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,

Currently Obsessed With: August 2020

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe we’re in September already!  I feel like this has been the longest year ever, but it’s also going by really fast which is very strange.  It really has been a weird year.  I can’t believe it’s time to do a wrap-up post for August, but here we are.  August was pretty busy, mostly because of school but some non-school stuff happened too, as you’ll see below.

Inspired By:

  • My freezer.  I’m in a period of using what I have, and so I’ve been trying to cook with what I have.  When I have the energy to cook, that is.  It’s been really hot- in the 80’s/90’s, and when it gets that hot, I have the energy to do absolutely nothing.  I’m really hoping it’ll be over soon, and I can get back to cooking up a storm.

  • Procreate.  I’ve had it on my iPad for ages, but I haven’t used it a lot.  But lately, I’ve been doing using the liquify option, and I really like it!  I found a marbling class on skillshare that I really like, and it gave me some really good techniques and options to try out.

Watching:

  • Locke & Key.  Honestly, I don’t remember a lot about this show at this point, but I do remember enjoying it, and getting a Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe feel from it.
  • Get Even.  I was pretty excited about this adaptation, even though I’ve never read the series it’s based on.  I’ve read a couple of other Gretchen McNeil books, though, and knew it would be entertaining to watch.  I wasn’t wrong, and it was a fun series to watch.
  • Warrior Nuns.  I really liked Warrior Nuns!  It’s an interesting idea, and I thought it worked pretty well.  I have no idea if there are going to be more seasons, but I hope so.  I really want to know what happens next.
  • My Neighbor Totoro: I finally watched it!  I’ve seen a lot of Studio Ghibli movies, but had never seen this one, for some reason.  I absolutely loved it, and think it’s a must watch!

Reading:

  • The Illuminae Files.  I really like this series so far, and even though I haven’t finished the last book yet, I’m really glad I picked this series up.

Thinking About:

  • Finals/Homework: August was the month where summer session came to an end, so I was busy with 3 finals and finishing everything up.  It was also the start of a new semester, and I only had a week off in between the two, so school has been on my mind a lot!
  • How hot it’s been.  I already talked about the weather, and as much as I love warm weather, I don’t particularly enjoy heat waves.  I have zero motivation and energy, and getting my homework done has been a struggle.

Listening To:

  • Lost Kids.  This podcast was really interesting to listen to.  It’s about the troubled kids industry, but focuses on one student who goes missing and what happened to him.
  • It Was Simple.  This is a relatively short podcast series about Betty Broderick.  There are only four episodes, but they are worth listening to, especially if you like true crime.
  • Uncover.  Another true crime podcast that’s an interesting listen.  It focuses on Canadian true crime and I’m currently on their satanic panic season.  The one about Sharmini was heartbreaking, the seasons about NXIVM and a plane bombing were interesting, and while I wasn’t a fan of the Cat Lady season, it was still sad to listen to.
  • Once Upon A Time…In The Valley.  I really like this one.  It’s about Traci Lords, an underage porn star from the 80’s.  I heard about it on another podcast, and I wasn’t sure about it at first, but now I’m invested.

Dreamlife:

  • Going to Disneyland.  I’ve been watching a lot of Disney movies, and I think that’s why I had dreamed about going to Disneyland.
  • Jumping down waterfalls into pools of multi-colored water.  I have no idea where this dream came from but it was on a night that I took melatonin to help me sleep, and I always have really weird, vivid dream when I take it.

Researching:

  • Honestly, I didn’t look into anything in particular for August.

Eating + Drinking:

  • Enchiladas and Dan Dan Noodles.  I had some ground beef and ground pork I didn’t know what to do with, and found a couple of recipes to try.
  • The enchiladas were great, even though they fell apart and didn’t stay rolled up like they were supposed to.
  • I didn’t enjoy the dan dan noodles.  Well, I didn’t enjoy the particular recipe I used, so maybe it’s just me, and not the food.

Grateful For:

  • Good grades for summer school: A’s in medical terminology and English, and a B in math!
  • Having a job.
  • Meditation.  I’ve been using the Calm app before bed every night, and I’m just glad it helps me calm down.
  • Movie marathons.  I’ve been working my way through all of the Disney animated movies every weekend, and it’s quite the list for August.  Plus some non-Disney movies just to mix it up a little.

Good Things From August:

  • Honestly, it’s not a long list, because I didn’t really keep up with writing these things down for August.  And it’s all stuff I talked about already: summer school ended with good grades, fall semester started, and I watched a ton of movies.

That’s all for today!

Have a great weekend, and stay safe out there,

Currently Obsessed With: July 2020

Hi everyone!

It feels like I’m doing this post later than normal for some reason, but maybe that’s because I’ve been staying busy.  As I’m writing this, summer school is over, and I only have a week off before the fall semester starts.  With COVID, I’m taking advantage of the fact that a lot of classes are online, which is great for me because the more I can do from home, the better.  I feel like this post is going to be a little bit shorter than normal, just because I wasn’t great at keeping track of what was going on besides work and school.  I still got some stuff down, though, so let’s get started!

Inspired By:

  • Tarot Cards.  I’ve always liked the artwork on tarot cards, and I’ve been using the Mystic Monday app.  The artwork is really cool, and it gives me something to think about for the day.

Watching:

  • The Babysitter’s Club.  I love this show so much!  It’s really cute and if you haven’t seen it, you really need to!
  • Unsolved Mysteries.  I don’t know why it took me so long to watch it, but I’m glad I did!  The mysteries are really interesting, and the theme song totally gave me chills.
  • Cursed.  I love this take on King Arthur!
  • Person Of Interest.  I remember watching this show years ago, and I don’t know why, but I just really wanted to watch it.  I don’t think I ever got past the first or second season of it.

Reading:

  • I’ve been flipping through Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks a lot.  Baking: From My Home To Yours and Dorie’s Cookies are amazing, and I’m excited to make things from her other cookbooks.

Thinking About:

  • Reorganizing my apartment.  It’s really easy to keep clean, but I just really feel like reorganizing everything.
  • Continuing past the health information technology program.  It’s going to be awhile before I’m finished with that program, and I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  But it is something that’s crossed my mind.

Listening To:

  • Unfinished: Deep South.  I love this podcast, which is about the lynching of Isadore Banks.
  • Missing In Alaska.  This is another podcast, and it’s about two Congressman who went missing in Alaska back in 1972.  I’m still working my way through all of the available episodes, but it’s really interesting so far.
  • Folklore.  I LOVE this album!  I’ve listened to it all the way through I don’t know how many times, and I know I’m not the only one.

Dreamlife:

  • There’s one dream I remember and it’s pretty wacky but also horrible.  I had a dream I tested positive for COVID, went to work anyway, and didn’t tell anyone I had it.  I don’t know what was going on that I had that dream but at least it was just a dream.

Researching:

  • Public health programs.  This kind of relates to staying in school, and if I do, it would be public health.  I’m still not sure if it’s something I want to do, but there are a couple of programs that seem promising.

Eating+Drinking:

  • Water.  I don’t drink as much water as I should be drinking but I’m at least trying to drink some everyday.
  • Veggie straws.  I’ve really wanted these, for some reason, and while the 3 huge bags I had were a bit too much, at least I had plenty of them to eat.

Grateful For:

  • Nail polish thinner.  I feel like I might have mentioned this at some point, but I’m really glad I have some!  It means I can use my old Julep nail polish instead of tossing them in the trash.
  • Printable planners.  This has gotten me through summer school, and was a great way to keep track of assignments I needed to do for the week.
  • Keeping up with homework.  Mostly because of the planners mentioned above, but I’m just glad I was able to keep up with everything.
  • Taking time for myself.  It wasn’t easy, between taking 3 classes and working full-time, but I managed to take some time for myself.  It kept me sane.

Good Things:

  • I registered for fall classes!  I’m taking astronomy, history, and human anatomy and physiology.  Since it’s the fall semester, and it won’t be as condensed as summer classes, I’m hoping it won’t be as stressful.
  • Getting settled into a study routine.  It took a few weeks, but I eventually got settled in.
  • Reading!  I finally got back into reading.  I haven’t been in a huge reading mood but it seems like that’s over, and I hope it stays that way.
  • A new Taylor Swift album!  I was surprised by this surprise album but I was also really excited, and Folklore is so good!

That’s all for today.

Stay safe, and enjoy your day,

Currently Obsessed With: June 2020

Good morning!

I can’t believe it’s July already!  June was really busy for me- I started school, and it’s weird to be back in school but also really nice.  My goal is to have a nice and shiny registered health information technology certification, so I’ll probably be talking about school for the next couple of years while I go through all of the classes I need to get my A.A. in the program.  Even though it’s a lot of work now, there is a goal I’m working towards.

I really need to make more bread!  I made the English Muffin bread from Midwest Made, which you can see above.  It was so good, and I can’t wait to make it again!  I’m on a baking spree so I’ll have to find my next project.

Inspired By:

  • The Calm app.  I’ve been using it a lot this month, and it’s been helpful!  I do feel more calm, and I feel like I’m sleeping a lot better.  Maybe using it right before bed is a good idea.
  • Intentions For The Week.  I love this printable from The Handwriting Club.  A lot.  It’s nice to have a weekly idea of what I need to get done, and I love the different sections.
  • My pantry.  I don’t know why, but I’ve decided to need to clear out my pantry by using the things in it.  Reorganizing helped a lot, but I definitely need to use what I have.

Watching:

  • Fuller House.  This was a nostalgia watch for me, and I got around to watching the last season of it.  I loved the show as a kid, and I actually enjoyed the reboot.
  • Virgin River.  I really liked Virgin River!  It’s on Netflix but I feel like it’s something you’d see on Hallmark or Lifetime.  That didn’t stop me from watching it.  It’s about this nurse practitioner who moves to a small town searching for a fresh start.  It’s cute.
  • Yoga With Adriene.  I feel like I’ve talked about this youtube channel before, but I’ve been doing a lot of her videos before going to bed.  It helps me stretch a little, and her videos are really soothing and relaxing.  I also like that she gives you options for some of the poses depending on your skill level.
  • jessicasmithtv.  I don’t do these before bed, but I like that there’s a variety of workouts.  They are really doable, which is great, because I am completely and utterly out of shape.
  • Jumanji.  This is the newer one, and even though I wanted to see it, it took me a long time to actually watch.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun and entertaining, but I will always love the original with Robin Williams more.
  • The Good Witch: I’m not caught up yet, but this show about a witch in a small town is really cute!

Reading:

  • Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet.  This book was required reading (yay school!), but I actually really enjoyed it.
  • Speaking of school…textbooks.  Trigonometry and medical terminology, specifically.  At least I’m getting math out of the way, but the roller coaster ride of math could honestly be a blog post all on it’s own.  I haven’t been in a huge reading mood lately anyway, as far as fiction goes, but at least I’m reading textbooks?

Thinking About:

  • Homework: This is what I get for taking 3 summer classes while working full-time.  If I’m not working, I’m probably doing math or some other assignment.
  • How I’m going to do in math.  Math has never been my strong suit, and I’ve never particularly liked it.  With classes being online, I’m a little nervous about how it’s going to go, but hopefully, it won’t be completely horrible.

Listening To:

  • The Calm App.  The meditations are nice, but I’ve been listening to one of their sleep stories or nature sounds as I drift off to sleep.
  • The Shifter Series by Rachel Vincent.  I haven’t been reading a lot, and I’m struggling with getting through print books but audio books seem to work pretty well right now.  This is my currently audio book listen, and it’s a pretty enjoyable series.

Dreamlife:

Weird.  The two dreams I remember having were really weird:

  • I dreamed I almost got to talk to my father, but I missed my chance.  In real life, I grew up not knowing my dad, so it’s so weird that I would about dream it.
  • The other weird dream was trying to go to a community pool but couldn’t.  There was this woman who got a text every time someone showed up, and in order to get into the pool, we had to meet someone new.  There was this group of people and we all had to put temporary tattoos on each other.  The ones I remember were all really big and went on our backs, and of course, everyone was fully dressed with no bathing suits in sight.

I don’t know what was going on with the weird dreams, but honestly?  They could have been weirder.

Researching:

  • Planners/Calendars.  I need to keep track of when assignments are due.  And have some sort of way of figuring out what I’m going to study and when would be a great idea.  Time management is going to be the only way I get through the next couple of months.

Eating + Drinking:

  • Smoothies.  I’m still on my smoothie kick, and I’ve made my way through quite a few smoothies.  It makes me feel so healthy!
  • Water. I’ve been determined to drink water every day.  I don’t drink anywhere near the amount I should, but at least I’m drinking some water.
  • Bread.  I made my first loaf of bread last month!  Of course, I spend the next week eating it, and it made me so happy eating it.
  • Cup Of Noodles. This is the complete opposite of healthy but I really wanted some for some bizarre reason.

Grateful For:

  • Keeping up with homework.  It took me a couple of weeks, but I finally got into a good routine.  Writing down what’s due for the week helped a lot, and made it easier to do a couple of things everyday.  It also made it easier to get ahead with a couple of my classes.

Good Things:

  • I’ve talked about most of these already: starting school, baking a loaf of bread, teaching myself math, drinking water, and keeping up with homework
  • But I have tried some new vegetables!  Joining a CSA has been really great, and I’ve actually tried some new fruits and vegetables.  I’ve never heard of kohlrabi or gooseberries before but they are both really good!  And fava beans are pretty good too.  Everything just tastes so good…and better than the produce in the store.  I’m glad I did it.  Anything not included, I still get at the store, of course, but it’s hard to get non-CSA vegetables now.  It’s definitely more seasonal.
  • I’m trying to get into a better bedtime routine instead of falling asleep with the t.v. on in the background.  I’ve been doing yoga and then a meditation on the Calm app right before bed.  It’s a pretty good routine so far, and I feel like I am sleeping a lot better.

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

Have a great week,

Currently Obsessed With: January 2020

Good morning everyone!

I can’t believe its time for another one of these posts already!  It feels like I just did a wrap-up for January, and now I’m recapping February.  I feel like this one is going to be a lot shorter, but we’ll see.

You can’t go wrong with hearts, especially for February.  I’m not big on Valentine’s Day, but it felt right to draw hearts.

And the quote you see in one of the pages above was the quote I didn’t know I needed until I was working on this particular page.  February ended up being a little rough especially after Valentine’s day, and that quote just really stood out to me.  I know the size of this picture is big but I just really wanted to make sure the quote was easy to see.

Inspired By:

The 52 Lists journals.  I talked about it a few weeks ago in this post, and while I wanted to talk about it, I don’t know that it warrants a full-blown post.  But I’ve really liked doing them, especially the last couple of weeks.  We’ve moved past the introductory-type lists- favorite things and goals for the year, and that sort of thing.  The lists are starting to get more thought-provoking.  I really am trying to be honest with these lists- it’s a little hard sometimes, because it would be so much easier to just put something on paper and not think about it again.  But I just really want to put a lot of thought and effort into it.

Watching:

This is going to be a short section, because I only wrote down the things I was really excited about: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.  I just love both movies so much, and while there was crying involved, both movies were also really fun and cute and what I needed when I watched them.

Reading:

Hand Lettering: Creative Alphabets.  I’ve been writing things a lot more this year, and I thought it would be fun to try out different alphabets and ways to write.  So far, I’ve just been looking at this one, but at some point, I may took a look at other books to see what they have to offer.

Thinking About:

Going back to school for RHIT.  I’m also going to talk about this in a different section, but it’s a registered health information technician program that ends with a certification.  I’ve been on the fence for a while, but with some changes at work that are coming, having that certification would be really nice, and open up more opportunities for me.

Scrapbooking.  I honestly can’t remember if I’ve talked about this, and I don’t feel like going back to check, but I have a bunch of photos I want to go through and organize.  I’ve been looking at the scrapbooking section at Michael’s and it’s hard to not get excited about the stickers and washi tape and different kinds of card stock.  It is another way for me to get things organized.  I’ve definitely been on an organization streak this year, and I don’t know why but I’m going to go with it.

Listening To:

Lindsey Stirling.  I don’t listen to her enough, but I highly recommend her.  Her new album, Artemis, is great, but I think Brave Enough is my favorite of hers.

Lovers by Anna Of The North.  I’ve been listening to this song on repeat ever since I watched the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movies.

Your Mental Breakdown, which you can find here.  It’s a relatively new podcast that I heard about on My Favorite Murder.  There’s only around 5 or 6 episodes, but I really like listening to it so far.  You’re listening in on a therapy session between the host and one of his clients, and there’s also a breakdown of the session afterwards between the host and one of his friends.  I think it’s really interesting to not only hear the session but to hear a breakdown of it as well.  I really do recommend listening to it from the beginning, which shouldn’t be too hard, because there are only a handful of episodes.

Dream Life:

There’s not much to report here, but the one dream I do remember is the FBI investigating my work.  I don’t know why they were…I just know they were.  It was really weird.

Researching:

RHIT programs.  I work in medical records, when I don’t have to cover as a receptionist, and having that certification would be really nice to have.  It would open a lot of doors, especially if I wanted to move into billing and coding, or something else related to medical records.  Online would definitely be easier, and thankfully, it seems like there are plenty of online programs I could do.

Flower pens.  I know this is random, but somehow, at work, ALL of our flower pens disappeared.  I know there are tons of tutorials, and if I can remember to make sure I have pens at home, I’ll be good to go, since I have everything else I need.

Eating + Drinking:

I’ve been eating chili, comfort food (like pot pies), cookie butter (right out of the jar) and hot chocolate.  Work is really stressing me out right now, so I’ve been eating a lot of fast food to (momentarily) make myself feel better.  That’s not working out for me in the long-run because my stomach always seems to hate me a few hours later.

I made this instant pot chili, if your looking for the recipe.  I brought it to a potluck at work, and there was still some leftover, so I saved it for the rest of the week.

Grateful For:

Awesome and supportive co-workers!  I’ve had a really hard time at work the last couple of weeks, and I ended up talking to my boss about it.  I’m just glad I was able to get some relief until we can get fully staffed again.  I’ve been having a hard remembering that I do have things to be grateful for, and even though I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal this year, it’s fallen to the wayside the last week or so.  It’s definitely time to get back on bandwagon, and it’s something I can use to remind myself of the little things when I need it.  Hopefully, I’ll have more to share next time.

The Good Things:

It’s a really short list this month, but the book signing for All The Stars And Teeth was really fun!  I also stopped by the grand re-opening party for Mysterious Galaxy, which was pretty cool.  Any event that has Storm Troopers outside is a must.  Book club was fun, as usual, and I always look forward to it, so that’s probably going to be the thing that comes up every month.  Basically, everything was fun.

I also started doing yoga!  My hips have felt particularly stiff and sore, and my back has been hurting a little bit more than normal, so it’s been really nice and helpful.  I really, really like Yoga With Adriene, and as someone who doesn’t exercise (even though I know I should), her videos feel very accessible.  Compared to a couple of other channels that I really like but struggle with doing, I feel like I don’t need to be really flexible or in shape to do her videos.  I feel so calm and relaxed afterwards.  I also love that she has so many different types of videos.

Plus, it means I get to use this pretty yoga mat.

That’s all for February’s recap, and I’ll talk with everyone soon!