Plannin’ Dreamin’

So by now you all probably know that I complain about not having a bachelor’s or master’s degree like, all the time. I feel really lame that my college degree is just an associate’s, because I swore to myself that I’d get farther in education.

I mean, I have a weird addiction for learning. I may not retain as much as I’d like (as far as facts ‘n’ things) but I do enjoy the experience of school and learning new information. Honestly my dream job would be cat haven owner slash professional student.

My original plan was to major in pharmacology and run clinical trials and do the chemistry thing, but then I was doing really well in music in school and not so well in AP Chemistry in school, so I switched to music performance and theory.

Then I screwed up my first year and a half or so of college (blame it on the bipolar or on me being lazy or crazy I don’t care. I got over it.), and so decided to stick with a degree Metropolitan Community College could provide.

My stepdad is a big-deal accountant there so until I turned 23, it was all free for me. I got a free associate’s degree in Health Management (technically a business major) so that’s pretty cool in its own right, I guess.

Regardless of all that and trying to make myself feel satisfied with the “at least I have a degree” argument, I still always feel so jealous when people talk to me about their masters and things.

So after a couple of years of consideration (I graduated in spring 2014), a pretty solid understanding that I’ll be broke forever regardless, and a chat with my manager, I decided to go back to school full time.

Totally switching gears from anything else I’ve ever considered and landed on accounting.

There are a few reasons I picked accounting, and I don’t feel like really bringing up any of them. I just did J

My stepdad (the one at Metro), a family friend, and probably someone else I know who I don’t remember are all accountants, and I feel like it could be really good for me.

Plus I get to take a bunch of electives! Electives are my favorite. I get to take another history class or 2, some biology, some chemistry, some women’s studies…. Life is good.

September 6th is when the new quarter begins. After what I assume will be a few years at Metro (electives, the cheap stuff, etc) I plan on transferring those credits to UNO and hopefully, eventually, move on to get my Master’s. It’s going to cost me so much money. I don’t want to have to rely on student loans, so down the road I’ll either have to take a very long time going part-time to school to pay for it out of pocket, or get a lot of grants. Thinking about it is stressing me out.

Anyway the ultimate goal is, in fact, getting my CPA or CMA. Haven’t quite weighed the pros and cons of each yet. We’ll get there.

Extra plus side: my current company has its own accounting department, so maybe by the time I’m finished in school they’ll have a spot for me. I like it there.

Then I’ll make a bajillion dollars a year and retire early with 283 cats and be happy and skinny and never crave pasta again.

Hashtag: the dream.

Peace off. Happy Monday.

(P.S. full time students get tax benefits. Fight for your right to party, my friends.)

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Studyin’ Blogs

There is a specific group of blogs and Instagram accounts where lazy stationery lovers like me go to feel jealous and insignificant. I’m not sure what it’s called outside of Tumblr, but people there call themselves studyblrs. It’s gorgeous. Along with these blogs, oftentimes, are posts of Bujo – or bullet journaling. (BulletJournal.Com if you’re curious.)

If anyone from that community is reading this I’ll bet they’re cringing. Sorry! I’m trying to explain for people who don’t already know!

From a pretty young age I started collecting blank journals and notebooks because I would feel inspired by them. I was never a good writer, though, and only a slightly-above-average student, so they didn’t always get used to their full potential. I just love organization and office supplies.

First off I’d like to brag that the main point of the BuJo thing (“analog system for the digital age”) is a habit I’ve kept from early on. I’ve always preferred paper planners to electronic ones; except for when I had my Palm Pixi phone. That thing was perfect. But anyway. If you search for BuJo on Instagram or Google Images or whatever you’ll see some of the awesome things these people do. Mine are only okay – I’ve only recently started designing mine like people will see it, because I’ve started taking my own pictures to post online. Also my handwriting is shit.

Starting mid-high school I turned my regular planner over to a journal/planner combo. I would write important dates/make calendars/make lists and all that, but in between those pages I would use it as a normal journal. One of the ways I journal best is drawing? I’m an awful artist, so it’s difficult to explain. But I would use colors and symbolism in a way that pretty much just made sense to me. But it was very therapeutic. Especially because as you’re reading this blog there’s no doubt in your mind that I have trouble putting thoughts and words together. I’m basically an infant with a laptop and a lot of mental issues.

Even though I don’t follow most of the “rules” laid out by BuJo’s developer, Ryder Carrol, it’s still a really awesome base system and I recommend it to everyone.

I burned all the old ones. I should have kept some if only to post a “best of” or something. Or maybe it’s best this way. I think I took pictures before I burned them… but those are most likely long gone. I used a lot of reds and blacks. #emokid

So onto the second main point: Studyspo! (Study blogs, study inspiration… Tumblr has weird mash-up words for things. Tumblr is weird.)

If you know me IRL, chances are you’re aware that I do have a college degree. I’m pausing before and giving some space in between before saying it’s only an associate’s, because truth be told, I’m embarrassed of that. I fucking love learning. I love going to classes and taking notes and studying and drinking black coffee 4 dayz until I’m exhausted and go out with friends to unwind~

That was my life for a couple of years, but now that I work full time during the week days instead of spread out over double shifts in like 4 days (serving/bartending), it’s not really feasible for me to go back to school for my bachelor’s. Eventually I would have wanted a Pharmaceutical Doctorate, because pharmacology was my dream. Then I worked at Walgreen’s and got disillusioned because people are awful and terrible and mean and the pharmacists are just a cog in a money-making corporate machine; not healthcare and welfare. Just saying.

Pharmacology would have been the science and behind-the-scenes and clinical trials. But in this day and age my conscious couldn’t keep up with that goal. Chemistry is cool and all, but greed isn’t.

Did I just get too political? Oops.

Now though I’d be happy with a Bachelor’s or Master’s in something fascinating. I don’t even know what. I’m honestly pretty easily fascinated. I want to go back to school but we technically make too much for me to get grants and we’re just now almost out of debt. I’m not about to dive headlong first into it again. Plus we need to buy a house and all the extra furniture and maintenance that comes with that… I can’t afford it. I really can’t. I could make it work, obviously. But it’s not a necessity because I have a decently paying job that I actually like (plus a second job that I don’t really like but that pays me) already.

But back to the point?

Sorry. I’m home sick. My brain is even more absent than normal. Plus I know none of you come here for quality. If you do you’re wrong. Obviouslyl.

Studyspo posts such lovely photos of notes and note taking skills and pretty desk-scapes and flashcards and highlighters and pens ❤ My heart ❤

I still go through old textbooks, and sometimes even buy new textbooks for my non-existent classes, and try to learn things from them, but I’m jealous of all these youngins getting to go to school and college and take advantage of their better education system than what I had.

My high school rewarded mediocrity. It really did.

I still look at these posts with affection though. They give me inspiration to maybe one day be able to go back to school as an old fucking hag and be totally left out and weird 🙂

One day!

Checkmate

My cat and I have spent all day in bed so forgive me if my words are overly muddled. I wrote a poem the other day; it was the first time in years. It wasn’t as good as they used to be. Funny. I guess the use it or lose it thing applies to everything. Journaling and blogging and doing anything besides idle, mindless tasks have gotten so hard. And now on to the obligatory my food/body issues part of the post:

I read a book about learning to abandon the dieting frame of mind, and how that should free me into only eating when I’m hungry. Joke’s on you, book! I’m lacking the appropriate enzymes! My weight keeps going up along with my feeling of helplessness and I swear I’m trying. I saw an article online today that suggested “Amphetamines may help binge eating disorder!” Well no shit. I’ve been trying to convince my doctor literally for years that I need a magical pill to make my jeans fit better. Not to mention the fact that I’m always tired or sleeping. Maybe this drug can cure all my woes 😀

When people talk about retiring early or winning the lottery or whatever they always talk about how they’d volunteer or work part time or something because they’d be bored. If I were unemployed right now, I would NEVER be bored. Imagine the books I’d read! The cats I’d pet! The games I’d play and the blogs I’d post! I’d FINALLY have time to craft again. I’d FINALLY have the energy and wherewithal to teach myself things I’ve been dying to learn. I could be bilingual. I could be healthy. I could go for lunch with people once every 2 weeks to switch it up a bit, remind myself that there’s a world with humans in it.

I literally day dream about this life.

Damnit, world. Quit making me work. I hate the people. Did you know it’s VERY difficult to have a job as an introvert? When you want nothing more than quiet solo work or whatever people make you talk to people and there are those jerks that insist on talking to you when you’re CLEARLY reading a book in the breakroom etc. Oh, what’re you reading? I’m reading SHUT THE HELL UP I’M READING. Damnit.

GAHHH.

I need a vacation. A very long vacation.

Foggy sick brain is done rambling now go back to your candy crush and LOSE 60 POUNDS IN 60 SECONDS articles.

Community College Papers 101

So I wrote my final reflection paper for my final graduation-required course in about an hour and a half last night. It was a 5 page paper. It was done while some scary show was on TV behind me and I was still slightly tipsy from beers at dinner. I thought the teacher would read it begrudgingly asking herself why she ever became a teacher because she hated crap poured into keyboards like this, but this was her real response:

“GRADE: 250

Your first paragraph pulled me right into your paper!  Very honest, from the heart paper.  I liked it a lot!  Your last paragraph, While it’s one thing to want to learn as much as possible, it’s another to put it into practice. And the practice makes perfect. Most importantly, I think college has taught me self-motivation. I learned what it takes to be successful, at least the first steps I can take and resources I can utilize along the way. It was all worth it.” needs to be something ALL students in college need to think about.

Well done Ashley.  You should be so proud of yourself.  I am proud of you.  You are a role model for your family showing them how hard work and determination got you to where you wanted to be today!”

And here I thought the instructor hated me.

Well, I must’ve learned something in college.

Oh, and that “It was all worth it” sentence made me physically cringe as I typed it. I’m not sure what this teacher was thinking giving me 100%, but I’ll take it!

Community College Woes

Community colleges are great! We have several in our larger metro area, and they attract lots of people who wouldn’t otherwise have gotten an education. They help to get jobs quickly or keep jobs by offering classes that are applicable to the real world. Most of them offer clubs, honor societies, and even housing. And (they’ve always told me) an associate’s degree is better than no degree. Even though most people use an associate’s degree as a transfer degree from community college to a 4 year.

My problem with it, however, is how going to a community college makes me feel. I’m not a mom with a full time job struggling to advance in my career. I graduated from high school less than 5 years ago. I very well could have gone to a university. Sadly, the prestige surrounding going to a 4 year college is something I don’t think I’ll ever have.

It’s possible that I could transfer to a university to pursue my original career goals (pharmacy), but I’m so anxious all the time, and (frankly) so broke and afraid of loans that chances are I’ll just finish my little associate’s degree and work at home with my cats all day for forever. And I already regret it. But I’ve weighed the pros and cons of going to school for another 5-6 years and making more money a year versus starting a career with wages similar to a teacher’s earlier on. It’s a medical transcription degree I’m currently going for, so it’s not easy mindless work exactly. If all goes well I’ll still be able to afford a semi-nice house with at least one wet bar.

Back to my original point: community college itself. It’s difficult for me to get motivated about learning when I expected myself doing something different. It seems most of my teachers, advisers, and fellow classmates don’t even really put a lot into the work they do there, and the apathy is contagious. Most teachers there don’t seem to care too much about the subject matter. They don’t get me excited to learn. They’re just there to grade, it seems. They also have a bad habit of making everything way too easy for students. There’s already the curriculum. My thoughts are that if you have a student struggling with a part of the curriculum, teach them or send them somewhere that another person can help them. Don’t bring the whole class down to their level.

Also, this quarter my head isn’t in it (probably has something to do with summertime) and I keep forgetting to turn things in. It just happened again where I turned in the wrong version of homework and got 1 point out of 50. Hopefully she’ll accept the new one.

Happy Wednesday.

 

Little Red Schoolhouse

This post has been on my mind for a while now. Mostly because this quarter school has taken up about 85% of the time I’m not sleeping or at work. Most of my college’s classes are either fully online now, or are offered in a hybrid format using Angle LMS. I think I hate Angel LMS.

First of all, personally I have not benefited at all through the use of an online learning system. Honestly I learn better by having to write things than typing them (probably because I type too quickly). I like having to highlight information, sift through papers, write down my answers, turn them in on paper, and get direct feedback written on them for a more visual experience.

Having to do all homework through Microsoft Word documents and upload boxes leaves so much room for technology errors, especially with such a glitchy system. There always seems to be something wrong with Angel. I hate how in order to do school work I have to be at a computer. I hate how I have a habit of buying pretty office supplies like pens and notebooks and rarely get to use them.

Part of my excitement for school is not just the learning but the process of learning requiring real paper and real ink. It’s just frustrating to me that very few classes use traditional class methods lately.

For now I’ll just content myself making more notes than what’s necessary in my notebooks to get my fix.

Happy Wednesday.

College is Hard

Have I mentioned the first couple years of my college career before? They were pretty bad. I started off full-time, but then dropped everything over half way through my first quarter. I kept trying and dropping… Last spring, after a full two quarters off, I started going full-time again and have been ever since. Let’s blame it on the depression, fear of everything, and uncertainty, shall we? That was a fun introduction.

Every quarter since last spring I’ve made the Dean’s List. I’m not a bad student by any means, and I’m pretty proud of my study habits. Most exciting though is that I’ve been invited to apply for the Phi Theta Kappa thing at my college! It’s a worldwide two-year college thing (“Thing” because I admittedly haven’t done too much research on it. It’s almost embarrassing but I don’t care) that’s for students with “excellent academic standing” and they’ll write letters of recommendation to four year colleges and/or future employers. It has a lot of different charters (I applied for the Elkhorn one) and student activities to help build life skills. Yay life skills!

The application fee was pretty steep, but I’m hoping that I make it. I get an induction ceremony like back when I did National Honors Society, and I get to graduate with a special ribbon or pin or something. Plus having Greek stuff on my resume couldn’t hurt. When I got my postcard saying “Congratulations!” I was pretty excited. Then I started to do homework and got really discouraged about my intellectual ability.

This particular class is a lot more difficult than I originally thought… It’s designed specifically for my career field, but it has so much information that’s very difficult to Google, and it’s not often found in the textbook or any lecture pages (it’s an online class). I’m used to being able to read the chapter, take a few notes, and be good to go. Today, I learned that my knowledge regarding parts of speech that my textbook considers “basic” is very limited. My results had me a little embarrassed about having a blog. I got really self conscious about my words. Here I thought I was fairly strong in the grammar department. Well enough to seem like an English genius compared to some of my Facebook friends, at least. Is that mean?

Either way I’m trying to get encouraged again. I won’t let this chapter stop me! This headache, however… Focusing thoughts is more difficult today for some reason. I apologize. One more thing I want to get out there: I love my medical terminology classes. I’m taking the second part now, and this teacher combined with the class structure and the information itself is awesome and it’s all fascinating and I wish all classes were like that! There is a lot of work, and it’s considered to be one of the more difficult classes the college offers. Love it. My favorite part is knowing that I have a knack for it, because as long as I take the time to read everything and do the exercises I don’t have to study to get good grades and feel comfortable actually applying what I’ve learned.

I need to stop for today. Everything is everywhere. Goodbye.