ten years.

You guys. You. Guys. It’s over. Done. Finished. Finito. Caput. I am a college graduate.

A completely unconventional college graduate, but I did it.

I began college fresh out of high school, ten years ago. I went full time for ~2 years and then took a break. I felt like a failure.* I felt like a drop out. I technically was a drop out. Three years passed and I went back. This time, part-time while working full-time. FIVE YEARS of that (summers included!)…and I’m done. The longest break I have had was the first summer when I didn’t take classes. 14 weeks. That’s it. Now I’m going to have a break for 14 years!

It feels impossible. It feels like I should be gearing up for summer classes. It feels like I should be scouting amazon for my fall books. But I’m not. I am done. I’m not registered for any more classes. I did not fill out a FAFSA. I did my student loan exit counseling.

I am done.

The past 5 years were hard. They were trying. It was the most stressful time of my life.

But I’m done! I did not attend graduation because I don’t know anyone else graduating and I didn’t want to sit alone. I also didn’t want to buy a cap and gown. Instead, I took the money I would have spent on the cap and gown and treated myself to a hot stone massage and it was the best decision I have ever made. I need another one, right now. I also treated Keith to a regular massage for putting up with my schooling for the past 5 years. Lots of dinners alone and hanging out alone while I did homework and I’ve missed at least 4 of his birthdays due to being in class. But no more!!!

 

(Although grades don’t come out until Thursday so I’m terrified that I somehow failed. If I fail my GIS class, fine, no biggie. But if I fail my Anthro class, I cannot graduate.**)

 

*College is not for everyone. If you dropped out, you are not a failure. My dropping out would not have made me a failure, but I am insane, so I felt like one.

**I really don’t think I failed, but see above: insane.

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ahhhhhhh

Oh. Hey. Just gonna stroll in here like nothing is different and I haven’t taken 4+ months to blog about my honeymoon. Still one installment left! I know you are waiting with bated breath!

 

But that’s not today. I just need a brain dump. 

 

My life has been cah-razy lately. I have never been this busy…or maybe I have and I have just completely blocked it out, but life is kicking my butt. 

 

Work is so busy. Every day is a race against the clock and I never win. My boss was out of the office for 4 days last week and I had grand plans to catch up on everything. And I didn’t. I did get maybe 75% done, so that’s pretty good!

 

And in breaking news, I was just elected to secretary of the safety committee today…so that’s great. Something else to find time for in my day and I don’t even like safety!

 

But! Enough about work. 

 

The real thing culprit of stealing my free time is school. One month left. Four weeks left. Four CLASSES left. 10 HOURS of class left. I have four classes, a final paper and a take-home exam annnnnnnnnnd a giant independent study project for the other class. 

 

The actual class, Ethnoarchaeology, is great. I love it, I love the professor and since it is my last Anthropology class, there are no new concepts, just building on everything, so it has been rather easy. (But still time consuming, lots of reading.) The midterm, I got an A+ on and I wrote it (6 pages) in about 3 hours, so I’m not concerned about the take-home exam. The paper…well the syllabus said a rough draft was due yesterday so I worked my little fingers to the bone all weekend typing one up and then HE NEVER MENTIONED IT. I took it to class just in case and he never said a word, never collected it….and I wasn’t going to be that jerkwad who says “Hey, wasn’t something due today?” screwing over my fellow classmates. 

 

But! At least the draft is done and I can take my good old time editing it before the end of the term. I wrote about graffiti, because why not. 

 

My independent study project, I have had all semester to do…and I started it last weekend. In my defense, no one would return my emails about it…then I couldn’t get any data…then Windows (through our Mac) wasn’t working…and then I still couldn’t get my data…and then the program is SO SLOW on our Virtual Windows…

 

But this past weekend, I buckled down and spent a day on it. I made some progress but I have a lot farther to go which is what this upcoming weekend is entirely devoted to. Because it’s due the week before finals week…which only gives me 3 weeks!

 

I may have to take the computer and go to the library or something because getting stuff done at home is so hard sometimes. There is either the siren song of “a quick nap!” or Daisy bugs the crap out of me…or it suddenly seems like a good time to clean the baseboards…I am pretty sure I have adult-onset-ADD. 

 

But! 4 weeks! Then I will be done! Forever! 


 

A picture I took of a strawberry massacre and ran through the Waterlogue app. 

 

honeymoon part 3: kāʻanapali beach

So! Two months later, still trying to recap this honeymoon. It’s times like this where I miss my old job when I could totally sneak in some blog time. I would never dream of doing that at the new job and thusly, lil jelly jars suffers. Oh well.

When I last left off, we were leaving Upcountry Maui and heading to the Sheraton Maui. This was the fancy part of the honeymoon. We bought a package through Pitt which included the hotel stay, basketball tickets and transportation to and from the basketball games. We got in on Sunday and our room wasn’t ready yet so we changed in the bathroom and hit the beach. Gorgeous white sand, definitely one of the nicest beaches I’ve been to. They had a welcome reception for us the first night, all organized through the Alumni Association and I was very impressed. There were apps and drinks and they gave us free Pitt shirts. We ate so well we didn’t even have to eat dinner that night. But we did go out for shave ice in Lahaina, because when in Hawaii…. We also went to the grocery store to load up our mini-fridge.

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Keith jumping!

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Not-Keith jumping!

Monday was more beach time and then we went to Maui Brewing for lunch. We had seen it on an episode of Drinking Made Easy and a few years back they had an onion beer that I was dying to try…but no such luck. We did have a pretty tasty lunch though and some beers and then headed back to a pre-game reception. This one ALSO had food, so it was unfortunate that we had just paid for lunch, but whateva. After the little reception, we caught the shuttle to the game and proceeded to win against Chaminade. Poor Chaminade.

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We got back, high off our win and split some overpriced hotel bar nachos and then mixed ourselves up some drinks and took them to the hot tub.

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The next day, we had another game in the evening, so more beach time! Then the shuttle to the game…which we lost. 😦 It was sad. We were too sad to go far for dinner, but our hotel was next to Whaler’s Village which is not a Village at all but a shopping plaza sort of thing. We ate at Hula Grill in the barefoot bar…which was basically outside seating…in the sand. It was weird. I would not like to be a waiter there. Sand in your socks and such. But it was a mile away from our hotel so we were just able to walk home.

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Wednesday was our final game and luckily we won! It was such a fun, exciting game. After that we decided to go back down to Lahaina and ate at Lahainaluna Cafe which was one of the best meals I had on the trip. We got tacos and crazy fries and chicken bites and it was cheap and filling and tasty. When eating in Hawaii you can have two of the three and cheap is usually not an option.

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We did a bit of walking around and saw the giant banyan tree. It was giant, alright!

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Back to the hotel, back to the hot tub.

Thursday was Thanksgiving! and we had a luau planned, so we ate breakfast at the hotel. We had been given two days of free breakfasts with our stay, so that was nice. Another day at the pool/beach.

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Keith eventually had to leave because he was getting too much sun, but to me there was no such thing…I felt like a lizard, I wanted to soak it all up. He went to the gym and I skyped my family at dinner, which was fun. I kept spinning around my phone to show them the view and they kept getting mad at me, haha. 🙂 And then I took a walk up to where the gym was, because it had a way better view.

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Our luau was at the Hyatt…which was a mile down the road, so we walked. I thought our hotel was nice…but the Hyatt…wow. There was a freaking Macy’s in the bottom of it. I think if I went back to Maui, I’d try to stay there. So fancy. The luau was a lot of fun. We had VIP tickets through Pitt so we got to sit in the front and had waiters bringing us our drinks and other fancy things. I went to get a drink before the waiters appeared and the guy asked me “What is the year of your birth?” I was so thrown for a second I didn’t even know what to say. Then I realized what he was asking and told him, haha. So that was nice. I haven’t actually been carded in a while.

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The luau was great, my favorite part was the fire dancing, of course. The food was good too, at the very end of the buffet they had turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes, which was really nice for all of us missing our turkey dinners. We strolled back to the hotel and called it an early night since we had to check out the next morning.

 

cookies for everyone!

So yea, that NaBloPoMo thing was a spectacular failure, as I expected it to be. I had briefly considered live-blogging part of the honeymoon but ultimately decided not to give myself tendonitis again by typing away on my phone, so I’ll have some honeymoon posts shortly!

In the meantime, I attended a Cookie Swap on Saturday. Organized by my friend Alex and hosted by Elizabeth. When Alex asked a while back if I was interested, I couldn’t respond fast enough. I had never participated in a cookie swap before but I was alllll over it. The most difficult part was deciding what kind of cookies to make! I usually end up making cupcakes for parties because they are adorable and a crowd pleaser but in a battle of cookie vs cake, I’d probably be on the cookie side. One thing though, I am a cookie snob. I am really a baked good snob, if we’re being completely honest here. Some grocery store cookies are passable and grocery store sheet cakes are a necessary evil, but to me there is nothing worse than those hard chocolate chip cookies people try to pass off as dessert at events. I’d rather eat the napkins they are served with.

Whoops, that got a little real. But! Cookie Swap! With people making real cookies! I was so excited! At first I decided to make double chocolate cookies and before I left for Hawaii, I made a test batch and took them to work. They were received well enough…but I could tell they didn’t wow anyone. And that wouldn’t stand with me, so last minute, I decided to just go with the tried and true m&m cookies from The Crepes of Wrath. I am not a huge fan of m&ms…expect the peanut butter ones, but regular m&ms are meh. Something about putting them in a cookie, though. That’s where they really shine. I have made these countless times and they might be my all-time favorite cookie recipe. The resulting cookies are colorful and chewy and the sea salt on the top knocks them out of the park. I highly recommend buying a bar of chocolate and chopping it up so that you get all different chocolate sizes plus the chocolate shavings which just really take them over the top, in my opinion. Also, they use melted butter! No chance to forget to take butter out and let it soften. I actually pulled butter from the freezer for these and it took no more time than usual.

So. Anyways. The Swap was in Mt. Washington…and while I am not as bad as I used to be…driving new places still gives me a little anxiety. I left super early and of course got a little lost on the way. The place where 28S splits to go to 579/279/376 and then again where 279? splits to the Ft. Pitt Bridge is the bane of my existence. I have never gotten it right. And I didn’t this time either. I took a nice little downtown detour on the way there and back. But I arrived, unscathed and had a wonderful time! The only person I had actually met before was Alex, so it was great to meet a bunch of people that I have only interacted with online. It was a diverse group of people with a diverse group of snacks and most importantly, cookies! I had so much fun, I am already eagerly awaiting the next one.

And all of the cookies were sooooo good. We smartly decided to cut the quantities in half, usually you bring 1 dozen cookies for each participant, but with 10 participants, we cut it to 1/2 dozen per person, which was still cookie overload! In the best way! I ate one of each, froze 1-2 of each and sent the rest to work with Keith. I thought I had take a picture of my portion of cookies laid out on a tray, but apparently not, so I only have this picture of the packaged cookies from the party.

 

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In other news, I mentioned over and over again how horrible my Remote Sensing class this semester was. I’m not sure that I publicly announced that I failed my midterm? Yep. A big ol’ F. But then he bumped everyone up 10 points, so I officially got a D. There were 3 assignments, the midterm and the final. I got a B on the 1st assignment, a D on the midterm, then went on my honeymoon so never got back the 2nd and 3rd assignments, came back from the honeymoon and had 3 days to prepare for the final. My hopes were not high. I have never been so completely lost in a class. I went to every lecture (minus one while we were away) and I just couldn’t grasp anything. I felt like the final went better than the midterm, but since I had no idea how I did on the rest of the assignments…my grade was very much up in the air. One of the essay questions on the final said something about “After getting an A in your Remote Sensing class, you were put in charge of a team of paleontologists to survey this land in Africa…blah blah blah.” I was able to answer about 60% of the question, but couldn’t grasp some of the concepts, so I finished my essay with “Based on my remote sensing knowledge, I would likely be demoted to field cook.” Oh, Katrina. Always with the jokes.

So imagine my surprise when I logged in today.

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Ha! I would not have been surprised (though very disappointed) had I gotten a D and here I pulled off a C+! Curious as to how far away from a B I was, but not curious enough to ask. Just glad to be done with that class forever and glad to move on to my final! two! classes! in January. The end is near my friends.

throwback monday, or something.

I started at Pitt in 2004. A few short months later, Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook and the rest is history. At the beginning Facebook was college-only and you could only join once your school was greenlit. I think it was October-ish when Pitt joined the ranks. I remember someone coming to my for room telling me to sign up so Pitt could get off the waiting list.

Everyone joined and I don’t remember any real privacy settings at first, you could pretty much see anyone you went to school with, maybe even everyone period. And add anyone, which we all did. I had a few hundred friends while I only hung out with 3 or 4 people in real life. Oh, the beauty of the internet.

Sophomore year, I’m sitting in my first Magic, Medicine and Science lecture (yes, that is a class, no I don’t remember any thing about it.) A guy in front of me asks for a pen, I hand him one and go about spacing out/taking notes.

At some point after class, I get a message on Facebook from one of my *friends*, “Hey, I think I borrowed a pen off of you in lecture today?” You scoundrel. Haha. Not sure if he asked for a pen because he recognized me, or he sought me out or what. (In those days, there was a section for your class schedule, it was brilliant.)

We got to talking and hung out a few times. I even went to a poetry reading with him. He was a nice guy, but maybe put off by the fact that I didn’t, so our *friendship* slowly fizzled out. I actually can’t even remember his name. I vaguely remember what he looked like, but if I were to see him today I’d probably have no idea who he was. Tom? Maybe? I really have no idea. Mike? It could have been Mike, I knew no fewer than 6 Mikes that year. A few years later I thought it was possible he liked me and I was just completely oblivious to that.

Sometimes when I pass the union on campus it reminds me of that poetry reading and the story but definitely doesn’t remind me of his name. Brian? Who knows.

first (and last) day of class

Yesterday was the first day of classes for me. (Since I rebellio If my life were a sitcom, which I often used to think it was, this would be the episode that had people fleeing to the internet saying, “That episode sucked, at least try to make it a little believable. All of those things couldn’t have gone wrong!” But oh, they did.

It began a few days ago. The Archeometry professor sent out an email stating that the class on Wednesday would be in “the wood lab.” Since I had absolutely no idea what or where “the wood lab” was, I sent him an email saying that I had just joined the class so could he tell me where this classroom was?

No response from him, but early yesterday, he sent out a reminder that class would be in “the wood lab” – 2100 Posvar hall. Okay, cool. I know Posvar, no problem.

I run out of work 5 minutes early since I didn’t know exactly where 2100 was, giving me 35 minutes to drive to Oakland, park and walk to class. No problem, totally doable. Until I get to Posvar, go to the 2nd floor and the very first room I come to is 2400. So I walk down a little, but the numbers keep going up. Go back to 2400 but there are no rooms beyond that. I walk back down to the elevator bank to the little floor schematic…and there is no 2100. Nowhere. It just simply does not exist.

I pull up the email to double check it was 2100, not 1200 or something and yep: 2100 Posvar. At this point I was very frustrated and near tears. I kept digging my nails into the palm of my hand to stop myself from crying. I considered skipping class and just going to find my next class, but I had already missed two and I would need to find the stupid class next week, so I started looking again.

Povar is connected to David Lawrence, so I went into DL to see if maybe there was another schematic there that might show me and miracle upon miracles, there was! Except there was the rectangle from Posvar that didn’t include 2100, and a square floating in the top corner of the map that had a few other rooms, including 2100! Except there was NO explanation on how to get there. It was a detached square. Which makes absolutely no sense. There were about 4 minutes until class started now and I HATE BEING LATE. I had one more option, which was to run to the Anthro department and hope there was someone in there to direct me. Luckily, the office was still open so I approached the secretary.

“I’m sorry but I can’t find room 2100?”

“This is the 3rd floor?”

“I know, but my Anthropology class is in there and I can’t find it.”

“Ohhh, our lab…[gives directions]”

I ran out of there and followed her directions which included:

1. Walking OUT of Posvar, into David Lawrence

2. Taking an elevator from 3rd Floor David Lawrence to what is miraculously 2nd floor Posvar

3. Following someone into an unmarked door and nearly walking into the professor.

You can’t get to 2100 Posvar FROM Posvar. WOULD HAVE BEEN REALLY NICE TO KNOW IF YOU HAD ANSWERED MY EMAIL, PROF.

So then I sat down right next to the professor, since I was the last one there and proceeded to not understand a word anyone was saying for 75 minutes. But, that happens, I’d do better next class.

End of class comes and goes and he keeps talking for ~5 minutes, which is fine ordinarily, but not when I have 15 minutes to get to my next class. Then, he holds me back to talk about what I missed and the three assignments I need to make up, and I run out of there near tears. Again.

Got helplessly lost leaving the classroom, ended up walking through part of a construction zone and came out of the building on the total wrong side starting my trek to my next class.

This next part is completely my fault, but for some reason I had conviced myself that my 6pm class was in Crawford. I had parked by Crawford so my car would be close when it was time to leave and I began walking. It wasn’t until I got to Crawford, literally walked into the building that I realized my class was in Thaw. Which are not even remotely close to one another. I figure I’m going to be 15 minutes late by this point, but okay, whatever.

Walk into Thaw…there is a kid directly behind me, I held three doors in a row for him, so once we get to the end of the hall, he says “Calc 2?”

“Oh god no.” I respond.

“Well that is the only class down here…”

I just stopped dead in my tracks and whined (to myself) “I don’t know where the hell to go…”

“What are you looking for?

“102?”

“Oh, it’s upstairs. Go up those stairs back there and go to the right.”

Because that makes COMPLETE SENSE that classrooms beginning with 1 would be on the 2nd floor. But I thanked him and ran upstairs. (Thaw and SRCC are connected. I later went from the “first” floor of Thaw into the “fourth” floor of SRCC by opening a door. Stupid Pitt.)

Get to 102, walk in and:

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Walk back out…pull up the syllabus…102. Pull up the weird alternate website the professor is using…102. Pull up the Studen centert…104. Okay, 104…let’s try that.

Walk over to 104, notice a whole bunch of people inside. Okay, this is good. There are people in there. This is also bad because there is a room full of people and I’m 22 minutes late and everyone’s going to look at me. I spot a seat on the end, so I slip in and sit down.

Hear the tail end of what the professor is saying…look at the board…I am in the wrong class.

Considered just sitting there for 2 hours pretending I knew what was going on to prevent further embarrassment.

Turn to the kid next to me: “Really stupid question…what class is this?” He immediately breaks into a smile, “Circuits.”

“[Expletive deleted]!” Jump up and leave.

There was a bathroom across from the auditorium so I just went straight in and cried. Couldn’t hold off any longer. I didn’t know what to do. The class was either invisible or cancelled or moved to some other room or maybe there was ANOTHER Room 102 somewhere.

The class had a lab at 7pm, and I knew where that was for certain, so I walked outside the building, sat down and cried some more.

Nothing like crying in public! Katrina is back!

By this time I had 20 minutes until the lab started and I thought about just giving up, going home and trying again next week. I also was one button away from dropping both classes on my phone. I can’t take this stress.

I decided I would wait it out. Go to the lab, follow someone back to the lecture hall and see how it went before I made a decision. Got up, went inside, a line was forming outside of the classroom, people were talking geology*, I was in the right place. Get into the lab, had a little worksheet we had to work through…and it wasn’t until 20 minutes into this that I realize there WAS NO LECTURE. There were only labs. I was really confused because there are multiple labs…so I thought that lecture was split and broke for labs, but it makes much more sense that there were only labs…not some weird split double lecture. I don’t know why that didn’t cross my mind, I am an idiot.

Got out of the lab, came home, cried to Keith.

This morning I dropped the 4:30 class. Back to taking one class, back to maybe not graduating in the spring, back to having to pay for this semester out of pocket. But I can’t do it. I was so very tempted to drop both classes and try again next semester, but that would push me back two semesters and I can’t do that. This also helps with the fact that I would have missed 3 more classes when we went on the honeymoon, so that’s another plus.

I felt an immediate sense of relief. It was very naive of me to think I could take 2 classes back to back like that with NO down time after work. I would have been miserable. I sent the professor an email telling him I was dropping/explaining my reasons and I got a nice email back saying they would miss my contributions. (Ordinarily I wouldn’t have said anything, but my luck I’ll have him in the spring, so I figured it was a good idea.)

Is the semester over yet?

 

*Overheard a kid say, “You should have seen the cleavage!” before going into some long drawn out rock description, it was kind of hilarious.

 

life update: penultimate semester

Just a quick life update for anyone who cares…

Last Wednesday, we returned from a short jaunt to the Outer Banks with Keith’s parents. Keith noted on the way down that this little getaway fell on our 3 month wedding anniversary while our actual honeymoon is going to fall on our 6 month anniversary. After dubbing our OBX trip #mcminimoon, I inquired as to where he was taking me for the 9 month anniversary. Nothing like setting a precedent, Mr. McB!

Speaking of McB, I still don’t feel like one. I have gotten everything changed over into my new name, except for my passport, but since there is no impending out of the country travel, I figured I could wait a bit on that one. I am excited for that though, my passport picture is horrendous. Maybe I’ll show ya later. But I keep stumbling when I have to give my name, definitely can’t sign it…and it just feels weird. I guess this feeling will fade in time but it’s kind of odd to feel like two different people.

Classes have started, and being the rebel I am, I missed the first week due to #mcminimoon. My academic world was turned upside-down a few days before classes began when I met with my sort-of-advisor just to make sure I was still on track and to get his signature for something.

I decided to pursue the GIS Certificate after all. I was only going to take one class in the fall, then two in the spring and one in the summer – pushing back graduation, but my advisor found another class I could take for the fall that would work and hopefully take place of the summer one, meaning I could still graduate in the spring.

The only problem was that it was a bit earlier than the classes I usually take and I wasn’t sure I could get there in time from work. But I asked my boss and after a few days got approved to leave work earlier and can now take it. While emailing with the GIS Certificate advisor, he asked me to call him and we actually had a pretty nice chat on what the certificate entails and how I am essentially halfway there.

So now I am taking Introduction to Remote Sensing and Archeometry. Don’t ask me what either one is because I truly have no idea. Hopefully I will be able to tell you in December. So now I’m a week behind and don’t have any idea what the classes are teaching me…so it’s going to be a fun few days trying to play catch-up. In the spring I will take whichever Anthropology writing class is offered at night and an Independent Study related to an as-of-yet still undetermined GIS project! Fun! And then I’ll graduate! And never go to school again! You can’t make me!

 

life stuff

school work + snack. #vscocam

Sooo…life.

I am nearing the tail end of my 6 week summer course – GIS, GPS and Computer Methods and while I am iffy on the class, I seriously love this 6 week format. We have class twice a week and it is supposed to be for 3 hours, but my professor somehow never got that memo, so we’ve been getting out after 2 hours. It’s 6:00-9:15 but the latest I have ever stayed was 8:45 last week. He even cancelled our last class because he realized he didn’t need to go over one lecture. So I basically have two more classes and then I’m done. Awesome. That also means I have less than a week to finish this final project…but whatever.

My partner and I are doing some mapping of Pittsburgh bridges. It’s kind of neat, but nowhere near as cool as my project idea. I wanted to map out the Ludacris song “Area Codes.” It would be brilliant. We could map the area codes in relation to the places he has gone on tour in the time since the song came out and it would be hilarious. I ran the idea by my partner and just got a blank look in return. Turns out she had never heard the song. Never! What!

So we came up with something else and then the next week she told me she had gone home and downloaded the song, haha.

 

My friend Chelsey had a good point in that she (my partner) probably wasn’t alive when the song came out. Too true.

I was taking this GIS course in hopes that maybe I would love it and I could go for the GIS certificate. I hear it’s a pretty in-demand field right now and sounded pretty cool. But the class is….kind of a bore. I think I blame the prof more than anything. We spend an hour being lectured to and then he just sets us loose to do something in the program. Which he never showed us how to do….so we sit there and fumble around until he guides us through in like 5 minutes and I feel like I have learned nothing, because I haven’t. Also he goes entirely too fast so he has to repeat every step 4 times when he could just SLOW DOWN and solve that problem.

So I think I might not want to go through with the certificate. I also couldn’t finish it in the time I want to have left at Pitt…and it would involve an internship which does not jive well with having a full-time job, so….blah.

But! That frees up the classes I have left to take. After this summer class ends, I need 3 more classes. One of them has to be an Anthropology class, but it is not offered at a time I can take in the fall, so I have to hope that it will be offered in the spring when I can. If not, my advisor is going to have to actually advise me for once and figure that out. That frees up two fall classes for me. I was going to take Cultural Resource Management but that feels like a waste if I’m not trying to go in that direction. Again, not enough time left at Pitt.

So I think I’m just going to take two blow-off classes, if I can find them. Ideally, they will both be online which will solve my issue of missing 2.5 weeks of class when we go to Hawaii. Right now I’m on a waiting list for Russian Fairy Tales and some Intro to Sociology class….but if I can find something that sounds like more fun, that could change.

Pitt Alums…easiest/best class you took? I probably won’t be able to fit it into my schedule, but maybe! Any suggestions are welcome!

school’s out for ever!

Or at least for the next 9 weeks, although I do have a final on Monday (dirt class) so I’m not out of the woods yet. But almost!

This week was the last week of actual classes though and I turned in a 12 page paper on Wednesday, so I am 98% done! And so relieved. Although I am also slightly bummed to be finished with my Wednesday class. It was a ton of work and I complained a lot, but I really, really enjoyed the class. Our final meeting, we turned in our papers and then talked about the class, how it went for everyone, things we liked, things we didn’t like, books he should keep, books he should drop. It was just a wonderful way to end the class. You could just tell that everyone really liked and respected the professor and I believe he actually liked and respected us as well. I’m not sure I’ll have a chance to take another class with him, but if that option presents itself, even with all the work, I’d do it in a heartbeat. He was the sort of professor that makes me want to teach and that might have contributed to my being bummed, since that chapter is now (at least temporarily) closed in my life.

I’ll also miss the dirt class, my two dirt professors were pretty great as well and Idefinitely told them that while they were helping to guide my future.

This was probably the best semster of college that I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot. I typically have one class that is anywhere from okay-great and one class that is anywhere from horrid-okay. Having two great classes really spoiled me.

I get 9 longs weeks of summer though! I haven’t had more than 3 weeks off from class since 2010! I don’t know what I will do with myself (lies: I will paint and garden and cook and read and sleep and work out). It typically takes me about a week after classes end to get used to not being in class, to stop freaking out that I am forgetting to do something, and by that time break is either half over or totally over. Minus my week of confusion, that still leaves me 8 weeks! In which I have to do that whole getting married thing and stuff but still!

And this might even be my last summer of classes ever! EVER! (I say might because my future career path is still undetermined so who knows if I’ll need a class or two, but until I know that….LAST SUMMER OF CLASSES EVER!)

Hooraaaaaaaaaaay!

oh yea. after getting no grades back all semester, got these on the last day of class. boom. #toosmartforundergrad

I only got my midterm back in my dirt class (A) and as of Wednesday had gotten zero grades back in my Seminar but then he handed these to us on our way out the door. I have a good feeling about this.

quarter life crisis part two: the resolution

continued from quarter life crisis part one. 

 

So I was having doubts for my career path for the first time in my life. What else could I possibly do with my life? I don’t want to be in my current job forever. While the pay is okay, comparatively it’s pretty terrible. I get lots of days off per year which is a huge perk and I’m not exactly miserable there but I am not mentally stimulated…at all. There is also no real way for me to be promoted and there surely isn’t any sort of merit-based raise. I absolutely could not continue on there for the next 30 years. My department is also slowly shrinking and probably won’t even exist in 30 years.

So I can’t stay in my current job, I am having major doubts about my potential future job…time for some soul-searching. And soul-searching I did. For two or three weeks I drove myself crazy imagining different scenarios. Anthropology is pretty broad, maybe I could just use it as a spring board and head into Human Resources or something. I could potentially be an Archeologist if I got some experience, but I don’t think there is much work in SW PA and as I have mentioned time and again, I AM NEVER MOVING AGAIN. I believe I’ve mentioned I’m taking a Soils and Archaeology class this semester, which I fondly refer to as dirt class. Through my soul searching, I kept coming back to the class…maybe I could do something related to that…

I have two professors for the class and they are not traditional professors. One is a Soil Scientist, the other a Cultural Resource Manager and they teach this class, and only this class, once a year. Both of their jobs sound really cool. In different ways, they both consult on projects for large development companies and agencies (like PennDOT) before they put in a roadway or a bridge to make sure that when they disturb the land, they are not disturbing any archaeological finds. And if there are archeological finds, they make sure that they are protected. I might be a giant nerd, but it sounds really fascinating.

After I kept coming back to it, I decided I couldn’t make a decision without getting more information, so I emailed both of my professors and my advisor. And then I felt sick. I asked the professors if we could meet (informally) and talk a bit about their careers and I asked my advisor if he had any other contacts and if this sounded like a terrible idea. They were all very encouraging and we set up times to meet.

I met with one of my professors last week and he provided me with lots of encouraging information. My advisor put me into contact with a graduate student who had done CRM work and I met with her also. I am meeting with my other professor tonight. The graduate student was also very encouraging and gave me lots of great advice. But the best part about meeting with both of them was the fact that it was so obvious that they love what they do. It is so rare these days to see someone so passionate and excited about their work and whenever I see that, it is contagious. I want to love my job, I want to be passionate about my work. Can I be passionate about your job and your work?

My only hesitation about going into this type of field is the travel involved. I am a homebody. I love my house. I love being home with Keith and Daisy. I’m not sure I could handle being away for short or extended periods of time. The graduate student I met with did tell me about some other options I would have that would be less mobile.

The best part of this is I don’t have to change my major or anything, it is still Anthropology. I don’t have to take stupid classes that I care nothing about (Economics, Political Science) in order to get into the School of Education. I was looking at summer classes to see what I could take instead of the stupid Econ and PS I am signed up for and there is a GIS (Geographic Information Systems – think Google Maps) class that I can take this summer, and a Cultural Resource Management class I can take in the fall. I don’t really believe in signs, but I’m taking it as a sign that these classes are offered at times that work perfectly with my schedule.

I also could potentially graduate a semester early on this new path, but I’ve decided to take only one summer class and give myself a much needed break. So now instead of having summer classes from May 6-August 10, I will have class from June 23-August 2. Every time I think of this, I become almost giddy. I will have all of May, almost all of June and most of August to myself! Just work! I can finish up wedding stuff without losing my mind! I can paint the rest of my house! I can maybe plant a garden and probably have time to water the plants!

It feels a little weird having decided not to go through with the education thing. Just the other day, after having made my decision, I was thinking about something and thought how I could incorporate that into my classroom. Oh, wait. I’m not having a classroom.

But once again I am excited and energized and though I wish I had known about this career path a bit earlier so I could have taken more Archaeology/Geology classes and less Cultural Anthropology classes, but at least I figured it out before I had already graduated, and wasted time and money pursuing something else.

So that’s where I am not. Teaching’s out…some sort of Cultural Resource Management/Geomorphology/Archaeology/Playing in the dirt is in. Eeeeeek.