January 28th, 2009

Here's the REAL post, Mom

Please don't hurt me. I'm sorry for be.. uh.. yeah.

Okay, fine. I'll post.



Things have been a bit hectic over the last couple of weeks. Between
starting school and then starting this new job, I haven't been left much
time at home. And when I am home, I either sleep or attempt to clean up,
which at times is entirely futile.



Let's take this one thing at a time:



Part One: Work



I love my job. Let me repeat that.. I LOVE MY JOB!!!!! Did you get that?
Good. Really, I do enjoy going to work each day, although I don't ever enjoy
getting up at 6 am in order to get to work by 8 am. But then again, who
does? For those of you that have asked, and those of you that haven't and
wanted to, I am officially listed as Receptionist/Database. Basically, I'm
the smiling face you seen when you first walk into the office. I ask if I
can help you, then try to answer your questions as best as possible.



The top three questions I am asked on a daily basis are:



Q- Where is the driver's ed place?

A- It's moved out of the mall and across the street.



Q- Is this where I need to turn in my grades/request a transcript/pay my
student fees, etc, etc, etc?

A- No, this is the ESPM dept, you want the UAA Kisok. Go down the
hallway, curve to the left, go straight, you can't miss it.



Q- Where can I get some coffee?

A- At the UAA Bookstore. Down the hall, straight ahead.



Ha. Most of the time I'm a glorified information booth. But the other 10% of
the time, I'm actually working, answering phones, filing paperwork, creating
Excel projects, etc. It's actually a lot of fun.



Anyone who knows me knows that I can sit in front of the computer all day
long without getting bored or any such thing. I ENJOY typing. I ENJOY
research… so on and so forth.



So, for me to have a position where my sole task is to dress in pretty,
professional clothes and sit at a desk and work on the computer,
occasionally printing out a paper or organizing the files—well, to put it in
a word, it's perfect. Absolutely perfect.



I know that I'm still a bit new on the job, I've only worked here about 2
weeks, but I've yet to get bored. And it's nice because I'm required to
leave two websites up on the screen at all times: my email & UAA's main
page. Because of that, I can reply to emails as soon as they come in my box,
as long as they don't send me to exterior websites, and since I'm logged
into UAA, I can keep undated on my classes through Blackboard, the program
that UAA uses for its courses.



All in all, I really like my job. The people. The challenges. The
environment.



Now part of me wishes that the semester wouldn't end.

Part Two: School



It's been interesting so far, but that goes without saying. Any semester in
college is going to be interesting in one way or another.

This semester I am taking four classes in order to finish up my Associates
Degree.

1- Photography- This is my only Monday/Wednesday class and I must admit
that it's quite nice to go to school and only have one class to attend. And
it's especially nice since the Monday class stretches from 1:00-4:45 (all
other classes would be out at 2:15) and the Wednesday class is from
1:00-2:45. That right there is why I couldn't take the photography classes
on Tuesday/Thursday. Because it's a "specialty" class it has a longer class
period, which would interfere with any classes that normally would come
after this one.

My teacher's name is Deb and she's been the director of Photography at UAA
for 15 years, and had been teaching at other universities for about 10 years
before that. She's drones on at times, but knows her stuff for sure. In
addition to the film class, she also teaches the digital photography class
as well as experimental photography and a few others.

Would you believe that I did not know that UAA had a photography program
until last semester? Otherwise I WOULD have signed up for it last semester.
Once I did find out, I wanted to take the digital class I saw listed, but
when I looked at the schedule, it wasn't listed for the UAA campus. Fine.
I'll take film instead. It's better than nothing.

Well, wouldn't you know it? I get into class only to discover that not only
are they teaching the digital photography class but it is ONLY taught in the
spring.

PHOOEY!

And on that note, onto Ancient Lit.



2- Ancient Lit- This is the first of my Wednesday class and my
2ndfavorite. The class meets in a room that too big for the class
size, so I
end up feeling intimidated by the sheer vastness of it all. The professor is
probably in her 60s or 70s and loves ancient literature, which is good since
she is teaching a class on the subject.

The way her class is setup, we don't have in-class quizzes like all the
other literature classes I've taken, instead, she has a discussion board set
up on Blackboard in lieu of quizzes. We're supposed to respond to the
questions she posts and we'll be graded on that response. In addition to
that, anything we say on the boards can be brought up in class. Prior to
class starting, she prints out all the responses and reads her favorites in
class, at which time we have to be ready to share more of our supposed
"insight" into whatever piece we might happen to be studying on that day.

It's nice because out of the two discussion boards we've had so far, my
responses have been read in class each time.



3- Geography- Ah, the last of my dreaded science classes. Seriously,
I'm amazed at how I've managed to stumble through these college-level math
and science classes. I was horrible at these subjects in high school, and
I'm certainly not any better now, so--- who knows what's up?

I decided on Geography since I took Geology last semester and the two seemed
to coincide in their subject matter so I thought that I could apply some of
the things I learned in Geology to this semester's Geography. And it turns
out, I can!

Already, Dorn (that's what he asked us to call him) has made mention of
several things I hazily remember from Derek's class last semester. But Dorn
is a much better teacher than Derek in my humble opinion. His material is by
far more interesting and I enjoy his lecturing style more so than Derek's.
Dorn is quirky and a little odd, which makes him the perfect science geek.
That and you can tell that he LOVES his chosen field and relays that passion
to the class.

The really nice thing about the class is that instead of a science project
or a whole bunch of quizzes, we only have the midterm and final, and the big
research project. Only, this research project sounds like fun!

We're to chose an area of the world, bigger than San Francisco, but smaller
than California, and assemble a folder about that area. We have 15 tasks
that we have to complete, writing up a paragraph or so about each task,
along with pictures and graphs illustrating the information. It looks to be
fun because I can come up with pictures, make up pretty charts on the Excel
that I now know how to use, and write an eloquent, convincing, yet
informative paragraph illustrating the amount of yearly rainfall Siam
receives and how that affects the cloud coverage that in turn relates to
isolation and thermal radiation.

Cool, eh? Right now, I think I'm going with Northern Italy for my region,
the mountains that separate Italy from Switzerland. While reading my Rick
Steeve's Guide to Italy, I was drawn in by this region and its diversity in
culture and landforms, in a not-so-wide range you have the valleys and
mountains, but then the woods and lakes, and even the beaches and oceans.
Besides, since Micah and I want to go to Italy for one of our anniversaries,
I thought it might be nice to know a little something about the region, more
than just where to find the best Gelato.

Oh, one more thing. In stark contrast to my last class, Geography is crammed
into a room that is way too small. It says that the room is rated for 45,
but I think that's WITHOUT desks. With desks, and we're being squished at
25. Yeah. I feel so close to the guy sitting next to me. Literally.



4- World Lit- I think this is my favorite class. The teacher is quiet
and soft-spoken, but again, quirky, and has some really good insight into
the passages. So far, we've studied the Gilgamesh Epic, Genesis and Job, the
Iliad, Odeipus Rex, and similar works. Most of the works we're going to
study I've already read in my Greek Mythology class or British Lit class,
others, like Genesis and Job (duh!) I've already read personally. Instead of
being redundant, it's nice to have this bit of repetition in works 1)
because this class will add deeper meaning and revelations to the works 2)
I'll be able to contribute to the discussions more so than if I had never
read the works 3) This means I don't have to spend 5 hours a night reading,
especially since I'm taking an additional literature class that requires as
much, if not more, reading on its own.

Instead of discussion boards, this teacher is having us write our favorite
quote or passage from the current work on an index card and then write why
we chose that particular quote and what we think it means. And those are
turned in and we are in turn graded on their existence and content.



All in all, I like the semester so far and look forward to all the craziness
it holds. Part of me wishes that this wasn't my last semester, but other
than a few photography classes here and there, I probably won't head back to
college unless I know for sure that it's what I'm supposed to do. But for
right now, I just want to be a housewife. I want to stay at home, write my
books during the day, go out and take some pictures for my latest
coffee-table book, come back in a cook my hard-working husband dinner, and
just live life.



That's the dream, eh?



m.

Oooo... something shiny

I LOVE the copier/printer/scanner that is here in the office. Seriously, it
must have cost a pretty penny. Not only is it super fast and easy, but you
put in the whole stack of papers (i'm making 10 copies of a 94 page
proposal- i feel sorry for the people who had to write that!) and the
beautiful machine will not only copy, but copy one-sided or two-sided
depending on what you select, will one-hole-punch, two-hole-punch, or
three-hole-punch. It will also staple anywhere you want. In addition to
that, it will sort automatically. AND it will even email the pages to your
inbox. Now how cool is THAT? Really, the only thing it doesn't do is make
coffee!

m.