Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hee hee hee. Oops.

So yeah, I kinda sorta forgot all about this blog. I was busy....with school....yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.

So I'm in 6th term. Passed all my others. Go me! This is it. The final term. This term's big challenge is a seniors apartment building. It seems like it's going to be fun. Some of my other classes - yeah not so much.

I anticipate there being a grand total of one future post to this blog. When I graduate and get a job. I suck at blogging.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Heh. Also: Whee! post was March 3rd. Umm...sorry? Truth is, not much exciting has happened. Or maybe it has and I've just glossed over it as being mundane. I'm not sure.

So here's an update since then. First term I rocked it. Finished (tied) with the highest GPA of my class. Summer term is a little different. I'm still doing pretty freakin' decent but probably won't have a 4.1GPA again unfortunately. This term was a lot harder with more work and less time to do it in. I'm looking forward to the non-compressed classes of Fall term that start in September.

I've handed in my big projects (as of about 30 minutes ago) so I've just got a couple little things left this week and then I'm off for two weeks.

I'm going to do my best to keep this blog more up-to-date starting in September. Best laid plans and all that...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Reading Week!

Well it's reading week so the hallowed halls of higher education are more-or-less empty this week. While some of my classmates are basking on Mexican beaches or firing off rounds of ammo in Alabama (?!?!?) I am, sadly, at home. So not wanting to brag or anything (well, okay, I do.) but it appears that I have either the highest or second highest overall average out of everyone in my class. This makes me happy. I've worked hard at it and I feel that it shows that even though I'm older than most of the people in my class I can still mentally compete with them. This is just the beginning though. The tough stuff is going to start after we get back from break. Assignments start to get bigger and more encompassing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A month in.

Well, I'm a month into my new life back in college and let me tell you - I'm LOVING it. But sadly, there are some issues starting to arise. With any group of people that spend a lot of time together drama is bound to crop up. It reared its ugly head this week around these parts. I'll explain what all went on but first a bit of a background for those not living in Ontario or familiar with some of the post-secondary educational options.

Ontario has some programs to help out people who have lost their careers due to business closings named, aptly enough, Second Career. In a nutshell, they cover the majority, if not all, of the costs of returning to school to learn a new career should you be laid off. In theory this is an AWESOME idea. In practice, I'm starting to believe it's something else entirely. There are also other agencies such as WSIB that will also pay for your schooling should a workplace accident prevent you from working in your current field.

So what does this mean for classes and what does it have to do with the drama? Ultimately, it may have nothing to do with the drama, but I think it does. A certain portion of each class is now comprised of older students attending under these programs (as opposed to me, an older student paying for it out of my own pocket - with the help of loans). Unfortunately for many of these Second Career people, they have no business being back in school. School was a long time ago for many of these people and I don't think that education was a major factor in their original career path. So they're here, on the government's dime, trying to learn a new career. It's an uphill struggle for them right off the bat and I don't see it getting any easier as the term progresses and we move into future terms. Some of them probably have no interest in learning anything new and are just prolonging having to go out and find a new job at something they are more suitably qualified for, such as a Big Box Greeter. Let me say that I *DON'T* believe that to be the case here. I do believe that the people in my program WANT to learn. I WANT to win the lottery too.

Okay, so now that we've got a bit of background out of the way - onto the drama. There are three such people in my program. Well, three that I know of. There may be more. Two of these three are enrolled through Second Career and the third is having his education paid for by WSIB. For the sake of privacy, let's call these three Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and Humpty Dumpty. As most of my readers will know, this coming Monday is Family Day here in Ontario. Sweet! No classes. BUT one of our classes meets only once a week - on Mondays. As such, the professor announced this past class that we would need to make up the lost class. He did this by scheduling a one-hour section on Wednesday and a two-hour on Thursday. No big deal at all as these are our lightest days anyway. Unless you're Tweedledum and Tweedledee that is. Apparently this is some huge inconvenience for them. Yes, I do agree with them that it would have been nice to have a little more than a week's notice but whatever, a week's fine. So they bitch and moan about it. The next day there's STILL bitching and moaning about it. This time it's at the beginning of our CAD class that's taught by the department co-ordinator. I've pretty much had enough at this point and explain to them they always have the option of NOT attending the class. A couple other people agreed with me and that shut them up. For a while.

Fast forward to yesterday in our Materials & Methods class. Again, a bit of a background. A couple weeks back Tweedledum or Tweedledee - and honestly, I can't remember which as they ALWAYS sit together, MOVE together, and SPEAK for each other - was upset because the PowerPoint slide for that particular lecture wasn't available online prior to the start of class. The professor apologized and said that he would make sure that they were available online in the future. Now I'm not aware of ANY college rule or regulation that states that these must be made available AT ALL to the students, never mind being available before the class. I'm grateful that they are as it makes taking notes easier but in no way do I expect such a service. So yesterday we're sitting in class. This class is, admittedly, a little dry. The professor does his best to keep it interesting but the room we're stuck in makes it hard as there is no middle ground for lighting - either all on or all off - so it's dark in there too. The lecture is about the various types of concrete and we finish faster than expected. Instead of dismissing the class early the professor would prefer to go onto the next PowerPoint based lecture. Unfortunately this PowerPoint wasn't yet available online since the prof. didn't expect to get that far. T'dum and T'dee complain about this and the professor apologizes, telling them he'll put it up right after class. He explained (again) that he didn't expect to get this far. Just as he starts going into this lecture, the two pack up their books in their fancy rolling suitcases and leave class. HD also packs up his stuff but doesn't leave. The professor is understandably pissed. He then spends about five minutes talking about the issue of disrupting the class the way they did. HD tried to defend his two buddies but really couldn't speak for them. So we continue the lecture and head off to our next class. T'dum & T'dee are there and say something. I don't really say anything to them as I'm really beginning to despise them. Last night one of them sends out an email to the class asking for us to email our class president about how horrible the class is. This email had to be one of the poorest forms of the written word I have ever seen. Not THE worst, but pretty close. So I obliged and sent an email to the class president. In that email I pretty much shot to hell every poorly written point that T'dum (or was it T'dee?) made. I didn't really want to get involved but there's no way I'm going to sit by and let this two/three people railroad this professor for things that are ultimately beyond his control. Apparently he/they have a meeting with the department head on Tuesday to discuss the situation further.

I don't know much about the Second Career program but I think that if you flunk out or drop out you have to repay the money. My theory is that they're doing all this bitching and moaning about the professors so that when they ultimately flunk out they can blame the program instead of their lack of learning ability in an effort to escape repaying the government. In the mean time, they're doing their best to disrupt the rest of the class that wants to learn and stir up shit.

In other, happier news, I've got a couple actual tests under my belt and let me tell you, I feel GOOD! My first test was in Materials & Methods and I managed to pull off the highest mark in the class with a 92%! There were four questions that I wasn't too confident about and guess what, I was bang on in my assessment - those were the four I got wrong. My next test was in History of Architecture and in that I managed to score a 94%. Sadly, two others scored higher than me but still - 94%!!! I've also done a test for my Statics class but we don't have the marks from it yet. That said, I would be extremely disappointed if I score anything less than a 90% on that one. Go me! Score a couple for the old guy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Achievement Unlocked: Week One Complete

[Originally written 01/12/10 - I'll add more to the end of the post -Rob] Oddly enough, the first draft of this post originated on paper with the use of - wait for it - a pen! As I write I'm sitting in one of the many atrium/cafeterias scattered around campus. I'm currently on a two-hour break before my last class of the day. I even lugged up my heavy laptop today to help me pass the time between classes. Unfortunately I a)didn't bring the power cord and b) didn't have the foresight to change the power settings. The first hour of use pretty much drained the battery. So here I sit. With pen. And paper.

Two days in and not much has happened. While I did have my first second-class today everything else has been introductions. The most exciting thing I did today was get a locker so I don't have to lug my drafting kit or T-square on the bus daily.

Last week I ordered my new laptop for school. I spent the better part of the day Wednesday researching models, buildings systems at Dell, and finding cheap prices at the local Big Boxes. Right from the get-go I was leaning towards a custom build from Dell. Nowhere else was I finding the power for the money. But I searched. I found a pretty sweet Acer that even had a touch screen! It was almost half the price of the Dell I was thinking about but it was far less powerful. So after going back and forth I finally decide to pull the trigger on the Dell. I head back to their website (after signing back into Airmiles - gotta get my Airmiles.) and go to the page for my laptop and find that they've removed the processor I wanted. I've literally configured this system over a dozen times with the most recent time being about twenty minutes earlier. FML. I try their sales chat hoping to find out what's going on. The chat window won't launch. I call their toll-free number and get connected with someone, regardless of what he tells me, is not named Scott. He checks the page and confirms that, yes, it's been removed. No idea why. His best offer was that it may have been removed for maintenance and will likely be back in an hour or so. I thank him for his time and decide to try chat again. Maybe they've got their finger on the pulse of what's going on. This time the window actually opens however the representative offered up pretty much the same suggestion - check back in an hour or so. Sigh. I really wanted to get this ordered.

So, I check back in about ninety minutes and lo-and-behold, it's back. Hey! Maybe they do know what they're talking about wherever it is that Not-Scott and his chat colleague work. I get the laptop ordered and get an estimated delivery date of 01/21. I'm pretty happy with that as it's only a couple weeks turnaround. Of course, being me, I'm checking the status every day even though I know it's going to be a while. Last Wednesday (01/13) it shows that it's shipped! Nice! I click on tracking number and it tells me it's "In transport in U.S." Okay...not the most helpful delivery tracking. Thursday afternoon the phones rings at home and it's an automated call from Dell letting me know that hte laptop is going to be delivered on Friday. That's pretty awesome considering I wasn't expecting it until the end of this week.

I was up here Friday when my wife sent me a text message letting me know that it's arrived. As difficult as it was, I resisted the urge to tear into it as soon as I got home since I had to go pick up the kids. But it's not Monday and I'm finishing up this post on my shiny new fingerprint magnet Studio 15 from Dell. Me likey.

So the first week of school is over and done with. While there were a lot of introductory classes I did manage to squeeze in a quiz and an assignment. The quiz was on AutoCAD and I'm pretty sure that I aced it. I know I got 100% on part of it and pretty sure I got 100% on the other part. The assignment was fun. We had to sketch, freehand, an elevation of one of the buildings here on campus. This would be a fine assignment for the fall class since it's still warm. Park your ass in a lawn chair in the field across from the building and sketch away. However when the mercury is sitting at -10 that really isn't much of an option. I snapped a ton a pics and did the elevation from those pics. My first draft stretched across 4 pieces of 8.5x11 graph paper. A little on the big side. I then cut the scale of my drawing in half and was able to reduce it to two pages taped together. For next week, I'll need to transfer that over to a 17x22 sheet of Vellum paper. Right now my drawing will be a little too small so I think I'll need to scale it back up by about 30% or so.

So no great stories yet but I'm only a week in. My class is shrinking already with at least one person for sure disappearing late last week. There may be more missing but when you're one of three women in the class, you're a little easier to spot when you're missing.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Small Update

So my schedule appeared online just before Christmas. Not too bad of a schedule. Wednesdays are light - done by 11am. Thursdays I have a five hour block of nothingness between two classes and Fridays I have to teleport from class to class. The only class that wasn't filled in was that WRIT class that is supposedly mandatory. It just had a TBD/TBA in the time/date/location section. Not a big surprise as they have to read over each one to figure out the stream. I was hoping that at least part of the weekly 3 hours would be slotted into that 5 hour empty block.

I login again today to see if the times have been added for it to find it completely missing from my schedule all together. At this point one of two things have happened: they've screwed up and instead of assigning me to a class they deleted it OR they realized that I'm more than capable of forming complete and coherent sentences and decided I don't need to take the class. We'll see.

Next week I have two different sessions on campus. The first is a returning-to-school-for-old-people session that provides study tips, etc. The second is orientation.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So I logged into my school account today and lo-and-behold my schedule for next term is in it! Everything is there except for the WRIT class that I had to write the essay on. It's a weird schedule with some ugly gaps. I really hope that my WRIT class finds it way into some of those big gaps so I'm not twiddling my thumbs for 5 hours between classes. I also have to develop the ability to teleport from building to building on Fridays.