Fini!

Finals are over. My last presentation was made yesterday. Grades (for me, anyway) have already been posted. I made A’s in all my classes. I worked so hard to maintain that 4.0 GPA and I succeeded. Now I can rest. I’m taking a break this summer. But I’m already planning out my downtime. I’m taking today to map out what I’d like to do on my whiteboard, just as soon as I erase everything else.

End of Semester

 

I was so stressed out this semester, especially when it came down to finals. I went into this semester as an “A Student” and I’d managed to keep it up until finals. I didn’t want to lose it. How stressed was I? After I’d finished everything and felt good about my final projects, when I was just waiting to turn everything in and make my presentations, over that weekend I had a nightmare. I dreamed I made a B in one of my classes. At least I woke up from it and recognized the dream for what it was. Instead of being panic stricken I broke out into a giggle fit. It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself.

I’ve built more relationships on campus this semester than I thought. On the last day, there were people in the lab laughing and joking with me, saying goodbye for the summer. Some of my classmates even wanted to take pictures with me. When I go back in the fall I’ll be taking night classes and I probably won’t see them. I realized I’ll miss these people more than I thought…

I'll Just Think About That Tomorrow

 

Yes, I’m taking the Scarlett O’Hara approach on that one. I’m going to enjoy my summer break and I’ll just think about that tomorrow.

Final Projects: Done

Ahead of schedule, I might add. Well, with the exception of the presentations I have to give this week. If they would have let me give those ahead of schedule I would have given them all by last Friday. Alas, I must go to class next week anyway. I make my presentations on Wednesday and Thursday, and then I will officially be done. Grades will be posted on the 17th.

The past month has been fairly stressful. It started at the beginning of April, when we were preparing for the “Design Charrette”, an annual event where students spend one day working on projects submitted by local non-profit organizations. It’s a major part of our grade, but at the same time it’s nice to help local charities who need logo designs, brochures, websites, and other assistance they wouldn’t normally get because it isn’t in their budget. It gives the students the opportunity to see what it’s like to work with a client in a “real-world” scenario under a tight deadline, and perhaps make networking connections.

Of course, this falls right on top of finals. Because of the Design Charrette, regular classes were cancelled in order to prepare for the Charrette on Friday. Students had time to work on projects they received ahead of time. Downside? No lecture time for upcoming final projects.

One would think we hit the ground running the following week, but we were behind schedule. We had presentations from projects we’d just completed. We lost two classes there. GAH!!!

Finally, the week of April 22, we get lecture time and details on our final projects – projects that are due in two weeks.

Oh The Stress
OMG!!! I’ll never make it!!

 

Tangent warning

Words of advice to all of you college students out there: One class/One professor. Never take more than one class from a professor during a single semester. I’m taking three classes this semester and they’re all taught by the same guy. When I saw this, I thought, “Hey, at least I’ll only have to adjust to one teaching style.” That may be true, but he gives all his assignments on the same day in all of his classes. Just remember, if you’re ever in this situation the curriculum won’t change just because you’re in two or more of your professor’s classes. And I don’t know about you, but those classes blur together. I go to the wrong classroom every now and then because I associate the classroom with the professor. Perhaps I’m “The Absent Minded Student.” 😉

 

Back to the subject at hand

Somehow I managed to complete these projects ahead of schedule. I’m still trying to figure that part out. I didn’t do a slapdash job. I even had time to create portfolio layouts for my professor to print.

Last night was the first night I quite literally had nothing to do. I surfed the ‘net a bit, then I just sat on the couch and watched movies. It was … odd.

 

It’s been so long since I had free time I don’t know quite what to do, but I do know it’s time to emerge from my cave.

Sun+Goddess
There is life outside of my computer room!

It’s almost over!!

Well, at least for the semester. I’m in the final crunch, everyone. I’ve got three – count ‘em – three final projects due in two weeks. I’ve got hard deadlines of May 7 on all of those projects. The projects are broken down into work packages (hmm… sounds like project management). Each work package has its own deadline coming up much sooner.

On top of final projects, my InDesign prof asked me to work with another non-profit who didn’t get their project worked on at the Design Charrette. I need to get that done. He’s also asked me to design the certificates they’re going to give all the students who participated in the Design Charrette. I’m more than flattered. This guy thinks highly enough of me to ask me to do this? Sr’sly? But I just looked at my whiteboard and got a bit overwhelmed.

Bottom line – I won’t be coming up for air until this is all over.

Picture Not Available

2013 Design Charrette

This morning I was a tightly wound spring, so what do I do? I go to Starbucks to get my quad-venti-caramel-non-fat-latte (that’s a 4 ounces of espresso in a 20 ounce cup, for those who aren’t familiar). Now, Starbucks has these re-useable cups, but they only come in a “grande” size (16 ounce). So instead of getting my usual venti, I grab my two re-useable cups and get two grande’s.

The caffeine helps keep me on an even keel.

Goddess Caffeina

 

I taste the sweet nectar of the Goddess Caffeina and I can feel her soothing arms around me. I begin to unwind as I finish my drive to the campus.

I get onsite and claim my spot at one of the Mac’s. I sign in, check my email, and I see my client will be there in about an hour. I have some time to put some final touches on page one and get started on page two before she gets here!

I quickly find out how fast an hour can fly by.

Regardless, my client is more than pleased with the ideas I’ve got and work I’ve done. We talk about a couple of tweaks here and there. I get her input on a couple of ideas and show her what I’m planning for the rest of page two. She’s eager to see the final product!

Everything went amazingly smooth! When I was finished with that project I was able to help another student design a logo.

My InDesign instructor referred to me as his “star student” today then handed me another project that had to be done in under 2 hours (from concept to final). I did it.

This doesn’t even touch the surface of everything that went on today. There were so many students working together; giving feedback to each other… it was just amazing!

I left campus with such a feeling of excitement and accomplishment! I know I started this day out as a nervous wreck, but I liken it to a bit of stage fright. Once I got into the wings and stepped out onstage, that was the best show, ever!

Image from RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane
Image from RadioTimes with Marty Moss-Coane

Most Amusing Voice-To-Text Translation Yet

Or maybe I’m just silly today because I’m running in sleep deprivation mode. Insomnia will do that to your sense of humor. 😉

For those who do not use Google Voice, when you receive a voice mail you get a text translation in your inbox along with the recorded message. This is helpful when you are in a location where you only have email access and cannot readily listen to the message; however, the voice-to-text translation is not always accurate. Sometimes it is quite amusing. Today was one of those days.

We are well aware the flu season is a tough one this year; the bug has proven to be resistant to the flu shot everyone took earlier and as a result we have many people too sick to work. School bus drivers are not immune to the flu.

I received a voice mail from the school district notifying all parents of a school bus driver shortage, resulting from so many drivers being sick at this time. Temporarily, some drivers are covering multiple routes, and this may cause delays in picking up some of the kids. The recording is quite clear. The translation, on the other hand…

Google Voice Screenshot
Google Voice Screenshot

That screenshot probably doesn’t display well unless you actually click on the image, so let me give you the exact text:

“Good Morning. This is a message for FBI you can’t. He student a bus drivers. This is a current bus driver shortage, resulting from please you tell us I just got some drivers. The, and open bus driver vacant these for other about the FBI speed train, petition Department of have to double up some of our to contact the I. C. School. When around of double parent should know that your child schedule bus will arrive to pick up a drop off, but it may be delayed in Reno, Nevada. The school or in the neighborhood bus stop at a trailer time. In order to cover all the trial in the best in the expeditious manner possible somewhere else close to a particular cancer. Maybe double dot the section I can to keep the ways. I’ll talk to you and then i’m i’m. If your child’s best of tonight and still have questions about it some other time. Please call FBI Steve dispatch at (phone number withheld). We appreciate your help in this situation. Again, we regret the inconvenience and we ask for your patience and we work through the unplanned situation in the days I had. Thank you so much.”

FBI speed train? The bus may be delayed in Reno, Nevada? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Where is Duch?

Spring Semester 2013 has started up with a bang and I’m loving every busy minute of my full load! Alas, I also have the home life, personal projects, and a house that is quickly showing just how busy I’ve been (housework? WHAT housework???).

Not Enough Time in a Day
Not Enough Time in a Day

 

Give me a bit to settle into the semester, everyone. I’ll be back soon. 🙂

On Time, NaBloPoMo, and why I Need a Clone

I try to blog every day. I started this month with the best of intentions. But we’re all familiar with that road paved with good intentions…

 

I often wish NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo did not fall at this time of year. Forget the holidays – it’s right in the middle of festival season. I have too much to do. I don’t have time to write every day. And now, with school? Oy… Yet again, I find myself saying, “Perhaps next year.”

So I will write as much as I can, but I’m not going to make the post-a-day goal.

At least I get to do some fun things with Illustrator. 🙂

 

My last day of Digital Media 1

Today is the last day of my Digital Media course. I really do believe Photoshop is one of those courses that can’t be taught in 8 weeks. If I didn’t have a background in CS4 I would have been lost. That being said, I made it through. I’ve been making A’s on all my assignments this semester, and I should get the grade on my final project today. Wish me luck. 🙂

Image
Assignment 1: We had to put together 4 images of ourselves and use different filters, etc.. This was my favorite.

I made it through the first week!

One definitely has to make adjustments when getting back into the swing of a classroom routine, but it isn’t so bad. I think my major challenge is that I’m working on a Mac. You see, I cut my teeth on a PC. I know the Windows OS like the back of my hand. A Mac??? This is foreign territory to me. I find myself getting to class early just so I can hit the lab and navigate the UI. Oh well, at least I’m a quick study. Regardless of the challenge I’m facing, Photoshop is still Photoshop, regardless of the platform you’re on. Digital Imaging is my favorite class. 🙂

In addition to classes, we’re gearing up for Texas Renaissance Festival! It starts in October, but we have a new booth this year! The Mystic Armory! If you’re in the Houston, TX area (or traveling distance), I highly encourage you to come out to the festival. You’ll have loads of fun!  Just a few pics of the booth can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150857802162117.405696.280964277116&type=3

I’ll post more in a few weeks. Between classes and getting ready for Festival, I’m kinda’ busy now. 😉

As for our latest addition to the family? She’s just as mischievous as you’d expect a kitten to be. In fact, I’m beginning to think Missy should be short for Mischievous. I find myself calling her “Missyfus” every now and then, especially when she’s playing with things those in my office that I’d rather she not… :: rolls eyes ::  But all in all, she’s the cutest kitten ever, and has me wrapped around her paw. I mean, really…. just look…

And yes, the other cats are talking to me. However, Little Missy has a foul mouth. You should hear the way they talk to each other! :: gasp! ::

And on that note, it’s time to get ready for class. Have a great day, everyone!

Where is Duch?

This week has been so busy; I haven’t had time to post about a little change in my life. 🙂

This week was back-to-school week for lots of parents. My teen-boy started high school on Monday. What I haven’t had time to post about is that I started back to school that same day. Yes, that’s right, I’ve gone back to college. It’s been years since I’ve been in an instructor-led environment, and I know I could do these classes online. I made my decision to go on campus for a couple of reasons:

  • My learning style
    • I do better in an ILT course. With the instructor there, if I have a question, I’m more likely to speak up rather than email or post in a discussion board.
    • I’m taking graphic design courses. In a classroom environment, working on projects, students can “bounce” creative ideas off of each other and get on-the-spot feedback. That’s a little more difficult when you’re taking your course online.
  • I had to get out of the house
    • I’d found there were days I’d been in this house all day long. This gets me out, and OMG it feels wonderful!

That being said… I’ve been looking for a job for a long time (over a year). I hadn’t realized just how long that left me moping around the house, sitting at the computer doing the job search all day. I’ve spent more time at home than I thought. Of course, this lead to a downward spiral of depression. The times I did leave the house, I had the urge to just “go back home”. It wasn’t an anxiety reaction; I just wanted to go home where I knew my routine. I realized I’ve spent the last few months hiding under the proverbial bed.

When I enrolled in classes, I jumped right in. I’m taking 12 hours. It’s just 3 courses, spread out Monday through Thursday. I figured, this can’t be too difficult. But by the end of the day I’m exhausted! I know it’s just a matter of not being used to the routine. It’s the first week. Once I settle into things, I’ll be fine. 🙂

I’ll post details about my classes soon. Oh, and more pictures of Missy kitty. We’ve introduced her to the other furry children. Our 2 dogs are curious. Our 2 other cats aren’t speaking to me. This, too, shall pass. 😉