Monday, May 10, 2010

I Got a Little Busy, Is All

I was just going to show up on my blog today, as if I hadn't been gone for 10 months, and type up a nice post and just see if I could keep going like that.

But I honestly had no CLUE there were responses to the last post, and so now I feel a little badly. I hate being ignored and I certainly had no intention of doing so to anyone else.

So here's a brief recap of the last ten months:

July/August: I spent every waking moment desperately trying to pass my math classes, keep up with the intense schedule of the summer online education classes, work at the law office, and keep an eye on the kids. I didn't do a very good job with the last part, but I didn't actually know that until months later. In the end, it was fixable, and for that, I'm so grateful.

However, when I say I passed my Calculus class, that's all I mean. There's no hyperbole there. I would do fine on homework, althought it took me three times as long to finish as my classmates. I did fine on quizzes, averaging a B or B+. But I would nearly fail every timed exam. I just didn't have enough committed to memory anymore to finish every problem.

There was, the way I recall it, only a week-long break between the end of the summer semester and the start of the fall semester, and it flew by. I started again the last week of August and dropped my Calculus II class in the second week of September. I wasn't going to pass it and I knew it. I am a very hardworking student and a very dedicated one, but I know when the class has moved past me to the point where I won't catch up. Dropping the class then meant I got a tiny amount of my tuition back. In the meantime, I carried on taking three other master's of education courses. After a few weeks of discussion with various advisors, I moved back into Elementary Education, which is what my B.A. was in, where I taught, and for which I spent most of the last ten years writing curriculum. I took adolescent psych (before I switched back to El. Ed.), a class on Lev Vygotsy's theories, and a class on teaching reading and writing to ELLs.

We were, all of us, sick for most of the fall semester. I couldn't keep any of the kids in school more than ten days without someone getting ill--and we never did get H1N1. There were just vicious colds and the occasional stomach flu. It was exhausting and when you combined the illness and working at the law office and taking a full-load of Ma.Ed. classses--I cried a lot. Chris was gone often on business (for which I was grateful--the work, not the being gone), once for three weeks at a time. I didn't blog.

Initially we thought that I'd take Spring semester off but at some point I did the math (ha!) and realized that I'd be done with the degree in Spring of 2011 if I didn't take spring 2010 off. So even though it meant taking out another semester's worth of loans, we soldiered forth.

Christmas break was a nice break, if only because we finally got out from under the thumb of all the illness. My sister visited and Max auditioned for his spring play. School started again and it was different all over again. Two out of three of the classes felt useful and generated fairly interesting dialogue. One was a required course that did not feel useful and which was taught in a style I didn't really appreciate. January and February are always tough for me, and this was no exception. Still, time passes in a predictable manner, and soon it was March. I developed an idea for my Master's Thesis, switched over to the M.S. in Ed. degree, found an advisor for the thesis, and found some comfort in seeing that we (master's students) were all struggling around Spring break. We were tired. Time passed. Term papers were written. Presentations given. Final grades assigned.

Ironically, none of my math grades count. Because they were less than 400 level courses, they don't count as graduate classes and that means they don't count towards my GPA. Since my non-math courses were a better match for my education and background, I've earned fairly decent grades. There were a few close calls, but in general, I've hung in there. I'll apply for the doctoral program next year.

As of today's post, I have a nice long summer stretch ahead of me. I report back to school on August 16th for a week of orientation for my assistantship--I'll be teaching a few classes and/or doing some supervision of undergraduate teacher trainees. In exchange, I get free tuition, health insurance, and a stipend. My last week at the law office will be in early August. I'm not counting the days. I like the law office.

Max is finishing up 8th grade and will be taking a whack of challenging classes next fall in high school. Spanish 2 and Geometry and the like. Ben and Milo had a great 2nd grade year with a terrific teacher. This is a possibility they'll have her again in third grade. Either way, they'll probably stay at the charter school for another year.

Tonight we're sitting down as a family and going over the calendar for the next few months and getting on the same page with that. With all the stuff the kids do, Chris's travels for work, and my just wanting to get the twins through all the Wolf Cub achievements before I go back to school in August, there's a lot to coordinate.

My plan is to blog regularly through the summer. We'll see how that goes :)


Staci said...

So glad you're back!

The Queen said...

Awww, thanks! I really did miss the chance to write (little box on facebook just doesn't cut it for me), but it was just . . . wow, crazy 10 months.

Patty Edwards said...

Glad you're back!