Archive for the ‘school’ Category

Out of sorts

08 Aug

I’m moving, and that has me all out of sorts. I’m homesick for the Bay Area already, but I know I’m doing the right thing and I’m excited to learn a new city and have some space to breathe. I want to pack up as quickly as possible so I can have that out of the way, but I want to leave things out as long as I possibly can so I’m not living among boxes and I can browse my books or work on some art or whatever!

I wish I were going to Black Rock City this year, but instead my Right of Passage is to start school on the other side of the country from where I’ve lived the last 10 years but just about 45 min from where I was born. I’m so excited to have a chance get to know some of my family better, and I’m so heartbroken to be leaving behind so many loved ones here.

What if I forget to pack something in my suitcase that I’ll need before my moving truck arrives? What if a box of emotionally important things gets lost? What if my box of school books for this semester gets lost?

I’m actually pretty sure there won’t be any dramatic events. Galahad and I will get on the plane and he’ll be confused and frightened, but soon enough we’ll be in our hotel room on the other side. And soon after that I’ll be moved into the new house I rented and we’ll both get settled in. And in January, Mr. Marsh will join us and we’ll have a late Christmas again this Winter.

And I’m sure someday I’ll get used to going into the coat closet to get my mail, but for a while I’ll think it’s really funny every time I do.


Changing the way we get taught

05 Apr

i guess because i’m in school again i’ve been thinking a lot about how lessons are taught, and seeing first hand how well prepared (or not) students are in science when they come to college. this article caught my eye this morning. i’ve only had a very few teachers who couldn’t answer questions on the spot, so i think the teachers might actually end up liking a set up like this better. i suppose they’d want/need to record their own lectures to be sure the students are being taught the subject matter they expect, including any little tips and tricks the professor knows (like those little rhymes that help you remember how to spell).

i need to brush up on my long division before taking one of those standardized tests as part of the nursing school application process, so i think i may just see if the khan academy has anything for me.

Khan Academy aims to reinvent education through video (w/ video)

( — The problems with basic education, both in the US and other countries, are complex, but one website may have the ability to improve education on a global scale. The Khan Academy, whose mission is to “provide a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere,” currently has 2,200 video tutorials on subjects ranging from math to science to history. Not only could the free educational videos help individual students learn better, but the concept could also reform schools by redefining the teacher’s role and laying the foundations for a global classroom.


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venting! ~by my overdeveloped sense of justice

11 Feb

recently i’ve been trying to get my transcripts from my high school. now i graduated high school in a school district that was growing fast. when i graduated we had two high schools, each of which graduated about a thousand kids a year. yes, a thousand each. 1,000. now they have three large high schools, due to the fact that several large multi-national companies built in the area.

so, you’d think the transcript request process would be streamlined, right? wrong.

first, there is no indication on the website of either the high school i attended or the school district about how to go about requesting a transcript. i looked several times and couldn’t find it. finally we called a woman i used to babysit for who still (now?) works at one of the high schools. (i just remember her playing tennis and going on dates with her husband, i have no idea what her day job was when i was 16.) it took her a few weeks to find the answer. that’s an indication of poor information dissemination right there!

so i emailed the address she gave me. no answer. i called the phone number. no answer and no answering machine. (in this day and age!?) i emailed again. no answer. i faxed the phone number on the front page of the school district’s website with my info, the address of where i needed the transcripts sent, a copy of my id, and a letter explaining how i had run out of other options to contact them.

finally one of my email was returned. the woman had been out sick and i guess they don’t have a back up for these sorts of requests. i was babysitting a sick 18month old and couldn’t get to a computer to print out the form she sent to me — which she told me is not published on the web anywhere. so i told her i’d filled out what looked like an old form for another high school in the same district and faxed it to the number on the front page of the school district’s website, and she repeatedly told me she had absolutely no idea where i could have sent it. she couldn’t do anything until i told her where the fax was or filled out and faxed the new form. how would i know where that fax number went to? and i guess she couldn’t look it up, either. maybe they aren’t allowed internet access?

finally, i called mr. marsh to have him resend the fax to a new number she provided, hoping i’d covered all the bases and she wouldn’t make me fill out the new form, too. she sent me an email saying they got the fax from (mr. marsh’s store) they didn’t know where the fax had come from. the actual name of mr. marsh’s store was written in the email in parenthesis! well, that’s where it came from. and that she could send the transcript to one school but couldn’t send to the others until she had all the addresses, but all the addresses for all the schools were on the same page! if she had one she had them all. i was getting really frustrated at this point.

finally, she said the original fax was sent over to her by the communications department. things perked up at this point. i’m not sure if that’s because her manager saw the fax and the letter about how much trouble i was having, or if suddenly she decided i wasn’t lying about having sent the fax to begin with. whatever, i got my transcripts… or so i thought. that was the 31st.

on the 10th. i got a call from her when my ringer was off. i didn’t get the message until later when i wasn’t able to call back,and she didn’t say why she was calling. and then i got an email from her saying that she’d left me a voice mail and that i hadn’t called back by 3:30pm on feb 10th. she just wanted me to confirm that the universities had gotten my transcripts. well… i hadn’t heard that they didn’t, but now i was nervous. why wouldn’t they have gotten them? and why would she call me? i don’t work in those offices.

so i wrote back and told her i don’t live in her time zone so i’m not always able to call back on her schedule and reminded her that universities usually only call if they don’t get something and asked if there was a reason why they wouldn’t have.

she wrote back to me: “Good Morning [sparkle], since I don’t know where you are located or what state.”

that’s it. that’s the whole first sentence.

the second sentence said, “The reason is we were aware of a recent fire where some of our mail that was to go out was destroyed.”

so i asked when the fire was, “The fire happened on Monday night, Feb. 7th thru Tuesday, Feb. 8th.” wow! that’s a LONG fire!  she told me she sent them on the 31st and they didn’t have mail delivery for four days because of the ice. i still don’t know where the fire was. i looked in the local to them paper and didn’t see anything about a fire on that night in that town.

she also said this was a courtesy email and she did not call universities, because i’d told her i was not able to look up the numbers of the universities because i was (again) not at a computer and could she check with the universities based on when she sent them and when the fire was.

well. O.K.

so i asked her to send one of them again after getting home and looking up the numbers and calling the universities.

i understand she doesn’t like her job, and i understand she clearly has no respect for me, but she’s still a representative of the school district and she sends out the transcripts. you’d think she’d be sure to write coherently and in full sentences.

also, if i owned the office and a fire burned some of our outgoing mail, i’d tell everyone to send it all again just in case.


reminded by spam

25 Jan

i got an amazing bit of spam this morning. it was from some woman telling me how she read my profile and really wants to meet me so could i email her and she’ll send me a picture.

obviously completely untrue, but the great thing was the comment was on my GIST page, which i had forgotten i even had.

hoorah! it’s pretty much just what i needed right now. my winter has been a little rough what with my cat getting sick and feeling crushed by all these applications and exams and online classes that have to be finished ASAP or my life will be RUINED, RUINED i tell you!

instead of just trying to remember every few weeks that i should focus on the good things, i’ll try to remember to write them here, too. (see that, no real commitment.)


1. the cheese, mr. marsh’s cat. i was over last night reading textbooks while mr. marsh cleaned his desk. the cheese is pretty much afraid of everything, but he likes me. he curled up right next to me when i laid down on the bed.

2. galahad seems to be doing better. he’s pretty obviously an old cat now, but he does seem to be doing better than he was a couple weeks ago.

3. oatmeal with blackberries. apparently, adding blackberries to one’s oatmeal turns it red… and yummy!

4. sunshine. really it’s nice to feel not freezing when i’m outside.

5. clink! my friends’ little girl learned how to clink glasses at thanksgiving and now loves to clink her sippy cup if you have a glass, too. so. cute.

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Posted in gist, school