Thursday, October 25, 2012

Da Bomb

So, everything is pretty much status quo. Nothing out of the ordinary over the past week and a half or so since I've been on here. Dr. Government is still crazy. All the damn kids in my classes are still damn kids. I haven't had any grades come back since that last Geography test that I totally kicked in the balls. I did have that Hamlet paper to turn in, but it didn't quite get ALL THE WAY turned in... and here's what this blog post is about...

So, Mr. English has this thing, where he sends a text message to a someone, and then his whole class gets a text from him. I guess that's for his own liability purposes or something, so that people can't say he's texting them directly or something like that... anyway.

Usually his texts consist of something like "Expect a quiz on your reading tomorrow." or "Don't forget to turn in your papers online." Yesterday, I received a message saying "Bomb threat at campus. Please stay away from school until further notice. Class is cancelled unless you hear otherwise from me."

Wow, really? Who calls in a bomb threat to a community college in this freaking part of town? What's more disturbing is that there have been a rash of these going on in Texas for some reason. UT, A&M, TSU, Sam Houston State, and now my little college. What the hell, man? I mean, it was probably an empty threat, but at the same time, we cannot afford to take this lightly. Because even if it's bullshit 90% of the time, there's still that 10% where people get hurt. Gnomesayin?

My thoughts on that are this: Someone had a test, or an assignment due that they weren't ready for and had to buy themselves some time. So, what's a student to do? Stay up late? Not watch TV or play video games? Not go hang out with your idiot friends? Of course not, I'll just call in a bomb threat! Brilliant!

Look, I mean I'm not one to say I wasn't there at one point in time. My first attempt at a post high school education, I blew it big time. I probably had a similar mindset as a lot of these other people, but dammit... DO YOUR WORK. I stayed up late the night before this paper was due and got my stuff handled. It sucked and I was tired the next day, but hey, it's worth it. And you aren't just screwing over the people in your class, but the WHOLE CAMPUS.

So, my paper is turned in online to the anti-plagiarism website, and I need to bring a hard copy with me next week when I go to class. It really irritates me that this happened, we have a test that he was supposed to prepare us for, and I'm wondering how that's going to play out now. I'll just have to start studying all of Hamlet. Balls.

On the plus side, I did get to stay home, relax and spend time with my family last night. It was kinda nice. It reminded me of, well, not being in school. It'll be nice when this is all over with and I don't have to spend twelve hours away from them almost every day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The New Normal

So, life is crazy sometimes. For me, right now at least, that's ALL the time. Last week and weekend was hectic so I got a bit behind. Had some crazyness at work, Saturday I had the little one all day by myself (totally don't mind, she's awesome) and I was up way early... and by that I mean I didn't really go to bed Saturday night because I was smoking a brisket for my birthday bbq. So, here's what I need to catch up on.

Read some Hamlet in class on Wednesday in English. I really hate... HATE reading Shakespeare. I understand the man was brilliant, and there is a reason we are still studying his work today. I get it. Reading his work however, is incredibly hard for me. I just can't seem to wrap my brain around what is going on. Even with the study guide and the online help that Mr. English turned the class onto, it's hard for me to really "get it". I've got a paper due on Hamlet two weeks after this class took place, so we'll see how that goes. We wound up watching what would be the first act of the play on the Mel Gibson movie version of Hamlet in class that night.

Thursday's music class was boring once again. I think we had like five people including myself? I don't know how we are still having class every week. I have a concert report due AND my "listening" journal due on the following Thursday and I need to play catch up, bigtime! Hopefully I can get this all done by this week's class. Looks like some late nights for me.

Had my test in my Geography class last night in... Geography class. We took the test, and watched a movie about Australia while he graded the test. The movie is called "Rabbit Proof Fence" if you're interested in watching the MOST DEPRESSING MOVIE EVER. Got my test back and got a 94. Same grade as last time... waiting to find out if there is a curve for this test or not. So, I'm still kicking ass in that class. That rhymed. Unintentional.

Government is tonight. I'm getting increasingly annoyed with that class, so we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Government: Slightly Worrisome

Monday was geography, and literally nothing happened. Seriously, we went over the notes for Russia, the former Soviet Union and Central Asia. Nobody said anything stupid. (I know, I was surprised, too.) The only highlight was that my teacher said "Russia is like Canada on steroids." I thought that was funny

Anyway, Tuesday was Government. I get to class, and I notice that Dr. Government is running late. He's never late. He comes in at about five minutes after. No big deal... we get to work.

As he goes on, I notice that he seems a bit off tonight. He's not his normal energetic self and he's quieter than normal. I mean, everyone has an off day now and again, I get that, but he's forgetting things and mumbling and stuttering a lot. Way more than usual.

He's an older dude, I understand that, but he's just way off. I hope he's ok. We go on our break, and he takes longer than normal. Usually, he's back in a prompt 10 minutes and tonight he stretches it out to about fifteen. THEN he forgets his drink, so he has to go all the way back to his office on the complete OTHER side of campus to retrieve it. There goes another ten minutes.

Class is just dead tonight also. Nobody wants to participate, people's heads are down, people aren't taking notes. (That makes me not feel bad when they bomb the test, which is really just reciting your notes.) One guy actually fell asleep. Just before our break, so we had been in class for over an hour by this point... someone SHOWED UP TO CLASS. Really? The lack of effort is baffling.

I'm a little concerned about Dr. Government. I like the guy and I hope it's just him being a little worn out and not something going on upstairs.

There was one dumb moment in the class. I'd say it was one of the damn kids, but it wasn't. The older lady in class wanted Dr. Government to cancel class on the day of this years presidential election because, as she put it, "We're all going to be too preoccupied with that and we won't be able to concentrate on class."

Dr. Government just said, "Maybe I'll bring in a TV and we can leave it on mute so we can just see the updates."

That's totally reasonable. I don't want to have to play catch up and wind up being later in class for a few weeks to play catch up.  The election is NOT going to be finished by 9pm or whenever it is that we're usually out of class at night. In fact, I'd be shocked if all the votes were in by midnight. Weather it's a landslide or a neck and neck race, we won't probably know until after class is done. Aside from that, I'm sure she and I are probably two of about five people in that class, the teacher included, that really give a crap about what is going to happen and what it means for the country after Nov 6, 2012. Nice try, lady.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Odds and Ends

A few more miscellaneous things I didn't mention in my "catching up" post.

One of the requirements in my music class is that we have to go and see a concert, and write a report about it. Well, two concerts, actually, but one of them is due at the end of October. Our teacher has been good of letting us know when there is one coming up that we can attend for free, the problem with that is, that they're mostly during the week. That really doesn't work for me as I work every day and I have class mon-thu.

I emailed him asking him if there was anything he knew about that was during the weekend, and I didn't mind paying for admission. We get to class that week and he said he had gotten my email and had a solution. He offered to go to a local high school THAT NIGHT for a concert, but the whole class had to agree to go. They did, we went.

It was a local HS orchestra, and they were really good. The sound coming off of the stage for the amount of musicians on stage, was HUGE. I was very impressed. Afterward we went into the orchestra hall to discuss the music, and to hopefully talk to some of the students that played.

So, we talk to someone who played each of the different instruments, and the string bass player... was definitely my favorite. Mr. Music asked the kid what his favorite piece was, what his instrument was, was there anything special about it... blablabla. Then it came to what was awesome about this kid. Keep in mind he's talking to a man that has a masters degree in music education...

Mr. Music asked him what his plans for college were, and if he wanted to get some sort of music degree and keep playing. The kid very matter-of-factly replied with "Well, I enjoy playing, but I don't think I'll get a music degree. Music majors don't get good jobs or have careers."

The room got real quiet, real quick. Then it was followed by the sound my laughter. I pretty much lost my shit when he said that. Mr. Music, who has a pretty quick wit, said "Yeah, and what am I? Chopped liver?" He understood what the kid was saying, but he could have said it better.

Another thing that made me shake my damn head...

So, my two siblings are significantly older than I am. They went through this same college system before moving on to a larger university about twenty years ago. Keep in mind, they're older than I am, and I graduated high school in 2001. What I learned from my brother, is that both he and my sister had Dr. Government in the early 90's. THE SAME Dr. Government.

So, my brother wanted me to ask him a question about a female country singer that he was in love with. I asked him after my test a couple of weeks ago, and he laughed when I told him my siblings had him about twenty years ago. So, the following week, someone asked me what made Dr. Government laugh.

I explained to them the whole story and one girl said "Wow, I wasn't even born yet."

To which I replied, "Good for you, man!" My veteran buddy thought that was funny.

So, that's not the only time that happened to me that week. The very next night in English, Mr. English the movie buff mentioned that on that very day, the movie "The Princess Bride" turned 25 years old. The girl next to me said "Wow, I wasn't even born yet."

Being the idiot that I am, I said "I was born the year E.T. came out." and she JUST HAD TO ASK... "When was that?"

I said "1982.", knowing full well I was not going to be happy with what she said next:

"Wow, that's pretty old."

I was left speechless. Mr. English just shook his head.

*sigh.* Damn kids...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Playing Catch Up

To my dear reader (s?)

Sorry I've been lacking in posts, so here's what's been going on. When I left off, I had a paper due the following week, and two tests on the two nights before that. No big deal right, I can handle that. The plan was, to study for a few hours Saturday morning, and Sunday morning, and to write the paper a few hours each of those days. It's only a 3-5 page paper, no problem, right?

The best laid plans of mice and men....

Friday evenings I usually take the night off. After working all week and going to school for four nights previous, leaves one tired old dude at the end of the week. So, I usually take it easy. Maybe cook dinner, watch a movie with my wife, play with the baby... whatever's clever.

I come home Friday, crack open a cold beer and relax. I sit on the floor and I'm having a grand old time with the baby playing with her on her blanket. I turn to say something to my wife and turn back around and the baby is throwing up, a lot. I've never seen a baby throw up this much. She starts crying and I hand her to my wife and she gets her cleaned up and comforted while I clean up in the living room. That was sure weird.

A little while goes by, I fix some dinner and then she throws up again. And again.. and then the diarrhea starts. We have one sick baby here.

She threw up a few more times overnight, but in the morning she seemed fine. I managed to get some studying done and she was her normal happy self.  Then... she started throwing up and vomiting again. After a call to the pediatrician, we were off to the ER. Turns out there had been an outbreak of Rota virus at the daycare the little one goes to. It's at the church my wife works at, and it's cleaned very well every day, but a few kids and some of the workers got really sick around the same time.

So after our fantastic trip to the ER, we come home, my wife goes to bed early and I start to clean up around the house, thinking I'm going to sit down and write some of my paper afterward. I start cleaning some dishes and then... **grumble**. Oh hell no. I've got it.

So, I spent most of my Sunday on the couch, or on the toilet (I'll spare further details) and feeling just God-awful. I called in sick the next day and studied my ASS OFF for this Geography and Government test. I got home both nights and wrote my paper, putting the final touches and turning it in online before class on Wednesday.

96 on my Geography test.
86 on my Government test (which I thought I had failed, go me!)
C on my paper (once again I thought I had bombed) but he is allowing us to correct formatting issues (not content, just formatting) with a chance to bump up a letter grade.

Not bad, I think. I'm pleased with myself thus far. I have an A in my music class as it stands right now, so things are going quite well. I really hope I can keep up this momentum, it'll give me the confidence I need to start tackling the more difficult classes I have to take in the future.