Thursday, September 04, 2008

questions from a college student...

It is the end of my second week as a college student. They say that there are several things that once learned can never be forgotten... like riding a bike. I have proven this fact literally because after my long absence from bike riding, I have again become comfortable on such a mode of transportation. I am actually enjoying my rides to and from campus, of course after the initial 5 minutes where my legs still ache a little bit (note: I need to stretch in the mornings)... but other things that I learned long ago, have not come back so easily.
One such skill is time management... okay let's face it, this skill has never existed in my bag of tricks... I am TERRIBLE at time management!!! I always have been, it is not my forte. I struggle with it at my job and now with school. It of course doesn't help that I have been without homework for almost 3 years, and so getting back into the groove of coming home and NOT being free to sit and watch a movie or read a book of my choosing, or my particular favorite - just go to bed. I now come home and have endless amounts of information still needing to be retained. I have papers to write and novels to read and history books to pour through, and spanish verb tenses to memorize... UGH!!!
Speaking of Spanish - yet another skill once learned and now lost. Granted it's coming back, but I am having to look up even the easy words to refresh myself... for example the word "easy" (for your information it's "facil"). I deal with this though... I keep my head down in class and avoid eye contact and only speak up when the answer only requires one spanish word and not entire sentence construction. This way La Profesora remembers I participated and yet I avoid her calling on me at random. brilliant, I know. I should write a book.
Aside from skill retraining, I am also learning things for the first time. I often pose questions to myself as I wander around campus on my bike... like, "can ASU students walk in a straight line?" This is a very important question, because no matter how proficient a cyclist I am, I cannot avoid random students who weave around imaginary barriers and jump out in front of my bike. It's not that they needed to move in order to avoid anything in their way... they just do, they will just randomly start walking diagonal right in my way. I mean they veer back and forth like field mice. It's very frustrating... because then I have to come to a screeching halt behind them and hope I don't just run them over (however tempting that may be), or I have to escape onto the adjacent lawn or swerve and pray no one is in my path.
Another question is, "do sorority girls get special training to squeal as loud as they can?" It is greek week and ever sorority is out in force to recruit. They set up a fair of sorts on the north part of campus and all the way from the MU I could hear the crowd at a decibel level that can not be natural. Now, I actually did have a moment where I wanted to wander over and try to be wooed by a sorority... maybe if I'd have gone to college and lived on campus I would have gotten involved in a sorority... wait... HAHAHA who am I kidding, I would have rather had spiders lay eggs in my ears. I do sometimes however want to stop and tour the booths for different clubs still littered around campus... but I seriously have no time to commit to any such clubs...
Which brings me to my final thought provoking question, "Can a returning college student and massage therapy instructor go to school 6 hrs a day on tuesday and thursdays and be assigned at least another 8+ hours of homework per week, and still work at her 32 hour a week job (nights no less)?" The answer... a resounding NO. I have been told by my managers that they are trying to hire someone to replace me next quarter and therefore I'll be relegated to adjunct faculty (meaning I'll work around 8 - 15 hours a week). They have spoken about it like it was a possibility and that nothing was definite and that I still could be kept on at full time, and yesterday I told them that I had decided for them that I was to be adjunct. I feel really good about this as far as my position at the massage school and my ASU school load and my sanity. So now I am researching other part-time jobs. I would love if I could work somewhere on ASU's campus. But I'm also looking into nannying and possibly a library job... something low-key where I can be quiet and possibly sneak in some homework time. It'll only be until December hopefully, so I'm actually up for anything. With that said, if you hear of any jobs opening up around october that fit that description, let me know :)
Aside from the stress of life that is accompanying my ASU experience, I am really kind of... well... freaked out about the whole college thing. I am not counting this necessarily as a bad thing... maybe it's a well needed dose of excitement in my life... but I am just incredibly daunted by everything I am experiencing and expected to do. I have so much on my plate, and I have no idea how I'm gonna do it all, but at the same time I am hoping that I will develop some type of groove... and that it is only the 2nd week and it will hopefully get better. I am also restful in the fact that I don't need to be perfect and that it is often true that my mediocre is better than I give it credit for. So here's to my new academic freedom from perfection. And remembering that I went back to school to learn, and NOT be a straight A student.

That's all for now... I have to go read the Romance of Tristan

P.S. I will try to get pictures posted on here soon... I know no one enjoys posts unless they have pictures.


linda t said...

I loved hearing your thoughts... even without pictures.
You are gonna do great at ASU! I know it!
I am so proud that you are managing such a full plate.
Let me know how I can help you Miranda.


Sara Murphy said...

When I was in school and was job hunting, several people suggested working a late evening/night shift at a hotel desk because there was lots of time to do homework... Just thought I'd pass on the advice.

Skerrib said...

Bravo Miranda! You'll feel much more comfortable by the end of the semester...going into spring will be a breeze compared with this first start-up semester.

Similar to what Sara said--my cousin has worked for a rental car company (on the really quiet shifts) for years for that same reason. I imagine if you work at a non-airport location it's easier to get the quiet times.

kristen said...

You sound more and more like me when I read about your life and I feel everything you feel as I read it! I will say it again oh how I wish you could nanny for us but then again I wouldn't ever let you quit. Oh and by the way you can get another job but I hope you are available to hang out and possibly go to disneyland with us during thanksgiving break!!! Yes we need more pictures. I would love to see you in action on your bike dodging students!

NanAZ said...

I think you have made a wise decision to cut your faculty hours. It sounds like quite a heavy load right now. I've done the same thing in the not so distant past (and even now). It's called over-extending and I'm very good at getting to that place. Now I recommend just taking one day at a time, doing as much as you can while still allowing yourself some slack and holding on until the end of the semester.

I'll be praying for you.

It will get better if you remember how overwhelming this feels and set boundaries to try to prevent it in the future. It's not easy for those of us who like to be busy and have a hard time saying no.