Archive for the ‘college’ Category

It’s a rainy morning that lures me back to bed. Sleeping in on a rainy day is a special bliss, but today it cannot be. I’m busier than ever – between a new job that I really like and my first ever college course, and the host of usual things I do in varying degrees of priority.

Two nights a week I have algebra class from 7:20 – 8:50. To make good use of the time before class, I bike to class from work, thus fitting in a 20 minute light workout. I usually get the the school an hour or so early, and so far I’ve used that time to grab some fruit or a bowl of soup at a cafe across the street from school, and to study (which usually involves double checking my homework – something I never did in high school!).

I’ve also used that time to meet the CEO, and to have a meeting with the Dean for New Program Development & Compliance. She invited me in to discuss her development of the school’s Individualized Study major, and I’ll be contributing a small piece to her presentation of the program for approval at an upcoming meeting of the Board of Trustees. If the IS major becomes an option, I’m going to seriously consider staying at CCDC for two years and pursuing this track – it would allow me to craft some courses that would involve working with local sustainable farmers, investigating farmer’s markets, researching the Chesapeake Bay food shed, and looking at food security within cities like DC. I’ve got a few other ideas bouncing around in my head. What would you study if you were crafting your own major?

And after all that jazz, I am actually enjoying my algebra class, maintaining an A in the class, and feeling – to my surprise – like I can really actually do this.

I miss evenings at home with the Monkey, but he’s been making tasty dinners (or having tasty pizza waiting for me when I walk in), and generally being awesome. He’s also glad I’ve developed a sudden love of techno music, which apparently is the perfect study music for math work. Whatever it does to my brain works – I grabbed my headphones for my test last night because it’s easier to concentrate on the work with the music throbbing in my ears. And he gets to enjoy it playing at home when I do my homework.


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I will need to take the ACT. I thought I could get out of it  – Evergreen State College did not require test scores for it’s adult student applicants. I never took it, so I don’t have any scores.

But now that I’ve revised some of my goals and am aiming a little higher in terms of the quality and rigor of the school I want to attend and the specific major I intend to pursue, I’m looking at more demanding schools, and will have to take the ACT. I am sure to get an embarrassing score, and what’s more, because I’ve got an  inescapable commitment on the only test date in October, I have to wait until December to take the exam, meaning I cannot apply by any of the “early action” dates for the four schools I’m aiming at. And whatever score I get is what I get… no second try for getting into Fall 2011.

I’m apprehensive.

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As of this week, I’m officially registered for classes!

Nice, because next to algebra, weight lifting is one of my favorite things!

I’ll be taking a Monday-Wednesday Algebra class, and assuming my scheduling works out, a Saturday biology class/lab. (The challenge is that I’ve already got two Saturday commitments in the fall – a Food Writing class at the Smithsonian in September and a wedding to photograph in October) so I’ll need to chat with the professor about how to handle that.

I’m excited! I think the Algebra class will be maddening, but I’ve been working on a little brush up, thanks to the “for dummies” series. You can learn more about my journey toward mathematical literacy at Katie Learns Math. Check it out. 😉

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I’ve been at loose ends, mentally, the last several days. A few weeks ago I wrote a brief, cryptic post about longing for a change. Well, though not quite as I imagined it, that change is happening.

In just a few weeks I’ll be applying to Evergreen State College in Washington (state, not district) for their sustainability program – with the plan of studying sustainable agriculture and food systems, with a heavy focus on writing. Evergreen has an interdisciplinary program, so I’ll be able to craft my coursework to suit my goals. I’m not entirely sure what the outcome of this adventure will be – could be work in food policy (me, a lobbyist?!), directing a food systems related nonprofit, or maybe working to restore life to soils depleted by industrial ag abuses – but as the Monkey wisely says, “Almost no one goes to college knowing what they’re going to do when they get out. You may be an adult, but you get that luxury too.”

I should interject here that I never attended college to begin with. It’s not a path I’d recommend but it was mine, and overall I’ve done alright by it. Tenacity counts for a hell of a lot in this world, and if you’re relatively bright, that plus tenacity will pull you through. But I have learned one thing: being an expert in the thing you do opens many doors, and saves you a whole lot of grief. I’m ready to be an expert, and I have identified a passion that will inspire my tenacity. (more…)

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