could get 4 Bachelor degrees from state universities for what it costs to get just 1 from them!) It certainly is frustrating to still not know what I want to be when I grow up!

Ms Thang has just informed me that she has found herself another job at a nearby restaurant. I hope she can get lots of hours because she has a hella big car repair bill to pay! She also wants to save up so that she can start training to be a wrestler starting this summer. This is, of course, not the ideal life-path that I would prefer for her to follow ... she is amazingly gifted academically, and could accomplish anything she wanted in college. I hope that she will get a degree in something eventually. I would hate to see her be where I am now in 25 years.

J-Dude is still battling the rage demons within. He still cannot accept that it is his choices that have defined what his life is now ... no job, no car, no money, 20 years old and living with mom. He thinks he may have a job with a construction outfit, and that would be a major plus because the pay is good and can get him out and on his own two feet. I have given both kids notice that when the lease for this place is up this summer, I am out of here and I don't plan on making permanent provisions for children to follow me. I will be launching them out of the nest and it is up to them to get themselves ready to fly ... or not.

Snow is in the forecast ... possible dusting to 2 inches here. I guess I better panic soon and run out and buy 10 loaves of bread and 20 gallons of milk, and pile up 20 ricks of wood for the fireplace, and rent a snowblower to make a path to the driveway. Maybe even get a kerosene heater or two. Or I might just go shoe shopping. I'm just crazy like that!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So ... what now?

It's not even 10 hours since my last final was completed, and I am already bored ...

Sure ... I bitched and whined and complained about how I always had something I had to be doing for school. But it kept me busy and somewhat out of trouble. Now, with no looming deadlines or pressure to have some assignment done, or chapter read or a quiz to take, I feel empty. Maybe a little brain-dead too. I can't be burned out already? It's only my 3rd semester!

One thing I do know, I am not happy with my choice to major in Computer Science. Or maybe not happy with this particular program. It's heavy on programming, even requiring classes in COBOL and Fortran, in addition to database management, C++ and some web HTML. I was looking forward to more emphasis on networking, security, information systems, web dev and stuff like that. Aside from web coding, I am not a programmer. That stuff leaves me cold, and I am a total retard with it. Bleck! I just barely squeaked through this class in database management and SQL queries. Gag. Boring stuff.

Then, after my recent career escapades, I am somewhat disillusioned with the whole IT world. In my last job, I was not taken seriously at all. I begged for additional training in other areas - security, account provisioning, and so on. Instead, I was "allowed" to follow up on emails and voice mails, in addition to front line tech support. Then, when I was up for evaluation, I was told that I didn't make an effort to contribute to other areas - like security, account provisioning, etc. Yeah ... just like that.


Burned out much? Go figure, eh?

And so, while I search for another job, my skill set is heaviest in IT and technical support, so that is where I look. I vainly hope that my next job is more satisfying and that my ambitions to learn more, beyond my initial job description, are taken seriously and I can move up from the help desk. I interviewed for a great job last week, but I know I stand only the faintest chance of getting it. No matter what, it will still be too little and too late to salvage Christmas this year, so I am trying to ignore that whole bit of business.

In the meantime though, I am bored.

I have an unholy crapload of yarn, which could keep me good and busy with knitting projects for a couple of decades. I still have stuff to unpack from when we moved here last summer. I could try to get back on the ball and lose this last ten or so pounds ... yoga alone is only helping me maintain my weight, I need to get the cardio and strength training going on again to get the pounds to drop. I have a stack of books to read that has been untouched for the last year or so, since I started school last January. I have a couple of web site projects I started way back when and still haven't finished.

What I would really like to do is run off to a warm, cuddly, cozy place with my favorite person and practice being lazy for a few days ... watch a bunch of TV and movies, read, sleep, shop, surf, eat, sleep some more, play with grandbaby, surf, eat, sleep, watch TV, or whatever strikes our fancy at the moment. (Yes, honey, that is a BIG BOLD HINT!)

But I guess for now, I will just go and get some sleep.

Posted by LissaKay on 12/12/07 at 02:40 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Still kickin’

Yes, I am still alive, and well ... and not in jail. Life has a way of forcing one to prioritize one's activities, and in my life, blogging drops quickly to the bottom of the list. It's enough of a challenge to allocate my time and energy between my children, my parents, work and school ... and then still have something left over for the things I want to do.

I have dropped two of my four classes in an effort to retain what is left of my sanity, and I am reassessing my choice of major. I still do not really know what I want to be when I grow up. What I am doing now is definitely not it ... not anymore, since things changed so much for the worse at work. The morale level there is subterranean, and getting worse by the day. No one gives a damn anymore.

We are slowly getting settled into our new home. The kids are happier here, but have other sources of angst ... such is the life of adolescents. But we do have a rather menacing concern ... a hostile neighbor that has now attacked us twice. It is getting serious and I may have to take drastic steps to remedy the situation, especially since the sheriff's department does not seem at all interested in even taking a report. I wish I still had friends in low places ... they would come in quite handy right about now. I am also seriously giving consideration to exercising my 2nd amendment rights ...

But not all is doom and gloom. I have found a source of happiness that I had thought I would never experience, and I thank God many times every day for bringing him into my life. Suddenly, my future does not seem so frightening and empty ... and that's a pretty awesome feeling. Me likes.

Posted by LissaKay on 09/05/07 at 11:09 PM in ~ Home Life ~ Matters of the Heart ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Friday, August 03, 2007

Surfacing for a breath of air

I am taking a moment to surface and let ya'll know I am still alive, and well, and not in jail. But finals are next week, and I am trying to get prepared ... and I am still dealing with a rather messy situation at work ... too weird! Every day it gets more bizarre. It does not need to be said that I am definitely in the market for a new job. Any leads would be greatly appreciated. And then there is the Big Event on the 11th ... if you've volunteered your services for that, you can expect an email perhaps by Tuesday of next week with some more details of what I am planning so you can decide where you want to pitch in.

And that's it for now ... wrapping this up so that I can try to achieve something that I haven't been able to in ages ... get to bed before 2am!

Posted by LissaKay on 08/03/07 at 01:20 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Friday, May 04, 2007


That loud thumping noise was me ... collapsing in exhaustion and relief that this semester is over and I am DONE with finals!

I will end up with As in Int'l Politics and Data Communications and Networking. Most likely also in World Lit. Not sure what I will end up with in Programming though. At best, a B. *sigh* And there is a second half of the class, which I will take in the fall, along with Calculus, Technical Writing and Info Systems Security. This summer I will finish up the core academics - music, philosophy and statistics. It's looking like it will take a couple years to finish this up ...

Time for some sleep now though.

Posted by LissaKay on 05/04/07 at 12:09 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Almost DONE!

I have one more final to go, due by 10pm Thursday, online and open book, for International Politics. I survived the Programming final, barely. I think I will squeak by on that one, but I had a major brain freeze on one of the big questions. The Networking final wasn't too bad. I have a solid A there, so I would have to seriously screw up to drop any lower. My World Lit essay ... I dunno. It sounds good, but it seemed too easy. I cranked out 4 pages in as many hours, from starting outline through three drafts to final version including playing around with various style templates in Office 2007. (Which is mighty sweet, if I do say so myself!)

If you have registered here, please make sure you are logged in, so you can put your two cents in on this:
(and if you aren't registered, please do so ... )

Timez for teh cute kitteh breakz:

Via ICanHasCheezburger.com, a submission from none other than Mark Steel of Blogitude:

Gee, that cat reminds me of someone ... Mark, is that your cat? wink

I have decided that Murphy must have been a college student at least at some point ... in attempting to get through these finals and then get registered for summer and fall classes, I have run into nothing but one screw up after another. I just hope this college is not using their computer science department for their web site maintenance and design. I would lose a lot of faith ... it is a mess! They switched over to a new registration system, but they don't have the transcripts uploaded yet, so we can't register for any classes that have prerequisites that we satisfied before transferring here. Also, any waivers have gone poof ... off-campus students do not have to submit proof of immunizations normally, but it is telling me that I must before I can register. At least I finally got an advisor ... but he is telling me I need more classes than is listed on the department advising site. I may run out of financial aid eligibility before I get done. Won't that suck??

Ugghhh ... what a mess.

Posted by LissaKay on 05/01/07 at 11:59 PM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Sunday, April 29, 2007


Finals have started, and I tripped just getting out of the starting gate. To say I am highly ticked off is the understatement of the year. It will take a minor miracle to recover from this ...

So, my first final, in Programming, was supposed to be this morning. It was the one I dreaded the most and wanted to get it out of the way first. I really had a hard time with this class, it is a damn good thing I do not wish to be a software programmer, I would fail at it in a most spectacular way. Anyway, I had to arrange for a proctored exam at a testing center, which I did. The instructions I got said that a password to the exam would be sent to the proctor so I could take it online.

So, I arrive at the testing center, and no password. They have the same instructions, that it was to be an online exam. There is a hard copy of the test, so it could be taken on paper if the computers were down or something. But the proctor said she had to follow the instructions as written: the test was to be taken online.

I went home and emailed the instructor. After about half an hour, she wrote back and said "So sorry for the inconvenience, I decided that off-campus testing would be on paper. Just use the hard copy sent to the testing center."

How friggin lovely.

By this time, it's too late to go back and take this two-hour exam. Ever tried writing computer code with pencil and paper? Lemme tell you ... copy/paste just does not happen with a pencil. We tried that for the midterm. We all sucked at it so bad they had to curve the grades so at least some of us would pass.

So, now I have to reschedule. Therein lies the need for a miracle. Let us pray.

Oh, and need I mention that this has me totally freaking out? If I fail this class, it will delay my progress towards my degree by at least a year, since it is a prerequisite for all the rest of the classes I need for my major. Frea-king OUT, people!

It's awful hard to concentrate and study and write world lit essays when you are freaking out.

Posted by LissaKay on 04/29/07 at 02:28 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Monday, April 16, 2007

Prufrockian Paralysis

Maybe it's just coincidence ... or maybe not. It just seems that each week's reading in World Lit is very relevant to some aspect of my life. It's almost spooky.

This week ... we are reading T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

What we have here, is a failure to communicate? It would be nice if it's just that simple ... yet complicated. I have a bad tendency to assume the worst. I just hope I am wrong. I've been planting my own garden for quite some time now, I think I am ready to step outside the garden gate. I just hope I can get it right. This time. Finally.

Posted by LissaKay on 04/16/07 at 12:08 AM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Phone call today

OK, everybody! I need some good job karma! Focus now! Think good thoughts! Do a little job dance! (You know, kinda like a rain dance)

lolcatsGod I love these lolcats!

I got the crazy assignment done just barely on time! W00t! Seriously, we were having a crazy busy day at work, the bosses were freaking out because our call numbers are bad right now, I was trying to complete the assignment, which is basically a open book quiz with no time limit and can be repeated, while dealing with all that. It was due at 3:00pm ... I hit the submit button at 2:59pm. Then I returned the above mentioned phone call that triggered the bleg for good job karma.

And they called back again, after saying it would be a week or two, and I have an interview scheduled! Two weeks! Focus the karma this way please!

Posted by LissaKay on 04/11/07 at 05:37 PM in ~ Midlife College Adventures
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