Lots of Happenings this Week – Part II

The other thing that happened – well, it’s rather been in the making for a while, I just didn’t want to say anything until it was official – which is now! I am the Vice President of the Creative Videographer Club. The paper work was finally submitted yesterday, and now I’ve got to schedule a meeting to get an orientation and learn what my responsibilities are.

When I said yes to this, I had a car, first of all. Not having one is going to make this slightly more tricky. I also went into this kicking and screaming. The guy who started the club came into the Writing Center last quarter and was looking for me, by name. He said some one referred him to me, saying that I should be in the club. I told him no, that I was done filming. He asked my background, and I told him everything about Think Piece Productions, and also explained that was also the reason why I didn’t want to get into it. He asked to see some of the stuff I’ve done, so I emailed him the links. After he listened to me, he said, “It sounds to me like you do want to do this.” I assured him it wasn’t so.

I left the experience, pretty set on a no. There’s certain aspects of editing I enjoyed, but overall, there were far too many sour experiences to accompany the small nuggets that I had enjoyed.

In my French class, about this time, we watched a documentary. It was The Fog in the Night, a 1950’s French documentary about the internment camps during World War II. It was the most beautiful documentary I have ever seen. Obviously, the content was horrifying, but the way it was filmed, the art and thought behind it, was truly amazing. I realized then that I did want to continue with filming, and that I should be a part of this club.

The guy returned a week later to the Writing Center, and asked if I’d thought about it. I said I had, and asked if he looked at my work. He said he had. I told him I wanted to be a part of the club, and he said, “Good, because I want you to be the VP.” He said that I had the most experience between the two of us. “Really, you should be the president, but I got here first.” Which is fair enough.

It’s this quarter that the club is starting. We haven’t set regular meeting days, but the president, we’ll call him BD, already has some gigs lined up for us to put together.

This is only the beginning of the intensity of this quarter.


Lots of Happenings This Week – Part I

A lot has happened in the last week, college-wise, that is.

Apparently after the first year in college, FAFSA requires a degree audit. So after a few emails of Financial Aide yelling at me to make an appointment with the Financial Aid Adviser at the school, I got in to my long-ago set appointment.

Initially I had made the appointment to talk about Learning Contracts. I had this amazing offer to tour Europe this summer, I just had to pay for my flight over there. After a lot of hmming and hawing, my boss in the Learning Center suggested I do learning contracts over the summer while I travel. Learning contracts are just what they sound like, you set up a contract with a professor to do an independent study, with assignments you both agree on that will earn you x amount of credits. I made an appointment with  the Learning Contracts Advisor so she could give me the details.

Somewhere during our appointment she pointed out that I was enrolled in the Associates of Arts and Sciences Transfer English degree that was specific to Western Washington University. Since I’m not planning on going there, she suggested I do a generic Arts and sciences degree, which would shave off some math and English requirements, and get me closer to finishing. THEN she went on to say something about the Liberal Arts Degree, which isn’t a transfer degree, but would get rid of a lot of my requirements and replace them with electives. This was fascinating to me.

I thought about it, and emailed my Durham contact and the gentleman that I met when I took the General Studies Admissions Exam for Columbia University. I told them my predicament, that I was debating between the two degrees, and my main concern was that one of them wasn’t a transfer. Columbia said that it doesn’t matter what degree I go for at a community college, all they’re looking for is a few demonstration semesters to show my academic ability. Durham said that they don’t care what degree I have, just as long as I get an AA and take classes that pertain to the degree I want to get trough them. Both told me my credits wouldn’t transfer over.

So! My next step of the Learning Contract was to find out Financial Aide’s allowance, and what they needed from me. This was the initial reason I made the appointment.

However! Due to the car wreck, I can no longer afford to get to Europe. Aside from the fact that I now need a new car, it’s expensive to get into a wreck! With towing and signing my car over to them and te citation, I’m out over half a grand!

I kept the appointment with Financial Aid to make the emails stop. I told my advisor about them when I went in, and she laughed, saying I hadn’t done anything wrong, they just automatically go out after four quarters. I told her about my contemplation about the change in degrees, and she looked at my transcript. She had me signing the papers to change it before I knew what was going on. The next thing I knew was she was having me sign papers that said I would be graduating at the end of fall quarter! I have seven classes I need to take and then I’m done, and since I’m doing three classes in the summer, she insisted I do four classes in the fall. This is already proving to be tricky. in fact, the way it’s looking, I’ll be doing five classes – three normal five credit classes, and then two Honors classes, since I need two more to graduate with Honors.

So that’s intense.

I’ll leave the story off there…You can read about the other things that have happened in later entries 🙂

Back injury

The healing process after the accident was minimal, or seemingly so. I was very sore for a few days afterward, though Wednesday I woke up feeling great. I quite happily walked to the bus stop in the morning, and planned on reading a text book as I waited for the bus. I set my bag on the down and retrieved the book. Upon picking up the bag – I tweaked my back, badly. I’ve been hardly able to move since.

I’m not new to back injuries. Once I tore the muscles in them the first time, I find myself having twinges from time to time that cause me discomfort for a couple of days. Today I wanted to go to the walk-in clinic to get it checked out and make sure it wasn’t related to the accident. They didn’t take my insurance so I went to the hospital. It was an extremely quick visit. It’s a strained muscle, which thankfully means I should be good to work at the market tomorrow.

However, for whatever reason, I was informed after I got checked out that my insurance wasn’t active. My insurance card says “In effect 02/01/2015”. The unfortunate annoyance is that it being Friday and that I went to get checked out after I got off work in the Writing Center, I can’t call and sort it out until Monday. However, the hospital was good enough to send me home with a Bridge Assistance application, just in case my insurance doesn’t work (Bridge Assistance is to help with medical bills. I used it last time I went in, and it covered 90% of my bill).

We’ll see how it goes, I suppose

Beginning of the Cycle

I begin again Spring quarter. This is the second time. The circle has come fully around, and it is time to start the next layer of the spiral. It’s interesting how different I view the classes, how different my attitude is than when I started a year ago.

Today I got up early because I needed time to take a shower and get my stuff together. I met with a friend last night and had some wine. I went to sleep at 11. I have no brain food in my cupboard at the moment, only cereal. Instead of trying to mentally prepare myself, I’ve put on an episode of Tudors and am writing my blog entry.

Granted, my living situation is drastically different and something I never thought it would be from this time last year as well. Perhaps this has altered my professionalism toward school.

However, that being said, I still am putting forth a great deal of energy toward it. I still strive for straight A’s (last quarter’s blip in my first honors class eagerly to be forgotten, but needing to be learned from), I work at the college, and I’ll be involved in a club starting this quarter – more on that later when more has been officiated.

My focus is still within my studies, though my morning preparation and testing preparation zest has waned, and I find myself just lumbering through. I’m hoping my lull in enthusiasm is just due to the winter months, and that with the blooming of spring, I’ll have a bit more pep in my academic step.

That being said, this quarter I am quite excited for my classes. I only have classes Monday through Thrusday, and only one early class (which begins this morning, which is why I’m up at five this morning). I have Northwest Ethnobotany–a course whose books are beautiful field guides of edible plants of the Pacific Northwest. From my understanding, we go for walks and explore what Native Americans foraged and prepared. For that, I will happily go to class at 8 a.m. I also have my first IDS class–a genre of classes I wish I had discovered sooner. This particular class is Gender Sciences in Literature, and taught by the philosophy teacher, who I’ve heard a great deal about. I’ve already read the first couple chapters of one of the books, Pythagoras’ Trousers, and simply based on that, I’m extremely excited about the class. The third class is French III, which I always enjoy.

Note – none of those classes are math, to my great pleasure.

This quarter should be quite good. I’m looking forward to it.

Five reasons to celebrate mistakes

Diplo Learning Corner

In this article, Alexander Kjerulf explains a simple but revolutionary idea: mistakes at work have to be celebrated. By taking inspirations by Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant who suggested that those who always do everything right should be fired, Kjerulf identifies five good reasons why mistakes should be acknowledged and celebrated, rather than stygmatized.

1. When you celebrate mistakes, you learn more from the mistakes you make

2. You don’t have to waste your time on CYB (covering your back)

3. When mistakes are celebrated, you strengthen creativity and innovation

4. Failure often opens new doors

5. When you celebrate mistakes, you make fewer mistakes


Image source: Flickr – rchris7702 (CC BY 2.0)

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A Word on Gender Equality

For whatever reason, Feminism has earned itself a bad rap – and it’s appalling that that’s the case. From my understanding of what feminism is, there is no need for it to have earned a negative connotation. After all, it is simply a branch of humanism.

Of course, I am a bit bias since I, myself, am a woman. I live in an extremely liberal part of the world, and (to my knowledge) haven’t experienced any wage differences. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I believe that there are parts of the country that do. I have, however, had a male landlord refuse to speak to me because I am a woman. I’ve had a cable guy come to fix whatever it was and not listen to anything I said until my male roommate arrived and said the exact same thing – which he did listen to. I have been called out on my ability to work or opportunities to do my job due to my weight or that I wasn’t blond. I have been cat-called, had my boobs the only thing worthy of eye contact, and I have been grabbed at repeatedly. I’ve worked in bars and pubs, and run my own little experiments – I get more tips the lower cut my shirt is, regardless of how crappy of service I give. I’ve given excellent service – chit-chatty, smiling, pleasant, and making sure that glasses were never empty – while wearing no make-up and a respectable shirt and gotten hardly anything for tips.

Woman are still objectified, and this is a problem. What’s more, is it’s not just men that are doing it. Women are playing into it. Women know that sex sells, as my bar example shows, and they play into it, knowing that’s how they’ll get ahead. It’s terrible. What’s more, it’s exploiting men. Though, again, men exploit women just as much. Neither set of circumstances is tolerable.

In my town there were a group of girls in one of the middle schools that were sent home because they all chose to wear skirts. The school said that it was distracting. The girls took a stand, and said they shouldn’t be shamed. They were in the newspaper, and their skirts were no shorter than any pair of shorts they would wear in a month. They were not provocative, the tops they wore were high necked and long sleeved, and some of the girls were even wearing tights. (edit: this was not the case. There was no cleavage or bra straps, but not all dresses were “high-necked) There was nothing inappropriate about what they were wearing. The problem in this situation was certainly not what they were wearing, but that those that were distracted by it had neither the discipline nor respect to not be distracted by it.

(for more information on just what these girls were wearing, here’s a video)

(You can read more on the event in the Bellingham Herald)

I am not a man hater. On the contrary. I think men are just as necessary and capable as women, and women are just as capable as men. I believe in humanism. I believe that we are creatures crawling around on this earth together, and that no one is worth more than another person.

We are coming into a time where lines are being blurred between gender roles – and thank God for it! men are becoming stay at home dads and women are being career driven. Thus, partnerships are developing, which is ultimately what is needed.

The most important thing about gender equality is that it opens up the conversation for those that identify with both or neither gender. How can we create and accepting atmosphere for people to be who they feel they are if we can’t even give people equality for their biology? Those that are transgender fight a battle that those of use that don’t identify similarly can’t understand. And for society to make it harsher to come to terms with the person they want to be is disgusting.

We are long from the dark ages. However, we are long from an enlightened era where people can simply be, and allow others to be as well. There is no equality for the moment, and it’s a sad truth. However, I believe that the more it’s talked about, the more the issue will come to light, and the more things will change. There is nothing to be gained from keeping other people down. All it does is stunt the great minds that could enhance our world. These are men, women, people.

Remember that no one is their encasing. Everyone is their own being existing along side the rest.

Always Read Twice

Of course it should be that I misread that email that was sent to me by the Financial Aid office yesterday. It wasn’t that I failed to complete 2/3s of my credits this quarter, it was cumulatively (I’m sure many of you caught my blunder when you saw the email shot I posted).

So I’ve been trying to figure out just how it is that I’ve completed one full year – that’s four quarters, taking classes that fit what I need for my degree (according to AGILEGrad, which could be my downfall), out of a two year degree, and not be 50% of the way through my credits. 

So the threat is that if I don’t complete 2/3’s of my required credits by next quarter, then I lose my Financial Aid. 

What I’m not understanding, is that if I’m enrolled in a two year degree program, why should I be 2/3’s of the way through by the end of the fifth quarter? Furthermore, how have I only completed 37% of my required classes in a year – especially when I’ve been full time every quarter?

I posted my concerns on Facebook, and a few people came up with options for me, all of which boiled down to talking to someone. Not a problem. I have an appointment to see an advisor about Learning Contracts (a whole real of interesting I’ll share when I learn more) on Monday, the day before the quarter begins. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk to someone else while I’m there.

Wish me luck!