Friday, November 4, 2011

Oatmeal, Shirts and Economics.

First, the Oatmeal. I was out shopping the other day in the middle of the afternoon. I had actually made a shopping list and was going to stick to my budget so I was feeling pretty good about life. We (meaning myself, Orclette and Miniorc) got to the cereal aisle and I thought about buying some. Cereal is rather expensive, however, when you compare it to Oatmeal, so I decided that I was going to be virtuous and buy the cheaper option. It was a great idea until the next morning when my morning brain threw a fit against my afternoon brain because my morning brain DOES NOT COOK. Not even the minuscule amount of cooking that it takes to make Oatmeal. So the moral is: do not do your breakfast shopping with your afternoon brain.

Secondly, the Shirts. I was switching out the kiddos summer clothes for their winter ones (it's just now getting cold here) and I discovered that the Orclette had practically nothing warm to wear. So I packed the kids up and headed out to Savers, one of our local thrift stores. We found some really cute things, including a Shirt that had a design I would actually wear. This raises a conundrum for me: am I dressing my daughter in clothes too old for her? She's no longer a toddler so (to me at least) the frills and bows don't look right. But do I really want her to be a mini-me at age four? (The Shirt was in all other respects appropriate. I don't dress skankily and neither will my daughter as long as she lives in my house:)

Thirdly and finally, Economics. I took Macro Economics a long time ago and got a "D", the only time I've ever received a grade that low. I think it's safe to say I don't understand the subject matter all that well. So one of my teachers assigned a reading that was written by a sociologist who used economic terms indiscriminately throughout the reading. I really have no idea what he said, but I had to write a paper on it, so I let my brain take a back seat, tried to remember that Macro Economics class, and let the words flow. The paper actually sounds intelligent but I have no idea what I said. I'm turning it in today. Hopefully it'll sound intelligent enough to garner me an "A".

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Am I more stressed out this year than last year?"

I think we are. Everybody we know is having a rough or stressful or life-changing semester. Ours is simply stressful; some grades haven't been what we wanted them to be and there are always teachers/fellow students to grapple with. And it's been this way every semester. I have end-of-the-semester stress symptoms every May and December.

It seems to be worse this year, however. Last Fall I was still baking, actively planning Christmas and making sure my friends felt the love of the season. This Fall I collapse on the couch to start watching my stressed-out go-to show: The Gilmore Girls. No baking has been done, Christmas planning will just have to wait, and does anyone actually want a Thanksgiving dinner or can we just do pizza?

I've analyzed the situation, of course, and I have come up with two reasons for our extra-tiredness:
#1: Our class levels are higher. There is a huge difference between a 100-level course (that's a beginner class) and a 400-level class (that's a class that grads can also take). Three of mine are 300-level classes and one is a 400-level. Damm's are constantly getting more complicated and building on what he learned the previous semester.

#2: We've depleted our backup stores of emotional and physical energy. We started this whole college thing back in the Spring of 2009. We still have (after this semester) three more grueling semesters to go. This is the Hump Semester, if you will.

I think the Spring semester will be better. I'm filling in some educational gaps and I'm taking a 100-level course and a 200-level course (and also a 300-level and 400-level). My stress will most likely be lower. Damm's won't, but at least he'll feel like we're finally going downhill (to the summer) rather than uphill (building towards another semester).

In the meantime I have a PowerPoint project to finish, a research paper to write, a group presentation to prepare and several papers and tests that I know are coming up. Not sure what Damm is doing. Feel free to offer up a prayer or two for us this week:)