Starting the Spring Semester (2013)

Winter Break for 2012

I haven’t posted anything here since the end of the last semester mostly because very little related to my college experience has happened. The break itself was rather mixed, good and bad.

Included among the good, my erstwhile in-laws took us to Cancun, Mexico for a week to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. I’d never been to Mexico before and quite enjoyed it. The experience helped me solidify my choice for a foreign language requirement (Spanish, obviously) and I’m resolved that the next time I go back I’ll be able to speak the language as more than a mumbled “¡gracias.”

Study Buddy Bella

Bella sleeping on my backpack.

The bad really comes down to the death of my long-time feline companion, Bella. She was my little study buddy kitty and would often hang out on my desk, or even in my lap as I worked at the computer in my office. I included her in some small way in at least one project per quarter since I first started college two years ago. I will miss her greatly, although I console myself as I can with the knowledge that she had a great life. She certainly couldn’t have been any more spoiled and that I did gladly.

The rest of the break was mostly spent working on private projects, trying to secure a campus job (mostly meaning ‘wait until the semester starts back up’), and just relaxing a bit. I spent a few days arranging my class schedule – full time this semester – ordered all my books, took care of financial arrangements and got ready to start back this week.

It can’t be that easy, can it?

So naturally I came down with a rather nasty stomach virus on Sunday, the day before my classes were to start. I had been out over the weekend with one of my sweeties, but she had started showing symptoms of illness on Saturday morning, followed by the conformational vomiting on Saturday evening. (Did I mention this was our anniversary weekend?) We decided to make the best of things and just spend some quiet time together … mostly her sleeping and me playing Civilization, although we did watch a few episodes of Twin Peaks. When I got home on Sunday, I had to make a mad dash for the bathroom as soon as I got in the door for my own “conformation” of the symptoms I’d been trying to ignore on the way home.

It’s now Tuesday afternoon. I slept most of the remainder of Sunday and almost all day Monday, eating very little and aching quite a lot. Today, I had just enough energy to take a shower. I do feel better, but I am drained and thought better of leaving the house. At least I’m eating regularly again, although I haven’t had coffee since Sunday morning … quite a statement when you understand I usually drink a pot a day!

I contacted all of my professors, letting them know the situation and asking for directions on materials I should review. Luckily as it was the first day of class, there was very little I actually missed. (Although I’m still loathe to miss any class!) I’m planning on being in class tomorrow, although I may still be hurting a bit. At least I’m far past the contagious stage!

Classes this semester:

  • ART 102 – Introduction to 2D Design (part of my Web Design minor)
  • CSCI 245 – Assembly Language Programming
  • ENG 167 – Introduction to Literature
  • MATH 112 – College Algebra II (I decided I should probably get a refresher before attempting Calculus!)

5 thoughts on “Starting the Spring Semester (2013)

    • Should I tell you that our Dragon is home sick today? (Poor Dragon.) Anyway, I’m sure I would have gotten sick anyway … I’m here at school today getting exposed to other people’s germs, although certainly not in the same way!

  1. Something that may interest you, if you want refreshers in various topics (or new topics!), is a site I stumbled across recently, Coursera. ( I’m presently taking 3 classes (2 of which overlap significantly, and have the same instructors, even), and I’ll have a 4th come March with a 5th starting sometime in the Spring (hopefully after the first 3 are done…). I’ve got classes in Health Informatics (from Georgia Tech), Intermediate Algebra, and Pre-Calculus (both from UC Irvine) (I’ve never gone above Advanced/College Algebra and Geometry before) right now, and I’ll have a class in songwriting (through the Berklee College of Music). At some point this Spring, I’ll have an intro to Python programming course (through Rice University).

    It’s all 100% free, no need to even buy books if you don’t wish to (most classes are entirely self-contained and have online resources as needed), and you get a certificate of completion at the end of your class, if you complete it successfully. You don’t get college credits, of course (see above re: free), but you get the knowledge and the refresher (or new stuff) that you are looking for, all on your own schedule. These are part of something call MOOCs – massively open online courses – where you might start a class with 15,000 classmates, and finish the course with 5,000. Lots of student collaboration happens in the forums, which is incredible. I’ve got people in my classes from India, Britain, Peru, Uruguay, Canada, Australia, and more. People in high school to the head operating director of a specialty hospital.

    Can you tell I’m loving it? 🙂

    • It does seem like you’re rather enjoying it, yes! Thanks for the tip, I’ll certainly keep it in mind as a resource. I think you’ll do well with Python. The only thing I found annoying about it was the use of white space as a delimiter. That really messed with my sense of layout!

  2. Pingback: The first few weeks of the Spring Semester | College in my Forties

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