Admitting Defeat.

I give.

I’ve done everything I could possibly think of to pay for this fall semester, and I’ve failed.

Financial aid suspended. Student and Personal Loans denied. GoFundMe not successful enough. Friends unable to help as we had planned on. Vocational Services were unhelpful. I’m at a loss. I have to just admit defeat and move on with my life.

It hurts, though, knowing that I’ve worked hard, and done my absolute best, and still come away with nothing. I’ve earned a 3.75 GPA at this school, and yet, I still can’t find a way to stay there.

I have this issue with feeling like I’m just not good enough, and this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had one goal, one dream, and now it’s gone. What am I supposed to do now?

Android App Pre-review: myHomework Student Planner

Here’s another unsolicited review of an Android app.

At the beginning of the summer semester, I did a review on some apps I was going to try out for school.  One of them was a homework tracking app.  That particular app, in action, turned out out to be so convoluted and difficult to use that I ended up uninstalling it.  It was getting to the point where I was beginning to considering learning to code to just design my own app to get exactly what I was looking for.  I want:

  • To track my classes
  • To track my homework
  • A widget to go along with my calendar widget
  • The ability to see what’s coming up, not just what’s do on one day

I don’t want to have to dig to find out what’s coming up in class.  I need something that shows me what’s coming up when, what’s overdue, etc.  Also, it can’t be complicated to use.  It’s a planner, not astrophysics.  Enter myHomework Student Planner, free from the Google Play store.

my homework app

This will be my second attempt at using an effective digital planner on my Samsung S4 running KitKat.

I downloaded it and got it set up.  It gives you three options for how to enter your classes, whether it’s by class period, time block, and I think the third is by color?  It has a big widget (4×2) that fits right under my calendar widget – I had to sacrifice my big huge clock but hey, we do what we must.  It can sync between a web version, tablet, phone and Win8 app versions so you’ll have your homework listing wherever you go.  It has notifications for things that are coming up or are late.

How I didn’t notice this app the first time around I have no idea, but I’m really looking forward to giving it a test run when the semester starts in two weeks.  Hopefully this one out-performs the previous one I tried.  I’ll keep you posted!

Summer Semester Over!

The summer semester is officially over.  I got an A in my Astronomy class and an S in my pass/fail Interdisciplinary Studies class (which means I passed), giving me a 4.0 for the semester.

The upside is it gives me a 3.72 institutional GPA.  That’s for all the classes I’ve taken at THIS school.  If you count my numerous failures at previous institutions, that brings my cumulative GPA down to 2.459.  Sigh.

Things are still up in the air as for my fall semester.  The money isn’t there yet for my tuition, and I don’t think I’ll sleep easy until it is.  I have to drop my Biological Anthropology class – sadface – because that means I’ll have to take it at the University level for twice as much money.  Double-plus-sigh. That puts me at 3 classes for the fall, for a total of nine credits:  Humanities, History and Math.  It would’ve been nice to take something pertaining to my major, to keep me motivated, but it’s just not in the cards.

Fall semester starts on the 21st.  Looking forward to a more full-time-ish schedule.

That’s about it for now.  Everyone have a great upcoming weekend.

End of the (School) Year Report

Ok!  It’s almost August, and I’m wrapping up my second summer class, it meets only once more, the day of our final project, and I have a TON of work to do in regards to completing that.

A lot of my friends/loved ones have decided to return to school this far, and to me, that’s fantastic!  I’m so glad people are realizing that it’s never too late to go back to school, further your aspirations, strive to achieve your dreams (and hopefully a better paycheck, too!).

I’m not really sure what kind of words of advice I can give, so I’ll just run down the things that have popped up over the past twelve months at HCC and see how it’s affected my life.

Don’t Let The Man Get You Down

Ugh.  The first problem I had going back to school is the Administration.  Anyone who has watched me blindly stagger through my college experience this year, knows that I’ve had nothing but headache and heartache from the paper-pushers.  I couldn’t get my residency approved.  I couldn’t get my financial aid approved.  Everywhere was disaster after disaster.  The only thing I can say is keep pushing.  Don’t phone the financial aid office – GO TO the financial aid office!  In my experience at HCC, the phone number goes to a call center, NOT to the university (as I’ve been told by a number of different offices on campus…) and they have NO FREAKING CLUE what they’re talking about.  Seriously. They don’t.  They call center for a number of schools at the same time, and have a tendency to confuse policy between institutions.  Go and talk to a real human being – a lot of the time the wait will be the same, sometimes even shorter, than it would be to wait on hold.

Priorities!!

This is where a lot of us might have gotten a bit confused our first time around this block, and it’s something that kind of burns me up when I walk around campus, and see the students who spend all their time in the student lounge, never attending classes.  I’m sure at one point, there was someone looking down on me in that same way, many moons ago.  I think as we get older, we get to the point where we realize, where it sinks in, WHY we’re here.  I’m at school to learn.  I’m here to open my books, bust my ass, and learn as much as I can with the best GPA I can manage.  If I’m not studying, if I’m not reading, if I’m not doing the work, then I’m not doing my best.  It’s a bit obsessive of me, I know, but if I’m getting a 92, and I’m not giving it my all, then a 92 isn’t my best work.  Remember why you’re there.  There’s time to make friends and connect at school, sure, but the priority is the education.

Professors Aren’t Scary

My first semester all my professors intimidated the hell out of me.  Even in some cases where they were my age or younger, I still found their position of authority to be somewhat of a roadblock to accessibility.  It’s probably just a ‘me’ thing, but don’t be afraid to talk to your professors.  Sure, they’re not your buddy, and you shouldn’t treat them that way!  But if you find things they might find interesting, or you want to discuss the coursework further, then by all means approach them.  Most professors (I won’t generalize by saying ‘all’) are quite eager to listen or help out.  I’d love to thank Professor Fisk of the Anthropology Department for breaking me free of this bit of phobic behavior!

You Are What You Eat!

The freshman 15 is alive and well.  I discovered my near-vegetarian anti-soda habits bit the dust when I got to school, when it’d be a danish and a soda for breakfast and some other manner of junk for lunch.  After gaining about ten pounds that I had previously lost, I made the switch:  Tea or flavored water to drink, grapes and cheddar cheese cubes for lunch, sometimes with the addition of yogurt with granola and berries.  MUCH better.  Lots of protein, lots of goodness… you need a good healthy source of energy for the learning brain!  The rough part is trying to squeeze in food between classes kinda sucks, especially if you only have fifteen minutes between classes.  Pack things in small containers and have ready to eat finger foods for those little interim scarf periods.  I don’t like eating or drinking in class.  I consider it kind of rude to the professor, and in our school there are signs posted everywhere not to eat or drink in class.  So I make sure that whatever I’m drinking can be in a container with a seal.  That way I can stuff it in my back and not worry about spilling drinks all over my desk and notebooks and stuff.

Oh – and stay hydrated. Super important stuff right there.

That’s all I can really think of.  It’s really nothing that we don’t all already know on some level, but it’s something else entirely when you actually LIVE it.  So go out, do your best, and I can’t wait to see your comments and facebook posts about the greatness of getting back to school!

Smells Like Failure

I was going over my upcoming school schedules, and decided to pay the dreaded Financial Aid office a visit.  I’m registered for 2 classes this summer, and 3 for the fall, in an effort to bring my completion ratio up, like they told me to do, so I could get my Financial Aid reinstated.

As I sat with the woman, now familiar, as I’ve seen her at least four times prior, she commented that yes, my completion ratio would be high enough after the fall semester… but my Financial Aid will still be suspended.

I was so confused.  Wasn’t I doing exactly what she had told me to do last time I was there?  Find a way to pay for the classes, take them in the fall, and earn back my Grants and Loans in the spring?  She informed me that past 90 attempted credits, your financial aid is suspended.  After my fall semester, I will be at 91.

*Deep breath*

Now.  I’m disappointed and angry.  Angry that they hadn’t mentioned this before now.  Disappointed that no matter how hard I try to work to meet this goal, something ALWAYS has to jump in the way of my oncoming train to derail EVERYTHING.  Now not only do I have to find ways to pay for my fall semester (9 credits) I need to figure out how to pay for spring as well (7 credits).  I don’t understand why this has to be such a fiasco.  I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing – I study hard, I never miss class unless it’s absolutely necessary, I score well on my tests… School is my #1 priority.  But it seems like it’s nothing but a dream, that I should just sit down, shut up, and resign myself to being a failure.

I’ve considered maybe trying to transfer to Uni early, since that’ll reinstate my Financial Aid (the cap I believe jumps to 180cr instead of 90cr.) but I don’t know if they’ll accept me outright without the AA backing me, and with my previous history, and only a few semesters at the CC level under my belt.

I don’t handle stress well.  This is seriously not helping matters.  I don’t know what to do now.  I really don’t.

New Art Blog!

art punx logo 4

I’ve just started a new art blog, featuring my acrylic paintings.  You can find it at Art Punx!  Hope you’ll take the time to check out the artwork there.  It’s still only got a few things going for it, but once I get more canvas I’ll be adding bunches more!  In addition, I’ll be creating two entries for the upcoming Five By Five Tampa Bay show this October, where all entries must be five inches by five inches.  Sounds like fun!  I missed out last year, I didn’t have enough time to put together any artwork.  Now that I’m doing more  painting, hopefully I’ll get the sketches up and running!

Everyone have a great week!

- Zuri

Food Adventure: Chickpea Wraps!

I am so hungry.  This happens every night around 11:30pm.  I get to where I really need a snack.  Right now my budget is nil, so I’m stuck using what I have on hand.

Enter FoodPair. I’ve been a fan of this site for years.  Basically, if you go to their “Search” page, you can enter an ingredient you have on hand, a type of diet you might be following, keyword search, etc. and find just about anything.  I searched for “Chickpeas” and found a recipe for  Chickpea Sandwich Filling.

I didn’t realize you could just switch out chickpeas for tuna fish!  So tonight, I mixed up a can of chickpeas, some vegannaise, some horseradish brown mustard, some dill and chives, salt and pepper, and VIOLA!  An amazing filling for the flour tortillas we had on hand.

I think this’ll be my new favorite snack!