Sunday, September 28, 2008

Roll Call

Hi everyone -

I'm positive that no one really reads this except for Kristin and occasionally my mom.  Oh, and Lisa because she actually comments on things :)

So I got an idea from another blog.  It's time for roll call!  Simply leave a comment and let me know who you are!  I won't actually put the responses out there for the world to read, so don't be shy about raising your hand and waving it around for me to see (This is really just to satisfy my own curiosity)!

Class Update

Okay, so school's been in session for almost a month. I figured it was time for a little update.

Philosophy - I think the jury is still out on whether I like this class or not.  I usually don't understand the readings which make it a little tough to enjoy doing, but once I get to class I find the discussions fascinating.  I find myself questioning things I never thought to question and actually had the teacher suggest "supplemental reading" for me because of the questions I was asking.  Obviously I need to shut up.  :)

Field - For those of you who don't know yet, I got my placement!  I will be doing my internship on Thursdays at Community of Peace Academy in Saint Paul.  I was really excited to finally get word that it would work out because it's exactly where I wanted to go.  I'm eager to get started (don't start until the middle of October) but also nervous about the whole idea which is normal, I guess.  Unfortunately, I still have to go to two interviews at the school and pretend that I'm interested in getting internships at other places.  The interviews are on Tuesday.  I'm not really looking forward to going, but what do you do?...  The class itself is fine - minimal homework, great teacher, only 2 hours every other week.  

Human Behavior - I think I was most excited about this class and, unfortunately, it's turned out to be the most boring of the three.  It's also the most labor intensive.  I did just finish an 8-page (single spaced!) paper about my hometown which was boring to write, but it was a large chunk of the grade, so I'm happy to have it done with.  Now I just need to worry about a presentation on the elderly I need to prepare and about another 10ish page paper on adolescents.  Should be great.  The teacher is nice - and definitely has some great stories to share with us - I just wish we could spend the class listening and discussing his case studies and not reading and presenting stuff on this boring book we have.   Oh well.

So overall the semester is going really well!  I can't believe how fast the semester is going, which is a nice change from the two semesters I attended last year (I think Spanish had a lot to do with how slow-moving they were!).  I am already looking forward to registering for next semester even if one of those classes will be a research class (can you say boring with a ton of work?!?).  Oh well.  I like school much more now that I'm actually taking classes that focus on social work and am excited to continue the journey.

A couple of pictures...

Here are a couple of pictures of Lacey and Gabs doing their thing :)

Gabs plays the mellophone.

Lacey plays the oboe and the alto sax.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Band Competition!

Tonight we went to Irondale High School in New Brighton to watch Lacey and Gabrielle (Kristin's nieces) play in a band competition.  I had never been to one, so I was completely psyched.   Kristin kept telling me she wasn't going to let me go with her for fear I would embarrass her.  But somehow I managed to finagle my way into going and off we went.  

We arrived about 20 minutes before they started and even got a chance to see Gabrielle before they went out onto the field.  She wasn't exactly happy to see us, I don't think - embarrassed is more like it ;)  

Anyway, Lacey had a solo right at the very beginning and did an AWESOME job.  Seriously.  Watch the video for yourself and tell me she didn't do fabulously.

The whole performance was great - there were lots of "wows" coming from the crowd.  

They ended up getting 2nd place (they were robbed!) out of 5 which I think was impressive!  I was sad we weren't there to see more of the bands because I really thought it was cool!  

Lincoln High School (including Lacey and Gabs) will be headed to New York over Thanksgiving to be in the Macy's watch for them on your TVs that day!  :)

Awesome job ladies!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The other two...

Okay, so I dedicated a whole entry to philosophy – I figured I better at least mention my other two classes!

On Friday nights I have Field which is basically a 2-hour group therapy session. No, the point of the class is to get us started in our internships and then provide a place for us to go talk about our experiences and get support from other people who are going through the same thing. There is very little reading and not much work – just a presentation on the place where we’re doing our internship and a paper about our experiences – both of which I can handle.

As for the internship – AHHHHH! Everyone said the next 6 weeks would be hell and they were right! It’s so stressful not really knowing what’s going on or where I’ll be as an intern for the rest of the year. The school offers a list that we can choose from and interview at, but I really want to be at a school, so I’m hoping that I can get in at Kristin’s school. There are lots of things to figure out and hoops to jump through, but I’m optimistic it will work out and that if it doesn’t I wasn’t meant to intern there. It’s just all the unknowns that drive me crazy. Here’s hoping that I get through mid-October alive!
The other class I have is Human Behavior and the Social Environment. I had high hopes for this class. It sounded so interesting. But the first book we have to read is BORING. Hopefully the second one, which I will start reading next week, is more interesting. The teacher is nice and does his best with the book (which is basically a ton of definitions), but I look forward to when people will start doing their group presentations because it just HAS to be more entertaining than a bunch of definitions.

Overall my classes seem pretty good this time. I wouldn’t say they’re easy, but definitely manageable! Now if I could just get my internship stuff figured out…!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Philosophy, Day 1

Yesterday was my first philosophy class. As I've said before it's one of the last gen ed classes I have (thank goodness!). I considered taking a philosophy class that actually sounded interesting but worried that since I hadn't taken it before it would be hard and confusing so I decided to just go with the good ol' intro course.

When I went to buy my book I noticed that all of the other intro classes had to buy a huge book plus a ton of little ones. Mine only required the huge book. I didn't know if that was a good or bad thing, but I bought it happy with the fact that at least it only cost $40.

So I went into class last night - I was about 10 minutes early - and there were about 10 other people there already. They all looked the same - cute, skinny, and YOUNG. OMG. I never thought that I'd feel so old, but there I was. The oldest by 10 years. The class ended up having about 25 people in it and thank goodness a few people my age and one older woman arrived.

So it was shortly after 6 when this guy came walking in (short, plump, and curly hair. He looked like he stepped right out of a cartoon. Hilarious.) and said "is this philosophy?" A few people murmured that it was indeed. He walked up to the board and wrote "what is truth?" Then he asked "so what is it?" Silence. He finally started talking and then asked what makes us believe something. Silence. OMG. Seriously, people? Talk. So finally I said something about science and proof. He was thrilled.

After about 45 minutes he finally said "Hi, I'm Mr. X and I'm the instructor." No kidding. I thought you were just a lunatic who came in off the streets. Anyway, so he said we were in Philosophy 1000. Which was interesting. Interesting that he waited for 45 minutes to say that since Classical Greek Philosophy was also held last night and people kept coming in thinking that's what it was. You would have thought he would have cleared that up right away, but no.

Anyway, so then we spent the next while going around the classroom answering questions about ourselves (I HATE that part). I couldn't believe how many brand new freshman were taking philosophy. We had to say why were taking the course, and he had said it was fine to say "because it's a requirement" so that's basically what everyone said. He said he would try to make it as painless as possible on us. He also said he had us in mind when he only ordered one book for the class - cheap. So that was nice.

He finally handed out the syllabus. Seems easy enough. Read a ton of stuff, write little about each, write 2 long (even though he called them short) papers, take 2 tests...I can totally do that. He seems really easy going, and knowing from my Theology experience that the teacher can make all the difference, I appreciated my stroke of luck in getting him.

As for philosophy itself? I can't decide if I like it or not. Most people have told me that I'll either love it or hate it. I just kept thinking last night, as we talked about Descartes, that philosophers are insane. Seriously. Lock them up. Get them help. Something.

We read a few pages of Descartes' Meditation where he's basically saying who knows what is real and what's not - what's a dream and what's not...he questioned everything because he said he didn't want to be wrong again. That seems a little egotistical to me. And it seems like it would be a depressing journey to question every single thing about the world around you. So by the end of the night I found that I wasn't fascinated by the questions or by the process but by Descartes himself. Perhaps that's why I'm going into social work and not philosophy? :)

Anyway, the class should be okay - after my Spanish experience I figure anything taught in my native tongue has got to be fine. :)

Quote from Joan Rivers

Just had to share:

"[Sarah Palin's] against premarital sex -- talk to her daughter. She's against abortion. She's against women's choice. She's against everything I stand for...It's all right because God forgave [daughter Bristol.] God should have handed her a condom."

Monday, September 1, 2008

September Begins...

It's September 1. The preverbial end of summer. We've had a good summer. I was able to take several days off here and there to just relax, we went to Duluth for our anniversary and discovered a new getaway spot, we were able to go to South Dakota to visit Kristin's family twice, Robyn and Dejan came for a visit, and we spent a very relaxing weekend at Wilderness Way (which we plan to repeat in October). While this summer was a little less activity-ridden than last year (think wedding), it was a good one and I'm sad to see it end so fast.

School starts this week for Kristin as well as for me. That means a lot of changes in our schedules as well as nerves and excitement for what is to come.

I'm taking three classes this trimester (vs. the two I have taken in the past) as well as doing an internship. I thought that I would feel more settled and more excited once I started my actual social work classes. I am excited, but I'm finding that I wish I could just fast forward and have it done.

I have three gen ed classes left - Philosophy, Phys Ed, and Global Search for Justice (a course required for everyone graduating from St. Kate's). This semester I'll be getting philosophy out of the way on Wednesday nights. Friday nights are reserved for my field class. Saturday afternoons will be Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Fascinating.

I'm not really looking forward to philosophy. It seems like a snoozer class. Hopefully it won't be too intense. The Field class should be okay - not too much work. It will basically be talking about the internship I am doing which won't be decided until the end of September or beginning of October. I'm a little nervous about that - hoping that I get something interesting that will teach me whatever it is I need to know. The Human Behavior class doesn't seem too crazy, either...but sometimes the syllabii are misleading, so we'll see.

It's definitely going to be crazy for me over the coming months. Here's to hoping that I survive without alienating everyone around me (in other words I'll try not to be too cranky)!

As I said earlier, Kristin also starts school this week. She gets a whole new group of 3rd graders. I went to her classroom with her on Friday. Once again she's done an awesome job of fitting a million things into one room and making it look cute and inviting for the kids! It sounds like she'll have another interesting group of kids this year which makes for good dinner conversation. She will also be starting at Concordia next week working towards her Masters in Differentiated Instruction. She will have class on Thursday nights, so we may not see much of each other this fall...but it will all be worth it in the end...right?

I've been busy this holiday weekend with homework (the joy of attending weekend classes - there are always assignments due the first day of class) and being sick. Kristin and I have both been sick with some sort of stomach flu. I told her it wouldn't be the beginning of the schoolyear without us catching some sort of illness. Hopefully we're both on our way to recovery.

So. Goodbye summer, thanks for the memories. Welcome fall - let's do it up right.