Letters from an MBI Student – 12/10

Aaaannndd, that’s a wrap.

Dear Family…I JUST HAD MY LAST REGULAR CLASS AT MOODY FOR THE FALL OF 2015!!!

That’s actually less exciting than it seems. It basically means that now I have to study like mad for finals because they’re happening next week. I only have four finals and two papers due, so it’s actually really easy.

Ahaha, who am I kidding? It’s insane. I’m going to go crazy. Saturday I’m helping a classmate with her philosophy homework, studying for a final with the only other homeschooler in my education class, and meeting another student for coffee to catch up on our incommunicado-ness over the course of this semester before going to the last iNfoRmaL presentation. Wut.

Oh, I’m also writing two six-page papers, finishing my Spanish homework, rewriting my Christian Missions notes, memorizing Spanish vocabulary, reviewing my Studying and Teaching the Bible lesson plans, and drinking several pots of coffee. And doing laundry, washing dishes, making an egg bake, and sleeping for 24 hours. I wish that last one were true.

I also have eight library books that I really want to read, and a coffee date, and things to write and places to see and an ice skating rink I still haven’t gone to and tickets to a Christmas concert and…

Welcome to finals week at Christmas, where everything you want to do is probably nothing you need to do.

See you soon, if I don’t drown in coffee or implode from an overstuffed brain first,

~Rae

Tell The Truth Tuesday: How To Survive Finals

I’m writing this as an epilogue to my coffee-filled and sleep-deprived week spent doing my straight-from-hell take-home accounting finals, so please note that this is a bleary-eyed, end-of-the-tunnel take on the end of the school year.

But…here’s Tuesday’s dose of honesty in list form:

HOW TO SURVIVE FINALS

1. Do what you can beforehand.

I had two massive comprehensive problems that were counted as part of my tax final. We were informed of their requirement two weeks before they were due, and while we had material yet to learn in order to complete them in their entirety, I had the opportunity to do most of them well before they were due. And I didn’t. Worst. Idea. Ever. Or so I realized after midnight on Sunday night as I counted down the hours until they were due and realized that sleep and my 8 hour workday had to fit in there sometime, also.

2.  Sleep.

Don’t believe anybody who says that sleep is overrated. You read better, think better, speak better, function better…caffeine is great; sleep is better. Mother’s Day afternoon I found myself redoing the problems I had been doing at 2 A.M.   It would have been far better to get the sleep needed and only do the problems once rather than spend twice the time and get half the sleep.

3. You’ll do only as well as the time you put into it.

A.K.A. You can’t expect an A+ grade on a B- effort.  I hated my government accounting class, but it was the one I’ve done the best in. Why? Because I struggled so much to learn it. For me, lack of comprehension = more studying = more effort = better grades.

4. Don’t assume.

This applies to nearly everything. But it came up on a final I have to turn in this afternoon; one that I need to discuss with my professor. There’s an entire series of problems that I believe should be answered N/A, because the information given is inadequate. I met with a few of my classmates for study group yesterday, and we discussed the problem. Most of them were turning the final in anyway, having plugged in some numbers using an assumption about the data given. I may be wrong on my assumptions, but I can’t be afraid to ask questions. I’m not just going to school to get a diploma that says I learned something–I’m going in order to actually learn it.

5. School finals are not directly related to the apocalypse.

Or failing at life, or anything remotely similar. You may rock this last week, or completely bomb it. But stressing yourself into old age in exchange for book-knowledge is a highly unfair tradeoff. Like everything else in life: you win some, you lose some, and you count your blessings at the end of the day.

So yeah, I survived. I intend to sleep for a week and start reorganizing my life around something other than an accounting textbook. I’ve got new summer commitments and a lilac bush blooming outside my window. My life is good.

Oh, and I’m signed up for classes next year, too.

Tell The Truth Tuesday: Finals Week Edition

I appreciate and despise take-home finals. While I’m grateful for the fact that I don’t have to be in class for 4+ hours taking a regular final exam, I also struggle with bringing one home and spending upwards of 7 hours on it instead. My government midterm was a 10 hour ordeal. Six of those hours were spent in an afternoon at the library, featuring one bathroom break and no electronics. Regardless of how productive I was/am, let’s face it: accounting finals are long, and without the time constraints of an in-class session, they’re even worse.

So multiply that times 3, add in the usual 40 hour work week, top it off with an out-of-state graduation to attend this weekend, and set a deadline of next Monday…now here is what my life looks like:


(source)

That’s all I’ve got today, folks. What about you?

Tell The Truth Tuesday

Full of randomness today.  Here’s the top 5.

1. It’s 80 degrees outside. I don’t know whether to be excited or confused because apparently it’s summer already? What happened to spring?!

2. Only two weeks of classes left. Whew. I can make it. Although it’d be helpful if my professors weren’t so trigger-happy with their quizzes and homework. I know I’m going to receive gargantuan finals in all my classes next week, so could you maybe lay off with the assignments this week? Give me a little time to prep? Please?

3. I drove back to my hometown (again) this weekend. I love everything about my weekends at home, although it’s still hard to have everyone ask when I’m coming back, as if that is still an option. I’m not sure if they truly believe that my move was on a whim or consider it a possibility that I’ll break my work and school commitments here to return.

4. I’ve started trying to write short stories (again). I’ve been on sort of a writing break for a lot of this semester, and I miss it terribly. So of course I’m writing again, with classes and end-of-the-school-year commitments breathing down my neck. Brilliant me.

5. Maybe it’s just the weather (full moon?), but drivers were crazy this weekend. Phone numbers on paper plates and shirtless college guys hanging out of their jeeps to leer on Interstate, gangsters in souped-up Cadillacs trying to chat at the stoplights (no, I don’t roll my window down on command), and prepsters trying to drag race in front of the mall (Okay, so it was the prime racing spot in the city and famous for what happens after midnight, but even still: I drive a 14 yr old wagon with the engine power of a sewing machine. Do I look like I’m interested?!).

What’s up in your life?

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. I left class early last night because I was falling asleep. I’ve never done that, but last night was impossible. Governmental accounting until 9 pm while running off a weekend that featured less than 4 hours of sleep a night? Not happening.

2. I was planing on getting 8 hours of sleep last night. I overslept my alarm and got 9 hours instead. Whoops.

3. On Thursday I have an appointment with a doctor to go over the results of some blood tests I had done. My mom wants to go with me, even though I’m not dying, and the blood tests are actually pretty routine for me. I suppose I should feel gratified that she’s interested in my health, but having her along tends to complicate things more than I would like.

4. Do you ever feel like you’re dependent on your vehicle? My car may be an ancient, unattractive thing known as “The Green Bomb”, but I’d rather be driving it than the family vehicle that handles like a semi and is not ipod compatible, no matter than 5-years-newer difference.

5. This is my new favorite chart.

(source)

What’s happening in your corner of the world today?

Telling The Truth On A Tuesday

I usually try to pick five. You know, like: Here are five random things that are in my face today. Current events, tv-show hangovers, something food related…that’s how it typically rolls. But today? I’m not really in the mood for skim-my-brain truths.

Let’s be honest: how often do we actual tell the truth? I mean, we all seem to walk around with a standard-issue “I’m fine” stamped on our foreheads. We get asked how our day is going, but we rarely tell the truth about it. If we do, we often leave the conversation disgusted with ourselves for pouring out our misery on someone else; all the while, the someone else is completely flabbergasted that so-and-so might actually be having a bad day.

Am I allowed to have a bad day? Please say yes. Please tell me that I am cleared to look you in the eye and say: “Today sucks.” Because, truthfully, some days are genuinely bad. Some days we wake up feeling like we got run over by a bus. Some days we wake up expecting something great to happen and it doesn’t. Some days we open the shades and find the sun actually isn’t shining today.

When those days happen, I really tend to withdraw from social media. Because it all seems so shallow. It’s those skim-the-brain truths that show up on my news feed, and some days I am really not interested. You had cold pizza for breakfast? I apologize to your stomach. Some monikered celebrity wore another above-my-pay-grade outfit? My bank account is choking. Another financial/political/gossip/housewife/child/religious/insert-your-own-descriptor-here scandal occurred in the six hours since I last checked the web? Hey, my phone died. Give me a break.

Sometimes I think we genuinely need to pull back. I remember coming home from a military funeral; a Navy Seal’s funeral. It was for a cousin that I had never met, one who had always been deployed. Now I watched his dog refuse to leave the casket. I saw his family and relatives I knew, weeping for him. I saw his brothers-in-arms pound their trident pins into his coffin.  I cried, and I came home, exhausted. Out of habit, I opened my computer, logged on to Facebook. Saw the miles of drivel occasionally interspersed by a thoughtful word. And I couldn’t take it. I logged out, and was off for several months.

But then there are times when we need someone to draw us back in. Sure, it’s easy to dismiss the entirety of the outside world as sensationalized news, but that would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. We need to be reminded to care. I know I don’t need to know who’s who in the celebrity world, but I do need to know about social and moral issues that are important to me. I want to know what the Supreme Court is ruling about. I want to know about the latest budget negotiations. I want to know about the heroes in our communities. I need to be reminded of things and people outside of myself. So, yeah, I’m going to check the news. I’m going to take it with a grain of salt and copious quantities of alcohol….I’m kidding. I’ll try to read it with an open mind. I’ll call a friend. I’ll pray. I’ll do something other than shut the shades on the dark, dark world.

Some days we need to be reminded that the sun is shining elsewhere. That the world is still spinning. If you can do that through a Google News feed, fine (although I warn you: it gets depressing pretty fast). If you can do that through an honest conversation with a friend, even better. If you can do it through a blog post dump, join the club. Most often I need to find it between the pages of my Bible. It reminds me to be honest: yeah, today is rough. But yes, the sun is still shining.

So here’s today, truthfully:

1. I feel like I’ve been run over by an eighteen-wheeler. There must be a Rae-size impression on an asphalt road somewhere, because I woke up this morning feeling distinctly squashed.

2. I’m really struggling in one of my school classes. My comprehension is somewhere on a  scale of zero to nil, and I’m barely managing my 4.0. It’s all sorts of frustrating.

3. I have some unresolved issues with people, but I never know how to deal with them. The elephant in the room showed up again this morning, and I was left wondering if the other person was aware that things have changed between us/may always be different? Is it one of those conversations that I’ll never have? Have they moved on? Should I?

4. I am more like my mother than I will ever admit. Every criticism I carry of her is a reflection on myself, and it should keep me far more humble than I allow it to.

5. The moment I forget everything that God has done and will do in my life is the moment that the sun stops shining in my world.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed

That I would see the goodness of the Lord

In the land of the living.”

Psalm 27:13

Tell The Truth Tuesday

1. I slept 30+ hours this weekend, and I’m still tired. I think something is wrong with me.

2. I’m on spring break this week, so technically I can go play volleyball tonight with my peeps…but I’m not sure I want to go? I should, but I’m feeling lazy.

3. The Divergent casting news has got me excited all over again.

4. I really want to do the Blogging from A to Z challenge, but I’m not sure that I could keep up with all of it.

5. All of my snow is melting, and I’m the only one who is sad about it.

(reaction gif’d!)

How is your Tuesday?