Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Classes, Coffee, and everything in between

This has been an interesting first month of the fall semester. I'm only part time this term, but I seem to be putting in more work than I have in the past with a full schedule.

My Saturday bio class (the one I take with Steve) is going pretty well so far. It's an all day class (9am to 3:30pm), but isn't "all day" in the sense that the first ninety minutes are lecture time, then there is a thirty minute break, three hours dedicated to lab time, and finally ninety more minutes of lecture time. We have yet to use the entire lab time we have scheduled which leaves me with an hour or more for us to hang around. Nothing on campus is open on the weekends, so Steve and I just tend to hang out in the classroom. I took my knitting last weekend because the dead time is driving me nuts.

The real issue I am having is with my algebra class. It's not because of the course material (that's doable right now), but a software issue. The math department decided over the summer that all the classes needed to be submitting their work through an online program. It was supposed to be better than a previously used online program (it better be for the added expense they're charging students). Sadly, since the first day there have been issues.

The website crashes constantly. When it does work, it is questionable if it will take the correct answer or not (I kid you not). My professor is completely fed up with the program. The math chair for the department had her students taking their tests in the program and had to throw the scores out because of the problems they were having. This is no good! As for now it seems like we are to be submitting our homework on paper to the professor. I have no problem with this because I was writing everything down before submitting it online. It seems like that for an assignment with ten problems it was taking over four hours to submit due to all of the problems. So much time wasted!

I decided a couple of weeks ago since I spend so much time at my beloved B-24's, that I should put in an application to be a barista. So for the past week in my free time I have been learning all of the ins and outs of latte making. Things are going pretty well so far. I worked today at both their locations (they have one in downtown Ypsilanti and another at the library in the township). I love the people who work there already that it just felt like it was the natural thing to do. It keeps me busy, keeps me in free coffee, and even provides a bit of pocket money! ;)

Knitting group started at the beginning of the month. With group we saw the return of the crazy sock lady and many new, hopeful knitters (sadly no lefties this time). This is the one time I allow myself to knit and knit with no concern about work or school or even my family. That being said, I did finally finish the MKAL (I still have to block the shawl, then I will post pictures), and have started working on a sleeve for my Mom's Christmas sweater. I also have been working on writing a sock pattern and that is going slowly.

My reading has taken a back seat again, too (and right after my Dad ordered me a stack of books to read!). I'm sure that things will balance out over the next couple of weeks and I will have room for everything again.

I am looking forward to our family vacation next weekend (we're also celebrating Chase's birthday) to Mackinac Island. I've never been before and I hear it is absolutely gorgeous. I plan on knitting and reading the whole time. Mom says she's hoping there is a good coffee shop up there (lol).

So now I think I will get off this computer and go study a bit. ;)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Where has the time gone?

I think I took an unintentional break during August from the blogging world. I had great intentions to write regular updates, but as soon as that last class was done, I disconnected for a while. My "summer" was only three weeks before classes for the fall kicked in.

I'm going part time this fall. Things are slowing down now as I wrap up the list bits for this degree while working on classes (the next year is going to be heavy on bio/chem) before I transfer. One of my classes meets all day on Saturday. This also happens to be the class Steve and I are taking together. So far, this is an interesting experience taking a class with him. He does make an excellent lab partner.

The first week campus was open I worked as an information station greeter. The Student Activities department has four stations throughout campus stocked with maps, forms, and helpful people to guide visitors on campus. It was a lot of fun (I wish they would hire me in to the department!) and I met (and witnessed) many interesting people. That week of working just solidified the fact that I really, truly do miss working.

Everyone is doing well. Dad and my stepmom went to the beach for an overnight last week. This was the first time since Dad's surgery in May that he really ventured out past the house (and the hospital) for any period of time. His goal is to go six months without a health crisis, and then take it another six months at a time. They still have no idea what causes the infection that he's been getting, or where it starts or is hiding.

Mom is also doing really well. It's been a year since she was diagnosed with cancer. She had her mammogram this week and everything looks great. She has a check-up with her oncologists next week. When she is here in October for Chase's birthday, we're all going up to Mackinac Island to celebrate her health and Chase turning 11. It's not the ocean, but I think I will love it just as much.

As for Chase.. Chase is Chase. He went back to school on Tuesday. He's at a new school this year (they reconfigured the elementary schools in our district over the summer) and so far, he's loving it. One of his friends from the neighborhood is in his class, along with two from his class last year. His lady friend (the girl he has called every night through the summer) is not in his class, but they do see each other on the playground.

Chase has had a pretty great summer. He and Steve went to Scout camp for three days and absolutely loved the experience. They also slept on a submarine two weeks later. Chase was able to partake in a water robotics program while at the submarine that he thoroughly enjoyed. He also has been to a local archery range to practice. He and a friend are joining the JOAD program at the sportsman's club in October.

The garden is.. well.. it's there, but I am about finished with it. The tomatoes are slow to come in. We had three zucchini, some beans early on, and that is about it. This was just a really bad summer. I'm okay with it, though. I have been filling the fridge with goodies from the farmers' market all summer so at least I am supporting my local farms!

And now I look at the time and I see I should be wrapping this update up and getting myself ready for class (and waking the still sleeping members of my family). I'm going to try harder to provide more of an update each week. I may not post a lot, but I am around to read!

Fifth grade!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Yarn Along

From Ginny: Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading?

Linking up with Small Things..

See that? It's a finished "wing" on this MKAL! I finished it up last Wednesday evening. I'm slowly working on the other side, but dare I say it? The end is near! Knitting group starts again tomorrow and it will be the perfect project to take with me and work on for two hours straight.

When God was a Rabbit arrived in my mail on Saturday and I devoured it through the holiday weekend. I loved it. It was raw, and real, and my heart ached for Elly and her brother Joe.

I'm itching to cast on something else right now, socks or a hat, but I am determined this shawl be finished this weekend.

Happy Knitting!