Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just About The Best Day, Ever

Today was completely fabulous!  It pretty much started at about 2am, when Phoenix kicked me in the face in his sleep.  His back foot to my left eye.  I saw stars.  I tried to go back to sleep but my stress over starting school and perhaps being unprepared was keeping me awake, so I got up and got started on my online Criminology course.  I finished the first assignment (a discussion thread with individual introductions of each of the students in the class) before 4am.  I was able to snooze for awhile before my alarm went off, and having done some work helped me feel more relaxed.  I got up at 6am, washed my hair and got ready for work and school.  I put all the stuff from my purse into my Old Navy army surplus bag.  Except my keycard for work, which I didn't remember until I got to the office and realized I couldn't get in.  I had already arrived about 10 minutes late, and I had to wait outside until someone with a keycard showed up.  Luckily I only had to wait about 3 minutes.

When I got in and got all my morning chores done, I sat down at the computer and immediately checked the online class to make sure I was staying caught up with the discussion thread (which is a big part of the grade).  I wished that I had gotten the books so that I could get as far ahead as possible, so I just kept myself busy by doing the usual wandering around online.  I found a bloggy-type website called Doghouse Diaries which I think is pretty awesome and spent the majority of my morning just reading that.  I should have been finishing my Peace Corps application, but I honestly pretty much forgot that I had planned to do that this morning.

In order to get the application finished, I need to whittle my previous application essays down to 500 words or less (they're both more than 1,000 words as they are now), finish the information on my volunteer experience and send out my requests for recommendations to people.  This is going to require my divulging my Peace Corps plans to my employer because I trust her to write a recommendation for me (since I'd like to think she considers me responsible and reliable), but I am pretty sure I can put her mind at ease with the knowledge that I wouldn't be leaving until January 2012 at the very earliest (although I am fairly certain it won't be until June or July of 2012).  I really want to get this finished ASAP and I should have gotten my ass in gear to get it finished before classes began so I wasn't attempting to further split my attention, but oh well.  If I finish my school work early I can do a little work on it each day and hopefully submit it this weekend.

I can't even begin to express my joy at being able to leave the office at 1:30pm.  It's usually about then that time sort of slows down, since that's about the halfway point of my regular days, and so being able to get up and leave was pure ecstasy.  I needed to get straight up to campus to get my books, so I walked to one of the many bus stops and took the bus up the hill to the off-campus bookstore.  That particular store was out of the Criminology books I needed, but I talked to the guy there and he said the one on campus had just gotten their order in, so I should go over there.  It was just a short couple of blocks to walk, and I had plenty of time, so I went there, and luckily they had received the books.  Except they cost fucking $200!  I had sort of pre-mapped out how I was going to be paying for the books.  My mom had given me $200 on Saturday, and I had set aside $150 of that to pay for books (as I hadn't thought they'd be more than that), and so I paid cash for the Sex, Gender and Society class (the one I'm actually in the classroom for), and I wrote a check for the other books.  I'll be paying myself back and my mom back for the books out of the refund I'm getting from my grants and loans ($1,300!), and saving the rest for in case I don't get enough additional money to pay for the class I'm waitlisted for during July.  Either way, I have a sort of cushion that I can hang onto for an emergency and to help pay for the class.  On top of that, I'm getting paid tomorrow, and it should be around $850 and I don't have to make a student loan payment or an insurance payment!  So for the first time in more than two months, I'll actually be ahead.

I got off track.  I wanted to write about how absolutely glorious it felt to be outside during the afternoon today, instead of stuck in the office.  I felt very nostalgic, and almost as though I'd been transported back through time to the last time I was working downtown and taking classes at CU. With my student ID, I don't have to pay for the bus, so I'm planning to just take the Skip up and down Broadway every day.  It was nice to have an hour between work and class to just walk around and get re-oriented.  The books are pretty heavy, and I'll be using them at work, so I will be carrying all three around every day so I might have to switch to a more supportive backpack.  And it was hot today, in the lower 80's and it's going to be even hotter the rest of the week, so I will be bringing a change of clothes for myself for each day, too.  It wasn't overly comfortable to be walking around in baggy pants that are a smidge too big.  I may also bring different shoes because I will be doing a fair amount of walking around each day.  I thought about bringing a bike to work (I'll probably just borrow my dad's), keeping it in the office with me and then riding up to campus and riding back so I don't have to wait around for the bus every day.  Doing that would be a rather large pain in the ass, because that will mean taking it up to work with me and having to drag it back and forth from the parking garage to the office, all the while with three heavy books on my back, but I think it will be a great workout each day (riding up that damn hill is extremely hard!) and I could use the exercise.  Living and working and going to school in Boulder was the best way for me to stay in shape.  I don't remember being overly unhappy with my body anytime I was living there.  Plus, if today was any indication as to the weather for the summer, I'll want to soak up the sun and get exercise in it if I can!

I can't really describe my elation for being back in school and only working half the day in words besides ecstatic; thrilled, overjoyed, delighted, excited, those words don't put enough emphasis on just how happy I am to be back in school.

This class - Sex, Gender and Society - will be fairly easy.  The instructor is a graduate student, but she's young and so she knows that having a variety of teaching techniques will keep our attention, and so the plan is for us to read, write, reflect, and discuss while she only lectures a little.  I've taken this class before, but I ended up being hospitalized towards the end of it and I never finished the class, so I have memory of the content, but it will be different because the teacher is different.  Interestingly, I'm not the only older person in the class (and by older I mean above age 22, and outside the normal 4-year degree track), and that makes me feel better.  Plus, the instructor is very easily close to my age and she seemed pretty excited to find out that there were a few of us that had returned to school after some time off.  She also seems really excited to be teaching Sociology (the class falls under both Sociology and Women's Studies), and I'm thrilled to be there because this is just another step I can hit in getting a second degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology (there's no real Criminology program at CU).  I also feel beyond capable of staying caught up in class - and not just caught up, but exceedingly engaged - and I didn't even really listen when she was explaining about attendance.  It hadn't even really occurred to me that I might miss a class, because if I miss a class, that means I'd probably be missing work, too, and that's not an option for me unless I want to make myself miserable by trying to get caught up in class and caught up financially.

We got out at 4pm, and I went straight to Chipotle and then drove home.  I got home at 4:50pm, a whole 40 minutes earlier than normal.  I LOVE IT!  I fed Phoenix, ate my orgasmic burrito, and took a little nap.  I got up again at 7pm and put a load of laundry in and vacuumed my bedroom and then took off my nasty toenail polish and gave my feet a good scrub-down.  They're very soft now.

I may do some of my reading tonight, or I may wait and do it at work tomorrow.  I will have plenty of time while I'm at work but I don't want to get behind already, so I may get started tonight.

I feel wonderful.  I feel like I have some purpose, like I have some kind of direction for the first time in a very long time.  I am not in school just because I have no other options, and I'm not trying to hurry my way through it just so I can move to Hawaii (like last time).  I'm in school 100% for ME, and it's fantastic.  I plan to ace the shit out of these classes and get back on track with my GPA.  I think I'm off to a fabulous start!

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