I’ve determined that a month is a bad amount of time to have off from school. If you have less than that (say, a week or two) then there is a sense of urgency to get all those things done that you didn’t have time to do while classes were in full swing. More than that and you can get a j-o-b and remember why school was so nice and begin to miss the ivory tower. But a month… well, a month means that you start off feeling like it’s an interminable amount of time with nothing to fill it, then you get out of that funk, get into some good books, start some projects, and suddenly realize that all too soon it’ll be back to the grind again. Oh well.
I have done a lot of non-scholastic reading. Finished up Opting Out? and read two more books last week. The first one is called Charity Girl and it’s a fictional account of an actual situation that occurred during WWI wherein the war effort combined with the temperance movement resulting in the imprisonment of women who had contracted venereal diseases. This was an effort to protect “the boys” from contracting said diseases, ignoring the fact that often, the imprisoned women had contracted the diseases from the soldiers rather than the other way around. I wasn’t a fan of the ending, but it was an interesting read on a part of history that I hadn’t known existed. The other book was entitled Autumn Blue and was your more traditional female interest book… not too deep, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I had two other books that I’d taken out of the library, but as I tried to get into one of them and then the other I realized that whatever compelled me to pick them up in the first place was not enough to get me past the first few pages, so back they went and I came home with another pile. I’m partway through another chicky-type novel and have two more to go. Hey, the textbooks will be back soon enough, might as well be hedonistic while I can.
I also picked up Stich ‘n Bitch Nation from the library and made a trip to the craft store to buy some needles (why is it that every project I try seems to call for needles in a size I don’t happen to have?) and some yarn. I found a pattern in the book for a Fair Isle sweater… I haven’t tried Fair Isle knitting before, but I like the way it looks, so thought it was worth a shot (helped that the pattern is called Fairly Easy Fair Isle). There were also patterns for cat toys. I swear, I am NOT turning into a scary cat lady, it’s just appealing to be able to knit mice. Hm, that last statement sounds somewhat weird.
I have done SOME school prep, mostly in terms of ordering books. So far only two of my four classes have books listed and unfortunately one of the required books looks to be a bundle pack. I figured out one title from the bundle, but can’t determine the other. I found two books with the same author on Amazon, but the titles don’t help narrow it down. The school bookstore, as one may imagine, is rather enigmatic when it comes to listing book titles and ISBNs are totally missing from their descriptions in an effort to force people to buy them through B&N. But forget that… my money is too precious to be wasting it on padding their pockets.
I found out yesterday that our physiology class is going to be offered online and we (the direct-entry students) aren’t going to have our own section anymore. I’m wondering what happened there. When they first listed the classes both sections had a room, time, and a professor listed. Now, suddenly, we have a professor in Florida? I don’t get it. And I’m not at all pleased with this sudden push for online classes. Hell, part of the appeal of doing this program was because I’d get to share the experience with fellow students, collaborate, come to have an intimate relationship with the school and the people so that years down the road we can reminisce and get misty-eyed about the days spent in the computer lab at Hewitt and the drinks shared at Libby’s and the good (and bad) times we all had together. But it turns out that we’ll be spending even more time cooped up in our own homes typing correspondence with our classmates whom we could just as easily be sitting next to having a real-time discussion. Have you ever text-messaged someone or IMed someone and realized that if you just picked up the phone and called you could have had the discussion in a minute, but instead you have just wasted half an hour determining that yes, you’re going to meet them at such-and-such a place at such-and-such a time and you’re wearing jeans, so yes, it’s okay that they wear jeans, too? That’s my analogy for online learning. I’m not saying that online learning is useless, but I think that context needs to be considered. If you’re offering a program for people who work full-time jobs then yes, an online environment may work better. But I find that in our program the support of our fellow students is essential and it’s hard to feel that we have that when we are only together one day a week. Okay, I’ll end my rant there. Perhaps I focus too much on the experience instead of the end result… but I refuse to regret holding that stance.
Back to the present, I have plenty to keep myself busy, what with the reading and the knitting and the monsters. I’m still sad that I wasn’t able to get out to Michigan. But I guess we can’t have it all. Though I think I will go buy a lottery ticket now since the jackpot is $300M. That would go quite a ways in securing my happiness, even if I still have to take online classes 😉