slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I'm going to at long last be able to learn to do something else I've always wanted to. This weekend I get to start a 4 day beginning sailing class on a local lake!

Sailing a boat is one of those childhood dream things I've always wanted to do but never have had the chance before. I think I probably wanted to sail boats before I even wanted to fly airplanes, and those that know me in real life know how much I have wanted to fly airplanes.

I grew up/spent a lot of my youth around the Texas gulf coast. Like most boys watching Errol Flynn movies and tv re-runs in the 60's and 70's, tall ships, sloops, cutters, boats of all kinds and the sea were very much in the foreground of my consciousness. My pre-teen and early teen years I spent the summer, winter, spring and fall on the waters of the local lakes in my dads old fishing skiff with him. Sometimes it was more about just being outside and futzing about on the water in the skiff with that ancient johnson outboard-motor puttering along as it was for the fishing.

So this weekend starts the first half of the class, we'll spend the mornings doing classroom work, the afternoons sailing. Each day we sail on a different boat so we get to see what different ones are like. We sail this weekend, take a weekend off, then the next one.

I've got my sunscreen ready, I'm ready to go!
slipstreamsurfr: (4gr)
The packet from retina doc arrived in the mail. Scanned and sent to my senior ame friend to check it. He says, go get your medical and start the ball rolling with the FAA to get your medical back unrestricted after the monovision medical flight ride.
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I started work on an undergrad degree, any undergrad degree, off and on, some 26 years ago. There were years I didn't go to school. Work, life, all sorts of things getting in the way. Along the way I changed my mind, my major, many times. There have been many ideas, many dreams, many plans over the years. In the end I opted to take the smart way out, to complete, in what I could complete in with what I had. Realizing that all I had to do was fulfill some lower end credits with CLEP exams and a couple of higher level classes I set to work. It took about a year to take the 27 credits, 6 classes of CLEP exams(18 of those 27 credits), this with taking a handful of upper level English classes to round out what I needed to complete.

Then it was done. All the t's crossed, all the i's dotted. The petition for graduation was submitted and I waited. Had I really gotten everything together for them, was it all there, did it all count. I got the letter telling me I had met the requirements and was scheduled to have my degree conferred on the 5th of March.

As I sit here this morning and look at my undergrad degree hanging on the wall of my office I think about all the things that have transpired in my life since I started this journey. It's been very nearly a surreal trip. I wonder what the future will hold. I've got a grad school application in progress. I've investigated what it will take to be able to fly again. Who knows what the future will bring. There were many times I never thought I'd be able to sit here and see my diploma on the wall.

Of course there are side effects.

Everyone asks me now... how do you say your middle name? ;)
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I've never scratch baked much of anything before. I thought I'd try making a simple bread to go with the baked beans we'll be having for dinner tonight. You can't get much simpler than making a soda bread so I opted for an irish wheat soda bread.

the recipe and pictures to follow! )
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I also got my grade score from ETS for the GRE. I scored well enough on the verbal to place at my local school in the grad program, however I fell just a little short on what it states they want on the essay portion. I don't understand how that could be. I felt they were really strong essays.

Well, the report is headed to my college now. I'll queue up the final transcript after March 5th from TESC and we'll see if the graduate committee decides I am a strong enough candidate for admittance. I feel I interviewed well with the grad advisor of the program. I've got the undergrad advisor on my side personally as well as with a letter of recommendation, as well as a letter of recommendation from one of the professors in the graduate program there. My final letter was from another senior lecturer I had in the department. I should be able to meet the 3 out of 4 criteria for successful admission. I think. But then again I thought I had done better on those essays on the GRE too.

We'll see.

Time will tell.


Feb. 12th, 2010 02:46 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I got a couple of letters in the mail today.

One was from Thomas Edison State College. It contained two rather formal pieces of paper as well as a pair of photocopied pages.

The formal pages say...

To Whom It May Concern

This is to certify that name redacted has completed all of the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree with an area of study in Liberal Studies. This degree was certified on February 5, 2010 and is scheduled to be conferred upon name redacted by the Board of Trustees of Thomas A. Edison State College on March 5, 2010.

it's really done..
I really do have an undergrad degree after all these years...
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
In which 4 things make a post..

1) Grad Advisor met and talked with.

2) All three letters of recommendation writers have responded and agreed to write them for me. Forms dropped off at all their respective offices today.

3) GRE test scheduled for 1-30-10 at 12:30. (edited)

4) Application officially submitted.

In other news, or actually very related news, I've been told that it might be asking a bit much to get into a GTA slot this summer/fall. The good news is that the website is somewhat misleading in that I can likely still apply and be successful next summer/fall after a couple of graduate semesters behind me.
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
In exploring paths towards grad school, both Masters and Ph.D. I realized that my lack of 2 years of foreign language is a handicap. It seems that I will be fine if I can develop a reading/translation level of ability though. It turns out that my college does a one semester class whose goal is to take a student from ground zero to reading/translation capability in one class. They say that when you are done, a dedicated student will be able to pass a reading comprehension department exam. They offer both French and German this way.

Has anyone ever taken a class like this? Is it really possible?

Now if they will only offer them at night! ;)
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I'm still dithering about which way to go on grad school. I'm starting to lean more towards going ahead and going for my masters in english. While it may sound like the less wise path than going the MBA/INSY route I'm not so sure. Truth of the matter is that while I enjoy the information system classes I really don't like the business classes that much. I honestly think I'd enjoy the english masters much more. As for future employability with an english masters, it's not really as bad as one might think. There are a lot of things I could use it for later in case I'm not successful in following the goal of teaching.

Still thinking... considering...
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I've been doing some digging in my area on teaching positions for community as well as 4 year colleges in the two subject areas I'm most likely to want to go. I note that both areas pay about the same to adjuncts at the community colleges and alas they all seem to require at least a masters in the subject area now(if not teaching experience, which I'm not sure where to get on the information systems side). It's when you get to the 4 year colleges that some big differences come to play, and mostly I fear it's due to the number of qualified applicants going for the jobs. It would be much easier to get a job at a 4 year college in the information systems/business fields than in something like english or history.

This research tends to push me more towards the Master Science or MBA with a focus on Information Systems. Plus, the information systems focus will tend to make it easier to pick up other work to make things work out while I try to develop a living wage out of teaching. Still not sure how to pick up teaching experience while working on the masters when my college doesn't tend to employe GTA's from the master's program, they tend to use phd students for that duty.
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
It looks like a scary test.

It's adaptive. I hate adaptive tests. They are freaky to take.

The verbal and writing sections I shouldn't have any problems with. Math, now there's the rub. That'll take a bit of prep. Especially since I'd want to score fairly high on it if at all possible. I notice that I've found no real guidelines for how long one should prep for it. I know everyone is different. I also know that it's easy to get caught in the trap of trying to over prepare. At some point you've got to push yourself out there and just take the darn thing. So, one month, two months, more, less? There is at least some free test prep software out there that will give you an indication of about how you might score on the real thing. That and several metric tons of study guides should be able to get almost anyone through the gauntlet.

It's not like I haven't taken my share of oddball tests over the years

The other option is to think about the enlish lit track and take the GRE. The univerisity I would be likely to apply to doesn't worry about what you score on the math. The former would still likely lead me to a classroom easier though.

Must remember...


Dec. 16th, 2009 01:12 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (overGlasses)
I took another CLEP exam. No sense in letting this eye thing stop me from moving forward. I passed the Human Growth and Development exam today by a fair amount.

What does this mean? Well, it means I'm done!! Complete! Finished! I talked with Thomas Edison State yesterday and got them to approve a class they had marked as a duplicate, leaving me with a bare 7 credit hours needed. I have 6 hours going to them already from College Board from CLEPs I passed earlier this fall. Today's CLEP puts me at 9 hours, 2 over. Assuming there is no final hang-up with them on the credits, I am done! Degree to be granted either in March or June, depending on if I can get into the queue fast enough for the early one or not.

I will have a BA in Liberal Studies. This is their version of an interdisciplinary degree that allowed me to use all of the oddball credits I have in my rather long and twisted academic career. Soon I'll be able to check that box on a job application stating that I have a 4 year degree in something or the other!

Next up, I guess it's time to decide if I want to go to grad school, and if so, what in. I'll most likely lean to the business/IT side and do an MBA with an Information Systems focus and try to get in teaching at a college somewhere. That's what I ultimately want to do in the end. In this economy, having the MBA won't hurt in the future.

I think I'll take at least a little while before I start studying for the GMAT. At least few days! ;)

We'll see... that's for the future, for now, I'm just happy! Now to make sure all the paperwork goes through correctly!
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
it'll be a while before I ever complain bitterly about work again...

it's all in perspective now I guess..
a hard way to learn this lesson.
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
sitting here...
chilling out for a few...
it's been a quick and intense 4 to 5 weeks...
and one more groundschool class to go to wrap up and give them their certs...

but man..
it is SO FREAKING COOL to watch nearly all of them succeed on the practice exam..
and the one that didn't, I know what he did, and I know how to fix it for him...

it's like it's what I was made to do...
this feels freaking fantastic!

it almost makes up for the h*ll work is putting me through...

slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I was out at Arlington this morning around 11 or so. I was killing time until a test at 1 at UTA.

It was lightly misting, then it changed to a light rain, drumming quietly on the roof of the car. I watched a few planes come and go. The field was VFR for a while. A few biz jets arrived and were parked. After a bit a pilot walked out to his bizjet and popped open the door to start setting things up for a departure. The clouds, were indistinct, you couldn't see anything up that wasn't white. Featureless. I'd not have been able to tell you what the ceiling was. Looking off in the distance you could see a few striations in the cloud layers, but I'd be willing to bet that if you'd been up, it'd have been a VERY indistinct horizon. After a bit the rain picked up some, still, the ceiling was indistinct. I thought about the few times I've flown in the rain, wondering how the paint on 508 ever stayed on the plane. What it was like to grease on a landing on a wet runway, it's the weirdest feeling I've ever had on a landing. A flash caught my eye, the beacon on top of the tower had started winking at me, green, white, green, white. That indistinct ceiling must have dropped in the rain, a nudge of the METAR widget on the iPhone confirmed it, it was now down to 800. Still couldn't see the cloud base, it was smooth and featureless...

Made me think more about the IFR, about the pilots who can fly in that great featureless white...

It was a peaceful hour I spent watching the weather until I left for my test. Everyone should take five (or more!) sometimes and just hang out at the fence and watch the world pass every once in a while. It's pretty good therapy.


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