2021: A Year Of Learning

I’m not going to lie, it’s really weird to talk about my word of the year a few months into the year.  Better late than never, after all.  But here we are, four months into the year, talking about what I want to focus on.

I really hope it goes better than last year, when my plan to embrace creativity fell apart.  After everything that happened last year, it was hard to focus on anything.  I mean, a pandemic, starting school and a lot of changes at work…it’s a wonder I was able to get anything done!

But that was last year!  It’s a new year and there’s plenty of time to get things done.

This year, I just want to learn! 

Being in school really helps with learning.  How could it not?  I feel like, being in school at 34, I have a much better idea of who I am, what I’m interested in, and why I’m there, compared to when I was in college right out of high school.  I want to take all of the things, because there are a lot of classes that sound absolutely cool, so it will be quite the assortment of classes.

And I know that they all fall into graduation requirements, but there are a lot of classes that I’ll probably take because I want to, and not just because I need to.  If I could be in school forever, I would!  I’d be that vampire with a ton of degrees, probably.

On a super random note, I finished an intercultural communications class recently, and I am really glad I took it!  I learned a lot about communication, especially about communicating with people from other cultures.  There are a couple of links I wanted to share, because they were really interesting to look at and go through.

One is a white privilege check.  While I wasn’t surprised that my answers were yes all the way down, I do know that I need to act, and not just think.  On a related note, taking these hidden biases tests were also really informative.  It’s a really good starting point to see how you’re biased, even though you don’t realize how you’re biased.

It is pretty vague, though.  A few months into the year, and I’m still not completely sure what it is I want to learn, and how I’m going to do it.  On the one hand, it’s going to be hard to focus on specific things because I can’t completely pinpoint what it is I want to learn.  I feel like not having some specific things to focus on will mean that I won’t have some starting points.  But I also like that it’s vague, because it leaves it open-ended.  If I find a rabbit-hole I want to go down, I will go down that rabbit-hole.

I don’t want to stress out over it, though.  I want it to be fun, not stressful.  I like learning!  It makes me happy to learn something new, and I get really excited when I learn something new.  So fun and natural, not forced and stressful.

There are a couple of things I specifically wanted to focus on this year:

  1. I plan on reading at least one non-fiction book each month, and so far, I’m doing pretty good with that.  It’s a good starting point, and maybe I’ll actually read more than one non-fiction book a month.  I’m not ruling it out, but one is definitely manageable!  I have a ton of books to choose from too, so picking something new won’t be hard at all!
  2. I also want to learn a new craft.  A few months into the year, and I still haven’t decided what that will be.  I could learn how to embroider, do cross-stitch, draw, paint, sew or knit.  The possibilities are endless, but a new craft would be fun, even if it’s not a permanent part of my life the way crochet is.  It could be, and I won’t know until I try.  I actually have to do, though, instead of thinking about it.

I’m excited about all of the possibilities- whether it’s from a book, from school, or something else entirely, it will be really nice to focus on something I really love.  The last year has really got me thinking about making learning a priority.

That’s all for today!

I’ll see you next time,

Around The Internet #36

Hello and good morning!

Here is today’s edition of cool and interesting things I found on the internet.  I hope you find what you need from the links below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll be back soon!

Stay safe and be kind,

School Update!

It’s been ages since I’ve done a school update, and thought it was time to talk about what’s been keeping me so busy!

First, I thought I’d recap the fall semester!

I had an astronomy class, which was really fun!  Science is cool, but not my strong suit.  Still, I enjoyed the class because there were a lot of random assignments where I had to look stuff up, and some questions to answer.  The professor was super involved, and checked in with us a lot.  It was really obvious that she wanted us to do well, and gave us a lot of different resources throughout the semester.  It was really easy to get an A in this class.

At the complete opposite end of the spectrum was Anatomy And Physiology.  This was in the medical assistant department, though there is a similar class in the biology department.

I really wish I had taken the biology one, because this class was terrible.  The material itself was fun, but really dense.  It was also a lot of information.  The professor wasn’t involved in the class at all- other then a few announcements at the beginning and end of the semester, there was nary a peep from him.  The tests were pretty strange too.  Answers were in a strange order.

You’d have something like this:

  • A.  All Of The Above
  • B.  Answer
  • C.  A And C
  • D.  Answer

Or this:

  • False
  • True

Or you’d see the same question twice in a row- as in the exact same question, but 4 choices for the first and 5 for the second.  Or true/false and then false/true.  And there would be a lot of detailed questions about diseases, which were talked about in the book, but the book was more of an overview since this was a class about the parts of the body and how it works, and not a class about the diseases.  It was so strange to see super-detailed questions about diseases that weren’t covered in the book and were not linked to or mentioned anywhere in the book.

And I felt like nothing stuck, because the class was primarily tests, with a few discussion posts sprinkled in.  I ended up with a B, and I do not have to take this particular class again, which makes me happy.

I also took Native American history, which was a really good class!  I learned a lot, and not surprisingly, we were absolutely horrible to them.  I knew we were, of course, but I am glad I took this class.  It’s unfortunate that we don’t get a lot of this information in regular history classes, and have to take a separate class if we do want to learn it, but at least it’s offered for those of us who do.  This class was another A!

As for this semester:

It’s a busy one, because for some bizarre reason, I decided to take a total of 5 classes.  While working full time.  It seems like most of my time over the last month has been working or doing school stuff, but it’s not as bad as I thought.

I have pathophysiology, which is all about diseases.  It’s really interesting, though some of the pictures in the book are a little hard to see.  There’s a reason I deal with medical records and paperwork.  But the tests are short and they aren’t frustrating.  We have to do a paper on a disease, so I need to figure out which one to write about.  And I like that every week, we have to do a worksheet on 5 diseases.  I don’t get those questions wrong!

I’m also taking biological anthropology- lecture and lab, which are two separate classes.

  • Lecture class is pretty cool- we’ve had discussion posts and quizzes, mostly, but I think we’re going to be getting some other assignments in the very near future.
  • Lab is a zoom class.  Tuesdays are pretty long, because of going to work, and then coming home with just enough time to get my computer set up for a 3 hour zoom class.  Props to everyone who’s on zoom for a lot longer than that.  Because lab is on Zoom, and most of the work we’re doing is during class, I felt like I was able to handle a 4th class.  It’s pretty fun but also weird to do a lab class on zoom.

I have two 8 week classes this semester also.  Biological anthropology and pathophysiology are a full semester, so they are definitely moving at a slower pace.

Currently, I’m taking intercultural communications, which has been really great!  It’ll be over at the end of the month, which is weird because I feel like I just started it.  But I’m learning a lot in this class, and I think it will be helpful at work, since I do talk to (and work with) people from a lot of different cultures.  Actually, it’s helpful for life in general, so it’s been worth it!  I ended up in this class because I need to take a personal growth class and was looking for something that was 8 weeks, which is how I ended up in this class.

In April/May, I’m taking mythology!  I just really wanted to take mythology, and didn’t care that it was 8 weeks, or that the only one that worked with my schedule was a zoom class.  Also, I needed to balance out all of the science.  I don’t know what this class is going to be like, but I’ll do an update if I can remember to do one.

And that wraps up all of my school updates, at least for now!

See you soon,

Around The Internet #35

Hello sunshines!  I’m back with some of the cool things I find on the internet.  I hope you enjoy the links below.

That’s all for today, and have a great week!

Around The Internet #34

Good morning!  It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and thought it was time to share some of the really cool (and frustrating) things I’ve found on the internet.  Enjoy!

That’s all for today!

Enjoy your day,

Around The Internet #33

Good morning!

It’s hard to believe that 2020 is over.  So far, it’s been the longest and shortest month, and January isn’t even over!  On the plus side, it’s not 2020 anymore, and I’m finding a lot of really cool things to share with all of you.  As usual, take a look at the links below, and hopefully, you’ll find something that you really like!

That’s all for today, and I’ll be back soon!

Around The Internet #32

Hi!  We’re back with another edition of Around The Internet, where I share the interesting things I find on the internet.  Enjoy!

That’s all for today, and have a great week!

Around The Internet #31

Hi!  Well, I didn’t think I’d be sharing some of the cool stuff I’ve found so soon, but here we are.  I hope you find something that catches your interest from the links below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you next time,

Around The Internet #30

Hi!  It’s been a while.  It’s like I’ve disappeared from this little corner of the internet I call home…because I have disappeared.  I just haven’t been in a blogging or reading mood the last few months.  It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve picked up a book, or thought about blogging.  Honestly?  I lost motivation and interest for a while.  That and school has kept me a little bit busy.  But here I am, looking at drafts of posts that have been hibernating for months, so my apologies that many of these links are months old at this point.  I still hope you find something interesting from the links below.

That’s all for today, and enjoy your week!

School Is Back In Session

It’s something I’ve mentioned in my monthly wrap-up posts, but I wanted to do a post specifically about it.

I’m back in school!  My goal is get into a health information technology program, and once I graduate from that program, there is a test I can take which, assuming I pass, means I’ll be a registered health information technician.  So I’ll basically be certified to do the job I’m currently doing, plus a few other things.

That’s going to be a long ways off, because I’m doing all of the prerequisite stuff I need to get into the program and to graduate with an associate’s degree.

Let’s talk about summer classes!

Summer school was definitely interesting!  I took three classes, so I was really busy for a couple of months.  I took math (to get it out of the way), English (I needed it to take a lot of other classes) and medical terminology (to even get into the HIT program, and as a pre-req for another class to get into the HIT program).

I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that I ended up with an A in English.  I would have been annoyed with myself if I did.  After book blogging for so long, it was really fun to talk about books.  I felt like that actually made the class easier!  I liked the books we read- Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet and The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society, and the third book was a book we got to choose.  Of course I went with Illuminae, which was a very good decision on my part.

My other A was medical terminology, which wasn’t a surprise because I’ve worked in healthcare for over 8 years now.  Also, if I got anything lower, I would have been really disappointed in myself.  It really was a great class, and with the discussion posts, we got to apply what we were reading to a real life situation.  I learned a lot and I’m actually finding it’s making my job easier!

Math was the one I was worried about, and the first couple of weeks were rough.  I’ve never been a math person, and I’ve always struggled with it.  But I somehow got a B, and it was the one class where I didn’t particularly care what my grade was, as long as it was a grade that meant I didn’t have to take it again.

Math was definitely interesting.  I worked super-hard that first week, only to have a professor change one week in…and all of the homework I did that first week didn’t count for my grade.  It was super-frustrating, but at least I knew that material pretty well.  A different professor meant a completely different grading system and a completely different access code for My Math Lab because he used a different book.

On the plus side, though, we had unlimited attempts for the tests, so I could take it as many times as I wanted until I got the grade I wanted.  And it was the same for the homework- if we got a problem wrong, we could get similar problems until we got it right.  That helped a lot because for the stuff I struggled with, I could do it over and over until I got right and understood it.

I can honestly tell you I have not used trigonometry in over 10 years, when I was last in school.  And I’m pretty sure I will not actually need it in the future, but it was a requirement that is now done, and I will never have to worry about it again.

And now that the fall semester has started, let’s talk about that!

This part is going to be a lot shorter, because I’m only a couple weeks in.

History is really interesting.  I’m taking Native American history, since I’m not really familiar with their history.  It’s a lot of reading and discussion posts with a few tests.  Since I’ve always loved history, so I’m not super-worried about this class.  There is some supplementary material given to us every week, like movies or websites to check out.  But the workload isn’t too bad.

Astronomy is pretty similar to history in that it’s reading and a few participation exercises each week.  There are videos and links to extra material for both astronomy and history, and with both classes, there’s a lot of structure and support from the professors.  It really feels like they want us to do well.

Unfortunately, I don’t get that same feeling with human anatomy and physiology.  The material itself is fine, but a few weeks in, and I’m finding this class to be frustrating.  The tests are really strange- there is some repetition with the questions, in that some of the questions show up several times but with a slightly wording.  Some of the answers are bizarre- you see answers like brain, all of the above, heart, liver.  And some of the questions are worded really weird.

On top of that, with the tests I’ve taken so far, there are always a few questions that have nothing to do with the assigned material for the week.  It’s material that’s not in the book, or referenced anywhere in the class- no links to videos or things we need to read.  It’s frustrating, because it’s hard to study for a test when I don’t know what I need to study!  The workbook the teacher put together that we have to turn in at the end of the semester doesn’t completely match up with the textbook, so it’s hard to do that on a weekly basis.

Overall, my ultimate impression of this class is that the professor isn’t interested in engaging with us or the material.  I feel like we’re on our own, with no guidance from the professor at all.  Other than a few announcements the first day or two, there’s been radio silence from the professor.

This is a weird time to be in school.

I know teaching online is very different than teaching in-person, and that with COVID, a lot of people who aren’t used to teaching online/remotely now have to.  It would just be nice to feel like he’s putting in some effort, or interested in us learning the material.  I’ve gotten that from every other class, but unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.  I really am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, because it’s been a weird year but I am struggling with being understanding.

Still, I think I have some hope it will get better, but it is what is and in the end, I’m sure I’ll do just fine.

That’s all for today, and I hope today is a good one for you.

See you next time,