Class

Feb. 10th, 2009 03:23 pm
jmfargo: (Default)
My first class of Intermediate Arabic is done, and my homework is almost complete. I have to find the DVD that goes with my book to do the last bit, so I've set up a reminder for myself to search for it this evening. Or now. Now is good.

Sometimes I put off something I should do right away because it's easier to think that I'll do it later. I had to stop myself mid-writing this in order to make sure I spent at least some effort looking for this very important DVD. Unfortunately, as it stands after some very serious looking, I am down one very important DVD. I will ask Maria when she gets home if she knows its location. I hope so; this thing is what I'll be using for my homework for the next month or so.

Okay, anyway. Class. Class was good. I'm surprised at how much I've forgotten over the course of the Winter, and at the same time amazed at how much I remembered. I was able to carry on (very) basic conversation, remembered conjugation of verbs, and spelling for a drill we did where everyone wrote out some things about themselves to share with the class.

You know what? It's really going to bother me if I don't go find this DVD. I'm going to go hunt it down.

GAH.

Can't find it. Going to have to wait for Maria now.

I was trying to make a point about how good a day I was having, but this is really bugging me. I've decided to stop putting everything off, change my life towards being a better person, and what happens? The first task drives me over the edge. Or at least a step closer to it.

EDIT:

Moments after asking Maria if she knew where the DVD might be hiding she suggested I look in a case I hadn't thought of. That's where it was. Thankfully. I love my wife.

Life Is Fun

Feb. 9th, 2009 10:33 am
jmfargo: (Default)
So I just finished my Linguistics Winter class on Friday. Winter classes are fun because you go to class longer each day, but for a shorter amount of time overall. The teacher has to cram a bunch of knowledge into your brain (or tell you to do it yourself) and generally everyone's a bit more frazzled.

Today would be the first day of Arabic 106 (Intermediate Arabic), except that any classes before 4pm are not in session. I have no idea why they do that on the first day of class, but I like it. I feel bad for the students whose classes are after 4, but I'm not one of them, so I'm not that worried.

Meanwhile, work has picked up again to where I'm earning decent money. A few contractors got let go, so there's more work to go around. I think the manager wanted to make sure she kept the good contractors, and in order to do that had to make sure to have some work in queue for us. I'll say this: It's nice to have put in a full days work before 11 AM. I don't think I could do that with any other job unless I started working before 9.

Social life has gotten busier too. With the addition of meetup.com to my life I've started finding some really cool things to do around here. The game night last night was a potluck dinner with lots of people at a really cool location. The next thing I want to do is go with the Adventure Group to one of their outings; they cost a lot of money, but they're usually something cool like learning how to ride a Harley, or how to make sushi. Diverse, and cool. Then there's the musician group, and the roleplaying group, and then, and then, and then.....

Things are good.

Now that I'm done with work, it's time to start cleaning the house.

My day just went from "AWESOME" to "Man, that sucks."

Not really. I'm in a great mood! Today rocks!
jmfargo: (Default)
Right now we pay something like $300 a year for the right to park in the college's semi-premium parking spots. These parking lots are apparently so good that many of the spots are metered. If you have a parking pass, and the only spot left is a metered spot, you still have to pay a quarter for every 15 minutes you'll be using that spot.

Most times the only spots open are the metered spots. Even those might be full.

Or I can go 15 feet to the side of the road and park at a city meter, which costs me a quarter for 20 minutes. Think about this for a moment.

I pay $300 a year to park in lots that are almost always full. I could pay $1 to park in the lot if I want a metered spot, so that's $1 per hour on top of the $300. If my class lasts an hour and I have 30 classes in a semester then I'm paying $420 a year (4 semesters) for parking.

Or I could just park at a city metered spot that costs me $0.75 an hour for every class and pay $90 a year for parking.

Granted I do find a non-metered spot about once a week, but I still think I'm getting screwed here.

Remind me not to re-up the parking pass. Thanks.
jmfargo: (Default)
We have to get to Dubai somehow.

Winter semester started Monday, and I'm again enrolled in a class. In hopes of complementing my Arabic classes I settled on Linguistics 101, a look at the science of languages.

It's absolutely fascinating. I've never been engrossed in a science before, but this is one I can really sink my teeth into. Part hard science and part philosophical, it's different from any other class I've ever taken.

(He said knowingly, on his third day of class.)

My wife and I have been talking about our three year plan. One of the biggest things is that we're not sure we want to be here. Here, in this case, being the United States.

I don't have anything against the US; I just like change.

Combine this move with my recent Arabic instruction, and you might begin to see what we're thinking.

Are we nuts? I don't know. Maybe. Is this kind of move impossible? Not at all. Can we do it?

Time will tell.

What do you think? Crazy? Awesome? Weird? A strange orgy of all three? I'd love to hear it.
jmfargo: (Default)
Learning Arabic,
Confusion sets in at last.
I'm completely lost.
jmfargo: (Default)
Today I'm taking Arabic. I'll be taking it for 12 more weeks. I'll learn to speak what bits of the language I can, and I will try to retain the knowledge until Spring semester, when UD offers the next step up. I could jump to class 3 for Arabic, except that it's being held in Tunisia.

So in the Winter, I have a chance to take some class that has nothing to do with The Big Plan. I'm thinking that since I've had this great idea for a webcomic in mind for a while, I should take something like Drawing 101. To me, that sounds enjoyable, even though I suck at art.

If you could take any kind of class, just for fun, and absolutely free as long as you got a B- or better, what class would you take?
jmfargo: (Default)
While I was in High School, I often got my teachers angry. I didn't do it to be a wise-ass, and I actually didn't do it purposely at all. It was just the simple fact that I refused to do my homework, which hurt my grades, which upset most of them because they "know [I] have so much potential."

In my Sophomore year at VVS High School, our French teacher said something that I took as a challenge, even though she never meant it that way: "You can pass this class without doing any homework, but you'd need to get 100% on every single test, and even then you'll only pass with a grade of 65."

I passed French that year with a 65 and never did any homework.

The simple fact of the matter was that, in High School, all homework did for me was create busy-work. It was pointless for me to do, because I had already grasped the concepts in class, and the homework did not reinforce anything for me except that school was boring; that it interfered with what little social life I had.

I still feel I was right.

However, now I'm in college, taking a class that has very few similarities to my own, and isn't based in any background with which I'm familiar. Even the alphabet differs from anything I've ever done. It's read backwards, for heaven's sake!

I'm doing my homework, every night. I recognize the fact that, in order to pass this class I need to read the book, do the exercises, hand in the worksheets, and push myself. Homework must be done, because without it there is no way I'll ever catch on, especially since homework doesn't go over what we've done in class, it actually introduces what we're going to learn the next day. Then, after we've read the homework, done the worksheets, Professors Khalil and Ikram Masmoudi go over the concepts that we've already learned.

I'm absolutely adoring the way the class is going, and think that this teaching style is magnificent. I think I will do well in class. I'll do the homework, I'll learn in class, and I'll use my own time to practice the language. I haven't felt this energized about learning something since grade school.

It's new, exciting, and interesting. I'm even enjoying the homework.

My High School self would probably shoot me right now.

College

May. 22nd, 2008 08:27 am
jmfargo: (Default)
Currently, I'm sitting pretty with a 93% in my college class. While I have no idea what that equates to with the numbering system out of 4.0, I'm going to assume it's good, since a 93% is good.

The final is next week, and while I'm a little nervous, it's nice to know going into it that even if I somehow only get half the questions right on the 120 question final, I'll have a passing grade; a grade that means I don't have to pay for the class since Maria's an employee.

So here's what I'm thinking: I take the final, and get a good grade, passing the class with high marks. Should be easy enough since on Wednesday the professor walked us through the test, question-by-question. No, seriously, he was telling us what we should study, while looking through the test so that he knew he was telling us the right stuff to study. Pretty cool, huh? Only thing is, he told most people the class was optional, so they didn't show up. There were about 30 students out of a class of 95. Whoo.

Now, Maria and I have been talking about my college career, and her own. She's going to be getting her MBA from U.Del, and so will be using up those free classes. There will be a few for me, here and there, but mostly the classes are hers if she wants them.

What I'm going to do, I figure, is take classes that sound like they could actually teach me something I want to learn. I'm not worried about a degree, but I realized during this Nutrition class that I crave learning, and a good teacher can make that awesome. A bad teacher can at least, hopefully, point me in the right direction for learning.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a recipe for chicken wings, and pizza. You can't get good chicken wings and pizza here in Delaware (have I mentioned this?), so, Maria agrees that a pizza and wing shop with good pizza could do really well. Just consider how the bad places are doing, take into account that this is a college town, that some of the people who come here actually know what good pizza and wings taste like, and the business plan almost writes itself.

I figure when I go in to try and get funding, I'll be bringing along some pizza and wings. The taste will sell my idea, and then I just have to sell myself as a competent restaurant guy.

Remember what I said about being an idea guy? Yeah. Time to turn it into a "getting it done" guy.
jmfargo: (Default)
Last day of class until the final on the 28th!

Whoo!
jmfargo: (Default)
I'd normally think that a test getting over so quickly (the one I just wrote about for the dogs) would be a bad thing, a thing that meant failure. However, this time, the dogs surprised me, and passed with flying colors! I rewarded them with a carrot when we got home, and now they're wondering where their new friends went.

My wife and I got to watch them on a little black and white monitor. The funny thing was that when MaiTai was on a lead, she was very nervous, didn't want to walk around or meet anyone, and went into shut-down mode, curling into a little ball. For some reason, this prompted Kelli, the lady who was walking her, to take MaiTai off the lead and let her socialize that way. I thought it was a weird reaction, but apparently she knows more about dogs than I do because MaiTai immediately sprang to action, and made friends!

It was great to see my dogs getting along with other dogs.

Speaking of tests getting over quickly, I'm almost done with my class at the college. My final is on the 23rd, but the last class is next Friday. I had a test on Monday, which I'm pretty sure I did fine on. Without the curve I'm guessing I got about an 88%, and with the normal curve (assuming it stays at the average) that'll bring it to over a 90%. I was the first one done, and feel pretty confident. While I wish I could say I was confident I'd have the highest grade in class, there were a few questions that were unexpected.

It looks like I'll be passing the class with about a 3.5 if things go well on the final, but I just don't know for sure. I'm excited to be done with my first ever college class, and look forward to possibly taking another one over the Summer season. Probably a math class. Bah, math, who uses that in the real world?

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