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  • Old Guy Student 3:44 pm on January 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Spring 2016 Day 4 at Sierra College 

    So, yesterday I slacked most of the day instead of trying to get in to the one unit Earth Science lab. I may try to get in to it today, it is one day a week on Wednesday. I also took the 9 Unit Algebra class at ARC textbook to my friend Josh, which allowed me to swap cameras with my other friend. It was an odd day, spent outside of a Starbucks near campus.

    I remembered to stop and get change for the parking permit today. I stopped at a gas station and then forgot to get change so I had to go back in. I needed some supplies, namely rolling papers and a big black Bic lighter since my current one is like the Elf in Gauntlet and is about to die. It’s incredibly frustrating to not have a lighter because matches and marijuana smoking don’t go well together, even if it is to light a joint. I know I probably shouldn’t have spent the money, but life without a lighter is extremely frustrating.

    The thing I have noticed is even fewer people smoke in Rocklin and on Sierra College’s campus. This makes finding someone with a lighter more difficult. The rolling papers are a necessity, since I need them for medication. Marijuana is my pain medication, I have pain pills but prefer the doctor’s recommendation under California Proposition 215 and State Bill 420. Basically this allows me to substitute marijuana for opiate based pain relief. It also relieves stress and anxiety. It’s what let me accomplish everything I did on Monday, by calming me down, mellowing me out and letting me focus on what I needed to do. On Tuesday it helped me face rejection and the anxiety it brings to get off the waitlist for all but one class. It empowered me to talk to the professor for the class I didn’t get in, ASL 1.

    Yesterday I got to go to the Starbucks by ARC and found out one of the Baristas is in my Earth Science class. She was really happy and excited about it and we discussed how different Sierra is then ARC. It’s looking like it might be an interesting semester after all. I posted a new Facebook profile photo, getting rid of the Mad Jedi picture and posted to a group about the last few months. I don’t usually share stuff like that so publicly and only did so because so many of the group are close, real life, real world friends.

    Weight Lifting has left me tender and tired which is a sure sign I put forth effort. The warm-up was followed by an initial strength test by bench press. I did 95lbs three times as did two other people in my group. I like the coach and my classmates seem to be really nice. There are a couple of Russian women older then me in the class. It makes me feel less awkward.

    Earth Science discussed things that I already know about how stars and planets are made. Then back to my car to finish my Starbucks because finances preclude eating on campus today. It’s kind of depressing and scary because I have so little finances. While sitting in my car lamenting how the life of the poor sucks, it started to rain. So, I had to walk across campus in the rain for my Algebra class. Yeah me, I made it.in 15 minutes, with as much time to spare.

    Algebra is in the very beginning stages and I don’t really have to pay attention but am doing so to keep from falling asleep. I am on break writing this and am not sure when I am going to be able to post these.

     
  • Old Guy Student 3:38 pm on January 26, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Spring 2016: Day Two 

    So day two started off at 6am and a trip to the local Starbucks in Lincoln to use the internet to see my schedule for today. Then a trip to the Starbucks in Rocklin to get coffee and wait until 8:30, an hour before my first class, weight lifting where I am on the waiting list. Cross your fingers and toes that I get an add code. My ginger Facebook friend who bakes awesome Lego cakes bought my coffee this morning, which made my morning better. I am still under tremendous stress until I get in all the classes and have my financial aid.

    So, the parking machine only takes dollars and credit cards, gives no change and costs three dollars a day. Today I lost a dollar. Paid with a card and forgot the receipt and had to pay again. This is chaos and it’s these little things that could cause me to pull back. First Day of a PE class is usually twenty minutes at most at ARC. Role call, syllabus, waivers, etc. Second class is when it all begins. It is going to be interesting to see the differences in culture between ARC and here and what a first day class is like. Hah, there is the anthropologist in me.

    I wasted most of the half hour before walking to class Zen period I tried to create with the parking ticket fiasco. As tight as money is, I really couldn’t afford to lose those funds. I did get to finish yesterday’s blog and begin this one. I plan to walk to class a half hour before the class begins at 9:30 so that I am early and can figure out where I am going. The stress and anxiety are effecting my ability to focus on the here and now. The best part though is that The pain and soreness from all the walking yesterday have gone away overnight. I woke up about half an hour before everyone else and just listened to everyone wake up. Time to walk to class as I parked in the same area.

    So far, two minutes in to class and the instructor isn’t here. The school mascot is a wolverine. Do wolverines eat bearers? Success, I got the add codes. PE instructors tend to add as many as possible because they like to encourage people to be active. But it is still a success. As soon as he said form a line, I almost teleported between where I was standing and the spot. It was like the master of time and space and I had stopped time. I think I heard the guy behind me say “Wow, that old dude moves fast.” Yeah, the cane or walker is a front.

    So it was pretty much the standard with attendance being the focus of the lecture. Need a hand towel. Water bottle ok. This is the football coach which reminds me of yesterday after I settled my schedule. I was sitting on this rock walk in the center of campus when these two Black males came and sat beside me and one was talking to his father about wanting to punch the coach and how he was racist. From the conversation I gathered he was either late or missed a meeting and the coach called him on it. Maybe cut him from the roster and how he was going to go over his head. Then he talked about losing a year in jail. I just cannot fathom the coach I just met as being racist or being an asshole. The coach used about 40 minutes of the hour and twenty minutes allocated which gave me time to go back to my car and grab the next class and add this to the blog.

    So my next class is Introduction to Earth Science. I am on the waiting list and will leave early to get to the class and plant my ass in a seat. Crossing my legs because I need to pee, which I will do on the way to class. Hey, don’t judge. You don’t buy Starbucks coffee, you rent it and then donate it to the nearest toilet or urinal.

    So, I got.in to the Earth Sciences class but didn’t get in to the ASL 1 class, yet but there seemed to be a lot of people who didn’t show up and two people were already added. You never know and I am going to keep attending until the last day to add the class. Today was a good day and I walked all over campus and back to my car and to campus again three times. I am physically and mentally tired. I don’t have classes tomorrow but I am thinking of adding a one day a week, Wednesday one until lab class to go along with the Earth Sciences class. It is only logical since my degree will be a science one. It will let me understand the topic in a more thorough manner.

     
  • Old Guy Student 11:34 pm on January 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Spring 2016: First Day at Sierra College 

    So today began my first day at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. I haven’t been on the campus since Mykl and I went on adventures there and I really don’t remember much except to realize it has grown tremendously. My stress level is through the roof because I got denied Financial Aid by American River College even though the academic issues were caused by medical issues that resulted in 4 ER trips that admitted me for a week. The head of the department said there was nothing he could do and endorsed the Sierra switch but pushed for another Los Rios campus. Derp.

    Ironically my lazy fat ass parked in the parking lot furthest from the center of campus as possible and I had to meander to find Student Services but once I did, getting an appointment was easier than it has ever been at American River at the start of a semester or even mid-semester with drop in appointments. It sort of reminds me of ARC in the 90’s when Sierra was a baby college and now Sierra seems to have grown with multiple campuses. It was awesome to see friends who hadn’t seen each other greet on campus, the joy of rekindled friendship is empowering. I suffer from stress induced depression which leads to anxiety and withdrawal. My job and friends have always been a way to pull myself out of myself. Then school did and I have made some amazing friendships.

    This is scary for me because I do not know anyone. I am not very good at the initial introduction or how to strike up a conversation. Usually my friends are former classmates or people I have crossed paths with that led to direct interaction. Some classes provided an entire block of friends. I rarely ask my friends for help or anything because it is just how I am. I instinctively say no when I want to say yes. I am weird. Luckily, I have amazing friends who have supported me and helped me get this far and I suspect they will continue to do so. Thankfully they know who they are and they know how much I appreciate it.

    So, I have a 1:00 meeting with a counselor who will help me take the shortest path to a transfer degree to the University. Armed with my transcript and my desire to see this through to the end, I should be able to get registered for the classes I need and have a game plan to move forward. I still need all the math and that’s the major classes I have flubbed. It’s probably going to mean a semester and a half with two algebra and stats. Plus I need photography and us history for the win, Alex. Or whatever they say. Finally I need two anthropology classes for the degree. I only took the math classes the semesters I took them, 9 units is grueling and if you are sick and fall behind you can’t easily catch up. Anxiety ate me up during exams.

    Now, I am healthy and I want to get healthier. I want to see if I can potentially add some PE classes as I have used them in the past to get in better shape. My health issues would be reduced by the exercise from the classes and the fact that it is a class is more motivation because I have gotten A’s in them in the past. This is the semester I get back in to walking all the way across campus multiple times a day between classes. This is the semester where I completely quit smoking and don’t even smoke the occasional one or vape. No nicotine. And much like Zombie Land, more cardio. I have done this before multiple times and I can do it again. I have friends who did it with assistance and they have inspired me to do it on my own again. This plan will get me there, back to when I took midnight pictures of the ARC Beaver Stadium and the campus lights after walking all the bleached steps down and back up and up and down both back sets. I want to be able to walk five flights of steps without dying. 🙂

    I have also set this goal of ten pictures a day to go along with some random thought that composed the picture in my mind to help people see the world like I do. 🙂 Time for the meeting, more on the other side. I left myself a half an hour to walk from the lot to the Student Services building. I will eventually learn all the names for the buildings here. I would also like to try and wrangle sign language out of this if I can, like I originally planned in spring 2013.

    Made it to the office in 27 minutes and took two five minute breaks. My ankle objected to so much work in such short order, a good sign of the pain to come. Resting for a few minutes all but dissipated the pain, although it is still a bit tender and sensitive to how I walk. I have another minute before check in and I am trying to use this blog to swallow the anxiety and resist the urge to say Fuck It and leave. I know it’s irrational and stupid and counterproductive but anxiety makes me have odd thoughts.

    The difference in demeanor and attitude of this counselor versus any of the ones I have ever talked to at American River was night and day. The best was the Dean and the only reason she handled my drop in appointment is because I waited for 5 hours for the drop in appointment and I requested to speak to her. This counselor was not only knowledgeable, she was also helpful in picking the classes for this semester and setting the quickest path to my goal. I lost two semesters to trying to rush through the math classes because my health and personal life issues. No matter how I tried, I still had three semesters at ARC, even completing the 9 unit math class. So, I now have a chance to take American Sign Language again and get all three years to become fluent. I don’t know why, but I want to learn it and be fluent in it. I inspired MooSe and Robert to take it. Robert has begun to teach his kids and his toddler who only has just begun to speak signs for several things. I helped make that happen. MooSe has gone on and taken ASL culture and Deaf Studies courses. He inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and take Anthropology classes where the professor developed my inner anthropologist.

    So, I am currently enrolled in a late afternoon math class and on the waiting list for a weightlifting class, ASL 1, and an Earth Science class. I wanted to take the Physical Anthropology lab but all of them had high waiting list numbers. The PE class is it’s replacement this semester. Next semester I might see if Professor C-D is teaching it at ARC and take it there instead if I cannot get in to the class at Sierra.

     
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