Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our Thanksgiving

Yes, I's been forever since my last blog. But I have good reason; I was on vacation. We went to Colorado to visit my older brother and his family at their new home. My parents also came up from NM. We all gathered for Thanksgiving and a little R & R. It was desperately needed. I had two days of classes before we departed and in that time, I had a paper due and in the previous week, I had two entrance exams. I was very ready for some rest and great food. My sis in law is a great cook and a wiz in the kitchen. She has just about every useful kitchen tool there is and kicks serious butt with them. We had some excellent meals while there. I think I ate more in three days than in a normal week. She is also very organized between the kids' homeschooling, housecleaning, meals, and activities. I hope I can be that put together one day. I'm working on it.

While we were there, we also celebrated Mister's bday because it is this week. He picked out the cake, I made sure it was doable, and I was able to make him the coolest racetrack cake ever. Tiny helped me decorate it and did a great job laying the gravel for the track (cookie crumbs). I hit a snag with the side icing piping as the icing did not want to evacuate the decorator's tip, so instead we put licorice on the sides. Mister loved it, it was yummy, and he made out like a bandit with the presents, which ranged from art supplies to cars to tech deck dudes and a movie. He had a great day. I'll probably just do a nice dinner and some more cake on his real birthday. I can't believe he is going on 10. I won't say the time has really flown by, but it definitely went by faster than I anticipated. He has been such a blessing to me. He's my conscious and my sense of humor.

So, we got home last night and pretty much all melted onto the couches after being in the car for 9 hours. I love road trips but it sure is nice to get where you're going and just chill. The kids travel well too. I don't know who came up with the idea of watching videos in the car, but God bless them. They watched more on the trip there then on the way back, but it sure was nice. Our bigger vehicle is awaiting some new brakes and we had to take our smaller one. Two adults, two kids, a dog, and ton of stuff almost proved to be too much on the way home. But we survived and I will look into a luggage rack before our Christmas trip to NM. So, today is the calm before the resuming of the storm which is life. I have to unpack, do laundry, clean house, and do some homework. I have about two weeks of class and one week of finals left before the next break. I'm very ready for this next break already.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Just a blip.

I don't think I like this new blogger version. I wish I could switch back to the old one. Oh well. I took the Praxis II on Saturday morning (required exam to enter the teaching grad program). I was on standby to take it because I had missed the registration date. Fortunately, everyone on standby that day was able to test. I won't know how I did for four weeks. I think I did okay. Between the questions I didn't know and the fact that I ran out of time before I was done, I know I didn't do spectacularly. At this point though, I'll be ecstatic to have passed. I have to keep this short and sweet since I have clothes to fold, a paper to start, and a few other things to do before bed. Laters.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Random Sightings

This is the scene I walked past today after class. Snow was being hauled in and packed onto a slope between two buildings. Considering the adjacent tables belonged to the Ski and Snowboarding Clubs, I had a good idea of what they were doing.

A couple hours later, I passed the scene again and here's what was going on. There was also a new band performing in the courtyard, promoting their CD. I've learned to always try to carry my camera with me because you never know what you're going to come across on campus, especially after the Chewbacca sighting. So, look forward to some random pics of crazy college life.

Have you hugged a turkey today?

This is a turkey that Tiny brought home as a blank paper cutout. Her assignment was to decorate it with her family and take it back to school. So, I pulled out my craft supplies and we got to work. Each feather is a different fabric print, the body is a dark brown felt (lucky for us I had some), Tiny painted the head and feet, we put beads on the collar, and I wrote her name with glue and glitter. When I dumped the glitter on the glue name, she asked what I was doing and looked confused. I then shook all the excess glitter off and her name "magically" appeared. She gasped and loved it. I love my job!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I PASSED! I PASSED! I PASSED! I took the GRE tonight and needed a 450 in the verbal and in the quantitative. I got a 570 in the verbal and a 530 in the quantitative. I have to wait on the analytical writing portion, but I felt pretty good about it when I did it. I have a big smile on my face right now. I've had so many successes lately and feel so blessed. I've been getting really good grades on my papers and tests and then the GRE. I have to take the Praxis II next on Saturday. If I pass that, I'm clear on my grad school entrance exams. I told H tonight that I feel so great, it's as if everything I've worked so hard for all these years is finally all coming together and is within my reach. I also told him that I've never felt better as a student than I do now. I never had to try very hard in high school and got pretty good grades, but I never felt completely pleased with my efforts. Now, I'm working my butt off and am doing good and I'm very pleased with myself and my efforts. It's a good feeling to know I did my best and did well.

After the test on Saturday, H and I are going to dinner with the LonDolls. Nobby is bringing her boy (when I say this, I mean boyfriend, not son) and we'll finally get to know him. Trippy already knows him since her and Nobby are roommates. I've only met him briefly, a short intro. And Mody and Hobby have yet to meet him at all. So, it should be an enjoyable evening, especially since I'll be done with the tests. Tonight, we celebrated by going to a breakfast restaurant for dinner. My french toast was yummy, but I felt like I was about to fall asleep in it and come up looking like the cartoon with eggs for eyes and bacon for lips. I'm exhausted. I've been pulling late-nighters for the last three days, subsisting on Dr. Pepper. Yes, I've graduated to the harder stuff. Coke just doesn't cut it anymore. Next cram session, I'll be up to Mt. Dew. Me on a ton of caffeine is a scary thing.

Next week, we will be heading to Colorado for Thanksgiving at my bro's house. My SIL has graciously offered to share her culinary skills with me and will be teaching me some quick and easy dinners. I also intend to curl up on their couch with my tummy stuffed full of turkey and yams, snoring my head off and dreaming of pumpkin empanadas. I love the holidays. Well, I better head to bed before my head hits the keys and I have to explain the imprinted RETURN button on my head in the morn to my prof. Good night and thank you for all the good thoughts and prayers for my test. It sure did work. Keep 'em coming for Saturday. Will write more later. Love ya!

Monday, November 13, 2006


I'm getting a bit nervous. The GRE is on Wednesday and I've barely studied. I finished a theory paper today during my lunch and was hoping to focus on studying. However, I realized this afternoon that I have a children's lit paper due tomorrow morning that I haven't started writing. We're supposed to read an article a woman wrote about Peter Pan and the impossibility of writing "true" children's fiction. It's a boring article that is hard to read because you can easily see through the writing just how scatter-brained the author is. I wonder if she just wrote this the night before it was due (like me), oblivious to the fact that someone was going to take it seriously and publish it. I'm sure she would have organized it better had she known. So here I am, trying to decipher this crappy article enough to write a 1-2 page response on it. You know the resource is bad when you can't even write a 1-2 page response on it, the easiest writing assignment there is for an English major. So, word of warning...write your papers with some thought and care, you never know what idiot with a sense of humor might read it and think its art.

I have a GRE study manual from the library and it seems the test is divided into two main parts: English and Math. You would think the English would be a snap for me, right? Well, there are words in there that I've never heard of and some that I have but never knew the meaning. I would say that I am comfortably knowledgeable with about 1/3 of the vocabulary. Thankfully, they have a glossary of terms to study. I cautiously glimpsed at the math and wasn't too horrified, though math still scares me. It doesn't look like anything I haven't studied before. So, I take the test Wednesday afternoon and am asking for lots of good thoughts and prayers to be sent my way. They would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pinch Me!

Today was a pretty wonderful day. Why, you ask? Because I visited with my academic advisor today to make sure I was all set for my last semester before graduation. He confirmed for me that I only have 3 more classes standing between me and my Bachelors degree! Just 3 more after being in college on and off, part time and full time for 8 years! Yes, I said 8 years. I have struggled, celebrated, and wanted to quit many times. I can't believe that I am finally so close to finishing. After our meeting, I had a permanent smile tattooed on my face. I just couldn't stop, I was oozing joy. I think I got some on Liz at lunch. She was definitely smiling a lot more after that. I couldn't help calling my mom and letting her know the great news. She told me that she was so happy for me and was very proud of me. All the things a daughter wants to hear. The day I walk across that stage will definitely be one of the best days of my life. I have an inkling of just how awesome it will be. I can't imagine how it will feel when I do it again for my Masters a year later. Probably even better.

At about 3 am this morning, I also completed a final project for my language arts class that I've been putting off for a while. I have to present a "lesson" to my class that is completely original and I also had to plan out a weeklong lesson plan. I knocked that baby out. This afternoon, I attended a lecture titled "The Death of a Beautiful Woman: Memento, Deconstruction and the Idea of Form" given by author Walter Benn Michaels. As far as theory lectures go, this is the first one I have enjoyed. He had some interesting theories relating to self-deception, expectance vs. reality, and obsessive behavior. He related these ideas using the examples of the movies "Memento" and "American Psycho". I attended for class credit and also because the synopsis sounded quite similar to a project I did for a poetics class about the death of the beautiful woman in art and literature. Here is the
website. This wasn't what the whole of his lecture was about, but he did touch on it. So, a couple of hours of a little enlightenment, some time spent with future colleagues, and some credit under my belt. Not a bad afternoon.

Yesterday had its bragging rights too. I got a B on my last theory paper and an A- on my children's lit midterm. I'm amazed each time I get a good grade. It's a rush. I will also be writing yet another theory paper tonight. I believe it is on "Fight Club". Not the worse topic to have to write on. Could be worse, like more Baudrillard. Dry!

GRE, Praxis, and Flu....SHOO!

Just a quick update at three in the morning. I had a presentation that had been due on Tuesday and I finally completed it tonight. I have to present it to the class tomorrow and hope it goes well. It is basically a lesson that I will present as if I am a teacher and the other students are my students. I also had to come up with a week of planned lessons...just the plan, not the actual lessons. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted since I finished it. Presenting it isn't really a problem for me, just actually getting it done. I also have a paper due on Friday and I will be taking the GRE and the Praxis II test next week. So, you know what I will be doing this weekend...studying. I am actually on standby for the Praxis cause I missed the registration deadline. So, I would greatly appreciate some prayers and good thoughts my way that I will be able to take the test next week. If I have to wait until next month, I won't receive my scores in time for my grad school apps. So, send a little love my way.

I am almost done with my 20 hours volunteering at the adult ESL class. I really like the teacher and enjoy the students and I had planned to keep helping out after I am done with my hours. However, I will actually be switching to another class at the same school, but I will be working with high school students. I found out that for one of my letters of recommend for grad school, I need to have done some work with real high school or middle school students and have the teacher that I work with provide that letter. I am sad to leave the ESL class, but am excited to work with the kids and face the new challenges that that will include. I know it will be challenging because this is an alternative high school, not a traditional one. These are the kids that have been sent or chose to go here because of pregnancy, problems, or issues. I hope I can learn a lot and help along the way.

I told H that there are very few things in my life that I have actually been nervous about, such as starting at my third new high school, getting pregnant, and buying a house. But this grad school app process is really doing a number on me, nerve-wise. I'm so afraid that I will think that I have completed everything and will find out at the last minute that I screwed something up or forgot something and there goes graduation or there goes my chance at grad school. I've always been a procrastinator, but I am trying really hard to not wait around for anything when it comes to this. I may end up so tightly wound by next summer that it will take a weeklong nap, no noise for three days, and a lot of liquor to get me loose again (well, no liquor for this mormon...maybe some good meds though). I am already feeling my stomach twisting in knots just thinking about the future stress. Ugh! I just want to be done already and finally have something to show for all my hard work and years of school. I'm tired and can't take any extra surprises or delays. Stick a fork in me, I'm done!

Enough ranting. I think I have successfully sidestepped the cold that was trying to overtake me. However, H is showing early signs of the flu. Not good. I will have to watch out for him and simultaneously keep my distance. Getting sick is just not an option right now. Unfortunately, Nobby has come down with the flu and can't keep anything down. I told her that I felt bad cause I was complaining about not being able to breathe through my nose. Small potatoes compared to her right now. I really hope she's okay. We were hoping to have a LonDoll's night out but it's more important that she feel better. There's always next weekend. Heaven knows that I'm definitely going to need a night out after those entrance exams.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

4 More Weeks of Torture, 2 to Die and Then We Start Over Again

We just finished watching "The Producers", the movie. I had previously read the play and have to say that I really enjoyed the movie version. I love Nathan Lane and who doesn't like Matthew Broderick? Uma Thurman has also recently become one of my fav actresses. H really enjoyed Will Ferrell's character. He has a movie coming out with Emma Thompson (definite fav) titled "Stranger than Fiction" that I am looking forward to. I will have posted some more vids of upcoming movies and such by the time I post this. Can you tell how much I enjoy movies?

School...could be better. I've let myself fall behind a bit. But all that reading I did ahead of time will be paying off soon. While we're starting to cover those readings, I can catch up on what we've already covered. Don't know if that made much sense, but oh well. We're about to discuss "Fight Club" and we rented it this weekend. I have never seen it before and we had to go to four different video rental places to find one on dvd that wasn't checked out. It followed the book pretty well and there weren't too many suprises. I did like though how images were spliced into the movie like the character does in the theater. It was interesting. The movie ending left you hanging a bit compared to the book. But hopefully, I can now devote the reading time I would have spent on that to other reading I need to do.

This weekend had some fun moments. I babysat Saturday morning. How is this fun, you ask? Well, the older kids entertained themselves and I got to enjoy the baby. He is about 5 or 6 months old, tiny, and the happiest little man ever. He didn't fuss once and was so fun to cuddle and make laugh. I enjoyed it immensely. Contrary to what everyone believes, I am not baby hungry or due for the next yet. I really enjoyed him but also saw how hard it would be to accomplish other things while having to attend to a little one...the reason that his mom had me watch him while they moved. He sure was cute though.

Saturday night, we went south and took out my father in law along with my bro in law and his fam. We all went out to a buffet restaurant and each ate our fair share of food. It was nice to get out and be with the fam with some good food we didn't have to cook. We then wandered around a huge sportsman's store. They had a live aquarium in the store and the kids loved it. I say the kids, but I mean me too. The aquarium is really tall and I was staring a fish right in the face when it sort of yawned and I could see all the way into it. It was very surprising and I lifted the kids to see too. We then went home and watched a movie. I passed out on the couch and slept so well that me and the kids had to miss church.

I have to go to school tomorrow and am not sure I want to. I desperately want the semester to be done. I am tired, a little bored, and trying hard to not get sick. If you know any seasoned college students, you'll know they only allow themselves to get sick between semesters. It's like we make a deal with our bodies to wait until just after finals and then we can allow ourselves to die for two weeks on the couch with a gallon of Nyquil and a box of tissue. And just when we're alive enough to enjoy the break, it's time to start all over again. Speaking of, I have to register for spring classes in a couple days. I'm feeling the stress of the GRE and the Praxis II weighing on me. I signed up to take the GRE in about a week and a half. Wish me luck, cause no one needs it more than me.