3

Minor Problems and Frustrations

So I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post.  Sorry about that!  But really, with classes starting in two weeks, you probably should just get used to it.

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It’s not that nothing’s been happening.  It has.  Just small-ish things that really don’t deserve their own post at this point.  But I thought I’d check in all the same, and write a bit of a hodge-podge post to summarize those things:

First Generation Student Program / Student ID Problems
Something I forgot to mention in my last post about the orientation I attended was that I briefly met the gentleman who is in charge of Career and Transfer Services.  In the very brief handful of minutes he was given to talk to our group, he mentioned that one of the things he administers is a program for First-Generation college students, to encourage and support them in successfully obtaining a 4-year college degree.  What got my attention is that if you sign up for the program and continue to meet all of the requirements (which basically means keeping your GPA up and utilizing the Tutoring Centers), you actually get a cash stipend every other semester to apply towards books or whatever.  And ya’ll know I’m all about dat free money, yo.

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Neither of my parents have degrees, so later that weekend I emailed him to see if I would qualify, even at my advanced age.  He said there’s no age limit on the program, and we arranged to meet at 4:30pm on last Wednesday to discuss it further and get me signed up.

Well, to make a long story short:  He stood me up.  His office door was wide open when I arrived, so I thought surely he’d be back soon.  But I waited until 5:05pm before I gave up, choosing to head across campus to try and accomplish another errand so that it wasn’t a completely wasted afternoon…

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Shortly after I got my Student ID Card a month or so ago, I noticed that there’s an extra digit just chillin’ in the middle of my student identification number.  It’s very obviously a typo and an easy one to make, so I wasn’t too fussed over it.  Just figured I’d get it fixed before the semester started at some point.  So since Old Boy never showed, I decided I’d save the day myself by heading over to Student Records to get that corrected.

Yeah, no.  Wrong.  I arrived at the Student Records office only to be told that their printer was down, and to check back net week (I haven’t).  So that was a bummer, and my trip to the campus really was a complete waste of time that day.

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When I got home I emailed the guy and politely called him out for blowing me off.  He was very apologetic, and we’ve been going back and forth regarding rescheduling, trying to nail down a day & time that works for both of us.  Still nothing confirmed, though.  I’ll let ya’ll know how it all works out!

Major Concerns
I kinda let the whole decision about my major slide away for the time-being, figuring it wouldn’t kill me to actually complete a semester or three or core curriculum classes before really stressing about it.

Yeah.  That didn’t last.

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Aaaaaand so I’m right back in that place again.  (Thanks, Anxiety!)  Today my thoughts were along the lines of:

Fuck it!  Why don’t I just major in something I’ll actually enjoy learning about, even if the career prospects for it are absolute garbage?!  Like Anthropology!  (Yes, I’m still stuck on the Anthropology thing… That shit looks absolutely fascinating to me, even if it is utterly useless!)  Or Creative Writing!  Or Psychology!  Or whatever!

And in addition to that, why don’t I just minor in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and treat that as my fall back!  (Because really, the more and more I look at the Major program requirements, the more I just want to curl up and sob like a little bitch.)  But on the other hand, do employers really give any flavors of fucks about your minor, or just your major?  Plus aren’t the two supposed to be somewhat related, or at least complimentary?  Does any of this shit even matter at all?

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Financial Aid
So while we’re talking about the fucking awesome choices I’m not making regarding this extremely important investment in my future, let’s talk about the money I’m gonna spend on it!  Or not spend, at least for now.  I think.  Things finally happened with my Financial Aid.  Sorta.  Confusing things that need clarification, so I’m not prepared to go into detail quite yet.  But for now I’ll just say there’s money on the way, I just need to have a chat with my boy Fernando to clarify the amounts, disbursement intervals, etc.  Hopefully I’ll have more details the next time.  So at least that’s exciting stuff though, right?!

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2

TCL’s Accepted Students Day

Okay, so before I get into addressing the subject of this post, I just want to celebrate that this blog has officially become it’s own thingy thing.  (Yes, a thingy thing!)

The Late for Class blog now officially lives at lateforclass.net!

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Much easier to remember, right?  As somebody who’s never had a custom domain name for anything ever, this is pretty exciting stuff!  Now if only I could figure out how to grow my readership here, I’ll be on my way!  That will come in time though, I know.  I’ve downloaded some great guides on blog publishing, and as soon as I have time to really study them I’ll start integrating some of the concepts here.

Okay, so!  On Friday, I took the day off from work to attend Accepted Student’s Day at the Technical College of the Lowcountry.  It’s basically a mass orientation where they feed you breakfast, welcome you, and send you through three breakout sessions:  Technology Matters, Student Survival Guide, and a Campus Tour.

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Spoiler Alert:  I basically only showed up for the free Dunkin’ Donuts and Chik-fil-A because everything that they had to tell us were all the things I’ve spent the last 3 months figuring out on my own.  No, seriously.  And I’m not even mad about it.  I honestly kinda figured that might be the case, but I wanted to do it anyhow just in case somebody along the way dropped some new nugget of information.  They didn’t.

After breakfast in the Student Center, we moved to the auditorium for an official welcome.

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As you can see, I sat too close to the front to be able to get the whole stage in the photo.  Because I’m a nerd, and nerds is sit in the front.  #nerdlife

After a welcome from the college’s president and an explanation of how the day’s activities would work, we were sent off into our groups for the breakout sessions.  Up first for my group was the “Technology Matters” session.  The point of this session was to take folks into a library computer lab and get them set up with their WebAdvisor account, Blackboard account, and school email account… All of which are things I’ve been checking & using for a couple of months now.  So basically I spent the session getting logged into everything super fast, then sitting there feeling smug as shit for the rest of time.

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The most interesting parts of this session for me were:  (1) Finally seeing the library.  If you recall back in April, during my self-guided tour, that was the one thing I forgot to check out.  Turns out that I wasn’t missing much.  (2) Finding out the password for the student wi-fi.   Because priorities.

Next our group was moved to the “Student Survival Guide” session.  This started out okay, still no new info though.  Then it got turned over to some lady from the health sciences department, who started out by saying “Good morning” and making us say it back no less than 8 times.  Instantly I was taken back to the very worst of my high school classes.  But then it got infinitely more terrible:  She seriously fucking made us stand up and do P.E.-style calisthenics to “wake us up.”

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Now, usually I’m a happy little know-it-all joiner (seriously, don’t ever take a class with me), but I think this might be the least participation I’ve ever done in anything ever.  I literally just stood there giving this lady the stink-eye and moving my enormous body as little as I could possibly get away with.  I’m not entirely sure why it rubbed me the wrong way, but I suspect that it might have to do with being treated like an idiot high school kid.  I found myself painfully suppressing the urge to blurt out “BITCH, I AM THIRTY-SIX GODDAMN YEARS OLD.”  But I didn’t.  I just kept phoning it in and she just kept yelling out exercises.

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Eventually she did get around to delivering some actual information, but by then I was 110% done with her ass.

Then the Financial Aid lady came up and did her speech.  The same one I wrote about here who kinda blew me off when I was in her office months ago, and then did nothing with my paperwork, causing me reach out to one of the other F.A. counselors, Fernando (who is AMAZING).  So that was fun.  Again, more stuff I already knew, no timeline on when I’ll actually see my money.  Greaaaat.

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Then a few other people came up and talked about some stuff, blah blah blah whatever.  I was basically checked out at that point, none of it was new information and I seriously had to pee.

Finally we were released and I bee-lined it to the ladies room, and made it back to the lobby just as my group’s Campus Tour was starting.  It was lead by the same Work Study student who helped me in Student Records when I got my parking decal and my ID card, Imelda, and she was lovely.

Unfortunately though the tour only really consisted of the Bookstore, the Student Lounge, the Arts & Sciences building, the Tutoring Labs, the Admissions office, and the Testing Center… All places I was already familiar with.  So again, nothing new here, folks.

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And that was the end of Accepted Students Day.  Pretty anticlimactic, huh?  In fact, it probably didn’t need an entire post this long dedicated to it, but you got one anyhow.  Seriously though, the event really was well put-together and I’m sure it was very informative for most of the attendees.  I know that I’m a pretty special headcase with all of my obsessive preemptive planning and research.

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Observations:

** I fucking hate teenagers.  Don’t get me wrong, some of them were super good kids and conducted themselves really well.  But the majority of them (at least in my group) were just insufferably obnoxious.  Talking to each other during the speakers, laughing and cutting up instead of listening to the campus tour guide, fucking around on their phones, etc.  I so badly wanted to get loud and go off like, “LISTEN HERE, YOU LITTLE SHITS…”  Why?  Because I’m 36 fucking years old, and ain’t nobody grown got time for that nonsense.  Get off my lawn.

Oh, and did I mention that I recently changed my online English 101 to an actual traditional on-campus English 101?  Yeah, kinda worried about that now.  At least it’s a night class that only meets once a week, so my only hope is that it’s populated with more working adults than freshly-graduated high schoolers.  Fingers crossed.

** If I can manage to stay as far ahead of the curve in my classes as I was in these orientation sessions, I’m going to be a damn superhero student.

** This campus is really REALLY tiny.  Like, I knew it was, I mean it’s a community college.  But turns out it’s even smaller than I thought.  I’m not worried about it at all, though.  In fact, it’s probably a good thing.   I just wish the library hadn’t been so underwhelming as that was the part I was most excited to see.  But they swear that they have access to a lot more than what’s in their stacks, and also to tons of online materials.  We shall see!

** I really am just a nerdy grumpy old lady.

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0

A Dedicated Study Space

So I’ve been keeping mum here on a little project that I’ve been researching and planning, and it’s actually been incredibly difficult not to mention it.

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I started working on this project way back in April, and so I’m super excited to finally get to write about it and share with all of you today!

See, I have this spare bedroom in my apartment that has been woefully underutilized ever since 2012 or so, when my last (and final) roommate moved out.  Once she left, I set it up as a guest bedroom.  But the thing is that I don’t really get visitors or entertain much overnight company, and for the last 5 years it’s never once been used for that intended purpose.  As such, it progressively became more of a catch-all storage room than anything else.

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God damn Gordon, the room wasn’t that bad.  Just cluttered with junk and full of disorganized nonsense!

Now you all know that I’ve been working on doing an independent study to get myself up to speed in Algebra, which I’ve mostly been doing from my recliner in the living room.  Which, sure, is super comfy and all that, but definitely has it’s drawbacks.  Between trying to balance my laptop on one knee and my notebook on the other, gently fighting off three cats who don’t understand why Mama isn’t letting them come snuggle up in our favorite chair like they’re used to, and getting a little too comfortable and dozing off while I’m trying to work done, it’s often a less-than ideal situation.  Not to mention that it’s so easy to get distracted in the living room and slip into my leisurely habits.

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However, I’ve often read that studying, like sleep, can be benefited by having a space dedicated only to that one activity and nothing else.  So that when you enter that space, in time your brain learns to respond accordingly and enters into a mode of “Woo!  Time to study!  Let’s get our learn on, motherfucker!”  Which honestly sounded like a pretty great idea to me.

So.  That’s what I did.  I turned that bedroom into an actual usable space which I think will really serve me well when the semester begins next month, and all the years following while I work towards my degree.  Over the last couple months I’ve been organizing and selling off stuff that was in the guest room, as well as slowly purchasing and accumulating Phase 1 of the basic furniture for a home office.  Yesterday my dad and grandpa spend the day here assembling it all for me, and ya’ll, I seriously could not be more pleased with the results.  Time to “move that bus!”

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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The above photos were taken in the afternoon, just as we finished getting everything into place.  Here’s one more, which I took  late last night after I had settled in a bit more:

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As I mentioned earlier, this is all just Phase 1.  I already have Phases 2 & 3 planned out, and will be adding things like more shelving, end tables on either side of the sofa, wall decor, and some fun lighting (fairy lights, etc).  But all of that costs money, so I am tackling it all in phases, and most important was to get the basics moved in and set up first, and then I’ll slowly add in the other things to finish the office up.

But even in it’s current state, I am just tickled pink by my new study space!

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