Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A bit of joy...

I have been wanting to get on here and add something new and exciting, but there really has been nothing new and noteworthy to report.  Until now.  I was just chatting with a friend who asked me how I did on my final exams.  I knew about 2 of them and happily reported that I earned A+'s.  Out of curiosity I checked to see if my final project had been graded yet.  It has, and I have also earned an A for that class.  This class being the class I dread, that I have mentioned in previous posts.  I did work very hard on that project and am rather pleased with the grade I have received.

I have one more final to go.  It is on Friday morning at 9am.  This is the class in which I complained about the test with the ambiguous questions that were not discussed and not in the book.  I am feeling pretty confident as this week has been rather productive as far as studying goes.

In a week full of ups and downs, today makes it all worthwhile.  Learning that I did so well on my project finally gives my mind some peace and has allowed me to exhale.  I have been nearly purple from holding my breath so long.  It is good to breathe a sigh of relief.

As each day ends, I draw nearer and nearer to the close of this chapter in my life.  I have so many people I need to thank for their instrumental roles in this theater called life. Though, I certainly will not list them all by name as this would turn in to something like "I wish to thank the Academy..." sort of speech.  And frankly, I just ain't going there!  Those people, however, I do hope they know who they are.  I thank you, all of you, for helping me to become who I am today.

These past two years have been years of great growth and maturity.  I have learned much in this time and relish the opportunity to sing all of your praises.  I could not have done it without you.  For a while there, I really felt my sanity was wavering, but I was brought back to earth through the kindness of friends and family.

Two more years to go and maybe more.  Who knows, but thats just the way I see it...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mixed Emotions...

Maybe it's the rain.  Or is it more rejection added to the top of an already heaping plate?  It could be the emotions of moving on.  Moving on to a new stage in life; another fork in the road.  Leaving behind new friends, who's impact on me has yet to be fully felt.  Loss of security and heading off to somewhere old but new at the same time.  Trepidation fills my heart as I look forward to this new life and the old one left behind.  Or is it the same old life with a new spin?

Part of me is eager for change.  Another is screaming for things to stay the same.  I really really dislike change; my loathsome friend.  Sadly we live and change occurs all around us.  Something we just can't control, but beg, plead, kick and scream to resist.

These mixed emotions I feel today are so indescribable.  It almost feels like a hole is being torn in my soul(that might be a bit extreme). I would not say that I am depressed.  Just unusually sad.  I slept quite poorly last night.  Could that be a contributing factor?  I don't recall feeling this way last night.  I do wish some ray of light would appear to break this haze that has fallen over me.

As I take these steps into the future, maybe I, like everyone else has some fear of it.  I should not, though I guess I probably do.  It is not the fear of the future that plagues many regarding the age old question, where will I go when I die?  It has more to do with the uncertainty of tomorrow and the hollowness that it can sometimes bring.

What is most odd, I had many laughs today.   My day at school was fairly unremarkable, not unlike any other.  Small graduation/going away lunch for the graduates of the department I work for went well.  In light of the previous weeks events, I felt appreciated for all my efforts.  I will miss seeing my new friends and being a part of their everyday lives.  This almost feels like moving away from family.  I am happy yet sad, confident yet unsure.

It's just a very bizarre day.  One that I thought would improve with a little writing therapy.  I figured that sharing this would lighten my heart, and yet I feel surprisingly the same.  Blah!  I can hear a  friend say to me now, "stop being so damn emo!".  It's an inside joke we share.  Maybe one day I fill y'all in on it. You know, that actually made me smile.  Thanks Adam.  Whether you know it or not you just made my day.

This crazy life of mine; filled with rejection, sorrow, happiness... whatever.  Wow! I am getting far to poetic and dull.  It is time to stop this nonsense and get my head out of my backside.  The way I see it, I need to just get on with it.  If you have ever had a day like mine, think of a sarcastic funny moment.  It'll turn you around.  At least it just did for me.  How does it feel to witness a transformation right before your eyes?  Really, let me know.  Because this is pretty cool.

I officially feel better, and that's how it is!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Going Beyond? Well not exactly...

The "Branding" moniker for The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is, "Beyond".  As in going Beyond to exceed all your expectations in a university.  Well, in my case the ball seems to have been dropped.  I have visited every office I can in attempts to get the recognition I deserve for my QPA and it all my efforts have been met with and successfully blocked by the "Almighty Policy".

As I mentioned before policy states that a graduate must have at least 60 credits and a QPA of 3.75 or better to receive the distinction of Suma Cum-Laude at graduation and on their diploma.  I have a QPA of 3.98 and 54 credits.  I transferred in 11 credits from another college to apply to my current degree, giving me a grand total of 65 credits (only 54 earned at Pitt).

I realize that this degree is an Associates and other degrees are to follow.  I will/should be able to keep up this pace for my Bachelors and I then can put this issue behind me.  I just really feel that this policy is a bit ridiculous and should be waived in this case.  Others at the University feel the same as I do.  I also realize that there is a prestige with a University of Pittsburgh degree and with it comes their policies that supposedly make their degree so coveted.

In meeting with President Alexander today, I was met with the same response as before.  "We're sorry, but we do have to adhere to the policy."  One doesn't become a straight A student over night; I have been working at this fervently for 4 semesters.  One would also think that those in the know would inform someone of the requirements to avoid this tragic situation.  I never once heard of this policy the entire time I have been there.  If I had known, I would have gladly taken the two extra classes I needed to insure I get the credit I deserve.

As this is a University wide policy, I have contacted the Main Campus and am awaiting their response.  At this point I feel lied to and am very disappointed.  The branding moniker of Go Beyond has failed me in my time of need.  Thats just the way I see it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not Quite Enough...

This week has had many ups and downs.  For instance, I have done very well on my two tests this week, achieving A's on each one.  On the other hand I have found out that the job I was counting on for the summer has disappeared.  The door is open for work during the semester, but at this point I am not interested.  The worst news came at about 4pm today, when I received a call from the Dean of Students.  He informed me that because I transferred 11 credits into Pitt and have earned "only" 54 while there for my two year stint, I (even though I have a killer QPA of 3.982) will not be honored at graduation nor on my diploma with Suma Cum-Laude Distinction.  Due to University policy I would have to have earned 60 credits in order to receive this distinction.

Mind you, I have busted my butt to earn these grades, and have been told for a year that I would graduate with Most High Honors.  What an extreme disappointment to find out that for all that hard work I receive NO formal recognition.  I have worked at the University for 2 years, 20 hours per week during the school year and 40 hours per week over the summer.  I have really worked hard and deserve this recognition.

I have met with the Registrar and was told he could do nothing because it is University policy.  I have met with the Vice President/Dean of Academic Affairs, and he of course reiterated what I was told at the Registrar.  Tomorrow I meet with the President of the University.  I do not know what to expect there, but I pray I will get a different response.  I hope I can convince them to waive this policy and allow me the honor to receive the recognition I am due.  If I get no joy from the President, I am left with my final option in the chain of command.  I will then meet with the Chancellor of the University and see if he will have compassion for this non-traditional student.

I feel it important to mention that all of the individuals I have spoken to have been very empathetic to this situation, and while they feel bad, their hands are tied by policy they have no ability to undo.  The assured me that if this was something that was within their power they would help me the best they could.  Once again, if the right people ruled the world...  Nonetheless, I am most appreciative of their compassion for me in this time.  They are well aware of my work and my grades, as I have interacted with them not only as a student but on a professional level as well.  I just believe there has to be a way for me to get the credit I am due.

I realize it is just a piece of paper and words printed on it.  What matters most is the experience I have had and the grades should speak for themselves.  The problem I have is I bought all this regalia to showcase my smarts, i.e. honor cords and stoles.  Without them announcing my distinction as Suma Cum-Laude will have me looking a bit foolish with all my garb on.  So the question is, do I wear it?

For now I close.  Tomorrow is a new day with new challenges.  The way I see it, they should waive this policy.  I will have to let you know later, how it is.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nearing the end...

The Spring Semester is drawing to a close and I am very ready for a break.  Internships for some reason have become rather scarce.  Some say it is due to the downturn in the economy.  I just can't see that being the only good explanation.  Simply because the stock market tells me so.  The Dow has closed over 11,000 for a week now.  Some one is making money somewhere...where is the question.

If I had hair to loose it would all be gone.  As I work to complete my final project for the class I dread, piles of mythical hair clump in gobs beside my chair.  It's not that it's so hard or complicated that have a problem with.  It's the fact that it is monotonous and tedious work.  One typo or mismatch in words and the whole thing can be thrown off.  Then you sit and search and stare at code for hours trying to find the error.

I have two final exams this week.  Well, not really final exams, because technically we are not supposed to have final exams early.  So they are "tests".  However, there is the belief among some professors that we should not have any tests or exams the week before finals.  This is so we (diligent students) can be spending the time reviewing, prepping and studying up for the big ones the following week.

Alas, things never go they way they should.   I guess they all have their way of seeing things too, and of course how it really is.  Nevertheless, the test that I spoke of last time, well, I didn't exactly bomb it but 75 out of 100 is not good at all for me.  I expect way better for myself.  Not humbling at all mind you.  In fact it just stood to really tick me off.  It may have motivated me to ace the final though.  I went and spoke to the professor and he was staunchly against my claims that the questions were very ambiguous.  I spoke to the majority of the class and they all felt the exact same way I did.  It did no good and we are all stuck with our lousy grades.

The way I see it, is he should have given points back for the garbage questions he posed.  Sadly he felt that he was justified in giving a crappy test for 4 semesters running.  Unfortunately, thats just how it is.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Truly exhausted...

So much has gone on since my last post, I don't even know where to begin.  I figure I won't go too far into the past, as I am so tired today I don't think I can muster the energy to think any farther back than 24 hours or so.

As I have stated before I work part time and attend college full time.  So my life is rather hectic much of the time.  As of 8:20 this evening I feel as I have just been freed from the snare of absolute boredom.  The lecture I just sat through for 2.5 hours was truly monotonous.  I really, really like my professor.  He is a great friend to me, but this lecture was so long and dry.  I know I did not retain an ounce of it.

I was up last night studying for a Sociology exam I most likely bombed today.  Now my wife of course would tell me that I always say that and I always wind up doing very well.  You don't get to be a straight A  student by bombing tests.  With that in mind, I really have never done poorly on an exam.  I feel like I guessed a lot on this one though.  Many of the questions were not in the textbook and I know they were never lectured on.  Moreover, another part of the test posed questions with the most ambiguous answers I have ever seen.  Have you every had questions where more than one answer is correct, but one is more correct than the other? They are horrible and you just never know till the test is returned how you did.  I went and visited the professor and made my case.  He seems to believe that all but one question was covered in the book.  I meet with him on Thursday to discuss the matter further.  I really hope it I don't need to, but if I do that means I didn't do well and need to beg for extra credit.

On a much lighter note.  I am applying for a scholarship through the National Honor Society in which I am a member.  My advisor/professor/director/boss (yes he really fills all those roles in my situation) wrote me a gleaming letter of recommendation.  One would think after reading this letter that sun shines out my backside.  I was blown away by it's content.  To know that someone thinks so much of you as to write such a letter is very humbling.  Thank you, Don!

All in all the day was not too awful.  Some good, some bad, but over all I made it through one more.  One more day closer to the end of the semester and the completion of my Associates Degree in Information Systems.  I will try and update on the situation with the exam in case I did better than I thought.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Odd feelings and very odd weather...

I find that I'm dreading a certain class I take.  However, once the class is over I tend to be ok and I am able to press on and head home.  What happens next is truly puzzling.  As I get in the car to head home I get very tired and feel almost depressed.  Funny thing is, I am not a depressed person.  Tired, I can definitely relate to that.  It seems as of lately I can never get enough sleep.  I spend 20 hours of my week working for the University I attend, approximately 12 hours driving two and fro, 10 hours in class, and the rest of the time is designated to homework, studying, and special projects.  Oh yeah, and maybe 6 hours a night of sleep.

I have such a major case of senior-itis and I still have two more years till my Bachelors is complete and an additional year and half to two years more to get my Masters.  The good thing, is that next semester I will only have to concentrate on my studies.  Unless of course something wonderful comes along.

I am currently struggling to find a paid internship for the summer.  Most of the large companies have a freeze on hiring due to the economy.  Or at least that is what they blame it on.  The stock market tells me different.  I am an avid stock watcher and pay attention to the trends.  The country seems to be on an upswing, but is that just a false positive?

I suppose I should be doing something school related right now, but I need a little therapy.  Thankfully the weekend has arrived.  At least I don't have to work.  I do however, have to work on my big final project for the class I dread.  Not that I suspect I will get anything less than an A, it's just a lot of work for not a lot of gain.

My wife comes to see me this weekend and we are going to an Alpaca farm for an educational visit.  One day I would like to get my wife a couple of Alpaca so she can just love them and spin their fleece till her hearts content.  I get the technology gadgets to satisfy my geekness and she gets animals and paraphernalia for her "crafting".  It's a good trade off as most of her goodies are rather expensive too.

What weird weather we are experiencing here in the North-East.  It has been unseasonably warm for several days.  A cold front has moved in and now the weather people are calling for slushy snow tomorrow.  80's one day and below freezing the next.  And what's up with all the earthquakes lately?  Should we all be preparing for something bigger than this world?  Natural disasters, weather disturbances, death, destruction, and chaos; we just may see Jesus riding in on the clouds one of these days.

If you are not a believer and have questions I am available answer all I can.  What I cannot answer immediately, I will find out and get back to you.  Life is precious, but eternity is a very long time to be confused about the truth.  A wise man once asked me this question:  Is it better to believe in God and be saved and find out when you die there is no heaven, or not believe in God, not seek Him, and not be saved and find out that there is?  Heaven or hell is our choice.  We have been given the testimonies and the Truth.  We have to be the ones to come to Him.  Remember, He loved us first.

Well, I have successfully rambled on from one topic to the next and should have by now confused myself.  I hope that I have not confused anyone in the process, it's just the way I see it...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The first of many posts to come.

My first blog post.  How bout that?  I have been told for years that I needed to find a creative outlet for my thoughts, ideas, writings, and the like.  My wife, of course, has told me that I'm a very good writer and I really should be doing something with it.  She has been writing a blog for a little while now and seems to really enjoy it.  This blog is the result of much contemplation and the need to break the tiresome routine I seem to be stuck in.  I am getting tired of the daily garbage on facebook.  I went there to meet up with friends and to keep in touch.  Sadly, it has become a haven for trash talk, foul language, and immaturity.  I must say that I will gladly leave it if this becomes a truly inspiring and productive outlet for my energy.

I have no misconceptions about legions of followers and publishers banging down my door for a book deal.  I do have the belief that I will get more out of this than most reading it.  I suppose this may just turn out to be an experiment in journaling.  Which happens to be something else I was always told to try and never did.

Through this outlet I fully expect to discover many things about myself.  I hope to inspire others to delve deeper into the regions of their mind.  I suppose some of my banter and ramblings may stir emotions and elicit quality comments that will further help us to see the way I see it and how it is....