Monday, 17 September 2012

Why I Resent My Hibiscus

Recently, my hibiscus plant has produced a handful of yellow leaves on a daily basis.  I've checked its moisture levels.  I've rotated it in its sunny West-facing window.  I've removed the unhappy leaves.  Yet still, each day brings a new crop of yellow.  So I did what any student of higher education would do; I Googled it.
Hisbiscus will put out yellow leaves for any number of reasons: too much water, not enough water, too much sunlight, not enough sunlight, too cold, too hot, etc.  The folks at Hidden Valley hibiscus boil it down to stress – "Hibiscus leaves turn yellow and drop from the plant due to stress."  So let me get this straight!  My houseplant which sits quietly in the corner of the least chaotic room in my house is suffering from stress?!?  Are you kidding me?  Perhaps it would rather have every moment of its day filled with deadlines, being accountable to a trio of teens, dealing with the ups and downs of marriage (figuratively) and weight loss (literally), keeping the house stocked with food and free of bio-hazards, pick-ups and drop-offs, soccer and football games – well you get the idea.
Personally, I detest when people talk about how busy they are and so – being the change I want to see in the world – I don't usually go on (too much) about how busy and stressful my life is.  It's not a competition (which I would win, if it were) but I do take exception to my plant and any anxiety it claims to suffer.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Canadian Art of Procrastination

One of the reasons that I took a term off from school (this time) was to be available to chaperone my son's team on a training trip to Utah.  I drove the cargo van there and back and the 18 hrs by myself while driving was pretty blissful.  Every so often I would have to search around for a new radio station as I drove out of range of another.  One such station that I stumbled across had a guest speaker, an expert from the University of Alberta, on the subject of procrastination.  I was amused that they had to go all the way to Canada to find such an expert.  I had no idea that it was such a Canadian trait.  But isn't that one of the joys of travel – finding out just how 'Canadian' you are.  I don't consider my procrastination to be lazy; I'm just patriotic ;)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Please excuse this interruption

Remember when you were a kid and that late Spring weather would hit and you'd be stuck in a classroom until the end of June?  Well, they spare adults from that torment.  It turns out adult high school courses only run until the end of April.  Even if you're not done!  Which, as you may have guessed, I am not.
I do have the option of commuting to the city but I already feel it's an injustice that I have to take this math course at all so I'm certainly not spending my time and gas for the privilege. 
All in all, my return to school has fizzled a bit this term.  I missed registration for the Spring term but really it was subconsciously intentional because I don't know what courses I need.  My old University has been less-than-forthcoming with my course outlines – treating them as if they're the remnants found in Area 51; there's some denial, some passing the buck and some plain old playing –dumb.  So my current University cannot credit me transfer-credits and therefore cannot tell me what requirements I still need.  And call me efficient, but I am only planning to take courses that I can apply to my ultimate goal.  Oh, yes, I do still have an ultimate goal.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Procrastination is the nemesis of self-paced

Procrastination is the nemesis of self-paced
In the 'good vs evil' that is my daily life, I battle between procrastination and accomplishment.   I am on the losing side of the bumper sticker, "You can have results or excuses but not both."  And that is why six months into my self-paced math class I am less than halfway done.  Perhaps it's time for a wake-up call.  The last class before Reading Week my teacher asked if I was going to write the Unit Test that day.  "Oh, gosh NO," was my reply because I hadn't studied.  In fact to picture how I had been progressing let me put it into perspective for you.  Picture a bunch of large rocks like you might find on the coast.  Now picture someone walking over those rocks.  How old is the person you're picturing?  How fast (confidently) is this person walking over the uneven terrain?  Now picture an older person.  Notice they have probably slowed down.  Well, that's me working my way over the material in my textbook.  But it's not like I actually have any sort of math handicap so I went for it.  I wrote the test that day.  And I managed an 89%.
So far, one thing I have learned in my math class is that time is an 'independent variable' (READ: x axis) meaning it will continue regardless of my accomplishments and if I want my 'graph' to be on a positive slope, I need to pick up the pace.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

As you will recall...

"As you will recall..."  This phrase strikes fear into me far greater than, "pop quiz."  Because at least with a pop quiz, I'm probably prepared since I probably did the reading or screening etc being that I am such a keener.  But when my Math 11 textbook says, "as you will recall" it's pretty much guaranteed that I won't.  For instance this week's first "as you will recall" was about a math term with which I was not familiar. A quick search of the index revealed to me the reason – it was explained in a chapter that I didn't have to do (and therefore didn't.)  Frankly, I found that to be a bit unfair.  But even better is the next "as you will recall." For this one required that the student recall a concept from Math 10 but in order for me to do that, I have to go back 25 years. Twenty five years ago my classmates of today weren't even the pregnancy scares of their parents.  Twenty five years ago I was already regretting my acid-wash purchase, the change for which would have included a neat new coin, the "loonie."
We're told that we use math all the time.  And I won't argue, but he truth is if this skill from Math 10 was truly that fundamental, wouldn't I have used, and therefore remembered it more easily?
It's NOT that I am resistant to learning new concepts (albeit painfully slowly it sometimes seems) it's just that when these new concepts are expected to be old concepts, I do get a bit frustrated. Fortunately, I have a wonderfully patient teacher who has this knack for answering questions in a way that makes you not feel dumb - now that's a skill worth having.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

tempered dissapointment

As far as 'something's gotta give', it turns out it was the math.  I wasn't ready to write the unit test so I didn't.  I did get my other assignments done though.  I spent many hours at the local library to get it all done.  My local library is only open until 4pm or 8pm depending on the day of the week so it's a bit limiting.  (I used to say I was going to the library until midnight now I wish I could go to the library until midnight.) 
So my third term back is wrapped up and I find myself without deadlines. 
Would you believe I had nothing I had to do this morning (not to be confused with nothing I should do) and so I stayed in bed with my iPhone and caught up on facebook and re-read the other blog I did a couple of years ago when I chronicled our 14-week road trip through Mexico ( ) while my children delivered me freshly made cookies and milk.  However, I also logged into my University account and saw my final grades for the two courses I just finished... both are A- which is a bit disappointing.  (Wow, things really have changed ;)
I'm taking next term off so that I can chaperone my son's team on their two training trips in Jan & Feb.  But since I didn't finish the math, I will still have that on my plate - but first some turkey and mashed potatos on my plate, please.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

new fangled technology

As previously mentioned, it was my mother who put me up to this.  It was also she who showed me how easy it was to 'create a blog' - from her own blog site.  What she didn't mention was that this blog site requires weekly posts (or maybe she's just saying that now because she wants to see weekly posts) lest there be 'blanks' (?).  All this to say that I have other, far more pressing deadlines and if the odd 'blank' finds its way into my blog, please do not take that to mean that I am an unreliable blogger. But really, something's gotta give.

Right now, my fantasies are about next Thursday at Noon because by then I will be/better be done for the term.  Between now and then, I have 3000 words due and a Math unit test.  All very doable until you take into account that the research for 1500 of the words is supposed to be a 'group' effort.  And to put it charitably, my 'group members' are reminicent of Hobbs (of Calvin and Hobbs.)