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? ;)
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
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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...


Jan. 27th, 2010 12:37 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
The GRE is done.

I was right, it was an obnoxious test. At least it's done. I've scored well enough to place at my school pending scores on my essays.

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.

GRE Prep

Jan. 10th, 2010 09:36 pm
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Working through the GRE study guide. Sentence completion, Analogies, and Antonyms today and now my brain is mush. I took the first ETS practice test to see what I would score cold on the exam. I score comfortably over the minimum required for my college admission and on the good side of the bell curve. I have no real idea as to how close the ETS practice test will correspond to the real exam under real test conditions. It'd be nice to have a bit more leeway on my scores so I can have a bad test day and still come through okay. I'm considering trying to take it at the end of the month in hopes of having the scores to my school in time for the summer application cut off.
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Adjusting a previously written paper for submission as your writing sample is a nerve wracking experience. In part because you don't know exactly what the readers are looking for in your writing. I talked with my undergrad advisor/mentor friend at the school and she agreed that I should submit not only the 7 page paper I'm fiddling with but also one of the extremely densely written Philosophy in Literature short papers I wrote for one of the more demanding professors.

Hopefully between the two papers my application will pass muster on the writing sample side.

Then I just have to worry about the GRE.

Always something. :)
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)
Stumbled on this elsewhere the other day.

The Westminster City Council is publishing the daily diary account of Nathaniel Bryceson from 1846. They only have the one years worth of diary from him. I expect it will be a fun read nonetheless!

Check out the Life and Loves of a Victorian Clerk this year.
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...
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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)
That's the second clep done this month...
Two more to go...

6 credit hours done..
I think my head is going to 'splode before I'm done this month.

slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
another clep down...
moving onwards 

I shall

Apr. 5th, 2009 08:18 am
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
I shall commit math today with great abandon! 


Mar. 5th, 2009 03:02 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (overGlasses)
Another 3 hours down.

Microeconomics CLEP passed by a good margin today!
That clears the econ requirements.

Onwards to Financial Accounting.
Though the study guide on it is thick, intimidating.
This will be the last CLEP I can take
If I pass it, it means I've waived 4 classes, or 12 hours this way.
6 hours in this semester alone.

Can't beat that with a stick.

Still have to take the business calc class before they will even talk to me about coming back into the business IT degree. *sigh* Time to start prepping for that this summer. If I decide to stay the english major, then even without the accounting CLEP I've completed the requirements for a business admin minor. Not bad.

Going for the calc class though...
We'll see if I make it.


Feb. 16th, 2009 03:28 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (Default)
3 more credit hours gone due to a CLEP
Macroeconomics is done, over, complete!

onwards to Micro...
though it'll take years for the brain damage to be undone from this.....
slipstreamsurfr: (overGlasses)
So the math class I needed, I got booted from because it is actually for business majors, not english majors. Time to fall back and look again for something that fits my degree plan at night.

History of Western Civ 1 was being offered at night this time around. It's not offered often, and I DO need an extra 6 hours of history credit. I like the prof, I like how he teaches. It'll be a fun class. It looks like I can get my last history class in the maymester, unless there's some strange hangup about it. In the fall I can grab the American Lit class I need, and start my foreign language credits. As long as I can keep finding things to fill the schedule at night, I may eventually get this degree done.

My advisor has been really helpful, doing everything she can to see me get through. She's after me to go for grad school when I'm done. Reminding me that she didn't start work on her masters until her 40's and she's a phd now.

We'll see. First we get through the long delayed undergrad.

pretty cool

Dec. 3rd, 2008 01:49 pm
slipstreamsurfr: (overGlasses)
Do you have children you'd like to introduce to programming?
Want to goof around with scripting in a 3d world?

check out given to us by Carnegie Mellon.

We had to do a simple programming lab in my insy class to end out the semester. The goal was to create an e-card like thing for a holiday or event of your choosing.

With simple syntax, a built in catalog of 3d objects, it's easy to start figuring it out. Need some more help? They have a forum you can ask questions on, or even just to download someone else's 'world' that they've created to look at the code. Pretty simple stuff.

Starting with no knowledge of Alice it took about 3 hours or so to turn out a working e-card with it. After another hour and I cleaned things up, got things to happen concurrently, and added sound. It's an easy and fun environment to work in.

Like I said, if you know a child, or even an adult, who you'd like to expose to the world of programming, give Alice a try.

Pretty nifty stuff...


slipstreamsurfr: (Default)

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