Frustration with Diagnostics

Today has been a fairly good day overall. This morning Scott and I went down the street to Pep Boys to pick up my car and drop his off for an oil change. Then we came home to enjoy his homemade bread for breakfast and so I could complete the assignments due today for my Expository Writing course. I finished around 1:30 and we went to Sam’s Club for our bi-weekly grocery trip. We have been enjoying these trips, mostly because we are seeing our food stores increase and our spending on groceries is decreasing over time. We used to get groceries every week, buying meat and non perishables at our regular grocery store, but we finally joined Sam’s Club and discovered we could get most our supplies much cheaper per unit/oz in bulk than buying them one at a time. So right now I have 6 pounds of ground turkey, 4 pounds of chicken tenderloin, and 4 pair of one inch thick pork chops in the freezer, ready to be thawed and cooked. This provides such a lovely sense of security for me, and makes life seem less stressful.

This evening I sat down and installed the test prep software on my old PC laptop so I could take the diagnostic exam for the teacher certification math test I talked about yesterday. I took it and didn’t do too badly (65%) considering that I only need a 71% to be certified, but it looks like I need to brush up on my geometry and calculus and that’s SO MUCH STUFF. I am feeling overwhelmed about it but since I scheduled my exam for four weeks from now I have plenty of time to study up. I just need to take a deep breath and make sure I study a little bit every day.

This three day weekend was much needed and I am glad I have been able to make the most of it. Tomorrow I am hoping to hang out with friends and prepare my teaching materials for the week. I need one more powerpoint presentation, an assignment, review materials, and the Chapter 9 exam for Friday. There are so many times I wish for just one more day to get stuff done, and so I do not plan on wasting this one.

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Three Day Weekend

The past week of teaching and working seemed to be so long. It was only a normal 5 day week, but for some reason it seemed to last forever. It was one of my best weeks because I had most of my materials prepared ahead of time and almost all of my grades are already in the book. There isn’t much I can be proud of in the area of teaching I am in, but when I can keep up with the demands of the job, even for a week, it is a reason to celebrate. 

Now we have arrived at the first three day weekend of the spring semester and I am already relaxed. I had to take my car to Pep Boys for an oil change and some diagnostic services, and then I spent most of the day reading and writing for an expository writing class I am required to take for my accounting degree. Most of my credit hours from my first bachelor’s degree transferred so most of the general coursework was taken care of, but the newer requirements that I wasn’t grandfathered under are still on my list of “to-dos.” The assignments and readings I have had to do thus far have been enjoyable and I can definitely see how this course will improve my writing immensely.

In addition to working on my coursework I also signed up for the certification test I have to take in order to become certified in math. Two-hundred dollars later I have four weeks to study so that I can keep my job. Changing course from teaching music to teaching math has been much easier than I thought, but this test is the last great hurdle to get over, since I am confident that the administration will want me back as long as the enrollment justifies my position. Even this change will be short lived because once I finish my accounting degree and pass the CPA exam I want to make the full switch to becoming an accountant. I ordered a book through Amazon that will help me study and it allows for a four week study plan which I will start tomorrow. 

Usually my three day weekends don’t start out quite so productively, so right now I am feeling quite self-celebratory. And because I was productive the next two days seem even more inviting! Tomorrow I will study for my test and finish up the assignments for my writing class that need to be submitted by tomorrow evening, and Monday we are planning to spend some time with friends. I am just glad that I was able to work on all the things I need to do in order to make all the changes I want to make in my life.

Zero to Hero Challenge #11 and 13

Challenge 13: Change your blogroll to categories. If I do say so myself, it looks pretty amazing. Like a real blog!

Challenge 11: Leave comments on three new blogs. I left comments at www.ginandtacos.com, Hyperbole and a Half, and The Oatmeal. You should check them out, they are really funny and smart blogs

You can find the list of challenges at The Daily Post if you would like to join the fun!

For those of you who have been waiting for a real post, tomorrow I’ll be attacking challenge 12, which asks me to link to one of the posts I commented on and then write a post in response either comparing my experiences or commenting on the content that I previously commented on. And I will finally do the 8th challenge, which was to create that About Me page.

Zero to Hero Challenge: Days 8-10 Catch Up

Day 9 was an easy challenge to complete because I needed to start following business blogs anyway. For those of you who might just be joining my blog, I am working on my second bachelor’s degree in accounting and this semester I am taking a class in finance which is the point when they encourage us to become more involved in the present business world. So to kill two birds with one stone, I followed five reputable business blogs.

1. Wonkblog, the Washington Post business blog.
2. Paul Krugman’s blog at the New York Times.
3. Moneybeat, from the Wall Street Journal.
4. CNN Money, from an obvious source.
5. Business 360, a blog from CNN international.

Day 10 was fun because the widget list is so long and fun to peruse. I chose the Goodreads widget, because I am a recent joiner of the website and take a lot of pride in my reading habits. I also chose the “Blogs I Follow” widget, if only to make them more accessible to me when I need to read the information.

So enjoy. Day 8 catch up is coming later.

Catching Up to the Challenge: Days 4-7

A busy and tiring week got away from me, but looking at the Zero to Hero post challenge list I’m not so far behind. Let’s do some catching up today so I can stay on track. The last challenge I completed was the Day 3 challenge, to write the post that was on my mind when I decided to start this blog.

Day 4’s challenge asked participants to explore the neighborhood. This is something I am very familiar with, because I already follow several other blogs. One of my favorites that hasn’t been updated in awhile is hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com. It is hilarious and really speaks to real-life issues.

Day 5’s challenge was to Love Your Theme, and I had just changed my theme two days prior. Since I was not willing to pay for a theme (and there was one I really liked that I couldn’t have because it cost money), I chose my current theme because it felt professional.

Day 6 wanted me to publish a post with a new element. I do not usually include pictures in my posts, but I bet I could include more pictures, especially of my classroom every day. So here is a picture of me, at work, drinking coffee:

Image

Sitting at my desk at school, drinking coffee during my planning period.

Day 7 got a little more complicated and I had to do a little searching for a picture I wanted to use in order to further personalize my header. Apparently you can also upload a personal background image as well, but I wasn’t quite ready for that. I found a lovely tree header with an educationally themed quote and, well, there it is. 🙂

I am saving the challenges from Days 8, 9, and 10 for later tonight and tomorrow. Day 9 is going to take some thought because I really hate exposing things about myself to the internet, at least the way they are suggesting I do here. I need to think about what I am comfortable sharing and what I am not, or perhaps how to do it in a way that I don’t feel like I am putting myself at risk. Day 9 requires searching out new blogs to follow, which always intimidates me and I feel like I get lost in a swarm of things I don’t know whether or not I should believe, so I want to take my time and do that right as well. Day 10 requires that I add some widgets and I LOVE doing that. 🙂 So check back later today or tomorrow for these updates!

Motivational Movement

Today the 30 Day Blog Challenge asks for the following post:

Today’s assignment: write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

Now, this won’t necessarily be the post that I was thinking of when I started this blog. To read that you can link to HERE where you will find my first post on this blog.

I have had a lot of change in my life. Many changes in jobs, living locations, relationships, family situations, and other aspects of my life have made me feel like I am constantly in a change washing machine, bouncing around being transformed from one thing to another. Two parts of my life motivated me to begin this blog.

First, my professional life. Being a teacher is something I am so good at, but I absolutely hate it. People call it a noble profession if only to mask the fact that it is a terrible jargon game, in which the same procedures are rebranded, repackaged, and then presented to an ever stupider teaching force as if it is a new, exciting technique that will somehow get their kids high scores on the state test that hasn’t been pilot tested and only exists because it is required and not to improve anything. Not only was I dissatisfied with the profession in general, I was also disappointed with my choice of subject area within the profession: music. This blog was meant to show how I transitioned from teaching music for the past 8 years to teaching math (which I like a lot more), and how ultimately I will transition into being an accountant and out of education altogether.

Second, my personal life. To say I chose a challenging partner would be an understatement. I am an introvert and a loner, so when I decided to accept a marriage proposal I didn’t realize the amount of work that would go into simply living with another person let alone sharing my entire life with him. I have been married for almost four years and this year I decided that while I couldn’t change my partner, I could change myself and how I reacted to him. I wanted to document for myself and others with similar concerns how I am going about making those changes.

This blog is meant to give me a place to write down how I am dealing with these things, while also attempting to assist others with my experiences, mistakes and explorations. If more people were willing to put aside their pride and take advice, maybe some mistakes wouldn’t happen as often. I hope to reach at least one person, and if I do I will have reached my goal.

Honesty Killed the Cat

In addition to adding my About Me widget on  my page (today’s 30 day blogging task), I decided to also visit The Daily Prompt for some post inspiration. Today’s prompt was inquiring as to whether honesty is always the best policy or if being honest can be hurtful and so should be used with care.

The short answer to this quandary is that honesty does not always require speech. I think that it is important to note that there is a difference between being rude and being truthful. There is always a way to be honest without hurting someone if you look hard enough. I used to be one of those people that was proud of the fact that they had no filter and “spoke their mind” and “freedom of speech! rabble rabble rabble” but then I discovered that I was an asshole and had two friends who “understood” me and everything was difficult. My job was difficult because I didn’t know how to control my filter, my relationships were strained, all because I would often simply state the truth without thinking about the consequences.

Older and wiser now, I still value honesty but I find different ways to package it. I also believe in that old adage that suggests keeping your mouth shut if the truth you want to speak is overly hurtful. Silence is the most difficult skill to learn, yet it often speaks more volumes than the honest words you might have thrown out to prove a point. I am definitely learning to value silence.

So in conclusion I think that honesty is the best policy, but you have to be careful with how you use it.