Posts from the ‘School’ Category

Old Mr. Kringle Is Starting To Jingle

 I have several thoughts swimming around in my Attention Deficited head this evening.  They are as follows:

You know that show that Jim Belushi is on? According to Jim or something like that?  Well….according to your Sista, that has got to be the worst show on television today.  I accidentally watched it tonight and I am simply amazed that show has been on the air as long as it has.  Jim Belushi and courtney.jpgthat actress that looks like she was separated atcaroline.jpg birth from Caroline Kennedy (If Caroline wasn’t like the other Kennedy Women and actually, like,  fixed herself up)  have got to have the worst chemistry I have ever seen.  I think the people who watch this show have got to be the same people who buy Rascal Flatts recordings.  The same people I can blame for the horrible state of Country Music today.  Nothing scientific about it, I just think that could be what’s happening here.

Something I saw on tv the other night that I haven’t watched in ages is Johnny Bravo.  The Johnny Bravo Xmas Special.  Now that right there is good tv, friends and neighbors.  Perhaps one of the funniest things I’ve seen on tv lately besides The Office.  I don’t even think it’s new this year but I laughed a whole lot when I saw that. This isn’t that, but, dadgum, Johnny Bravo and Donny are just funny.

Every Christmas, I seem to discover a Christmas song that has been around forever, but, for whatever reason, this is the year I really paid attention to it because it suddenly seems to be everywhere.  You know, a couple years back, every single time you turned something on, somebody was “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”  Everybody and their cousin was singing that.  I bet there was a version by Alvin and the Chipmunks.  It was everywhere. 

This year, I seem to be hearing a plethora of recordings of “Everybody’s Waiting For The Man With The Bag.”  I mean, that song has been around since 1950.  Is it just me or is it on every commercial and just plain everywhere this year?  I dig kay-starr.jpgit.  I think I like Kay Starr’s version the best.  There’s also a big part of me that wishes Kay’s hairdo would come back in.  My mom had hair sorta like that when I was little and she’d tease that hair up to heaven.  I would like to see myself once with that hairdo. Yeah….that is weird.

I have bought one Christmas present.  One. 

And just how is School?  Doesn’t appear I will finish the Math.  The good thing is I can pick up where I left off next semester.  I haven’t failed.  I also found out, thanks to an adviser yesterday who was just like Lesley (I mean, looked like her, sounded like her) that I was poorly advised and should not have taken the A & P to begin with. She named all these other classes I should have taken first. 

Trying to get this Christmas letter done.  I’m such a slacker this year. I’ve enlisted other Smiffs to help with it.  My teens are both good writers so they’ll be adding their few cents worth. Blogging has ruined my Christmas letter.

I had to go buy batteries for the dvd remote cause Love Actually came in from Netflix today. I had to get batteries to fast forward to the parts where those people are a’doin’ it there for all to see.  Last year, I was watching it and timed it wrong and my kids happened to walk in at just the right moment.   It was kindly awkward.  I love that movie and I love Martin Freeman but that whole part of the plot is kinda not necessary. I mean, if you’re going to have nekkid people runnin’ all over the place (that’s a quote from Ouiser)….I have no point with that. I just felt channeled by Ouiser, as I’m known to be at times.

I’m done babbling now.

Messing with the template.  I don’t know that I like the Artsy Frosty look.  I think I liked it last night when I got home and it was so stinking cold.

I got so frozen when I came home and Mr. Smiff had left some trash bags by the curb and ….well….bless his heart…that’s just something we can’t do cause at night dogs tend to roam and sometimes deer are kso when I got home, there was trash in the yard, covered in frost, so I had to pick it up.  I called him (he had left for Myrtle Beach, get this, with TWO Smiff Teens in tow) and I thanked him for leaving me such a nice gift.

By the time I came in the house, I was in a Frosty/Christmasy frame of mind…thanks to the trash. So, I guess I should thank Mr. Smiff for putting the trash by the curb and it getting strewn everywhere cause before that, I was not fillin’ that Christmasy fillin’.  Something about frostbite makes one feel Christmasy, I guess.

algebra.jpgI want you to take a gander at your Sista in study mode.  Look at that…nothing but serious studiousness.  I am in-to it.  That is the Engineering Brudda In Law offering his Algebraic wisdom and assistance.  I actually kinda…understand it. 

It Once Was Lost But Now It’s Found

Found it.  It hurts like the dickens to wear it.  Almost as bad as when I first got it. Amazing how quick that stuff moves. I guess when you’ve been a certain way for 30 years, it’s kinda hard to change.

I spent ALL day yesterday awash in bones and muscles.  I hope it will help me get a decent grade on my Lab test Tuesday.  I want it known I have been to two, count ’em TWO, Open Labs this week. 

I think all this bone stuff is sinking in cause when I watched Jimmy Kimmel and Regis & Kelly’s Halloween shows last night, everytime they showed a skull, I didn’t think of it as a Halloween decoration.  I’m thinking “There’s the orbicularis oculi, maxilla, zygomatic, ” etc.  Skay-ree.

Mike reminded me the other day that I think it was Friday was 11 years since Eva Cassidy died.

Not live performance but you can hear her sing “Yesterday”. Whoa.

Over It

Don’t ask me how school is, k?  I’m about up to here (the top of my head) with the whole thing.  Not just that I took on too big a load with the classes I’m taking (that’s about to drive me totally insane).  I can deal with getting in over my head and biting the bullet. 

What I’m having a hard time dealing with is the Math office saying they have not gotten any homework from me.  One, they most certainly have, two…I’ve busted my rather ample behind trying to keep up with the homework.  I got a little behind, but, am now caught up. 

To hear a voice on the other end of the phone tell me when I inquired as to why my attendance for the Math class said “Never” when I checked my stuff online, was a little more than I could handle today.  If I weren’t fearful of setting a bad example for my kids, not to mention the money I plunked down to take this class,  then I would stop now.  I also realize it’s not like I’d be hurting anybody at Vol State’s feelings if I quit going.  It would hurt my feelings though.   They have my money in hand already.  I am starting to feel like I paid to have my self esteem lowered and blood pressure raised.  Everytime I go into that Math Lab, I feel the systolic and diastolic go up a few notches. 

I should probably go talk to the people up there and get it all straight but I know I would use profane language and make a fool of myself and they’d probably fail me for that.  I feel so ignorant about the way college stuff works and more than once have had a grade suffered because I misunderstood  something.

This stuff gets me all emotional and nuts.  I don’t know if it’s subconscious stuff from years ago or what.  This was an expensive way to be reminded that I’m really, really bad at formal learning.

On a lighter note…I find it interesting that the top thing that brings people to this website (I’m talking random Googlers out there) is people doing a search on Eddie Munster.  Maybe it’s cause it’s Halloween and all. 

They could make a great mask of me right now…all PMS-like, haggard, weary, bags under the eyes.  It would be a scary mask, fo sho.

Fractions Suck

I have to spend this weekend studying and doing more studying for my first A & P exam next Thursday.  Even the Chemistry stuff is making more sense to me now.  I mean, I always thought PH balance was only important to shampoos and stuff. It seems there used to be a shampoo brand they advertised on tv years ago that even had “Ph balance” in the jingle.   Who knew that if your Ph level is at 6, you are deader ‘n a doornail?!  I know my body parts, cavities, organ systems and functions, simple squamos cells, atomic numbers and why fats are solids at room temperature pretty good. I just hope I can get it all together enough to pass the test.

Some of y’all will find this to be the next step to insane, but, to me, the concepts of Anatomy and Physiology are WAY easier to comprehend (even some of the chemistry) than it is for me to figure out fractions.  I am STILL fighting those $#%@ fractions.  I can be showed a thousand times how do them, then when I’m by myself trying to do it, can’t figure it out and I throw my hands up in disgust, curse and tell myself this Basic Math will keep me from getting into nursing.

I call Mr. Smiff on the road and he’ll help me with them…I’ve asked a co-worker (who is also an accounting teacher) and she’s shown me….I’ve asked the biker looking instructor at school….watched the instructional videos over and over…but mixed fractions will not stay in my head. Alls you have to do these days to see your Sista cry is say “Divide and multiply mixed fractions”. I hateth them.

I may take a break this weekend from studying to go to The 15th Annual Daniel Smith Days commences this weekend in my neck of the woods in Hendersonville.  I would like to go to this.  I think I should make all three Smiff Kids (even the teens) come with me and #2 to this and INSIST they enjoy it.  Rock Castle is such a gorgeous place. It’s supposed to be pretty so you oughta ride out to Scenic Sumner County and see what’s going on. 

But, I’m A Really Good Speller

I had a plan.  The teens/computer hogs were out last night at the Station Camp/Beech game.  (Station Camp won! Undefeated).  I was going to watch my video math lessons on simplifying fractions, do the two remaining pages of my math assignment that were supposed to be turned in today. No big whoop, right? No.

My antique computer that is circling the drain decided it wasn’t in the mood to load the video.  The Manchild was not here to assist his retarded dedicated mother and the cats were no help.  No problem…I’ll go to school Saturday morning, watch it, do the problems, turn in my work, be back home by 10:30.  Heh.

The New Skills thing is only open til 12:30 on Saturdays.  They had to kick me out.  I got help from the instructor on duty, this big ol’ Harley Rider looking guy showed me a really easy way to do it.  I was near tears at this point (I get that way when I’m mad or really frustrated. Hate that).  I understood how this number divides into that number, yet all the many steps to get to said number were still totally confusing to me. 

The Fraction Funpalooza continued into the night when my mother in law was trying to help me figure these dang fraction things out.  Nephew Smiff that’s good at math stuff had the nerve to go somewhere tonight and Manchild had some important guitar playing to do so me and Hazel were somewhat like “Lucy & Ethel Do Math”.  Actually, Hazel is good at that sorta thing.

I called Mr. Smiff on the phone and said “Ok Mr. “I’m Good At Fractions” and got him to help me from the Mayberry’s Finest Bus with some Grascal passing gas in the background.  Nephew Smiff soon showed up and we worked through some more and dangalanga-bing-bong….

I do believe I can say with all certainty, that I am a true Fractionista.  Tee Hee. Take that, Mrs. Satterfield.

The White Dove Sings

My second Lab experience left me feeling a little like the first one.  The good thing is, I didn’t feel quite so DUH in it.  We had our first quiz and we did an experiment on finding the starches, glucose and something else (can’t remember…just on my first cup of coffee) in certain foods.  My food was bananas.  It was positive for one and negative for the other.   I am hopeful that by next week or the week after, the Lab thing won’t be as intimidating to me. 

I like the lectures best.  We went over 8 of the Organ Systems and it’s really exciting to hear how it all goes together.  Even more exciting is when the teacher asks the class a question (looking for an out loud answer) and you can give the right one.  Funny, I got answer “Iris Diaprhagm” right in the Lab review but when we took the quiz, could not remember the word “Diaprahgm” to save my life.  I did remember “Parfocal”, Epithelial and squamos though.

I learned yesterday that Psychiatrists are so different than Counselor types in this way….they say hardly anything.  This guy interviewed me for about an hour, asking about this and that in my life, no reacting and just as I’m beginning to think “Maybe I DON’T have ADD” he says “I think we can get you some help and your life will change drastically.”  Interesting. 

 He asked me what I’ve done through my life to deal with this or that part of the whole thing and my answer was “I’ve built my own coping mechanisms.”  He didn’t really respond or react to much I said, but, when he asked me if I ever had any suicidal thoughts when I was a teenager and I said I thought about it but never made any attempt to.  I told him that I stopped having any thought of suicide when one day when I was probably 15, it hit me that you can commit suicide and people would be sad and say “I should’ve done this or that” but then, they’d get on with their business and you’d be an old memory put way back on a shelf that they’d see when they dust once every couple years.”  He laughed and said “That’s a sobering thought isn’t it?”  He asked if any of my family members have or had any psychiatric issues.  Heh. “Who, MY family?  Whatever makes you think, Doctor, that I would come from a line of people who are prone to addiction and psychiatric illness?”  I know he asks everybody that, but, it still makes me giggle.  I told my mother this and she said “Did you tell him about me?”  One thing about my family is we can laugh at our infirmities and we do often.  Yet another one of my coping mechanisms.

What made me finally decide it was time to move and do something about this?  Several things….I knew going to school and getting into the nursing profession would require it.  You can’t be trying to figure out what medicines to put in an IV and notice what somebody’s wearing or start chatting about the state of country music today and how crappy it is.  It might cause a careless mistake, resulting in something very bad for a potential patient…that sorta thing, you know?  Focus and concentration will be essential for me to complete my education.  I was lacking that when I was in junior high and high school.  I thought that there was something terribly wrong with me because I didn’t want to struggle to get a D, yet, I knew I wasn’t stupid.  If you have a photographic memory and you quit school, and the general feeling that you aren’t all you could be but you have no clue what to do about it…you know there is something wrong.   

I’ve talked with numerous people, adults who have said finally stepping out and getting help changed their lives in huge ways was a big encouragement to me.

 ALso,  with #2 having the issues he does, he needs organizational structure in the worst sort of way.  I can’t help him very good or be the best mom I can be to him, without giving him better structure.  He even told his teacher last week, “But you don’t understand what my house is like!” One of  the BIG kickers  of the whole thing is having my daughter say to my face that I’m lazy.  I don’t want her to think I am because I am not.  I want to be able to do the simplest of things that normal people do.  I don’t want to have any utilities disconnected ever again because somebody didn’t pay the bill.  Not necessarily cause the money wasn’t there, y’see.  I don’t want to have to call my sister and ask how in the world you organize a kitchen cabinet because it’s such an abstract concept to me.  I want to be able to run my home like a normal person and not feel like a total failure cause I am not able to process the simplest of steps in accomplishing that. 

  I almost feel like that after 25 years, today is going to be my sort of Independence Day. Or at least the beginning of it. 

Far Out, Man

My Math class is not a traditional sort of class setting.  It’s the kinda thing where I can do most of it from my computer and basically, all I have to do is turn in my homework and go and take the tests in the thing they call “New Skills”.  They have instructors up there all the time so I can go on Saturdays or not.  Pretty neat. I have to be logged in at least three hours a week. I can do it there or here in the privacy and “comfort” of the Smiff House.

I’m quite grateful that my firstborn is as smart as he is.  I was taking an assessment test online and had to ask his help.  He’s really good at explaining stuff. I’ve seen him help #2 with homework.  He’s got a knack. He’s gonna get sick of helping his mother with her Math.  I can tell. 

Even the Holy Tara looked at my book and said “Like…this is easy!”  I said to my dear daughter to look at the title of the book….”Basic Math.”  Duh.

A couple of things that have crossed my mind this first week of college…one, I can not imagine being say, 18, taking a full course load and being at a UT or someplace like that.  How in the world do kids stay focused with all the extra curriculars going on?  I’d have lasted about 5 minutes at a university when I was younger.

Secondly, the human body is an amazing thing.  I’m already amazed at the intricacies of how every little thing works.  I never knew that blood vessels have their own muscles.  I learned this week how/why we get goosebumps.  I learned a lot about the epithelium and so many things. I have a lot of material to learn by December. 

I’m reminded and  blown away through this first week of A & P at how great God is.  He made these bodies and designed them down to the smallest detail.  Every little artery, capillary, muscle, tissue….it’s really amazing.  That any of this just happened or is the result of a Big Bang or whatever, to me, is nuts.  Stuff this great doesn’t just happen.

This is gonna be fun.

Just Call Me Lucy Ricardo-Queen Laboratory-ess

Thoughts on my first day of school…

The class was packed.  I’d say the median age was 25 and up.  There was one or two who looked like they could’ve been playmates of the Manchild at one time, but, for the most part, it was grownups.  It’s mostly people who are going to be nurses, physical therapist assistants, radiology types, respiratory types. 

I dig the teacher.  He is INTO this Anatomy & Physiology and he seems to know his stuff.  I’d say he’s in his early to mid 50’s, with a hint of a New Jersey accent.  I like his lecture style.  

The Lab part of A & P….who knew microscopes were so intimidating and scary?  I mean, you have to be careful with this and that and I know I musta looked like Lucy Ricardo trying to figure that thing out.  I think I was the only person in the whole Lab who had never used a microscope before.  The only microscope I’ve ever messed with was one we got for Christmas circa 1976.  I don’t even think I messed with it at all.  I’m really pumped about getting to dissect a lamb’s brain and cow’s eyeball before the semester is out, if I can learn to focus the damn thing.

We swabbed our mouths for cells, put them on a slide and looked at them.  I was so intimidated by the saline solution, iodine and slide thingies I didn’t get a good sample but enough where I saw a few of my mouth cells up close and personal.  They were lovely.

This guy Jim that I used to go to church with and played volleyball with.  “Why don’t you come play with us?” Jim asked.  What I wanted to say was “Because I’m still limping from the time you fell on top of me trying to hit MY ball, ya big Doof. Jim is a big ol boy, about 6’4 and weighs near ‘250 or so.  I stopped playing volleyball because, silly me, I thought it would be fun and instead it was painful and people like Jim hit balls that I was fully capable of hitting.  I am a good volleyballist.  I just don’t believe in causing physical injury in the name of Jesus.

Back to Lab….NOW I know why that little character on the Muppets was called “Beaker.”  Those glass things that are kinda like scientific measuring cups are called beakers.  Oh hush.  While you were all studious, taking Chemistry in high school, I was out cruising around Williamson County listening to Emmylou Harris and Dwight Yoakam.  Then, when you went to college, I was busy hanging around the Station Inn hoping that cute bass player would notice me then I was married to him giving birth to his heirs and heiress. 

I’m going to give a new Anatomy and Physiology word to y’all every week.  The word of this week is “Epithelium.” Ponder and meditate on that a bit.

I bet Becky, the nice lady who sat next to me in Lab is probably going to move to the other side of the room next Tuesday so she doesn’t have to sit with me.  Poor thing.  She knew microscopes.  I bet she wanted to slap me. 

I Think I Can

I have not one inkling of nervousness or fear about beginning this whole school thing.  The only thing that scares me about starting college today is that, like so many other things in my life, I have a fear way down there that I’ll not complete it.  Poor follow-through one of those things that has tended to follow me through life.  I picture it like the toenail fungus monster on that commercial.  My mother says even when I was little I was like that.

My husband has been incredibly supportive of every wild idea I’ve ever had.  He’s never once said “I don’t think you can do that.”  I’ve told myself that A LOT with different things.  I want to do this and finish it, yes, for me, but, largely for the Old Man.  Not to prove anything to him because I have nothing to prove to him.  I do want it to make our lives better in every possible way.

It’s been about a year to the day since I lost my job and wondered what in the world I would do and who’da thunk I’d be trotting off to school with my backpack and everything a year later? I never dreamed such.