Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mess With Yo' Head.

A couple of weeks ago, shortly before I took the GREs, I got a letter from the Ohio State University, one of the universities to which I had applied for graduate studies. The letter said that my grades weren't good enough for acceptance, and that I should forward my GRE scores once I got them, and then they'd let me know. (Only it sounded more formal than that.) My online application status says that they're still thinking about letting me in, but so far I haven't heard anything, which isn't too surprising considering they only got my scores maybe a week or two ago.

When I got home from class this evening, I got an e-mail that read: "The Office of Student Financial Aid encourages you to apply for the following scholarship opportunities available to women attending Ohio State during the 2007-2008 academic year."

Either their office of financial aid knows something I don't, or they're screwing with me.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Train of Thought.

I like bullet-points; they make it easier for me to keep track of the main ideas.

* My knee is pretty much healed at this point, probably as well as it's going to be for awhile. It's still a bit stiff, and hurts (aches?) when I go up and down stairs, and drive (Damn that manual transmission!) but it's fine otherwise.
* The math class is going to be all right, I believe. Nothing too terribly difficult - everyone who takes the math class for which I'd registered has done so for the same reason I had - that is, to fulfill DEC C.
* My GRE scores have been submitted to various grad schools, and it's this point it's a waiting game. I suspect I won't be accepted into any doctoral programs, but I'll probably be accepted into some M.A. programs, which if disappointing, really, is just absolutely fine. (I can work hard, do impressively well, and then scooch into those a doctoral program.)
* I've begun considering teaching jobs, and where I want to teach. While I don't particularly like Long Island, and am not entirely certain where I'll be accepted to grad school, I can always teach anywhere in New York State. I'll begin applying to various departments of education later in the semester. The ideal situation would to attend grad school full-time next semester while at the very least subbing, although I haven't decided yet if I should teach full time and get the degree part time.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Being Employed Again.

There had been some problems with the Writing Program since this summer - the administrative assistant moved on, and so did the senior staff assistant. So far as I know the main office hasn't been staffed by a permanent, non-temporary employee, and as such, there had been some potential hiring issues, since there was no one there to do what was necessary to do the paperwork, etc. Admittedly, the Writing Program has been in a state of flux for several months; the director of the Writing Program stepped down; an interim director was found; then a temporary director was hired for a year; finally, since the summer, there's been an actual Writing Program Director. There has also been some talk of the Writing Program re-emerging with the English department, but I don't know how that's been progressing.

I had contacted the interim Writing Center director several weeks ago to see if there would be a place for me, preferably as a Supervising Tutor, but I really just wanted to go back to work in the same environment that I had enjoyed. But because of the potential hiring problems, I wasn't sure until today that I would get re-hired. I actually had scheduled an interview for a position as a writing tutor for this afternoon at another on-campus location, but luckily it's no longer necessary.

The first meeting of the semester is next week, and I'll be interested in seeing who's new, who's left, and how things have changed. An online scheduler has been in place since last summer, and I'm familiar with it, but I'm sticking around for the training part of that anyway because I suspect there are scheduling issues - students not showing up for appointments, etc. - and other problems that I'm wondering if I could help fix.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thinking Mathematically.

This evening I had my first math class. I've got mixed thoughts on it. I didn't have the math book (I'll probably buy it tomorrow), which meant I couldn't follow the professor's examples; he didn't hand out a syllabus, which I wouldn't mind since he said he posted everything online, but then he proceeded to not give us any information about the course; rather, he would start to give us some details but interrupt himself or cut himself off, and refer us back to the web site that he thought we might have come across. He also didn't introduce himself (I wish professors would do that) or even tell a questioning student the name of the book we should buy, instead referring us back to the web site. (In the time it took him to tell us to look at the web site to find the name of the text, and to explain again why we should always look at the web site, he could have told us the title. Note: He had a copy of the text right in front of him.)

Healing, Cars, and More.

It's been quiet this past week. My knee is pretty much back to normal; there were a few days in which a different part of my leg was in pretty bad pain, but except for some remnants of stiffness I'm much better.

I was the victim of a hit-and-run a few days ago; a neighbor brought it to my attention. (With my knee hurting I wasn't driving anywhere for just over a week.) It doesn't look too serious: The left taillight is broken (not the bulbs; just the plastic), and there's a dent. It looks as though someone backed into my car, but of course there was no note, nor do I know when all this activity happened. I live on a quiet street and I can't quite imagine how someone backed into my car, although where I normally park my car is on the other side of the street from a driveway. I'll have to wait for a few days to take it to the body shop; Chris and I tried to take it to a body shop that was recommended by a mechanic one of Chris' friends trusts, but they were closed. With all the driving I'll be doing between home and Stony Brook Univ. this semester we decided to give my car a tune-up and oil change (I also needed two new tires), so perhaps I can get to that body shop by the end of the week.

No word from bride-to-be Maria for a few days. I've been perusing a lot of bridesmaids dresses, and finally found and bought a dress in hunter green, and ordered it, so it should be here in a couple of days. I still may need to buy a pair of shoes, but I do have two pairs that might go well.

Last night Chris and I went to Peter Luger Steakhouse, which I haven't been to in years. So amazingly yummy - medium well; and we ordered sides of broccoli, onion rings, and German friend potatoes.

The semester officially started yesterday, although I'm only taking one class - that blasted math class - and the class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays (with the recitation on Wednesdays).

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chin Up, Young Person.

My leg is temporarily out of commission; although it's not broken, it is painful to walk on. I spent a few hours at the doctor's office last night and got some prescription drug samples, which have been helping already. (The pain has decreased, and while my leg is still stiff, it still hurts to walk, and I still can't bend my leg, I can actually walk with a lot less pain.) I'm hoping that I'll be able to drive by the weekend; the math class of doom starts Tuesday.

As a side note, Chris and I did some health care insurance research and I mailed off the application and first month's payment. This means, of course, either that a problem will be detected with my application and I will be denied coverage, or I will become the Healthiest Person Alive once insurance kicks in.

Speaking of health: Since I haven't been able to walk, I of course haven't been able to make it to the gym, which I've noticed affects how well I eat. This is no good.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

GRE Exam.

I didn't do as well on the GRE yesterday as I would have liked - although my results were hardly surprising. I am considering taking them again in a month or two, although I already had the results sent to a few universities to which I'd applied for graduate studies, so I'm not sure my re-taking the exam will be necessarily beneficial.

It's been a quiet couple of days otherwise. I injured my knee badly this past weekend; as a result I haven't been able to make it to the gym, and indeed I'm even having trouble walking around and have not been able to make it to the doctor because I don't want to chance driving. I suspect I have a very bad sprain, so I've been trying to walk as little as possible, although of course it's difficult not doing for oneself (especially with Chris at work), but there's not much else to be done at this point other than to try to keep myself elevated (in a non-Linda-Blair capacity).

My friend Maria, on a different topic, has recently announced her engagement and has asked me to be a bridesmaid, which I'm happy to do; she's also asked a few other Writing Center tutors to be bridesmaids: Lauren; Meti; and Amrita. Amrita and I were to go dress shopping on Thursday, but since I'm having trouble walking the shopping expedition may temporarily be postponed.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

GRE Practice.

Based on the GRE practice test I took yesterday morning, not only do I have no business applying to grad school, I should probably also repeat all my education, beginning with Kindergarten. It was quite horrid, how badly I did. I've been looking over practice strategies on Kaplan's web site and while I'll look through some word lists also, I'm not sure how helpful it is to try to memorize a few hundred words.

I did realize, after the fact, that I didn't follow the instructions in the section that required me to find antonyms (instead of synonyms). On the Verbal I got a 300, with a percentile rank of 6%;o n the Quantitative I got a 400. My percentile rank was 11%. I did best on Geometry - a class I'm still not sure I passed even after taking it in high school twice.

With these scores one should have stellar grades - not that mine are horrible, but I can't use my grades as compensation. Unfortunately I can neither reschedule nor cancel the exam, so I'll see how well I do tomorrow; re-taking it is, of course an option, although I would prefer not to. I've been studying word lists and strategies today, and will do so a bit more before bed tonight.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Technological Literacy.

Technology and literacy as an intertwined subject is something that's become very interesting to me. I first noticed this during my Methods II class a few semesters ago, in which I knew more than everyone else in the classroom about web site creation, blogging, and wikis - and this includes what the professor knew. I'm not trying to brag; no one knew anything. And the knowledge was intertwined; people had trouble setting up blogs (on Blogger, which I thought was very simple, but others were amazingly confused, including one friend who tried to post an entry to her account by commenting on her first entry). Keep in mind that with the exception of two other students in the class, everyone in the class was what the professor entitled a "digital native" -- alleged fluency in technology and computers. Imagine growing up in the United States, from the time of your birth, yet still not being able to speak English fluently - and you wanted to teach English. That's not being a "native." These were students who had been exposed to computers throughout their entire lives, yet I, a "digital immigrant," as the professor called me (the labels "digital immigrant" and "digital native" still irritate me) knew more about how to do basic things like find a web hosting company. The professor did the class a great disservice by not knowing enough about the topic, even about basics about what might be professional in terms of web site presentation. Not that I know too much about it, either, but I have at least a couple of ideas.

Every week day I get an e-mail from Inside Higher Ed, a web site that is probably interesting only to those who are involved professionally in education. I had a few days' worth of e-mails sitting around, and in reading some of the headlines, a few caught my eye, including an article regarding testing professors and librarians for technology literacy; another article's author opined that college students might be "techno idiots."

I think technological literacy is a subject I'm going to really study, possibly do some research on, etc. It's disturbing how little people know - especially future teachers.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

More Procrastination.

The only thing I managed to accomplish today, aside from cooking dinner, was to finally upload the pictures I took over Christmas. This is an auspicious beginning indeed. Tomorrow I really need to read the GRE book. On the other hand, I'm only planning on reading three chapters a day, and then spending the weekend next week doing the practice exams.

To relieve my guilty conscience, I registered for a few Kaplan free events: A GRE practice test (which I'll be taking the Saturday before the "real thing"); and a GRE Test Drive (no idea what that is, but if it's more test prep, I'll take it). They should be helpful for the subject exam I'll be taking in a few months. I wish I had known of these sooner.