Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Made it!

So I have finished my class! I got through it kicking and screaming the whole way, but I made it! And I think I may even get a passing grade! I'm hoping for a B at least - but I am being held in suspense until grades are posted. I am so ready for a break! All of us who made it through one more semester, stand up and applaud for yourselves! Woo hoo!! This was, without a doubt, the toughest class I've taken in a very long time, and holy cow am I happy it's over!

Now, time to regroup, and get through the holidays and New Year. I usually tend to try to stick my head in the sand and hope it blows over without causing too much damage. I can't stand New Years Eve. You have a big build up and then ppffzzt. Let down. Or a huge fight. So in self-defense I have learned to expect nothing so I'm not disappointed. I haven't enjoyed a New Years Eve since I morphed into an adult. So if any of you are planning on being home alone on New Years, keep your computers warmed up, I may just decide to post a scintillating commentary on how I'm spending the final moments of 2008 - or I may just go to bed at 9 and forget the whole thing - stay tuned! Same time, same station! Blog - out!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Almost over!

Well, this semester is nearly done, thanks goodness! It has been a rough one for me, probably the roughest since I started taking classes at UIS. I've never been less than excited about a class before and I've never wished so hard to be done with a class before. But after this one, I think I need a nice long break! I did not enjoy this class at all, except for some of the readings. The next class will be an effort to earn credit for prior learning, and that one I am definitely looking forward to! I will get to concentrate on me, a subject I truly do enjoy! So that should be good, and then the summer semester will hit and I can regroup. I just need to take a good look at my transcript and see where I'm really at, and where I need to be, and how to get there from here. In the summer, I'll sort it all out and decide if I can keep going on this path or if I need to find another one. I hope I can stay on this one, I don't want to be a quitter, and I've already come halfway. Well, we'll see. In the meantime, Christmas is coming, the presents are all wrapped and ready to go, the tree is up and looking pretty and the new year is just around the corner! All's well with the world! Well, not really, but it seemed to fit in there. I must go, Sunday evening is so depressing, Monday morning is only a few hours away. Bleah.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Old-fashioned blog challenge??"

Well, we UIS bloggers have been challenged by our fearless leader to an "old-fashioned" blog challenge. How it can be old-fashioned when blogs are a new phenomenon, I have no idea, but I'm going with it. So here it goes...

This Thanksgiving I am giving thanks for my three amazing, funny, smart, beautiful children who are growing up so fast.

I give thanks for my husband who after fifteen years and despite numerous disagreements and all out brawls, still treats me like a queen.

I give thanks for my parents who have supported me all my life and particularly encouraged me to continue with my education, even though there have been, and will be again, times when I was ready to throw in the towel.

I give thanks to my friends, past and present, I have learned something from each of you and gained much from your companionship.

I give thanks for my co-workers, your different personalities and talents all bring so much to our team, and I have been very lucky to get such a great crew to work with. I give thanks to my boss for being a kind and reasonable person, a rarity in my experience.

I give thanks to President -elect Barack Obama for being a man of integrity and for giving hope that our country will recover from our current miserable situation and will once again be the strong world leader we need to be.

I give thanks to myself, for not being a quitter, and for persevering in the face of many challenges, I am a stronger person than I sometimes give myself credit for, and once I power past my own resistance, I can do anything.

I give thanks to my professors for providing interesting and exciting material and introducing me to new concepts on my way to achieve my goal.

For all these things and more, I give my thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's a Christmas conspiracy!

So as I was on my way to work this morning at O-dark early, I saw that gas was down to $1.99 per gallon and I got all happy and felt all warm and fuzzy. But then I started thinking - it is about 25 minutes to work after all. So I was thinking, and I realized that just last week I was reading about how the retailers and car dealers are worried because consumers are not consuming as much. Spending is down and people are being very careful about their money. So here we are, just in time for the holidays, and gas is amazingly down almost to what we had been used to in happier times. Hmmm, coincidence? I think NOT! Here's what I think. I think that the oil conglomerates, being in their usual cahoots with big government, have agreed to lower their prices TEMPORARILY to lull Americans into a false sense of security to convince us it is safe to go out and buy those big American made cars with poor gas mileage and to spend spend SPEND on our friends and loved ones to show how much we care for Chrismahannaramakwanzaka! And then, like the sneaky, underhanded, low-down snakes in the grass they really are, they will jack up the prices like a sun-salutation and beat us back into submission again!! That's what I think.

Now I have never been a huge believer in conspiracy theories, but nothing would surprise me these days, and in this case I do believe my idea has merit. I mean, if gas can be pushed down to these rates now, what the heck happened over the summer? Do NOT tell me that the war and the hurricanes and little green men all happened and that's why every fill up was a major purchase to be discussed with your spouse. And why is it that, if the gas costs so much more per barrel then than now, that the oil companies reported, (surprise surprise) record profits!! AMAZING! You mean, if you raise the price of a gallon of gas by double previous rates, the oil barons will become even richer than they were in the first place? GASP!! How can that be??? If it really cost them so much more, they should have reported the same amount of profits as usual. But this is the land of free enterprise of course, would I begrudge them a small pay increase? Oh hell yes I would!! When it comes at the cost of being able to go out to dinner even once a month and means I can't even take my kids to the movies because we have to pay the mortgage, car payments and bills on the same amount of income when every single thing costs more, I will begrudge! Oh yes! Say it with me! Down with big oil! Boo to the oil barons! BOOO!!!!

So my friends, while the price of gas is indubitably dropping, do not be fooled! Save your pennies, for sooner than you think, the pumps will once again be our enemies, sucking away our hard earned cash (and credits) to line the golden pockets of the oil vampires! You have been warned!! Mwaaa haaa haaa haaaaa!!!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Next semester

It's been a while since I posted, I've been busy trying to keep in with my class, but it looks like something is going right since I got an A on my last paper I turned in. There is hope after all! I am undecided what class to take this coming semester, nothing available seems appealing, so I think I will take AST305, I think that's what it's called. The class is credit/no credit but you get class credits by creating a portfolio to show how your prior learning will apply towards actual graduation credits. That's about the only thing that makes any sense to me right now. I am going to have to work with my advisor to rework my whole plan, since it's kind of a hash right now and I'm not sure where I'm at. I've been told I'm closer to graduating than I initially thought, but I still have a long way to go and while I enjoy taking classes, (most of the time), I do have a goal in mind which I would like to reach in the more or less near future. Well, this class should help, I might be able to create more than 1 portfolio and earn enough credits to boost me a couple classes up in the time scale. Which, when you take only 1 at a time is huge! Still waiting to hear from the teacher if he'll let me sign up, I sent him an email last week, so I hope he contacts me quickly!

Well, gotta go. The Master and Margarita awaits!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ok, time for a new post on the importance of grades...

Andy mentioned that when it comes time for a referral to grad school, a professor will remember a students ambition and willingness to work more than s/he will remember the grades actually earned. I cannot deny this is true. But your grade point average is also a marker of your ability to handle the assignments and your understanding of the subject matter, so to say an F doesn't matter as long as you are learning the material is not entirely accurate to my way of thinking. Anyway, I am going to do my very best to keep my grades as high as possible and come away with a solid understanding of the material, that's my goal.

On a more depressing note, I just realized that if I continue taking 1 class at a time, it will take me another 5 years to get my BA. There are only 2 semesters per year at UIS not counting summer, which I can't always do. 5 years. Five. Funf. Cinco. Cinq. FIVE MORE YEARS!! I've already been doing this since 2006 at UIS, and then at my community college before that. Years and years and I still have 5 more to go. I just don't know if I can keep this up for that long. I feel like I need to find a program that has shorter semesters, accelerated classes or something. Working full time and raising kids while going to school, well, I never expected it to be easy, but for goodness sakes, I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth the stress. My kids and husband get irritated with me because I'm always doing homework. My Friday and Saturday nights are spent glued to the computer working, this after being glued to a computer working at work 5 days a week. There has got to be a faster way. I'm not saying I want to quit, because I don't, but my enthusiasm is most definitely on the wane. Ironically, if I could go full time I'd be done in 3 semesters. Just one year. Uno. Un. Eins. I think I need some help here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Week 8

Well, I got my marks up to week 8, and I'm not happy. I got a C on my paper. I have never gotten anything less than an A on anything! And I got a B- for class participation, not because I'm not posting, because I am, lots. It's because my posts "lack depth". Are you freaking kidding me!?!? I hate this class. I wish I had signed up for any other class but this one. Sorry Professor R., but I'm not recommending you!

More than anything, I am feeling bad about myself because I'm not doing well! I'm disappointed in myself. I am not used to this. I am really trying here and yet, nada. Zilch, zippo, zip. Well, C's and B-'s. Which is not nothing, but is also not A's.

Half way through this class, however, is better than just starting. I have another 8 weeks to go, and then I can sign up for something nice and fun. Like, well, something else. I want to take that Beatles class, but it has not been available to me for the 2.5 years now since I've been enrolled, so I am not holding my breath. It must be only for the special people who know how to get into the special classes only for special people.

Well, I am going to go read Twilight again. Against my better instincts, I really like this series - the movie comes out next month, so I have that to look forward to, which is nice! Go vampires!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's a bright...bright sunshiney day!!

What a lovely day! It's beautiful outside! I was hoping for some cooler weather but this actually worked out great. I took my daughter to the pumpkin farm this morning, we took a hayride and she got her face painted and got to jump in bouncy castles!! Oh, and we got some pumpkins. The straw maze was excellent, lots of tight squeezes and dead ends, she must have gone through about 10 times! Then we went home, and we painted the little pie pumpkins we bought. We're saving the big ones to carve closer to Halloween. Then my husband and I washed our cars, he fixed the vaccum cleaner and now we're getting ready to go to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. Just the two of us! Our oldest kid is at work, (how I love saying that!) and our 14 year old is babysitting our 8 year old. What a beautiful, beautiful day! I don't even care that I didn't get the promotion at work I was hoping for, I still like my job and I will try again next time, no biggie!

I love October!!! Hope everyone out there in blog land is doing well and enjoying the fine day we're having!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Well, I just finished writing and posting the first of 3 papers for my class. I had to redo the whole thing once because after I thought I had finished it I realised it was all wrong and had to start over from scratch! Ugh.

Do you know how hard it is to try to help your 2nd grader with her homework while at the same time doing your own? It is very hard. Practicing vocabulary words while responding to comments on the discussion board makes for some very interesting sentence structure, let me tell ya'!

I can feel the burn out beginning. I know I can't skip the next semester, it will just put me that much farther from my goal, but this class is about doing me in. I have got to take something other than an English Lit course next time or I will run screaming out the door! I am glad I'm an LIS major and not an English major! I get to sample some of everything - like an appetizer platter. Yeah, that's it. I am going to go do something relaxing now. Like comb my cat.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New computer!

I had to go out today and buy a new computer, mine just couldn't hack it anymore. I got it all working beautifully except for one thing, I can't figure out how to configure my Outlook to automatically download messages from the POP server. When I try to access the 'define send/receive groups' (under send/receive settings) I get an "operation failed' error. I can't figure out what's going on. I can manually select to download headers and full messages, but the automatic send/receive function doesn't work, so that's why I was trying to configure it to do this, but I keep getting stuck with the stupid 'operation failed' error. Any helpful ideas? Any Microsoft Outlook 2003 experts out there? I thought I was pretty much expert myself, but I am better with large networks apparently. When it comes to my own...hey, maybe that's it! I'm looking at this wrong. I'll be back....

Nope - still can't get it to work right. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to remember to manually retrieve my email all the time. I spent the day setting up my old computer in my son's room. I was able to get that one working much better too - now we are all connected and computing merrily. I got so happy I decided to clean up and rearrange my bedroom. It's amazing what buying a new computer can do for you! I got all motivated and started cleaning everything because I didn't want this new computer to get all clogged up with dust the way the old one was, my house hasn't been this clean since we moved in! Well, I have to go watch this movie on ancient Greece for my class. Yawn!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nothing new to report..

Well, this has been quite possibly one of the most boring weeks on record. Nothing really has happened and I think I can expect nothing to continue to happen. I did apply for a different position at work, which would mean a promotion, so that would be nice. Of course about 10 other people have also applied for it, so who knows!

I'm having trouble keeping all my kids in one place and it's destroying my nerves! Two in high school and apparently the most popular 8 year old in the neighborhood means I am never sure who's going to be where and at what time! Today I got home from work and one kid ran out one direction and the other went in another direction and I'm not sure where the third ended up and the next thing I know I'm eating egg salad sandwiches all by myself! It doesn't help that my husband works nights, so as I was pulling into the garage he was pulling out. That's about as close as we ever get, usually we just wave at each other as we pass each other going opposite ways down the street. I'm so bummed out that I've decided not to even go to the company picnic at work tomorrow and have volunteered to stay at the office and man (woman?) the phones. I just do not feel like mingling and pretending to have fun when all I really want to do is sit at my computer and work 'till I can't see.

To top it all off, I should be thinking about the papers I need to be writing for my class and I can't seem to come up with any ideas. And everyone else in my class seems to be smarter than I am and able to analyze the readings better than I can. And I can't find the films I need to watch and then discuss. And my fat clothes are too tight. And there was a a bug that looked like a leaf hanging from my front step this evening and it was creepy.

Ok, there, I have unloaded. In theory I should now feel better and be able to go on my merry way being, well, merry. I don't feel merry. I feel stressed. I'd say I need a drink, but I don't drink. I think I'll go play Wii Mario-Kart instead.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Play

While things have now settled down and questions have been answered - I have been given permission by the author, Mr. P. Lee to post a short play he wrote regarding recent events. The names have been changed to protect the innocent - and the opinions listed are not necessarily those of the blog author (a.ka. ME), I didn't write the play, I'm just posting it! FYI, the actual professor has since made sincere efforts to communicate clearly and politely since this was posted and the situation has been much improved. This just goes to show how a little miscommunication can have a major effect on a lot of people. As the warden in Cool Hand Luke put it, "What we have here is FAILURE to COMMUNICATE!"

The Right of Might

Setting - Teacher's lounge of the British School in New Delhi, India. The year is 1989 and smoking is yet permitted in the lounge. A highly accomplished and respected teacher enters the lounge and joins a trusted friend of his at a table. The friend offers him a cigarette which he gladly accepts. The teacher appears to be somewhat agitated.

Respected Teacher: I don't know about this class I've got this semester. They don't seem to be all too bright.

Trusted Friend: Oh? How so?

Respected Teacher: Well there's all this complaining about not being able to understand the directions which I put out clearly in the syllabus. One of the kids even whines about his frustrations regarding the matter. Like I give a damn.

Trusted Friend: So it's just a handful of dense students in this class that's giving you trouble?

Respected Teacher: Oh no. It seems like nobody in the whole group is bright enough to comprehend the syllabus. Can you believe that? An entire class of intellectually challenged students. And this is supposed to be an upper division English course for crying out loud!

Trusted Friend: Wait, if none of them are able to get it do you think the problem might possibly be with the syllabus and not with them?

Respected Teacher: Of course not! I wrote it after all. And when I read it, it makes perfect sense! There's no room for misunderstanding. Everything they need to know is right there if they'd get off their lazy behinds and actually read the thing.

Trusted Friend: You know, one of the tips for writers is to read what they've written out loud or have someone read it to them. It's because when people read what they themselves wrote they're reading the meaning which they had intended with those words and it could cloud any objective review of their work.

Respected Teacher: You think I don't know this? But this syllabus has been used before and it worked fine. It's got to be this class that's the problem.

Trusted Friend: Well what are some of the things they are complaining about?

Respected Teacher: Well for one thing they keep pointing out that the format for the weekly discussions, in which I limit the maximum number of answers possible, isn't adequate for the course which has a lot more people than the amount I've allotted.

Trusted Friend: What do you mean?

Respected Teacher: Well for the first week there was only 12 possible options for answers even though there are...oh more than 15 people in the class I think. Some parts of the second week only permit 8 eligible answers and the third week only 9.

Trusted Friend: Wait...I thought you said that this syllabus has been tested before? You mean you used the same inadequate number of possible answers before but the previous class just wasn't bothered with it?

Respected Teacher: No. It was a smaller class.

Trusted Friend: I see. Well don't you think the reason this class is complaining is because they're trying to take your directions seriously and keep in step with what you've put out?

Respected Teacher: Oh come on! If there aren't enough possible answers allotted then OF COURSE they're free to pick what they want. As long as they cover all the questions of course as well, isn't that just so obvious and crystal clear? It's not rocket science after all! (that last bit is actually a direct quote)

Trusted Friend: What else are they complaining about?

Respected Teacher: Well my syllabus doesn't exactly put out the dates which 2 of their major papers, research presentations, are due. Nor the exact topics. I just put out the final due date and naturally thought they'd figure out it meant they have to pick a date before that on which they'd present. This is again so obvious and elementary that if they can't figure such simple details I feel like they shouldn't even be in this class. How on earth do they expect to understand masterful literary pieces when they can't figure out a simple syllabus?

Trusted Friend: Hmm...well so far it seems the only problem has been in figuring out the syllabus you've put out to them. I mean none of them have complained about any of the actual course work but are just trying to figure out what and when they're supposed to do the work, right?

Respected Teacher: And it's not like they just point it out but they keep going on and on about the same thing. I mean, do I have to answer the same question 10 different times to the same class?

Trusted Friend: You mean you addressed these issues and clarified what is required to them and they still continue to nag you with questions?

Respected Teacher: Oh no. I didn't deal with any of this nonsense the entire first week. I only got around to it on the second week. What, I'm not their slave that I need to cater to them day and night!

Trusted Friend: Well the first week is usually when people are trying to figure things out and have all the basic questions. It might have been helpful to be there on the first week to help them grasp the material at the start perhaps?

Respected Teacher: Look that's really not my responsibility as a teacher. I put out the instructions as I see fit. Then I just have to drop in once a week and drop a "Good job" or even an "Excellent Job" here and there to let them think that I actually care about all the stuff they come up with. Maybe even refer to an issue here and there if I'm in a particularly good mood. But I'm not going to cater to them hand and foot with everything they can't be bothered to read and think about in order to figure out. I really think some of these kids need to just drop this class.

Trusted Friend: You really think people should drop your class because they can't figure out your syllabus? Without even getting into the actual course work?

Respected Teacher: Yes!

Trusted Friend: You've admitted to faulty direction given in your weekly lectures. And the lack of actual dates or clarification of topics given for papers in your syllabus. Yet you still think the students are at fault for being confused?

Respected Teacher: Yes!

Trusted Friend: How so?

Respected Teacher: Because I'M THE TEACHER, damnit! I have a PhD for crying out loud!

A few moments pass in silence after which the trusted friend reaches for his cigarette case and offers it to the respected teacher.

Trusted Friend: Care for another one?

Respected Teacher: Sure. Thanks.

Trusted Friend: So...what are you up to tonight? Want to go out for a drink or something?

Respected Teacher: Can't. I've got a pretty big lecture I have to give tonight.

Trusted Friend: Oh...what's it on?

Respected Teacher: It's on improving the effectiveness of higher level education with a global perspective.

The End

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Communication is a wonderful thing

Well, all is well with my class now. After a rocky start and a couple of fiery departures, I now have clarification on all previously unanswered questions and I am able to proceed full steam ahead! Now this class is becoming what I had hoped it would be, fun, interesting and enlightening. I love taking classes. Even if I had already received my degree I would still take classes. I think I need to have the challenge of learning something new in my life as a constant. I feel like if I stop learning I'll start to grow old, and that will just not do.

I am learning in other areas also. I learned that my 14 year old son is flirting and being flirted with a 16 year old girl! What is up with that!!! No no no!!! I am going to have to keep him on a much tighter leash I think. Is that even possible? Maybe I can just get him signed up for a bunch of sports or something so he won't have any time for such shenanigans. I'll just get him doing too many other things to think about girls. He is way too young for this! I am way too young for this! Oy vey!

Tune in next week for more Days of Anne's life!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh the Drama! The Drama!!

Well, in a very exciting turn of events, one of my fellow students actually wrote a short play describing the frustrations of recent events in our class, posted it on the Discussion Board, and then quit!! The play was quite accurate and very funny, but somehow I do not believe the professor will see it that way. I'd post it here, but I haven't asked the author so I better not. My oh my, what fun we're having now! Well, I am simply going to continue to work through this class, which I am very much enjoying, not only for the subject matter, but now that I think I have a grasp of how the professor wants things done, I'm really liking reading the back and forth between confused students and an annoyed instructor. Ok, some of that was me, but still! Good stuff! I am sure glad it's Friday though. I need a day to sleep past 5 am!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

End of week 2

I think I have the class figured out now, but I don't think my professor is very happy with me or a few of my classmates. We actually lost one. The professor told her she shouldn't be in the class if she was unable to think a certain way, so she left! That's never happened before in my classes! Anyway, I think I have it sorted now, so I'm just gonna keep on truckin'! I am actually very much enjoying the subject matter. I love Greek mythology and I didn't realize how fascinating an in-depth study was going to be. As the course moves on there are many terrific texts I'm looking forward to studying so we should be all systems go!

I'm really tired today, I've been up late working on my homework and getting up at 5 am for work. My kids need some of me too, so I'm spread pretty thin and feeling every bit of it. I try to balance my one class alongside the rest of my life, but it's a rough ride sometimes! I still have so very, very far to go before I reach my degree. If I could go full time I'd be done in 2 semesters, but it is just not to be. I wonder if the university would consider accelerated classes? If they could make them all 8 week classes like the summer semester that would let me finish in half the time! I was almost considering looking into a program like University of Phoenix which does offer the accelerated classes, but then I wouldn't have a degree from UIS, which I would value more. I guess it's snobbery on my part, but I want a degree from the best university around, and that's where I'm at. I just wish I could do it faster!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Frustration with class!

A lot of my fellow students in my class have expressed frustration regarding the syllabus and the lack of communication the professor provides. We post our questions in a question and answer section and lo and behold!! No response whatsoever. We cannot get clarification on anything, so far all we get is, "consult the syllabus". Well that's just dandy, but the syllabus does not actually answer any questions. We are all at least junior and senior level college students, some are grad students, I think it should be clear that if all of us are having questions about the same things, then maybe there is actually a problem with the syllabus, and not the students!! For the first time since I enrolled, I have a doubt about my ability to succeed in a class. I have always gotten A's in my classes, but if I can't even figure out what I am supposed to turn in and when, what chance do I have?

I hope it gets better, otherwise this is going to be a very, very long semester!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Observed vs Un-observed

I was discussing the phenomenon of the double-slit experiment (see prior posts) with a very smart person, (my dad) and he explained it in this way...

When an electron is shot thorough the slit(s) 1 at a time and unobserved, it forms an interference pattern revealing that each individual electron, which is one of the quantum particles, has a probability of being anywhere in a region of space. When the experiment is done while observing the individual electron, it forms a point, like a normal macro-scale particle (e.g.: a dust mote). And yes, the act of observation does result in the resulting pattern change. The reason is that when it is observed, what is seen is the behavior in that particular instant, rather than the statistical distribution. The thing to remember is that any individual quantum particle, such as an electron, muon, quark or other subatomic particle, behaves in a quantum fashion all by itself. It acts as if it is spread out across a region of space, rather than as a point in space. By observing the electron, you determine its position exactly, and so you lose all information about its momentum (its probability distribution), so the interference pattern disappears. By not observing it, its probability distribution is preserved, but you can't determine its position exactly. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

So, in essense, what this means is that, in fact, until a particle is observed it's position is undeterminable, and it doesn't make sense even to ask the question of "where it is". "Where" does not exist until the object is observed and the probabity of it being in any position is removed, and it is then seen to be in one fixed position. I love this!!! That's great!!! I think that is really one of the coolest things I have ever heard. Until you see an object, it's everywhere, lots of the same one particle, in every and any possible position. Then you see it, and poof!!! Its position is determined based on physical, measureable factors. Is that not the coolest thing you've ever heard?!??! Or am I just a big geek? Well, even if I am a big geek, that's still right up there with the most amazing things I've contemplated. I would love to be able to catch a piece of matter in its pre-detection state. Can you picture it? Matter particles bouncing all over the place, not different matter particles, but the exact same particle in multiple locations! Not separable, not measureable as separate individual particles, but the same exact particle in more than one position!!

What are the implications of this, I wonder. What are the real world (for that is what we must live in) applications of this? If we could tap into this quantum state, would we be able to place ourselves in any location we would like? Is it like another dimension we just have not learned to recognize yet? Maybe our minds are blocked against the possibility of this other dimension, and if we are able to unlock that part of our mind, we could literally be like that guy in the movie Jumper, just think about a place and - zap! We're there! Boy, that would really put a crimp in the oil companies' bottom lines. For that reason alone I think it's worth thinking about!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

First week of class

Ok, I just finished posting my discussion board responses. Although I was briefly considering switching classes, I think I have changed my mind. It was pointed out to me that as most classes are full, I might not have a lot of luck anyway, so I think I'll just stick it out. I do actually like the material we are discussing. It is interesting stuff! I got to read Oscar Wilde's 'Salome', which I'd never read before. All of the characters in that play are pyschotic, so that was pretty cool. In the first 5 minutes you get the Young Syrian who kills himself out of nowhere when he hears Salome talking dirty to Jokanaan (John the Baptist) which was a fun way to start to the play. It's actually kind of funny. You have dialogue dialogue dialogue and then...."Young Syrian kills himself". And it just gets better from there. It's like an episode of..ummm...(insert over the top soap opera here, I don't watch any so I wouldn't know).

I just wish the class was a bit more organized. I'm a fairly linear person when it comes to work and I like my assignments and due dates spelled out clearly and in an orderly fashion. I guess I'm going to have be non-linear for this class. Think I'll try tetrahedron, that ought to do it!

I have to go, my son is asking for help with HIS homework, so I must close for now! 11th grade homework has got to be easier than mine! Good night blog!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


OMG, what a crazy week. All of my kids started school this week too, and it is now utter mayhem in my house. Everyone is scrambling to get themselves organized and into the school mode again, there's never enough food in the house for some reason and my cats have lost their minds and all think they're capable of launching themselves through the air like flying squirrels!

The auto accident gods have taken it upon themselves this week to make everyone in our 9 state region completely forget that they must actually be awake with their eyes open while operating a motor vehicle so my claim load has skyrocketed at work, and I was shouted at for 30 minutes at the end of the day today by a person who insisted it was my fault he couldn't find a body shop to fix his car before September!

On a positive note, my class has started and so far is quite interesting and I can already tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. We are discussing Salome at the moment, a character I never had any particular interest in before and I am discovering that her legend had a lot of depth. The actual person she was based on, well, who knows if she even existed beyond metaphor.

I have also been thinking more about quantum mechanics. Maybe you have heard of the double-slit test, in which particles of matter are hurled through two slits in a wall. When you shoot large pieces of matter through you get two lines on the surface beyond the slits. When you force waves through, you get multiple points where the the top of one wave meets the bottom of another wave and you get an interference pattern, stripes where matter hits and darkness where it didn't. But on the quantum level, if you shoot electrons through, which are extremely tiny matter particles, they act like waves and form an interference pattern even if you shoot only one piece through at a time, instead of like matter forming only two lines. The theory is that the electrons, when shot one at a time, somehow split, and go through both slits interfering with itself and forming that unique wave pattern. Tricky little buggers. But they also go through neither slit. And they also go through only one of the slits. And they also go through only the other slit. The clever mathemeticians have formulas for this. I don't understand them, I just understand that this is what the experiments have proved.

BUT - and here's the kicker, when you try to observe the phenomenon using a recording device to see which slit the matter actually goes through, it goes back to behaving like larger matter particles and only goes through one side or the other, forming only two lines, not an interference pattern as it did when it was unobserved. The very act of observing changed it's behavior. Now, what the heck!?!? What does it all MEAN?!?!?!? How can an electron know when it is being watched? Huh huh HUH??? HOW???

Spiritual people have speculated this proves the existence of a higher being. Ok. Sure, why not. But why would a higher being care whether electrons form an interference pattern or not? I don't buy it. Any higher being that would take an interest in that clearly has too much time on its hands and needs to find a day job. Of all the issues in the world to concern itself with, that, to me, would not be in the top 10.

Maybe we're missing the big picture (so to speak). Maybe we're too focused on the most visible issues of the day. Maybe instead of trying to solve world hunger and stop all abuse and end the wars we need to be focusing on the smaller things, like electron interfence patterns. Maybe by studying the little things and gaining an understanding of the miniscule, we will be able to then apply our knowledge to the big things and achieve world peace and individual enlightenment.

Ok, enough rambling! I do, in fact have homework to do. Heigh ho!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I have been researching the theory of ENTANGLEMENT. I love that word. This is the idea that everything, and everyone, is connected on a quantum level. There is a Wikipedia definition regarding entanglement...

Quantum entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects are linked together so that one object can no longer be adequately described without full mention of its counterpart — even though the individual objects may be spatially separated.

Simple, right? Basically, entanglement is the idea that all matter, at the sub-atomic level, is the same matter. There have been experiments done on particles, that proves that if you apply energy to one of a pair of particles, the effect occurs on both particles. This is true no matter how spatially separated the particles are.

So what does this mean to us? I believe that this means, quite literally, we are all connected to each other, no matter how separated we may be feeling. Obviously we are individuals with our own definite physical selves, and with very different opinions and ideas. But on a much deeper level, we are all the same. Sure, we will have have Sox fans vs Cub fans, and they'll say no way am I the same as that guy! Or you'll have people who are going to vote for McCain, and those that will vote for Obama, and it is certain they will argue there is nothing alike between them! But none of that matters. We are all part of the same material that has been around since the Big Bang.

Conversely, there is the idea that no object ever actually touches another object, hence we are more separate than anyone ever conceived. On a sub-atomic level, there is always space between atoms. On the most impossibly miniscule level, there is so much space between particles it might as well be the distance between stars. So how, one may ask, did I get that paint transfer on my bumper when I backed into my neighbor's car? Excellent question. I tried to explain to my neighbor that it didn't really exist, but he didn't buy it. Go figure.

Anyway, that is what has been on my mind lately. Thoughts anyone?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thank you Andy!

I appreciate your help, your advice worked like a charm, now you can (obviously) see the links at the bottom of my page - yet another thing I learned this week.

I took my daughter to the elementary school this evening to find out her teacher and class list. She's happy about her teacher, not so happy about some of the kids in her class. She doesn't like a few of them, so we went from joy over one name on the list to tears over another. I'm sure it'll all work itself out. I hope.

I keep signing into Blackboard hoping my class will have started early, I am such a nerd.

I think I'll go check out some of the other blogs, catch you later!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Ok all, I have a question. I added a "My Blog List" gadget at the bottom of my page, but I cannot get the links to show up unless I mouse over them. How can I get the links to show up all the time? I tried playing with the fonts and colors settings, but none of them seem to apply to that particular aspect of the page. Any advice would be appreciated!

What I learned today...

Today, I learned how to download and apply a blog skin. Now my blog is pretty! I had blog envy for jsgirl's attractive layout. Now, I too have style!

Countdown to class - da dum!! I cannot wait to start, and I am really happy this blog gives me something to work on in the evenings. I've been skimming my new textbooks and I really think this class will be interesting. I hope so anyway.

My 14 year old is sick, he has a really bad cold, poor thing. I hope he gets better soon, school starts for him a week from today, so he needs to get better asap! Isn't that always the way, the last week of summer vacation and you get a head cold. I took it a step further once, I missed the first 2 weeks of junior high because I had chicken pox. Ah well, I'm sure he'll be fine!

I am going to go now, I want to tweak my blog. Hmm, that sounds hinky. You know what I mean!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I met someone famous!

Well, I think he's famous. He's the son of a famous person, so I suppose that makes him famous. I met Walter Payton's son! I think his name is Jarrett. You will not believe where I met him. At my nail shop! I was sitting there getting a pedicure, and there is this large, good-looking man in the chair next to me. I thought that was unusual enough, and struck up a converstation. Come to find out, he is the son of Walter Payton! I took his picture, and hopefully I will be able to figure out how to upload it to this post. Anyway, that's the most exciting thing that happened to me today. The rest of the day was spent shopping for this party we're having tomorrow. It is an end of the summer, start of school for everyone party. My kids go back to school the last week of August, and of course we start soon ourselves. I got my books for my class recently, they all look great! I am taking ENG 360 Ancient Greek & Bible Motifs, which to me sounds fascinating. Well, I'm going to try to get this picture uploaded now, it's a really good photo! And he is just too cute.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New This Week!

Worked late tonight, got lots done. Yay me! The most exciting thing going on right now is getting my kids ready to start school. Two going into high school, one in elementary. What have I learned from this? I learned that while there are less required supplies for high schoolers, what they do need is way more expensive! That and trying to prepare my oldest to start applying to colleges himself. I'm afraid that this process might be overwhelming for both of us. I'm concerned that he is not sufficiently motivated to get his grades up enough and to take the steps necessary to get into a 4 year school. It's looking like it will be community college, which is not a bad thing. I got my AA from a community college and it was a good experience. Of course, I was 30 when I got it, so that's a little different than what I have in mind for my son. Well, we'll see how it goes I suppose.

One more week until our own classes start, I have all my books, my keyboard is in fighting shape and my tuition is up to date! Let's roll!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Here is my first blog. This is meant to be a "what I learned this week" sort of thing, but since classes are out for the summer, I have nothing much to input on that note.

I worked all day, as usual. I'm in insurance. I love my job, I handle auto claims all day, and there are so many different types of people, it's always a challenge trying to figure out how to work with them all. I like the work, it requires organization and attention to detail. Being the perfectionist about my work that I am, those things suit me just fine!

Went swimming with my daughter after work, it's a great way to unwind after having my butt stuck to a chair for 10 hours a day. I must say though, I was quite pleased to come home to Andy's email and instructions on how to create a blog, I feel like I'm slacking if I don't have something to do in the evenings.

I'm looking forward to reading the other UIS Online bloggers postings, and I hope I can think of more interesting things to say than I have so far.

post 1 of ???