annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Books)
Enrollment opened for Spring semester this morning. Well, it opened for me. It's been open for people with more earned credit hours since Oct. 10. I've been checking on the classes I wanted periodically and felt confident I'd get into them all.

I was wrong.

I managed to get into Elementary French II (which is good because they opened that class specifically because I asked). I also got into The Black Experience II online class. I did not get into College Writing II, which is frustrating because I really need it and I've already put it off a semester because it was already full the last time I tried to enroll in it and I need it to fulfill my Composition requirement. My second and third choices no longer sounded very good, so I shopped around a bit and finally decided to take American Politics, which will fulfill one of my social sciences requirements (I intend to take Microeconomics and Macroeconomics to fulfill the other 6 credit hours and work toward my business minor).

My Black Experience I midterm never opened over the weekend and I never heard back from my professor. I am now officially worried. This is an online course, so I don't know the professor well, but he has always come across as attentive and considerate. I called the Department of Pan-African Studies today and found out he didn't show up for office hours last Friday, either. The secretary said she'd call me back when she found out some info. It's been an hour and a half and I haven't received that call yet. I hope he's all right.

Edited to add: It's now almost 4:00 pm and I just got a call from my professor. He's been out sick since last Tuesday with a bacterial infection. He is, thankfully, ok and is trying to sort out the technical issues that kept the exam from posting.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Books)
I read Thomas More's Utopia in British History class. I enjoyed the book a lot and thought you might be interested in reading the paper I wrote about it. This is very slightly edited, because I noticed an error after I had the paper returned (my teacher didn't notice, thankfully).

Read more about Utopia! )
annissamazing: Troy Barnes only wanted an autograph! (Troy is scared)
I've been hesitant to post about this stuff, so here it is all at once.

I'm nervous about Dominic's school. I set my alarm for midnight so I could be among the first to submit an application for open enrollment at the school my sitter's kids go to. The application wasn't open by 12:30, so I went back to bed. It was up at 5, so I submitted it then. Dominic is in the last group of kids that will be considered because he is a non-resident of that particular city and he has no siblings in higher grades. I'm terrified he won't be accepted, because neither Justin nor I will be able to pick him up from school in the afternoons. We really need our sitter to do it, and she can't do it if he doesn't go to the same school as her kids. I'm sure there's some kind of a solution if open enrollment doesn't work, but I'm afraid it would mean finding a new sitter. And I don't know when they intend to notify which kids were accepted.

I'm nervous about fall semester. I'm worried I'm taking on too much at once.

I'm scared about my upcoming trip. I'm terrified I'm going to die in a fiery plane crash. This is normal for me, so I won't focus too much on it.

Lastly, I need to finally admit that I don't care for this incarnation of Doctor Who. I don't think I'm at the I-refuse-to-watch-this-season-anymore point (and because of the midseason break, it doesn't actually matter), but I feel like the people who are completely enamored of this season are trying to push me, and people like me, that direction and it makes me feel angry. Like I'm not the fan they want me to be, so I'm not worth anything and need to stfu. Which is why I've stopped posting about it. I don't want to be all Negative Nelly about it constantly. I want to concentrate on the things I have enjoyed (and there have been things!), but I feel like the things I don't care for have been outweighing the things I've liked.

I've been comparing it to fanfic a lot lately. I think that it's an apt comparison because the writers are fans telling new stories using someone else's characters. Season 5 and what I've seen of season 6 feel like fanfic from a very popular author whose characterization I don't buy, whose OCs I don't understand, and whose themes I don't enjoy. I'm not saying that Moffat's Who is bad. I'm saying it's not for me.

Soon I'll be watching more of the Classic Series and I'm sure there will be eras that I don't care for for similar reasons, but I'll still watch them, because (as [livejournal.com profile] gement so eloquently put it) I still love the shape of the show. I'll continue watching Season 6 and even though this era isn't my cup of tea, chances are good that future eras will be.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Books)
I just wanted to post my College Writing assignment from last night. We wrote 300 word stories, then we were asked to edit them down to 200 words. We were asked to write about kites.

Original story:
The little girl excitedly walked home from school with a kite. It had been that week’s art project and she was excited to try it out on the first windy day. It was cut from fuchsia tissue paper into the shape of a fish, details outlined with magic marker and colored in with pastels. A cardboard collar held the mouth open to allow air to flow through the center. Long streamers off the back resembling fins were supposed to lend stability to it as it flew. As she walked, she held the kite away from her, allowing the wind to catch the kite and pull it as far as the very short string would allow.

The windy day arrived that weekend. She carefully tied the strings to the paper kite and took it outside to try it out. She held the kite away from her and gave it some slack. The wind picked it up for a couple of seconds then promptly let it fall to the earth. She picked it up and tried again and yet the kite refused to stay in the air. She held it close and took off at a run. As long as the kite was close to her, it stayed in the air. The more freedom she gave it, the lower it flew until it dragged behind her.

She picked the kite up from the road and inspected the damage. Creases where there had been no creases before and a tear in the tailfin were easily repaired, but it was evident this kite wasn’t meant to fly. She swallowed her disappointment, removed the strings and took the kite back inside.

Maybe fish weren’t meant to fly. Perhaps she would recommend to her art teacher to make birds next time. That would make more sense.


Edited down to 200 words:
The girl walked home from school with a kite that had been that week’s art project. It was cut from fuchsia tissue paper into the shape of a fish and colored with pastels. A cardboard collar held the mouth open to allow air to flow through the center. Long streamers off the back resembling fins were supposed to lend stability to it as it flew. When the first windy arrived, she took it outside to try it out. She held the kite away from her and let the wind pick it up. It fell to the earth almost immediately. She picked it up and tried again and yet the kite refused to stay in the air. She tried running with it, but the kite still dragged on the ground.

She picked up the kite and inspected the damage. Creases where there had been no creases before and a tear in the tailfin were easily repaired, but it was evident this kite wasn’t meant to fly. She sadly removed the strings and took the kite back inside.

Maybe fish weren’t meant to fly. Perhaps she would recommend to her art teacher to make birds next time. That would make more sense.


I just thought it was an interesting exercise. I think I prefer the original, though.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Bored)
My attitude towards my math class is not improving. My dislike of the class is starting to manifest in a deep anxiety about attending, which is an unusual reaction for me. I get to school roughly an hour before class starts and I usually sit and read. I got a little bored with Heart of Darkness, so I pulled out my math workbook to work some of the problems. Thirty minutes later, I was 45 problems in, scribbling like crazy and starting to shake because I couldn't seem to write fast enough.

We had a quiz in class last night. It ended up being problems from the homework I had been working on before class. So, no problem, easy. Still, I couldn't stop shaking. So after I turned in my quiz, I left the classroom and went back to reading Heart of Darkness. I found it oddly calming, considering the subject matter.

We were told in no uncertain terms that we would have math lab last night, so we all stuck around in the commons area until lab time. After we all signed in and found seats, we went over this:



Visualizing what these graphs mean isn't a problem for me, and apparently it wasn't a problem for anyone else, either. We were all calling out the answers, but the teacher didn't seem to hear us. Because he'd keep asking, "Which one? Which one do you think is right? Is it A?"

Classroom is quiet.

"Is it B?"

Classroom is quiet.

"Is it C?"

Classroom erupts with, "Yes!"

"Is it D?"

Classroom is quiet.

"So which one do you think it is?"

And I'm left wanting to *headdesk*, but I can't because there's a laptop in my way (plus, it would be very disrespectful and despite my intense dislike of this class, I don't want to be rude).

So I'm right back to where I was in high school math class. Bored out of my mind and very unhappy. Only this time it isn't because I don't understand it. It's because this stuff is too easy and I'm frustrated that we're not moving faster.

On the plus side, at least we're not reviewing anymore!
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Books)
Fall semester began yesterday. I had my History of Civilization II class last night and I think I'm going to like the instructor quite a bit. She's very clear about her teaching style and what she expects from us. We're also about the same age (as far as I can tell) with a lot of the same interests.

The classroom was boiling hot (at least 95 degrees), so we were let out about 45 minutes early. I had to pick up Dominic from my sitter's gymnastics place. I got there far earlier than they expected me to and I managed to sneak up behind Dominic. He was playing with a Leap Frog game system and I bent down and whispered in his ear, "What are you doing?"

His reaction was very comforting to me. He's always been a very friendly child. He's not shy and he loves getting attention from anyone. But when I whispered in his ear, he very slowly turned and gave me a look that said, "Who in the hell do you think you are and what the hell do you think you're doing?" It took him about 2 seconds to register it was me and then his face lit up and he gave me a hug.

A woman sitting next to him burst out laughing and shouted, "That was priceless!"

It was really nice to know that Dominic doesn't just trust random strangers. I was proud of him!
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I totally rocked my math midterm and I'm feeling great about it. I was not expecting to do so well and thought I'd walk out with a high C or a low B. I got 98%! I made two mistakes.

Mistake 1: I forgot how to write proper notation for X intercepts and wrote (8, y) instead of (8, 0). -1 point.

Mistake 2: When factoring 9 - x2, I didn't pay attention to what I was doing and wrote (x - 3)(x + 3). Dumb mistake. I got the right answer minus a negative in the front of it. -1 point.

Not too shabby, though!
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
Oh hey! Did I mention I got a 96% on my last History exam? Because I did.

Things still to do:
Math 2 midterm on Monday.
Write my "Shiloh" paper due next Tuesday.
Math final in 4 weeks.
History final in 4 weeks.

Things are winding down. Or up. Or however you view it when the list of things you have to do is getting short and so is the time.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I swore I would not procrastinate about studying for my history exams! And, to be fair, I didn't do so badly this time as I did this time, but I still don't feel prepared for tomorrow's exam. I don't usually find history boring, but the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 just are not holding my interest. Which is a shame, because tomorrow I have to write two essays on them.

Additionally, I have the feeling that I will have a pop quiz in math tonight. I have no reason to think this other than the syllabus says we're going to have quizzes and we haven't had on yet. So I think what's going to happen is this:

I'm going to do some practice math today at work during any/all downtime.

I'm going to take tomorrow off and memorize some dates.

One of the cool benefits of studying history is having a better understanding of what our founding fathers were like. I now laugh at the people who say things like this, "It is time for us to remember the principles that founded this country in the first place, middle class America."*

Most of our founding fathers were actually Cosmopolitans who were more interested in protecting their own interests than helping out the poor farmers. And while Thomas Jefferson might be the person the folks mentioned above are referring to, he was only one man. Cosmopolitans were far more likely to have the time to leave their homes and jobs and attend the 2nd Continental Congress. George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, and John Dickinson were all Cosmopolitans. And it's important to remember Hamilton's plan: The King would be elected for life (as would the senators), would choose his own governors, and would be able to veto any state law. How's that for middle class!? And while Hamilton's Plan didn't pass, the 3/5 Compromise did. Our founding fathers decided that black men only counted as 3/5 of a vote. Which is more than women, black or white, counted for.

Sorry, the founding fathers had lots of good ideas, but lets remember they had a lot of really terrible ones, too. It was through compromise that we got the system we have today and even that has been refined over the past 234 years. Yes, let's "remember the principles," but let's not look at them through rose-colored glasses.

* Comment by Justin Townsend on a status update by a friend of mine on Facebook.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Beginning/regeneration)
Enrollment for summer classes began today. At my current pace, it would take me 8 years to complete a History degree at KSU. I don't want to be doing this for 8 years, so I signed up for a couple summer classes.

I decided to finish up my Core Math requirements during the summer (I'm currently in Core Math I and I'll take Core Math II during the second half of this semester). Core Math III shouldn't be too bad. It runs from July 19 - August 21, 4 nights per week. I'd get out early enough to do my homework every night.

I also decided to enroll in 7 Ideas that Shook the Universe, an introductory physics course. This one has me a little nervous. It's not math-based, so that's fine. It's just that it runs from 5:30 - 9:15 pm every Monday - Thursday. That's a lot of class! Add my full-time work schedule to that and I'm not sure I'll keep my wits about me. On the plus side, it runs from May 24 - June 11. It's only 3 weeks. I can do that for 3 weeks, right? I mean, I took care of a newborn... I can do anything! I talked to a friend of mine who took the class and she really enjoyed it, so I was feeling pretty ok. Then I read the professor reviews at ratemyprofessors.com and they're really good. So now I'm kind of excited about it.

So that's 5 additional credits I'm taking this summer. And I still get a 5 week break in there! I'm beginning to think I should save my LERs for summer classes and work towards my major during Fall and Spring semesters.

And, just because I've had this song in my head since early last week, here's Exogenesis Symphony Part III.

annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Wilf hurrah!)
I got 105 out of 100! I must've messed up my arithmetic on one of the problems because there were a total of 106 points available. I must've gotten a point deducted for a wrong answer, but the rest of the credit for having the theory right.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I've become a Facebook junkie. I'm actually pretty ok with my status as Facebook Junkie, but I've gotten so used to communicating in small snippets that I forget I can go into more detail here. I don't want to forget. At the same time, I don't actually have much interesting to say.

I'm feeling pretty good about my classes this semester. My math class isn't as intimidating as I worried it would be and my History class is more interesting than it was last semester.

My math class is probably 45 minutes longer than it should be for people who really aren't into math. It makes it tough to make it through the whole lesson. Especially when the teacher tries to engage the students by asking for the answers to simple questions, but no one will talk. I've made friends with one of my classmates and I whispered to her, "Do you ever get the urge to just shout out encouragement? Like, 'Go Cory!'" She said she did, so that's kinda what we did. It worked to a point. The class started responding more to the questions and that made it a little more interesting. I think I might come off as somewhat obnoxious, and I'm trying to decide if I care. The old me would care. The old-er me doesn't quite know yet.

History, like I said above, is more interesting. My professor this semester is definitely more animated. She gets up and tells a story. She gets into the material and rants and yells and spits. It's very entertaining to watch. She doesn't coddle, though and I'm worried that I'll miss something important. Last semester's prof made sure to give us all the information we needed in an easy-to-read (and sometimes misspelled) powerpoint presentation.

I got myself a Netbook to take notes on in History. I find myself using it a lot, inside class and out. I kinda love this thing.

I'm still watching old Doctor Who. The discs came from Netflix out of order this week because the next disc in my queue wasn't unavailable from my local center, so I jumped from "The Romans" to "The War Machines." So far "The Romans" is hands-down my favorite classic Who episode. I liked the historical mixed with the comedy. It worked really well on all levels. I'm a little confused about "The War Machines" because I'm not quite sure where it falls within Doctor Who chronology. Vicky, Barbara, and Ian were gone and Dodo was there instead. (Side note: Dodo? Really?) I don't know how close Dodo and the Doctor are, but it can't be very since she sent a message with a practical stranger to tell the Doctor she wouldn't be going with him any more. The computer sound effects in "The War Machines" was obnoxious. Were computers really that loud and annoying in the 60s? I wanted to mute the t.v., but then I couldn't hear the dialogue.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I've been feeling really proud of the presentation I gave in History class last week about the Roswell incident. I got my graded paper back yesterday and was happy to see I'd gotten a 97% on it. I had 3 points deducted because the prof felt I didn't adequately establish bias. He's right. I should have added a paragraph describing why I thought the authors were so biased. He also left a comment at the end that said he especially enjoyed my summation paragraph because I "didn't mince [my] words."

Yesterday, I was reading an article at feministing.com titled Pondering Being Prepared to be Wrong. The quote she used in her article was, "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original," (Sir Ken Robinson) which I'd never heard before, but really liked. And it made me think about my history paper...

I left the last sentence of that paragraph in because 1.) I felt it was a strong statement of opinion and this was, after all, an opinion piece. 2.) When you write an opinion, you have to be prepared to be wrong. Or at least be prepared for people to disagree with you. 3.) I genuinely felt that way and I was prepared to defend my opinion if it was challenged. *

Last night a classmate of mine got up to give her presentation. I'm going to paraphrase her presentation, but this is very, very close to exactly what she said.

"I read 'The Case Against Barack Obama.' The author didn't think he should be president. He used quotes from Obama. That's it. The end."

I was a little shocked. The professor asked a couple questions trying to get her to talk a little bit about the book. Things like, "What was the author's thesis?" and "What sources did he use?"

I asked a question, "Did the author convince you?"

She said, "I don't want to start a debate. I already thought he shouldn't be president, so..."

Another classmate asked if the author had brought up Obama's birth certificate. She just said, "No."

I was mostly disappointed because I'd heard a lot of people's reasons for thinking Obama isn't qualified to be President, but I hadn't heard any that held any water and I was interested in hearing some. Also, lately I've been enjoying a good debate. I'm a little disappointed that she wasn't up for defending her own opinion.

Was she afraid to be wrong? Or did she just not read her book?

I'm beginning to see where Kent State got it's motto: Kent read. Kent write. Kent State.



* Just as a refresher, the last paragraph of my paper was this:
"I found this book to be very poorly written. The authors seemed unable to organize the information into any coherent form. The book is filled with typos and their endnotes occasionally do not match the superscripted numbers in the text. The end result is a muddled mess of conspiracy theories that most readers would find difficult to slog through. This book not only fails to prove the authors’ thesis, it adds nothing to the existing body of work on the subject, and may actually detract from it. What this book needed was a good editor to cut the superfluous garbage from the finished product. But, then, there wouldn’t have been any book left to sell."
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I took the first of three exams for my music class last night. It was taken on one of those Scantron sheets where you fill in the dots. The instructor handed out the question sheets and asked us not to write on them because he reuses them. I was on page 2 when I noticed someone had written the words "Golf course" in the margin. I wondered why they would do that.

During the instrument recognition part of the exam, the instructor would show us a photo of an instrument and we were supposed to match it to the correct name and identify which part of which country it comes from. On the back of the exam, next to the map of Asia, that same person had written, "Don't forget... ...golf course." That's when I realized someone was trying to psych me out. Like he was trying to stick the words "golf course" in my head and make me forget the information I had just crammed in there before the exam. I thought to myself, "Well, that's not going to work!" And then the instructor moved onto the next slide before I answered the question.

D'oh!

Luckily, I knew it was an erhu and that it is used in "silk and bamboo" music from Southern China.

I don't cram. I learn.
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I think I had my first brush with entitlement in the college atmosphere last night during Music class. We are studying Southern Asian music, specifically India. The teacher was trying to explain the concept of raga, which has no succinct equivalent in English. He equated it to mood and to demonstrate the concept in a way that we would understand, he played major and minor chords on the piano. In Western music, we tend to equate major keys to happy music and minor keys to sad music. In the same way, a raga sets the mood in a piece of Indian classical music.

He asked if anyone had questions and a woman in the back of the class said that she was really confused about it. I can understand her confusion. It's a new concept that's difficult to explain. But she got really rude about it. "I don't understand this at all and you're up there playing the piano and saying, 'This is happy. This is sad.' It doesn't make sense. What is actually going to be on the exam?!"

She continued for several minutes and I got the feeling she was being deliberately obtuse. Teacher caught me rolling my eyes. I began to understand why he is slightly bitter about his occupation. He's got a lot of things combining to make the perfect storm. Firstly, Music as a World Phenomenon is an LER with no pre-requisites. He's trying to teach ethnomusicology to people with no real knowledge of geography or sociology (or music, for that matter). Secondly, the class satisfies the music requirement and diversity requirement (two birds, one stone). Lastly, many people consider it a dummy class that requires no effort. So when they don't "get" what he's teaching, the students get irate. So, again, I understand why she's confused, but I have major issues with how she handled her frustration.

Her attitude said, "I have no interest in learning about music from other parts of the world. Just tell me what's on the exam so I can get out of here."

On the plus side, I got him to play a clip from "This is Spinal Tap," and then we discussed the "Paul is Dead" urban legend for about 10 minutes. And that was really fun!

Update!

Oct. 28th, 2009 09:35 am
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
First things first:

Today is Dominic's fourth birthday!!! Having a baby of my own has altered the way I look at birthdays. First and foremost, I celebrate the life of my son. But there's also a tiny part of me that celebrates the accomplishment of delivering him. Four years ago today, this very hour, I was laboring to bring him into the world. It's made me appreciate my mother in a new way. On my birthday I want to talk to her and thank her. She was and continues to be an amazing mother. I feel like my own birthday is less about me and more about us.

---

My Music as a World Phenomenon class started last Thursday. I still can't shake the feeling that I don't belong in this class. The first two classes have focused heavily on vocabulary and cultural expectations of music. I think that I'll start feeling better about the class when we get out of things I'm already well-versed on and get into studying music from parts of the world I'm ignorant about. Yesterday the teacher was trying to get us to let go of our pre-conceived notions about music. He went to the piano and plunked out "Pomp and Circumstance" and asked us "What is this?"

Nobody answered so I quietly said, "Pomp and Circumstance." He stood up straight and said, "Well, yes, specifically it's 'Pomp and Circumstnace,' but what do we use it for?"

"Graduation," I said.

"Yes!" He turned his back to us and continued, "But it isn't 'the graduation song!' It's..." and he got more quiet when he finished the sentence, "called... 'Pomp and Circumstance.' We just happen to use it for graduation."

I feel like I took the wind out of his sails and hampered the point he was trying to make.

He's an interesting teacher, though, and he makes the 3 hour class go by fairly quickly. Though, to be honest, I'm ready to check out by 9:00 and the class goes until 9:45.

I got a survey in my KSU email yesterday. They were trying to figure out why incoming Freshman decide to enroll or not enroll in the music ensembles. I would *love* to be in some ensembles, but they don't fit my schedule. KSU's school of music isn't designed to allow non-traditional students to participate. I offered to take part in an interview and hopefully I can help them change things so that people like me can participate.

Language

Oct. 14th, 2009 08:43 am
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
I'm very excited to take my foreign language classes, however, I'm having a problem deciding which one to take. I want to take them all! I've narrowed it down to 3:

French, because I took it in high school and still remember a lot of it.
Russian, because it's different.
American Sign Language, because it would be useful.

What would you take?
annissamazing: Ten's red Chucks (Default)
If you're friends with me on Facebook, you've already read the punchline of this story. But here's all the details:

I ordered my schoolbooks early last week. The bookstore will box up your order and hold it for you until you come pick it up. It's kind of a slick system they've got. I got an email from one of my instructors on Tuesday that said, "By the way, you have class on Friday and you're gonna need this book." So I went to pick up my books at the book store yesterday. The girl behind the counter was very helpful and found my preorders for me. Then I told her I also needed the additional book and gave her a slip of paper with the book and author written on it. She took the paper and asked, "Which class is your daughter taking?"

I could only gape at her as I was doing the mental math to figure out how old I would have been when I got pregnant to have a college age daughter today (and those of you who know me know exactly what I look like when I try to do mental math).

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