Fall Semester 2011 in Review!

Its been nearly a months since I last blogged, and believe me, there were many days where I looked at WordPress longingly, wanting to escape the stresses of projects, PowerPoints and presentations. This past month was jam-packed and I am reeling from the craziness of it all. If I wasn’t working, I was reading, writing, creating, editing and studying.  Between Thanksgiving, and then Finals. Whew!

So now that school is over, and I have 5 weeks of freedom, I wanted to write about the last month, and the semester in general.

In keeping with tradition, here we go:

The Good

  • I made it! The last four months were a journey into an unknown world of murky understanding and cloudy expectations.  I’m happy to say that looking back,  some of my experiences lived up to my expectations,while  some went down in a cloud of disillusioned smoke. I started my orientation in this room, and this is how it looked on my last day after we finished our presentations. Kinda fitting.imageimageimage
  • My grades. While official grades havent been posted, I am pretty sure I am in the 4.0 club. *happy dance*
  • My support system. I could not have been as successful as I was if it weren’t for the amazing support, understanding, patience and humor of my husband, family & friends.  Even my little study buddy! It truly takes a village…image
  • My car. Oh, my beloved car. You didn’t break down.  I will forgive the two flats in three weeks, and chalk it up to bad luck encountering nails.
  • The realization that I CAN do this. I’m sure you have all dealt with moments in your life where you look at your reflection in the mirror and worry about the couldv’e, should’ve, what if’s, and the holy-shit -can-I-really-do-this moments. I finished my last final paper, and just breathed. (Shoop-Shoop). It was such a cool moment of “YES, I CAN”.
  • My work. I came into graduate school very determined to carry out some specific goals, and so far, I am really proud of the work that I accomplished. It’s all about baby steps, and I think my foray into research, data collection, writing formal research papers and scientific presentation were steps in a great directions. This is a poster and 12 page paper about a nationwide survey I conducted. Really happy with the results.image
  • The ice skating rink the Student Wellness and Recreation Center built in front of the gym. Albeit small, nonetheless really cool!image
  • My love of the Nugget Grills’ Salmon burger and their sweet potato fries. More please!
  • Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson filming a Gatorade commercial in campus last week. So bummed I couldn’t get his autograph, but his security detail was nothing to laugh at.
  • Being ‘unique” in my program: I’m  the only student in the program with an Motor Learning & Aquatics emphasis. Neat-o!image
  • The hope that once this is all said and done, I can get a decent paying job.
  • The free coffee at the Starbuck in the library!image
  • Thanksgiving break!  We had our 4th annual “Buddies Thanksgiving”. This year, 8 guys, 2 girls, and a lot of kitchen mayhem!image

The Bad

  • Realization that attempts to make friends at a “commuter school” is MUCH harder than initially thought. Add the complication of commutes, kids, jobs, family obligations and conflicting schedules, and it becomes nearly impossible to get together with any classmates on a social level.
  • The “Wills” & “Wonts”. I have always been a person that will do my best to help a fellow student who may be struggling in a class. This semester proved an interesting insight in those students who are willing to help others, and those who have the ” you are on your own” mindset. Since many of us take similar classes, it is nice to know early on those student who are willing to offer that Excel formula tip or Statistics problem help. That leads me into my next one:
  • Teaching styles. I recognize that we all deal with people who may not gel with our own personality, but it is magnified when the teachers teaching style is sooo vague and unclear that it leave the entire class grasping at straws and desperately emailing each other for advice and guidance.  If your ENTIRE class is confused, shouldn’t that give you a clue that you as a teacher aren’t providing the clearest of directions?
  • Tuition! So once again, our CSU system is hiking tuition fees. This is getting beyond ridiculous! 23% increase in less than a year. Thus,we get to spend more money on classes, which are becoming harder to enroll in, because the teachers are so fed up with it all that they are retiring early and leaving the departments, which then leaves the departments short-staffed and ill-equipped to give the students the quality education they are paying a lot of money for and well, expecting.
  • The tragic elevator accident that happened on campus last week. My heart breaks for her family and coworkers, especially so close to the holidays.
  • The death of Long Beach Post’s Shaun Lumachi.

The Ugly

  • Squid in a bag. Gross. See my earlier blog post “Goodies & Grub“. Still haven’t gotten over that.
  •  The Christmas Sweater. I almost put this under “The Good” only because I’ve gone to some great parties celebrating these, but still- who thinks these are not to be mocked?image
  • Its Merry Christmas! Its Happy Hanukkah!  Dont get your panties in a wad over the “Happy Holidays’… and yes, I just decorated my Holiday Tree. 
  • Black Friday insanity. This is how my husband and I spent our Black Friday!
  • The psycho Elf on the Shelf mom’s out there. I had a few in my classes. When do you woman SLEEP?! This woman wrote the funniest blog about the TRUTH!
  • The craziness that is the holidays. Just remember to breathe.
  • The time change. I HATE that it gets dark at 4:30 pm now. GRRR! Bring back summer nights and sunlight until 8pm!

 So that’s been the last months of the semester in review. From the end of summer to now the end of 2011, it has been a journey getting here. In fact, as I look back, this journey began at the beginning of the year with the application process, letters of recommendation, and the oh-so-fun GRE’s.  What a wonderful and challenging year it has been! Cannot wait to see how my blogs will develop as I travel through 2012.

Happy Holidays!

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