School


GUESS WHAT? …. I F*CKING PASSED!!!!! I passed my Senior Project class. And if you can believe it, I got a ‘C.’ I thought for sure there was no way of me even getting anything better than a ‘D’ if I was lucky. But who cares…I PASSED! Just give me my second sheepskin. I arrived home yesterday from my trip back East and the first thing I did was go looking for my mail. I had this gnawing pit in my stomach but that soon subsided. I was beaming the rest of the afternoon. What an accomplishment…a whole other degree obtained at 47. (Thanks everyone for all your words of support and encouragement along the way this past year!)

In any event, I’m home and I am happy. But I must admit, getting up at 5:30 am EST yesterday and spending 8 hours traveling took its toll. I was bushed last night. I thoroughly enjoyed my accomodations at Spider’s Cottage and at Chateau Pete but I have to admit, there is nothing better than my own bed. Boy, did it feel good last night.

Hmmm! With the thought of a comfy bed on my mind, I have a great question for you in today’s HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Tuesday post.

How do you like your mattress – extra firm, soft, pillow-topped, wrapped in a nice down-feather bed, or “I could care less?”

Me…just give me a nice extra firm mattress, with a pillow top preferably, a Jack Radcliffe to warm up my bed and I’m content. So what about you?

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I DID IT…I DID IT!!! I completed my Senior Thesis Project class. I don’t know if I passed, and won’t for probably three weeks, but I actually made it through probably one of the most grueling quarters I have had in school. If you only knew how many times I literally just wanted to drop the class. I have to say that some of my motivation to stick it out came from all of you guys. I have appreciated all the words of encouragement. I just hope I didn’t drive everyone nuts with my periodic rants here at Life’s Colorful Brushstrokes.

It was a very long weekend finishing off with nearly an ‘all-nighter’ Sunday. My body is wasted!!! And to complicate the whole cramming this past weekend, I was sick. Still am. At one point in the wee Monday morning hours while cutting away at my model, I felt like someone had used my body as a punching bag. Tomorrow I work but come Wednesday I am soooooo sleepin’ in. I plan on also letting my employer know that I w}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
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I thought I’d share with you what my post for yesterday looked like, in particular the ending. See…I figured I would do a little blogging last night after my week ordeal. Well, at 10:30pm I sat down to start typing the above. Lets just say…at 12:30am I woke up still sitting on the sofa with my laptop computer in my lap. I simply went to bed. Guess this is a sign of sheer exhaustion when it is something you have never done in your life. Either that or I am one “old fogie” (pronounced faux’ gie). LOL.

So while I have my freedom back, reality is finally here. It’s back to full-time work. I just hope it is doing something in design. I am afraid to say that the pay scale in the field has me somewhat concerned. But those thoughts are for another day along with worries of finding design work. That part-time job I have right now…looks like it will stay just that or possibly just dissipate. My employer informed me today that some contract work was put on hold. It means that now they can’t afford to take on another person full-time. The company still desires to have me there…they just can’t put an offer on the table at this time. I had planned on taking a three week leave after school so they told me to go ahead with the time off request and we’ll see where things stand in three to four weeks. I may be out looking then. Hmmm! Interviewing…I so hate that process.

I suspect you may see more of me now. Stay tuned. I have San Francisco on my agenda the week after Easter. I am looking to see some of my blogger buddies and close friends. After that, I dunno. Hawaii is buzzing around in my head. The East Coast is sounding enticing…New York (Pete), Orlando (my Spider, Derek and Mikey), heck even Washington D.C…if only my Smiley hadn’t disappeared on me. Wondering if he is still floating around out there…miss his short quick wit.

Well…think it’s time for another NAP of sorts!!  Thanks for all the encouragement over the past few months.

But is there a blazing light at the end of the tunnel? I dunno?! Of course I have been working on my Project everyday this past week as I have often done over the quarter. The killer was the work period from Sunday into yesterday (Monday). I worked on my CAD portion (and my specifications notebook) from 8:30am Sunday into the early hours of Monday, straight up to 5pm yesterday…one hour before class. Just enough time to pick up my construction plans from the printer and get to class in the middle of Southern California evening commute traffic. I had exactly two hours of sleep from 5:15am until 7:15am. My alarm was set for 6:30am but some how I managed to turn it off and roll right back over asleep again. I thought for sure my sister’s ‘wind-up’ alarm clock would scare me awake but I guess it failed. I am getting so bad these days. But it’s exhaustion, I know it!!

You may be asking, “How did I fare?” Again, I dunno! I managed to make a chunk of the corrections in my plans previously brought to my attention by my instructor. I had a Details section of my documents due with the final package today. I completed about two-thirds of the details needed. I had to somehow spread my time. I will say that when the CAD documents are pulled together as a package, it’s rather impressive. I can at least walk away knowing that I am more comfortable with CAD now though still deficient in areas. Fortunately many of the construction document skills, that this class encompassed, are being taught to me bt my commercial design employer. I had to leave some of those taught elements out of my plans in an effort to achieve a final submitted product.

Where I really disappointed myself was in pulling together my specifications notebook. Guys, I am ‘down’ on what I submitted. I have never ever submitted what I submitted today on that particular item. Gaps of elements missing, no cohesiveness in researching and pulling it together…so much more running through my head. I have to say this is a MOST HUMBLING EXPERIENCE! Somehow, by the grace of God, I hope my instructors understand. I could blame it on what has been apart of my personal life for the past four to five weeks but no one could really understand that unless they were in my shoes…unless they were me. And if we were to equate this whole learning piece to working for an employer, they probably wouldn’t put a whole lot of sympathy out! The most important thing is I tried, I took away some important items to apply in my new career, and I should feel proud of my overall accomplishment with school, whether I pass or fail this class. I will admit, its not easy swallowing these last few sentences that i just spewed! I am my worst critic. Thanks to a few people’s encouraging words, I have pushed forward through the ‘muk of thoughts’ running through my head.

So….seven more days and I am DONE. Gosh I have a three-story 1/8″ model to construct and several boards by next Monday…that with my part-time design job squeezed in there. Sigh!

OK Tony, look for that light blazing at the end of the tunnel. It is there!

(One and all…thanks for bearing through this post.)

Well, it’s Friday and for many of you the beginning of a relaxing break from work – a mental breather. But for me, it’s the start of my weekend from hell or rather my week plus from hell. It’s hear, the final 10 days of school…history for me! And one I hope will end with a simple PASS in the class. I just don’t know. Gosh, I am trying like crazy to come up with some results. If I don’t pass, I at least know I put forth the effort and I merely walk away from it all one class shy of another degree. I can hold my head high knowing I had predominantly A’s during the three years I have been in school (think I just had 3 B’s). And as I have said in prior posts…it’s time for me to be moving on.

So as I am cranking away here, I could sure stand to hear what your up to for the weekend. But as I did last weekend, I could really stand to get some laughter out of this…so if you have a good joke or a funny little story, leave it under my comments. It will give me something to do and chuckle about hopefully when I take those short, quick five-minute ‘stretcher’ breaks. You all have a good, safe weekend. And please, don’t be too naughty. That goes for you Bigg (‘Cuz I know what you like to do on the weekends – Woohoo! – awe heck, make me proud Bigg, lol.)!!!

Just chuggin’ along guys…’til Monday night, later!

This past week has been a long week. I am glad it’s over in some respects but in the same breath I am not. It means the time period until D-Day, next Monday, has diminished. The stress level is stepping up and the sense of hopelessness of truly finishing my project the way it should be. God only knows I have tried. All my time has been devoted to CAD input just so I could get my weekly assignments submitted in some state of completion. In the meantime, my specifications notebook and gathering up any materials (to pull my design concept together) suffered. I can’t seem to find any balance of time now that works…that allows me to at least finish the basic requirements for the class.

Last night I received a compliment of sorts from one of the instructors, commenting, “Look what you’ve accomplished with your CAD skills.” In one respect it was nice to hear but I had to come back with the remark, “I know, but look at what cost.” I pointed to the example specifications notebook belonging to a student from last quarter. I remarked that I had had no time to work the book the entire quarter. Of course, my instructor came back with, “I have the utmost confidence you complete everything.” And at that moment I had a streak of negativism. I blurted out, “I hope so because one way or the other I am finished.” It was my way of letting her know that after I finished this quarter, I would not be returning, pass or fail. Mentally I am exhausted. When I say that, I mean from a the perspective of the school environment. I need other stimulation outside of school, in the realm of real work and a nearly-forgotten personal life. It’s not easy at 47, having put your life on hold for three years.

I have also reached a state where I need to be working due to finances. Unfortunately I am finding out that my new-found profession may not offer me the income I need to pay for basic items here in California. Trust me, I did research this field before I made my decision to leave my previous well-paying position. But your research is only as good as the resources that provide you with needed decision-making information. Regretfully I think mine embellished things a tad. I may find myself taking on work outside the design field that pays a wage that one can sustain a living on and not be at poverty-level. Or at least splitting time between a better-paying job and design work (part-time).

With all this on my mind, I am finding it hard to unwind these days from all the stress. If I were being truthful…I can’t even find a means anymore that puts me in a state of calm. So I guess I have the perfect question for today’s HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Tuesday post.

How do you like to unwind or de-stress after a very long day or for that matter, one hell’uva long week?

I’ll take any good creative, sound advice. By the way, I miss not being able to visit all my favorite reads routinely. I haven’t forgotten you. Just prioritizing these days…or at least for these last two weeks of school.

alarmclock_1.jpgSo I guess the mundane can be eventful, whether good or bad. Why I’d even be blogging about this is beyond me. As you may have already sensed over the past three to four weeks, I am reaching a state of mental exhaustion and now, I think my body physically has just about ‘collided’ with that state of being. I have been pushing myself lots as of late to get myself through my one remaining design class for BA completion, and hopefully pass.

Yadda, yadda, yadda! So what else is new? For the first time in my entire life – yes the first time in 46 years of existence – I slept through my alarm wake-up call and damn near missed work. I despise being late to any event or in meeting my responsibilities. Perhaps that places added stress on me but it is what I believe is necessary. And yet I am getting worse with each passing day. Sometimes I just can’t tell any more if it’s age, health issues, depression, a need for a change of scenery, whatever! I was awake yesterday morning at 3:30am and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I remember 6am strolling up on me and hearing my room mate in the shower. I thought, “OK, my alarm will be going off in 45 minutes.” That was the last I recalled until I woke up again at 8:45am. No alarm, nadda! Work is about a half hour drive for me and technically, I am suppose to be at work by 8:30am. Thank goodness for the boss having a little bit of flexibility. It’s still not the best to do when you haven’t quite locked your job down with a negotiated salary. Got the picture?!

So can someone tell me how to make this whole nightmare go away ‘cuz I do not want to sleep through any more alarms? *Chuckling* Happy Hump Day!

Guys…I am tired tonight. I put in my first work-for-pay day at my new place of employment. No more internship hours. One day a week may not be much but given my nightmare Project class, it’s sufficient for me. And a little extra money will come in handy.

In any event, my brain isn’t working well this evening. Plus I am ‘feeling‘ for someone tonight – a friend. It’s terrible when people impose a sense of isolation on a person and/or make an individual experience loneliness in it’s various degrees. It’s worse when it comes from your own flesh and blood.

Rather than throwing WEDNESDAY WORDPLAY at you, I have this question for you.

When does family become too much in your personal life?

Or maybe what I mean to ask ‘is when do you find that family pushes the wrong buttons with you?’ Think about it!

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