Sunday, June 27, 2004

Our favorite NASCAR driver was, well, actually, still is, Awesome Bill Elliot. Unfortunately he is not driving this year; I hesitate to say he has quit altogether, but that is probably the truth of things. We miss seeing him on Sundays. We just have to pay attention to the other 'good guys,' like Dale Jarrett.... so, notice the new graphic next to the moonphase image? It is also a link to the Race Fans for a Cure website where you can get merchandise for donations -- which are matched by Ford Credit -- to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Fan & matching donations along with bonuses Ford contributes based on Dale Jarrett's pole and finishing positions have raised over $1,000,000. Seems I'd heard of Jarrett's association with this, but today he was driving not his main sponsor's UPS scheme car, but one covered with pink ribbons. The Fox Network announcers made some remarks about Race Fans for a Cure and, so, I went surfing, of course. And popped that pin graphic up there for ya'll. Remember a few entries ago I mentioned Nip/Tuck. Well, before the next episode (Tuesday @ 10pm EDT), I wanted to get caught up on the storyline, so, again, I went surfing. One of the most likely-looking hits, near the top of Google entries, turned out to be a parental television control group site, which has apparently been successful in forcing ALL the previous advertisers for this show to pull their spots. For the premire of the new season, there is only one advertiser supporting the whole show: XM Satellite Radio -- I'm tempted to purchase and subscribe just to spite the stupid PTC. One of the things that peeves me the most is their logo banner, "because our children are watching." What the heck kind of people let their children watch a show CLEARLY intended for adults, in a time slot when children should be in bed?? The problem, imo, is NOT with the show, but with the parents. Am I the only one who finds it ironic that they had extremely detailed synopses of every episode? Not only are they upset about the sexual content of this show, but also the graphic nature of the surgical procedures. Well, of course! Isn't it oh-so-much-better to gloss over the trauma of cosmetic surgery like The Swan and Extreme Makeovers??? I have a feeling they don't boycott or write letters to Discovery Health channel about the graphic nature of the surgeries they broadcast. So, I popped back there tonight, used their link to XM to send a support email, and the one to thank sponsors who bolted as an opportunity to tell PTC how silly I think they are being about this. Sorry. Enough of the soapbox.... The Sons and I attended orientation and fall registration at the college yesterday. I finished before them and joined the other waiting parents. Pulled out the baby blanket and got a couple color stripes finished while chatting with the moms before the boys joined me. At least the rain held off while we walked around campus. I think we'll all three be adjusting our schedules online in the next couple days though. Today is hubby's birthday. He got free dessert at the Mexican restaurant last night, but, sadly, there weren't enough waiters around to sing (oh, and we learned our little waiter is headed off to the military soon). Today I actually cooked: meatloaf. It rained (AGAIN) off and on all day (AGAIN). So tired of the rain, but I guess I shouldn't complain. Does make it difficult for hubby to mow yards though. For now, back to Ancient China, Confucius, Daoism, Legalism and all those wacky emperors, kiddies - by the way... little kitty nero seems to have developed a habit of, um, getting his jollies with my blue afghan... any one have any advice? LC

Thursday, June 24, 2004

no grade is a good grade so far

World Civ mid-term wasn't graded as of class this afternoon, which was short due to some severe weather outside and a somewhat ill professor inside. Turns out essay is 40% of grade. I'm pretty sure, as I've said, that I did well on the rest of the test, though 60% is hardly passing! I'll be saying prayers for a general 20% for my essay attempt and just keep trodding along. Speaking of the sever weather, I cannot believe the terrible drainage conditions on campus! My shoes were soaked. (I knew it would be raining today, so I didn't wear sandals' I got wet feet on Tuesday.) There was one parking lot where the ground angled down; the front of the cars were IN the water! If the one on the end didn't have water inside from around the driver's door, I would be very surprised. What a very wet day. My feet were freezing by the time I got home this evening... remember, I'm in south Mississippi and it is summer! I've got to quit going in at the library with hubby. Every time I pick up something to read -- and I don't have any spare reading time! Maybe once or twice a week I can take time from the books. Like right now, for I'm heading to bed with the latest offering from the Marion Zimmer Bradley people, i.e., someone writing up some of her stories of Darkover with their own. Last one wasn't very good, but as is often the case with me, I read for the story and not for the writing. I tolerate a lot of bad/poor writing to find out how the story goes. Then again, Angels & Demons is pretty interesting right now. I also picked up A Thousand Days in Venice (think that's the right title). Either way, I'm off to read myself to sleep (won't be hard), LC

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

when's a writer not?

I like to think of myself as an able writer -- among other things, of course. I don't claim to be good, but passable. Which is to say, I keep doing it, and, oddly enough, I enjoy reading most of what I've written. Always want to re-write or edit it, but I do reread; maybe that makes me not a writer. So can you appreciate my frustration at having to write an essay on-the-spot in less than, say, an hour or so? With no reference material, just my sieve-like brain to rely upon? I wrote about three over the weekend, while studying for my mid-term (world civ, which was this afternoon). I drafted and rewrote, I typed up and printed out, I reviewed and made margin notes. I was especially pleased with the one about India. Don't think it helped much this afternoon. At least the one which was on the test was the last one I had worked on, so it was freshest in my mind. Was I supposed to do memorize them? Note, there were three possible essay questions for the test, only one of which was actually on the test. I've known about this for weeks, we've worked through each of them in class -- they were really quite straightforward, so I can not figure out WHY I had such a problem. Best I can come up with is that I couldn't quite follow the logic, or maybe didn't agree with the premise of the questions -- each one seemed a bit of a stretch to me, misdirected even, perhaps. Why not ask the real question you want answered? Or worse, that I just can not keep enough in my mind to do it well without help, i.e., notes. Maybe just an old block against essay tests rearing its ancient head! Bah. Probably half the points or more on the test are from the essay (otherwise I think I did well); the test is 25% of the final grade. No more tests until the final, but lots of assignments; I've done well on those so far. I'll never make an A in this one, but I can try to hold on for a B. The good news is, I made a 93.25 on my child psych exam last Thursday! And... I've been able to get two-thirds of the baby blanket finished, knitting while I took much needed breaks from studying over the weekend. Have been relaxing this evening: my son invited me to supper before I left campus, caught up with some email and blogs, and I watched the Nip/Tuck season premier tonight -- what a strange show. I watch the story part, hubby watches the 'operations,' amazed by the realism. Back to the books tomorrow -- summer classes allow for little time off. The lesson I'm learning is pick your summer classes very carefully. And the laundry is piling up. Bless my husband's patient heart and soul! LC

Sunday, June 20, 2004

what goes 'round

oh my, isn't life funny? both my sister and my best friend from high school recently remarked how easily I was able to make good grades in school, how I didn't have to study, and how frustrated this made them each. my sister even said I would laugh at her when she tried to 'help' me study. this weekend son#2 comes in the back room to ask what I'm doing sequestered back there all day and night. I tell him I'm writing essays and studying. for not the first time since I returned to college, he laughed at me. later-taters, LC, whose memories of school are much different

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Panic is settling in

yup.yup.yup. Tests. Already! One --child psych-- on Thursday (TWO days!), the other a week from today (which will essentially be a mid-term, as it is the only test besides the final). And I'm beginning to feel quite overwhelmed with information I'm responsible for knowing. I'm doing fine so far on the WorldCiv homework, but it seems quite easy compared to what I am expecting on the test. It's been a long time since I have written essays, etc. Thanks to all; you continue to support and encourage me in this endeavor. Sadly, no knitting since Saturday. I really shouldn't even take this time to write and check email... so ta-ta-for-now, children. LC

Sunday, June 13, 2004

check'n in

Not much online time lately. I'm probably being compulsive about note-taking for my classes -- heh! I'll get over it, eh? Seriously, I think we'll all relax after the first test. Unfortunately first test in a summer class is generally the mid-term exam! I'm finally happy with my 5-hour baby sweater. I tore back the sleeves and did them in the round. The ones I want to make for cousin I want to use two-colors of wool, so will use this one to determine where I want the color changes. First I've got to get caught up for classes. Will take some pictures soon. So -- having checked the only remaining place possible for a skein of matching yarn for the baby blanket and not finding it -- I started the skein that is only one digit off. Good KIP and riding-along project. I noticed I hadn't posted kitty pictures lately, so I'll do that: First little Sasha, The Princess Who Would Be Queen And, of course, My Brickle-boy -- the contortionist?!?!? LC

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

And then there were five*

I happen to be a 'fan' of this president; you may not be. That's fine. I don't rag on anyone else; I hope to receive similar respect. I don't usually talk about politics with friends; mostly because it can, like discussing religion, cause hard feelings and disagreements. Still, we are about to experience in this country something which has not occurred for 30 years: a state funeral. It broke my heart when President Reagan disclosed he suffered with Altzheimers -- I'd feel the same for Bill Clinton, ironically, simply because I'm rather tender-hearted. I wish I could post a photo, but it's not right to take one from the news websites or remotely link. At the US Today website is this photo-essay. And if you would like to vote there, too, about putting Reagan on the $10 bill, you can do that here. One of the happy things I like to remember is that, because of him, we have the BLUEBERRY Jelly Belly jellybean! According to the Jelly Belly Candy Company: "Three-and-a-half tons of Jelly Belly beans were shipped to the White House for the Inaugural festivities. Blueberry, one of the most popular current flavors, was invented especially in honor of President Reagan's inauguration so he could have red, white and blue jelly beans at the festivities." Yikes! I sound so 'clueless.' Honestly, I do remember the BIG things -- but today, this week, I just want to think about the person. And pray for his family. No matter how difficult daily life was for his family, no matter how much they may have hurt to see him so changed, I know from experience, they would still rather have him with them yet. You never get over losing a parent. You never stop missing them. I'm sure it is even moreso for a beloved spouse. LC *living presidents: Carter, Ford, Bush Sr, Clinton, Bush Jr.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Short & Sweet, then to Sleep!

Goodness, I'm sleepy... I wanted to write a long chatty post about all that happened today, but am ready to go to bed, so I'll just say, all was 'fixed' when I got to Admissions today. I enrolled in Child Psychology and World Civ1. Those were two I knew I would need no matter how my transcript is evaluated. So, all is well. Vincent, or maybe some sweet little fae, is on duty. Even my student ID photo is not too terrible. ;) nities, LC

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Back-to-school Update

Not much of one though, really. Lots going on, but not much being accomplished. (Oh, how often do I sing THAT song!) On Tuesday, our plan was to head to USM early to meet with a very nice young woman in Admissions with whom I spoke first thing that morning. We had terrible storms and I couldn't get to my friend's house to use her FAX to send my transcript requests until after the worst had passed, so it was after lunch before we got to the college. I took along my transcripts; she made copies. Though I had completed an online application, it was missing information, so I had to complete a paper one, too. Then she sort of sent me on my way, telling me to call at 8am this morning to see if the FAXs from my requests had arrived. I was a little confused. It finally became clear to me that because I did not have anything from the University of Maryland, where I attended for part of one semester and withdrew, I could not register for classes. Some state law (I found that out today). Now, my transcripts are likely all archived, and so getting them takes longer. In fact, at UofMD it will take from 7 to 10 days. So, part of me is thinking that I'm not meant to take any summer classes. The other part is kind of upset. I mean, I understand. Sort of. How sad is it that they "can not just take [my] word for it" that I was not suspended or expelled, nor do I owe them money? Rodger laments that things are just too darn complicated. But, with simplicity can come limitations. With those irritating complications can come the options that make impossible things possible. It's a trade-off. My decision -- "lack of planning" -- at the last minute does not "constitute an emergency" for the people who provide the transcripts, right? Those who know me well can imagine what kind of emotional mood I was in this afternoon. I've been trying to find a silver-lining. And here is what it might be: the fact that it is apparently quite common for an LISMA *not* to have LIS as their BA major or minor! I already know that I will need an MA to really find a good position, and that is the general plan: to finish my undergraduate degree, and then get the master's degree. So, I went *back* to the catalog -- even checked the other college in the area -- to see how the numbers would look if I finished the psychology program that I began way back when. The picture is much brighter. More of my classes appear to work, and there are fewer have-to-have core requirement classes that I don't have right now (and would take more money and time than I had hoped to need). Going back to a BS in psychology takes off the schedule: a mandatory 18-hour minor 12 hours of foreign language 6 extra hours of history 3 extra hours of English 3 extra hours of Social Science Instead of needing 72 more hours, I could need as few as 66 (the extra 6 history and 3 English hours are offset by additional psychology course requirements)! Then 19 of my lost elective hours would actually count toward degree hour fulfillment instead of only 9. I think I like the freedom of choosing what more of my hours will be in the PSY BS than being dictated to by the LIS plan. I've probably not figured it all the way they will... the fewer of my hours they apply to degree requirements, the more they can force me to take there, the more money they make, right? Too cynical? Hmm.... we'll see. The low-down is that I never got to talk to the person who handles the archives at UofMD, so I don't know when my transcript will get to USM. I called Dad to see if perhaps he might have some old record of my withdrawal -- since he paid for it. I don't expect him to find anything. I was so ashamed of the whole ordeal I probably trashed the grade report and any other withdrawal paperwork I might have had years ago! The Admissions Counselor suggested that I go to Registrar, pick up and add-drop form and go to classes anyway next time it meets, explaining to the teacher that I am going to be in the class as soon as paperwork arrives. I'd *really* like to talk with an advisor before I start picking classes -- but there are a couple things I *know* I'll have to have no matter what, so I guess that's where I'll start. I can even limit the days I go to campus to two days a week -- a 'good thing' in these days of high gasoline cost. Going to bed; another early day tomorrow, LC

Pix, finally!

I bought another cable for my digital camera so now I can show you these! Ever wonder what is at the end of the rainbow? Well, take a look below: This one ended right in front of our truck, but no pot of gold for us. Guess the leprechauns don't like us.
My step-granddaughter's first birthday party was in early April. It just so happened it was one of the prettiest days -- actually quite hot -- the entire time we were up north: She may not have been able to figure out why we were all laughing so hard, but she enjoyed seeing everyone happy!
Dear husband didn't spend all his time like this: He actually worked very hard -- and was also very sick while we were at his daughter's. The cats were there to comfort. Can you see all three of them? Baloo is on the ottoman; Tread is in the chair; Sweet Pea, aka Phlegm, is on the sofa with hubby.
Although it was FREEZING cold for most of the time we were there, the lilacs were blooming when we headed for home. I really miss the lilacs, so you're getting a HUGE photo:
(Vegans be warned... you might want to skip the next photo.) Here's the main course from the reunion last Saturday. (this one I didn't leave full size) Now that I have my cable, I'll be taking some photos of my recent knitting. LC