Tag: school

An Alexander day

An Alexander day

I swear, Mondays account for 53 and three-quarters percent of all my extensional crises. This was another bad Monday.

Anyway, to explain my topic, it comes from the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, in which the main character contemplates several times about moving to Australia. I’ve thought about it too, and so really shaky days are Alexander days. And today was just one of those days.

Part of it was triggered by getting money out of my bank account to pay for gas, and realizing I have ten dollars to get me through a week and a half after the gas was accounted for. That wasn’t happymaking at all. Of course, this is a common lament these days not just for me but for everybody. It means, at least for me, that once NaNoWriMo is over, I need to just start throwing resumes at anything that comes up that might even remotely have anything to do with what I do, even if it means relocating to a far away city. I’ve given up hope that the company I currently work for will offer me a full time job at all, and I’m just barely making it on what they pay me.

Of course, the long term cure for some of my big issues is to move out from my parents’ house, so I don’t have to justify half the stuff I do them. But that’s neither here nor there, and frankly, I’m just barely scraping by with the bills I have, and if I save anything, Social Security will crack down — they already have, which makes a tenuous situation that much worse. (It also makes it impossible for me to take on other part-time work to try and get a bit of spare change — health care. But I’ve been over that rant before.)

And then to top it off, Monday night is the night of my SQL class. Now, generally, computer classes don’t bug me, but this one for some reason does. And I think I figured it out. Not only do I shut down when faced with instructors I can’t stand, this guy’s teaching style and I don’t match well. He provides notes, but the notes aren’t helpful if you have trouble paying attention in lectures. And that’s how I learn — by seeing, and by doing. And well, really, we haven’t done much. So it puts me in a jam about studying for quizzes and tests. I think I’ve studied well enough and I get blown out of the water.

On today’s quiz, I guessed like heck and then spent the rest of the time doodling xkcd-esque stick figures all over my exam. When I handed it in, I offered a strange smile to the prof. Dunno what he’ll make of it.

Anyway, tomorrow’s gonna be a working day, so I’m trying to get some rest.

NaNo count holding steady at a bit over 18.5, but Monday and Tuesday != good writing days.

I hate Mondays.

I hate Mondays.

Mondays are hard days. Not only are they the start of the work week, but they seem to serve as a reminder of just what kind of failure I am. I mean, I get up, I go to work, and I work. But I know deep inside that I’m only working three days and not five, and that it’ll be another month of struggling to pay my bills, another month of living in my parents house, another month that I’m stuck with what appears to be no way out.

And then after work, I slog my way through the commute traffic to school. Let me get one thing straight. I hate my Monday night class. The only time I was happy tonight in that class was when I thought I might have a chance to slag the instructor in an evaluation. (Turns out, it was an eval for a different prof. When asked if we were doing it, he said something along the lines of ‘I’ve got tenure; I don’t have to do it.’) I’m seriously thinking of taking a withdraw in that class because (a) I don’t think I’m going to pass and (b) I really don’t want to take that class over. The teacher is disorganized and sometimes you’re lucky if you can find a hint to solving some of the labs in the notes. Today’s boiling point moment was when he decided that today we were going to have a quiz — on stuff he was introducing today. Somehow we talked him off that idea, but still. (And yes, for those who have been following my journal, this is my SQL class.)

But this adds into my feelings of inadequacy because I’m mainly taking classes as a way to keep from paying my student loans, because God knows I don’t have the money to cover that bill too. I’d really rather have a full time job where I’m paying down the loans and thus gain the ability to take a semester off. I could have really used it this year — my stress levels have been through the roof this fall. (And now it’s November and I must be completely frakking insane.)

Anyway, yeah, there’s this complete feeling of inadequacy that’s been eating at me and Mondays are just the night when it comes most to the forefront. I just keep slipping deeper and deeper into the hole, and I don’t know how to get out. This is not a happy feeling to deal with.

I mean, objectively, I know I’m not a failure. Emotionally, though, it’s hard to see beyond what appears to be crumbling ruins. There’s a bit of ‘I was supposed to be someone!’ in my head that plays into nights like this; Mondays just bring it a bit closer to the surface.

***

In happier news, the NaNo wordcount stands at 5564, and I wrote this paragraph, which I’m sorta proud of. It comes in the middle of a reporter’s puff-piece on my book’s major villain:

After some pleasantries, we sat down to business. The Congressman was pleasant but undeniably brusque about some parts of his life, such as the much-publicized divorce from his wife of thirty years during his first term in Congress. The mention of her brings an immediate frown to his face. “Rosalie and I had a difference of opinion,” he said. “That and the strains of my freshman year in the House led to an amicable split. There is no story here.” When pressed about comments his wife made about him ‘not being the man I married’, Breen just shrugs and says, “Well, isn’t that what most women say when they want a divorce? He’s not the man I married? What does that mean, anyway?”

Frustration

Frustration

First of all, I’m on swine flu watch, as one of my groupmates was pretty seriously ill yesterday, and my teacher forced her to stay in class until the midway point while he lectured (when he had first told us we had a quiz and the presentations and then she could go) and then we all shared a mic in giving our presentation. I’m hoping that she didn’t have the flu and thus, I won’t get it, but…this year, you can’t be too careful.

Anyway, if you didn’t catch my edit yesterday, this is what you missed:

So the quiz got postponed. However, our presentation didn’t go overly well today. The Star1/Star2 problem we were having I pointed out in discussions, but our main programmer couldn’t talk Access into doing what we wanted. We were fairly dinged on that one, but it was an Access toy database problem. But here’s a big hint to professors: when you require 3-5 tables in the assignment, it’s not fair to chew us out for including 3-5 tables when we could have done it in one.

To explain, here’s our Entity Relationship diagram in our presentation:
Our project ER diagram

(You can click on that to make it bigger.)

Here’s how the prof said we could (and should!) have done it.

id name married to?
1 John 3
2 Jeff 5
3 Jill 1
4 Jim 6
5 Jacob 2
6 Jean 4

Besides the fact that this table assumes poly relationships aren’t acceptable (which, of course, in the US is true, but not in other places in the world), I’m not sure how you’d handle marriage dates, as obviously John and Jill would share a marriage date. And since our assignment said not to track divorces, I guess if John and Jill got a divorce, then we remove both their entries from the table. But what happens if Jill meets Johann and he sweeps her off her feet and they get married? Would I need to re-enter Jill at that time? Wouldn’t it be easier if her record already exists?

And that’s still not excluding the fact that the prof told us to use 3-5 tables in the assignment. I was pretty sure we could do marriage in two tables, but that still didn’t meet the three to five requirement. And as for the poly thing, he said we could make our own assumptions when I went up there and asked about things like gay marriage. So we made an assumption that poly was okay. Grr. And interrupting the flow of our presentation by asking us questions in the middle of it? *sigh* I dunno, I guess it’s a teaching style, but it seemed a little rude.

Grr. yeah. This is still eating me today, but i’ll try to drop it.

I think I need a vacation from the world.

I think I need a vacation from the world.

You know that dream about how you walk into class and everybody’s in there taking a test you didn’t know about?

Yeah, it’s like that. At least I’m not naked.

More later, perhaps.

[Edit: So the quiz got postponed. However, our presentation didn’t go overly well today. The Star1/Star2 problem we were having I pointed out in discussions, but our main programmer couldn’t talk Access into doing what we wanted. We were fairly dinged on that one, but it was an Access toy database problem. But here’s a big hint to professors: when you require 3-5 tables in the assignment, it’s not fair to chew us out for including 3-5 tables when we could have done it in one.]

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