University Cost Comparison

This is very useful information. Thank you to the Blog “Math Online Tom Circle” for posting this!

Math Online Tom Circle


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So Productive and It’s Not Even Noon

As has been the pattern so far this week, starting the day off with French has put me in a grand mood – despite the rain. Though the rain did encourage me to bust our my boots and get myself all done up to go along with the boots, which lead to compliments at the start of the day as well – which every girl adores.

Since I managed to transfer into my online math class, I have no other classes for the day, so I was able to take care of a few other things before I head home. I managed to get my essays printed and turn in my application to work in the Writing Center – which will hopefully yield me some good quality, on-campus, weekday work – and I made the steps to try and get some of my Running Start grades taken care of.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I was an ass-hole student when I was in Running Start. I was one of those kids that gave the extremely excellent program a bad name. I took advantage of the system. As a result, I left here with a pretty abysmal GPA. Now that my quarterly GPA is amazing since I’ve given myself the time and space to mature and be more focused, this sad GPA is really bringing me down.

I left with a 1.92. Yeah. I wasn’t joking when I said abysmal.

I have two quarters of 4.0’s, and what does my accumulative GPA show? a 2.62.  I know it takes time to bring it up, especially since I’m battling against 5-6 quarters of slack-assary, but it is a little disheartening when I look at the hard work I’ve done to see something less than a 3.0.

So the process I took was a Petition to Exclude Former Grades…or something along those lines. I have to meet three criteria in order to be considere:

  1. The grades have to be from at least 3 years ago or earlier (my latest of the grades was 9 years ago, so I am quite good there)
  2. There has to be an interruption in education (I haven’t been to school in 9 years,  so I’m pretty certain that counts)
  3. I have to have taken at least 25 credits since returning to school with a 2.0 average (With the last two quarters I have 30 credits under my belt with a 4.0 average)

Now, is this an option in all colleges? I have no idea. Would this be the criteria for other colleges? I haven’t the faintest.

While the grades will be excluded from my GPA, they will still be seen on my transcript. When I go to transfer to a University, these classes and grades will be seen, which is just fine with me. I looks good to show the maturity and transitions you’ve made, or so I hear. And I think the effort that I’ve gone through to get them to not count towards my cumulative GPA shows the care and pride I take in my grades as well.

Now, here’s the drawback:

  • I cannot pick and chose the classes I want to exclude, I have to pick a quarter and all the quarters before that will be excluded as well.
  • I will have to retake any of the classes/credits that fall into the exclusion period.

Both of these things are fine with me. The only classes I passed were ones I liked – German 1, 2, and 3 (and I’m getting those credits taken care of by taking French), two different creative writing classes (Oh no! I have to write creatively again?), and a computer science class – which if that falls into a category of necessary credits, I’ll find an alternative to it. Computer Science was the one exception to the rule of passing classes I liked.

Now I am just winding down and waiting for my bus home so I can take a nap before going on to do my homework.

Mind Over Matter

Today did not start well. It didn’t start bad either. But I was in a mood left over perhaps from the anger/annoyance of yesterday’s math class. I woke on the wrong side of the bed, and would surely have grumbled nothing pleasant had I come across anyone on my trudge for the coffee pot. I aimed to get up at 5:30am again, though due to a restless night of tossing and turning, waking in a worried stated every other hour, I was only able to drag myself out of bed twenty minutes before I had to catch the bus.

I was bleary-eyed, and uncertain as to why I was even catching that bus at all, instead of the following one. Then I remembered that due to the outrage of my final class yesterday, I hadn’t been able to concentrate on my French homework, and there was no way in Hell I was going to get it done in the morning while at home.

As I boarded the bus, knowing full well I had friends to chit-chat too, I kept my head down and acted my grumpy, tired part, leaning my head against the chilled window and ignoring the vibrations of the bus that rattled my skull against the glass. I finally let go a sigh and reminded myself that it would only be a crappy day if I let it. I mentally threw myself into my Wrong-Side-Of-The-Bed-Mantra: “Today will be a good day. Today will be a good day. Today will be a good day. Today…” Though as I thought the words – and even mouthed the words, I hardly believed them. I felt like Garfield on a Monday getting a bath at the vet’s office.

I went to the cafe and got myself a coffee before plopping down and pumping out the assignment – nothing too spectacular; just picking a French-speaking country and answering a bunch of questions about it. My friend texted me, wondering if I was on campus, and I begrudgingly answered, unwilling to move from my acquired table as the masses of students flooded the hall. He then alerted me to the free coffee and doughnuts on the other side of campus. For this, I left my table.

“Wow,” he said as we walked toward one another. “You don’t look nearly as happy as you did yesterday.”glasses

I think the words “Bite Me” were what I wanted to say, but I think I just grunted instead. Thankfully, he was enough bubbly for the both of us, and by the time we got to the other side of campus, I was feeling happier and more alert. I even got some spiffy new sunglasses to sport my Whatcom Pride – they were freebies. Can’t say no to free…well, most of the time.

Our interaction with those handing out the freebies was extremely pleasant, and we now know my friend is a campus celebrity among the Whatcom Staff – Bow-Tie Guy, I believe is what they called him, or as I prefer, BTG (as he shell henceforth be known as when I reference him down the line in this blog), which put both of us in soaring spirits – mostly my completely amusement.

By the time French was starting, I was in a wonderful mood, and ready to take on the day. By the time I was out of French, I felt optimistic, and even happy about whatever outcome came of my Math class. Of course yesterday I had emailed the Online Course instructor about transferring into her class, which I knew was full, but hoped she would make an acception. I hadn’t heard from her at this point, but I decided that no matter what, my Math 99 experience would be a new one, and something that I would be able to share on here with other students, regardless of which path I took. I almost felt it was my duty to retract my request of transferring simply so that I could relay the Flipped Class experience, and also give feed back to the college. Almost.

I bumped into a friend from my Communications class last quarter, and we went and snagged another coffee and had a brief catch-up before we both had to go to our classes. For all that I entered into school determined not to make friends, I’ve been making some really awesome ones.

Today was the first day of my Introduction to British Literature class. While I was excited when I signed up for it, it was the one class I had been dreading as the quarter neared. Not so much dreading, but it was the one I was least stoked about. The readings were Hamlet and Frankenstein, neither of which I was particularly eager to read, and I hadn’t bothered about getting the text book as it seemed like it might be something worth checking out for assignments from the library.

The class started with our instructor of course introducing herself, and listing her background – which was sounding pretty similar to my plans for school – studying abroad and getting a high degree in English. She went over the outline of the course, explaining that the literature we were going to be going over ranged from the 700’s to the 1800’s, and showed us a clip of someone reciting Beowulf in Old English. 

It. Was. Amazing.

I had no idea how different English sounded back then, how it could barely be understood. The only word I heard that I knew was “God”. She talked about all the linguistic influence of that time. We flashed forward and heard an excerpt of The Canterbury Tales, which sounded a bit more like what we now know, though you could hear where the French came into it. She went on to tell us about how we would be exploring the evolution of the English language and how the readings reflected just what was going on in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland during that time.

My lust of linguistics perked up and I wanted to jump up and hug her. It wasn’t just simply reading literature and hmming over it. It was learning the history of the region along with it, and seeing the art that language was. She even said that we would be having a look at the doodles and little jokes that the monks made when they were copying and making books, and going over riddles. I am just delighted. Friday is my next class and it just can’t come fast enough!

While in class, I recieved an email back from the Online Math teacher. She said she’d had a few people drop out and was happy to help me transfer into her class. I went to her office and got the form I needed and her signature, and Bob’s your Uncle – I am out of that Flipped class and into an online class.

Today was fantastic. And you know what the moral of the story is? Positive Affirmation Works. When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, recite some positive affirmation, write it on a piece of paper over and over – and it jolly well works. My awesome day is living proof.



Therapy of Daily Journaling

I came across this article, and thought it was wonderful.

I got my first journal when I was 8, and still have it. I wrote in it sparatically, but eventually the habit formed into a daily routine. When things upset me deeply – tramatizing house mates, breakups, and so on – I fall out of the routine. It is only when I begin journaling again that I can pick myself back up again.

I often tell my friends that are going through hardships to keep a journal, or at least to write everything out, even if they burn it afterwards. It has so many theraputic aspects to it, and helps sort out the mind and emotions. Often times I don’t realize what I feel or think until I start putting it to paper. It allows my thoughts to be organized and take that step back to see everything outside of my head.

As a writer I feel it is extrememly important to write daily as well, simply for the exercise, of course.

However, this article outlines other benefits of writing every day for twenty minutes, and they’re more than I could have ever imagined. What’s more, it’s all sciency and the like.

“It turns out writing can make physical wounds heal faster as well. In 2013, New Zealand researchers monitored the recovery of wounds from medically necessary biopsies on 49 healthy adults. The adults wrote about their thoughts and feelings for just 20 minutes, three days in a row, two weeks before the biopsy. Eleven days later, 76% of the group that wrote had fully healed. Fifty-eight percent of the control group had not recovered. The study concluded that writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.”

Read More of “Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love To Write” Here

My First Day of Fall Quarter: The Aftermath

This certainly has been an interesting day to say the least. I have never been so quick to exit a class and try and find a way to switch it. I am generally one of those people that wants to see if it’s just the first impression that left a bad taste in my mouth, and try and see things through. Not this time.

I’ll start with the good – my French class. My teacher seems nice, and the best part is she is not American. I have had my fill of French American teachers that butcher the language. My very first French teacher in high school was actually Ukrainian, and French had been her second language from primary school, and she spoke beautifully. However, English was her third language and while she spoke fluently, there were times when grammer got the best of her. I can deal with that. However, the next two that I had (my initial teacher went on maternity leave and and I tried to take French as a Running Start student as well) were American and vomited out words phonetically, making me cringe even when they swapped back to English.

However, this instructor has a beautifully French accent when she speaks English, though I don’t know where she is from. It is refreshing. Even if I don’t get along with her, at least I know I shall be hearing the right things.

A scheduling hiccup on my part left me with a three hour break between classes on Tuesday and Thursdays – and as the quarter progresses I am certain I will love that break. However, a friend of mine has the exact same schedule (though with different classes) as me, so we went for a nice trudge along a trail in the sweltering, waning summer sun. Exploring campus we found free coffee and muffins on one end, and free pancakes on the other. It was a good call of me to refrain from a large hearty breakfast before leaving (though I didn’t indulge in the pancakes).

When my math class came around, I was delighted to find a youthful instructor with a cute pixie mop of red hair, and fun style. I even had people that I knew in the class, which was nice as well. My delight began to fade as we played get-to-know-your-classmates Bingo and she began to tell us that the majority of our in-class time would be learning in groups.

My upper lip began to tighten when she informed us she would not be lecturing, but instead we would be going home from class, watching our lectures on MathTV – which follows the book completely, and when we came into class the next day, would be working within our groups to understand the material. Not only this, but we would be getting graded by our group members based on how prepared we are for class.





Those are fury dots. Livid. I am livid. 

Am I not paying five hundred some odd dollars for a teacher to instruct and lecture and be involved???? At least even grade, maybe?

She calls it the “Flipped Classroom” style of teaching, and apparently she’s the trend setter on campus for this. She didn’t coin it, she just brought it to this college. The idea is that when a student leaves after a lecture, they often don’t have the information fully absorbed, and might have forgotten it by the time they get to class, and don’t have the support they need for the homework. With the Flipped Classroom approach, the lectures happen at home, the exercises happen in the class so that the teacher is able to be that support.

Maybe I can buy that. Maybe.

However that is no excuse for not being the one to grade us! While I realized that a teacher’s salary is far from optimal, allowing the students to grade each other seems a little bit more than scaling back the effort, surely?

So when I got home, I emailed an advisor (the college was riddled with too many confused students today and I couldn’t deal with taking care of it while I was there) about the steps to take toward doing an online class – after all, I might as well since this class is online anyway – and then get a couple hours extra for work-study (if I get the job at the Writing Center, that is). I got a response fairly quickly, and was directed to an instructor who has one online class, though her class is full at the moment. I could however email/call/visit her office and she if she would mind me transferring in any way. I was satisfied with this route, though the email ended:

“If that doesn’t work out, keep reminding yourself that studies show the ‘flipped classroom’ model results in better student learning.”

Well Bully if it does. That ain’t how I learn.

I suppose that’s a bit harsh. It could perhaps be a beneficial way of learning, and something new which I have yet to explore. And after all, I can’t fully knock it as I have always done online studies before I came to Whatcom. Though the fact remains that I don’t want to be reliant on other students for my grades!

My next step, now that I’ve ranted my frustration, is to email this instructor to see if I can get into her class, and then do some research on this Flipped Classroom malarky, and see what I can find out. If it’s anything of interest, I assure you I will share it.

And to complete the positivity sandwich – the other good news is that my financial aid came in, as promised. I paid for my French Book out of pocket, so I can reimburse myself for that and get my workbook as well as my textbook for my Introduction to British Literature class, which starts tomorrow. Thank’s FAFSA!

A Waste of Learning Space?

This is absolutely brilliant. Thank you So much Posts of Hypnotic Suggestion! As many students enter into the new quarter and new school year, this will be extremely helpful – and be less wasteful of paper (something I feel very guilty about on a regular schooling basis).

Posts of Hypnotic Suggestion

One of the most common issues I come across whilst coaching professionals in enhanced Learning Skills is a tendency to create copious volumes of notes. As a learning technique, it’s counter-productive and quickly overloads the brain.

There is another way.

Voluminous note-taking is a technique I often used before I learned how the human brain receives, stores and recalls information. Like many others, I would make detailed notes, brighten them up with judicious use of highlighter pens, realise that there was still too much information to learn and proceed to make notes of my notes. I think I expected the act of writing and rewriting to embed the knowledge for me.

In the end my brain would jump up and down and protest, insisting it was an impossible task and why can’t we take a break and go for a coffee.

It seems that there are two common drivers for…

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