Just checking in

I miss my laptop. It’s been more than a week since it died and it hasn’t been easy, though I’m not really having that hard a time. Does that even make sense? I hope it does in spite of the obvious contradiction in the statement.

Not much has happened lately. Since I have no computer, I have no way to write. Some may wonder why I don’t try to write with a pen and paper, but it’s not my process. I could try but I know I would not get far. Besides, I can’t read my own handwriting. Sad, isn’t it?

I have a couple of books that need to be read. The first is Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. The second is by James Rollins, The Blood Gospel. I’ve started on  Quiet, I just haven’t gotten too far. I need to sit and read.

What I have been doing during my writing break is work on my truck. I hope to start putting it back together on Friday, my next day off. So much to do, and so little money, but it’s coming together. I’m thinking that once I’m done, I’ll start looking for a job.

I know I’ve said this before, but being without a vehicle of my own limits my freedoms to such a degree that I’ve been limited to this small area. I hope to be able to become a little more aggressive once my truck is complete. Then will come my own place to live, and later a new car.

But one step at a time. Seriously though, I need to get a computer soon. I’m borrowing my father’s tablet, and though it comes with a snap on keyboard, I hate it, not least because it isn’t mine. Also, I keep making typing mistakes that I would not do on a real keyboard. It’s better than nothing, so I need to breath and get on with it.

I know I haven’t said anything profound, but I just want to check in. I’m still alive and planning world domina…er…finishing one of my books. As soon as I can get a new laptop, I’ll be back and better than ever.

Reading, writing, and I hate my job…

This is the first time since last May that I haven’t posted a book review. It’s a little weird. I had considered reviewing the Divergent series just for the hell of it, but time got away from me. I’m not committing myself one way or the other for now. I do need to get myself a book to read.

Actually, I don’t. I’ve focused so much of my energies to reading and reviewing, that my own writing has suffered. I need to get back on track and do some real writing. As you know, I pulled out a piece I started working on back in 2012, and I think I’m going to finish it. Then I’ll let a few people read it before deciding what to do with it.

But first, I have a book I’m beta-reading for a friend. Allan Krummenacker is working on his second book, The Ship. It’s a simple read and comment job, meaning I’m stressing out about it. I have a three-day weekend starting Friday, so I’m planning on taking some time out to actually read and take some constructively useful notes to pass along. I want this one to be better than his first!

Between you and me, I’m in an odd rut. I’ve ended my twice monthly reviews. I’ve stopped posting on a regular basis, and I’m not writing a diligently as I should. I have come to realize that my job will likely take me no where, that despite all the hard work I put into trying to move into full-time, the reality is that hard work is not rewarded at The Home Depot, cronyism is. That kind of bums me out.

So, my out is to write. Retail is a horrid environment, that offers only part-time work, and routinely cuts hours, further pushing me into poverty. I never had this problem when I worked at Wal-Mart. They gave me a chance and I moved up into management there, though I wouldn’t go back no matter what they paid me.

I’m going to work on my writing and hope this pulls me out of my funk. I can’t rely on employers to do it. They only feed the maw of poverty and the welfare state. I want out of the rut, and I deserve it, or at least I think I do.

Just some thoughts for me to consider while I drive to work this afternoon. Hope your Tuesday has treated you kindly.

To teach or not to teach…

It’s so easy for time to slip through your fingers, especially when you have a decision you are grappling with. In my case, I’m trying to make more life-changing decisions and it’s not easy to make, mostly due to the time and financial requirements necessary to realize this decision.

I have begun considering joining an alternative certification program in order to earn a teaching certificate. There’s quite a few requirements that need to be met, ones that I need to spend time and money to achieve, but in the end will give me the ability to teach in the state of Texas and will get me halfway to a Masters of Arts in Teaching.

One thing that I must accomplish is pass the certification exam for the discipline I want to teach. I’ve given this some thought and I’m leaning towards English, though I wouldn’t mind becoming certified in History or Political Science.

Regardless, it’s still a monumental decision that I’ve yet to settle on completely. The thought of having to stand in front of a class scares me, and talking to people terrifies me, so what the hell am I thinking? All I know is that I hate what I’m doing and I would like to do something in which I can make a positive difference.

I’m looking into a career field that is neither lucrative nor much appreciated, but influences the minds of our youth. I have to make my mind up rather quickly so I can start making whatever preparations are necessary to begin this journey. I’m terrified, but not more so than staying where I am.

When I make up my mind, I’ll let you know, but for now, if you are so inclined to prayer, I ask that you do so. If you’re not, then I’ll accept positive thoughts, it’s the same to me.

End of term crunch time

Birthday cake

Birthday cake (Photo credit: 3liz4)

It’s been a busy week here at Team Joe HQ, and there’s no sign of it slowing down in the next few weeks. Yes, it’s crunch time and I’m just trying to survive these last few weeks as the Spring semester comes to its end. Alleluia and amen!

This past Tuesday I attended my last Geology class of the term. The next class time has been set aside to allow for any make up tests that need to be taken, as well as to give some of us to retake a test we may have done poorly on. I aced mine so I’m good. I just have to return the following week for my final exam.

I celebrated my birthday on Wednesday and I celebrated in style, by attending class until almost nine that night. Nothing says birthday party like sitting in a class room with a bunch of young twenty-somethings. At least I sat with an amusing young woman. And the instructor’s fair to look at. I only wish I could understand what she’s saying, but I guess that’s my fault. I should learn to listen.

Thursday, I had a project due for psychology. I knew about it all semester so naturally I waited until the night before to start it. Five pages later, nearing four in the morning, I completed my project and submitted it via a drop box on the class’s webpage. I ended up not going to class since I was dead to the world until ten.

Going forward, I still have to finalize my portfolio of four essays for my Creative Writing – Nonfiction class. The portfolio is due at the end of the term. I have a few assignments yet to do for my grammar and I have to study for all my finals, but it’s almost over. And I’m glad. I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall, academically speaking. I’m exhausted.

I’m not complaining. I’m happy that I’m finishing my degree, I just forgot the amount of energy it requires to go to class and do homework. It’s not easy, but most things of worth demand sacrifices and this one is well worth the effort.

If I have time, I plan to post my monthly book review that I’m starting. My plan is to write one book review, usually a self-published author, as the first post of the month. So May’s review should be up on May 1st.

Now I think I’m going to soak in the tub for a bit. I stocked about 6 pallets of paint, with some assistance, in two hours and my body is protesting. The great part of this job is that it is a bit mind-numbing, no thinking required. The bad, my body aches, but I’m not planning on making a career of it. This is only something to do until the end of school, which if all goes according to plan, will be the first week of July, and I’ll graduate in August, nineteen years after I started.

But at least I will have come back and completed my studies. I only hope that it will be worth it.

In the here and now, and the future

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Old Main WTAMU (Photo credit: kitty_498)

I sitting on the EPML (English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages) floor lobby, pretending to study for my Grammar class. I say pretending because although I have my book open, and I did start trying to do my vocabulary words for our current chapter, I’ve abandoned the project to start blogging instead.

There’s only three more weeks of class plus a final week aptly named finals week. That’s it for this semester, only four weeks. After a three-week hiatus, the first summer session starts which lasts only about six weeks or so. If my math is right, and it is possible that I’m wrong, I have thirteen weeks and I’ll be done with this condensed chapter of my crazy life.

Which got me thinking earlier this morning. I was in a depressed state for over a year. I had some good days, but I think it’s safe to say that my bad days outnumbered the good days by a wide margin. It took almost a month of being back in school to snap me out of my funk. When I’m actually done with school, and when I have my sheepskin, will I go back to being depressed? Or will this change in mood continue?

It’s hard to say since there were many things contributing to my depression. I’ve finally gotten over them but I can’t help but wonder if it’s only a temporary reprieve. What if I’m still unable to find a real job post-graduation? Making flippant comments on my social network sites will not pay the bills. Yet.

I guess I should take my friend’s advice and take things one day at a time and stop stressing about it. All I can do is to update my resume and start putting myself on the job market again. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to find something the suits me, one that takes advantage of not only my intelligence, but also my aptitude. Money is not my number one concern, but yes I would like to make a livable salary.

My ultimate goal is to write so I know I’m probably condemning myself to a life of near poverty, but I guess I’m okay with that. I’ve done enough to know that I’d rather be happy than rich, loved rather than wealthy, content rather than famous. Now if I can be happy, loved, content, and rich? Why not?

As I look out the third story window of the classroom center of WTAMU, and as I see my fellow students as they go back and forth between classes, I wonder what they are thinking. How many are wondering, as I am, about their futures? How many of them are staring their own impeding graduation and are wondering where they are going to go? Are any of them already set?

It’s not my problem, I know, but it’s nice to think that I may not be alone in worrying about my future. It’s coming up a lot faster than I could have ever imagined. I’m not sure if I’m ready for this.