August 26, 2005

Educational Outlook

Currently, I have 86 credits. I anticipate adding another 15 at the end of the fall semester. That will give me a total of 101 credits and leave me with 19 more to complete before I can graduate.

Courses remaining:

  • Any LING class for 3 credits
  • Any LING class for 3 credits
  • ENGL 302 Advanced Composition (or I have the option to submit a portfolio) for 6 credits
  • ENGL 336 Shakespeare's Romances and Tragedies for 3 credits
  • MATH 105 Precalculus or 106 for Quantitative Reasoning for 3 credits

Together, these classes are worth a total of 18 credits. After these have been completed I will have 1 credit hour leftover.

I have gone back and forth on my decision whether or not to minor in Spanish. On the one hand, a minor in Spanish could potentially give me credibility as a fluent speaker of Spanish and thereby afford me more job opportunities. On the other hand, I may not need it and I would be able to graduate sooner without it.

If I do the minor I will need to complete an additional 9 credits. These are the classes I am considering:

  • SPAN 390 Intro to Hispanic Literature for 3 credits
  • SPAN 351 Oral Spanish for 3 credits
  • SPAN 451 Advanced Oral Spanish for 3 credits
-- CrystalShiloh @ 03:16 PM

School Schedule

During the coming semester I will be on campus only three days a week. Here is what my schedule looks like:

Tuesdays and Thursdays:

SPAN 302-001 Reading and Writing Skills Development (in Spanish) 10:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. 6 credits
ANTH 395-001 Work, Technology and Society 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. 3 credits


LING 499-001 (FRLN 573) Basic Issues in Foreign Language Pedagogy 4:00 - 5:00? 3 credits
ENGL 335-001 Shakespeare Histories & Comedies 7:20 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 3 credits

These classes combined are worth a total of 15 credits. That *is* a lot for me to take at one time, but I think I'll be able to handle it. I've had two other six credit hour Spanish classes in the past: SPAN 109 and 209. Those were a lot of work and despite that, I did very well with them. I'm sure that the anthropology class will be much more interesting to me than the alternative, IT 103. When I was a student at ERAU (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), I was required to take Intro to Computing. As far as I can tell, the class material was similar to what is being taught in IT 103, but when I came to GMU it transferred in as just an elective. I wouldn't learn anything dramatically different in IT 103 and in order for me to get motivated to learn, I have to be offered something new and challenging. LING 499 is an independent study class that I will be taking with Dr. Goldin. Last semester I took SPAN 301 Grammar and Syntax with him. Being already familiar with a professor's particular teaching style seems to help and besides, it shouldn't take away much from my other classes because most of what I will be doing for my independent study is reading. As for the Shakespeare class, I won't know what to expect until after I've met my professor.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 11:19 AM

August 25, 2005

Appointment With the Neurologist

This morning I had my annual appointment with my neurologist. I have been seeing him for the treatment of my migraines. I don't get them as often now that I am on a small, nightly dose of Pamelor. However, this summer has been unusual for me in that I have suffered two headaches for seemingly no reason at all. Usually there are triggers that set them off. The most common one for me is stress, but typically I also have to be short on sleep and have skipped a meal or two in order to induce a migraine. These were not factors as far as these two incidents were concerned. I discussed them with my doctor and he explained to me that some migraines just occur for no reason at all.

I also described something else that happened to me about two months ago. It was late at night and I had been sitting in front of the computer reading about one man's experiences (or should I say experiments with) Olestra (more popularly known as Olean). I was pretty grossed out by the end of it and I got up to get ready for bed. As I was making my way to the bathroom to gather my pills a strange feeling began to come over me. It is somewhat difficult to describe. I suppose that I was lightheaded. I started to see stars, but I was determined to keep on going. With pills in hand, I made my way out of the bathroom and collapsed in the foyer. I hit my head on the PS cabinet (a metal locker manufactured by IKEA) on the way down. On the floor, I was disoriented and couldn't tell which way was up. At that point the stars had totally obscured my vision. I reached out for the cabinet and broke one of my fingernails when I got it caught inside one of the vents. I remained still and eventually the sensation subsided. I tried again and this time I managed to grab onto something useful. I pulled myself up and quickly determined that I needed to get to Andrew, who was asleep. Using the wall for support, I made my way into the bedroom and onto the bed before the feeling completely came over me again.

My neurologist thought that this incident was possibly attributable to my medication. He took my blood pressure a few times with me seated and once with me standing. He said that it was normal. Later, he explained that during a fainting episode, which is what I had, a person's blood pressure drops. His advice to me was if it happens again just stay put until it passes.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 06:47 PM

August 24, 2005

Thanksgiving in August?

Ok, so it turns out that I came across some pictures I was holding onto ever since Thanksgiving. I swear, I'm really not withholding anything more from you people.

Turkey 2004.jpg

This is the turkey breast before it went into the oven.


That's our good friend Paola, who is originally from Argentina, checking on the turkey's progress. And yes, those really are cherries and pineapple slices that you see pinned to the bird.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 01:36 PM

School Books

If you happened to take a look at the counter located on the right of the screen, you know that fall classes begin next week. There is still so much left for me to do before I go back.

What I have planned for today is a trip out to school. I need to leave a copy of my Individualized Section Form with the Chair of the English Department so that she can sign it (here it occurs to me that the title of that form doesn't really say a whole lot about what it is for and I need to make a mental note to return to that later on, most likely in a separate entry). There is one other thing I can probably take care of while I'm there on campus so it doesn't feel so much like a wasted trip. I *could* stop by the school bookstore and see if a course packet I still need is available now. I already have all of the actual books for the classes I will be taking. Having said that, I arrive at what I wanted to take the time now to write about.

For ENGL 335, Shakespeare's Histories and Comedies, the professor had ordered copies of the Riverside Shakespeare, but I had already purchased The Norton Shakespeare at the begining of the summer A term for the Romances and Tragedies class that I ultimately dropped due to exhaustion. This was through someone who was selling a copy on Amazon for a mere $30. It seemed superfluous to me to have two complete works of Shakespeare in my possession, so I asked the professor if I could get away with using that and she said it would suffice. The Riverside Shakespeare would have cost me $60 used or $80 new. The course pack I hope to pick up today will also be for this class. It's pretty cheap at only $3.

For FRLN 573, Basic Issues in Language Pedagogy, I needed to purchase two books. This was a special topics class I had signed up for that was only being offered during the summer in session C and the credits were supposed to go towards fulfilling my linguistics concentration. Since I had to drop Shakespeare's Romances and Tragedies earlier in the summer, and my aid was contingent on my taking two summer classes, there was no feasible way I could remain enrolled in this other class. So I worked it out with the professor and the Director of the Linguistics Program to take the class as an independent study during the fall and still use the credits towards my linguistics concentration. That is where that Individualized Section Form comes in. I need to have that completed before I can register for LING 499, which is the course number for independent studies in linguistics. Anyway, I had purchased the books while they were still available to the class in the bookstore and they both came to $97.60.

Before I was able to and had gotten around to ordering my remaining books, I had already technically spent $127. This figure includes The Norton Shakespeare as well as the two linguistics books.

Something that I want to take a moment to mention here is how school bookstores have done things up until this semester and how that has been altered by a law that was recently passed. A few weeks before a semester starts school bookstores receive orders from the professors and the only way a student could figure out what they would need to purchase for their classes was to either call the bookstore or just go in. That information, along with price, is now made available to students via the web. This is so that students can order their books online at competitive prices and receive them in time for classes.

I ordered my remaining books from Barnes and Noble because they had the best deal I could come across with the 10% member discount and free shipping. The total for the four books came out to $92.14. I placed my order on Friday of last week and they promptly arrived here on the following Monday in plenty of time for the start of classes.

After I go and get my course pack I will have spent on books a grand total of $222.14. Just based on the price of *used* texts that the school bookstore quoted me on those last four books I saved about $60 by ordering them online. So, the lesson here is order your books online and get brand new copies at a cheaper price.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 12:48 PM

August 23, 2005

Christmas in August (cont.)

Here are the pictures of Andrew's coworker, Roger, and his wife, Barbara, that I made mention of in my last entry. Each year Andrew and I attend the SAIC Christmas party we arrange to meet up with these two because they are such great fun to be around.

Barbara and Roger Swaying.jpg

Barbara and Roger swaying to the music.

Barbara and Roger Gaze Lovingly.jpg

Barbara and Roger gaze lovingly into one another's eyes...

Barbara and Roger Smooch.jpg

...and then they kiss.

Now I'm not withholding any more pictures that I know of. Well, I am off to dinner with Andrew at the Cheesecake Factory. Oh, and thanks, Linda, for the treat!

-- CrystalShiloh @ 09:26 PM

Christmas in August?

The following images were taken at the annual SAIC Christmas party. Why am I just getting around to posting them now, in August? Well, when I switched over to the Mac I had some difficulty in finding image editing software that was comparable to what I had been using on the PC. By the time Andrew had installed GraphicConverter for me, the holiday season was well over with. A friend suggested that I post them in a "Christmas in July" entry, but because I had put off doing anything with the images for so long by July I had begun to dread it. What compels me now is that if I were to have waited much longer the fall semester would have started up and I'd be posting these sometime during winter break (just in time for the next x-mas party). It's my nature to focus all of my energy on my studies to the detriment of my personal to do list. Now you know why I write so seldom when school is in session. Without further ado, I present Christmas pictures in August.

Crystal Arden B Coat.jpg

Me, in a coat from Arden B...

Crystal Arden B Shawl.jpg

...and this is what the dress looked like underneath it.

Andrew Tie.jpg

Here's what Andrew wore.

Kiss Kiss.jpg

It is becoming a tradition for Andrew and I to take a picture of us kissing every year that we attend the SAIC Christmas party. We make copies and include them in our Christmas cards we send to our friends and family. It takes a few tries to get a shot we want to share. Here's last year's winner.

There are a few more pictures left for me to post of Andrew's co-worker, Roger, and his wife, Barbara. I will *try* to get back to them later this evening. I might not be up to it as I have only had approximately two hours of sleep. We'll see.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 06:18 PM