So, Almost Done Week One

Narnia Entry in Spring by Fort Photo @ Flickr

Narnia Entry in Spring by Fort Photo @ Flickr

College has been tough on my broken body this first week.  If you’ve been following my twitter page, you know that I’ve got a bunch of homework from my Pre-calc algebra class (my night class).  Little bit of Spanish, little bit of English, no Biology homework yet.

I’m enjoying my classes, all of them, but most especially my Biology class.  The prof is great, and the subject of course is the reason I’m there, so it’s inherently interesting to me.  He’s spending a great deal of time and effort on the Scientific Method, which rocks.  You simply can’t do Science without it.

By request of Steve Story, Moderator Emeritus at AtBC, I’m sort of pseudoblogging my Bio class at After the Bar Closes.  Please feel free to read and/or contribute there.  It’s a great place, full of Scientists, Science educators, and people just interested in Science.  Mostly, its raison d’etre is for mocking creationism and the dishonest purveyors of the Intelligent Design Creationism Hoax, so although you’ll find some heavy duty science there in places, you’ll also find a lot of mockery that might be described as “puerile”.  It’s sort of to be expected, given the target.

For English class, I have a great guy for a teacher.  Very gregarious, very boisterous, and not afraid to be fun and/or cheesy.  I like that in a teacher, as well.

I have a very young lady for PreCalc Algebra.  She nice, and she’s friendly, but seems just a little nervous or timid or something, like she could really use a drink before class.  Is is appropriate for a student to suggest such a thing?  If so, how would one go about that without implying that she have a drink with me?  My wife would probably be a little sour on such an idea, so I definitely don’t want to give that impression.  I kinda like sleeping indoors, I’ve grown accustomed to it, and would rather not find myself on the porch.

My Spanish class is a bit livelier – sometimes.  The teacher does a lot to get everyone involved and keep it light, but in a class made up of kids, well, sometimes they’re just introverted.  It’s been interesting to see the collective mood swing back and forth within each class period.

Anyway, I’ll try  to blog a little more often about my classes, but right now I have a ton of homework and my first quiz (precalc) is Monday.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled Narnia Entry in Spring by Fort Photo, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license.

Xian Xmas Toys

Bible Toys We Didn't See This Christmas, by Tracie Harris @ Atheist Eve

Bible Toys We Didn't See This Christmas, by Tracie Harris @ Atheist Eve

From whence came the art:

That image is taken from Xian Xmas Toys, an episode of Atheist Eve, a webcomic by Tracie Harris.  Click it to see more Bible toys. I think the Christian marketing departments may really be missing the boat by not getting these out there.

I Shoulda Took Pitchers

But Why Take A Chance?

Insanity, Thy Name Is James

Life with a teenage boy can be interesting.  Trying at times, but definitely interesting.  Especially when he is such an extrovert.  There is nothing outside the limits of his curiosity, or his humor.  Nothing.  I like that about him (usually).

Put two of them under one roof, add the cover of darkness and sparklers, insanity is inevitable.  It just is.

We went and watched the fireworks at Camp Lejeune last night, as we do every year.  Nice display, though a little shorter, smaller, and less dramatic than usual.  Parking was a little better handled this year, and leaving the base not the usual pain in the ass.  Of course we had D with us this year, and it was his first time that he could remember going.  He and J.P. hung out and kept each other occupied and out of trouble, so it worked out pretty well all the way around.

The fun really started after we got home.

Fireworks are mostly illegal in North Carolina.  Well, illegal to possess.  Apparently, not illegal to sell, as they sell all sorts of things in Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, at road-side stands, etc. that I would think fall outside the law.  It’s one of those things that come the approach of Independence Day, everybody just sort of ignores, I guess.

I don’t mess with them, just because they’re illegal.  It’s just not worth the potential hassle to me, and I try to set a good example for the kids.  But somebody gave Jane a few boxes of sparklers for the kids, and I don’t have any problem with that (they’re legal), so once we got home (10:30/11ish), I sat out on the porch and lit sparklers for the kids.  They were tough to get going, so I lit them and handed them off.

Remember the two teenage boys?  Yeah, that wasn’t going to be interesting enough, by any stretch.

(Crazy kids, below the fold)

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Teh College. It hates me.

Laugh-Out-Loud Cats #539, by Ape Lad @ FlickrI got to bed fairly early last night, knowing that I was going to take the exams this morning.  Got up tired, hadn’t rested well, hit the shower, even shaved to look somewhat presentable.

On the way over, I pull up to a red light, and the car does something it’s never done before, something not good.  The RPMs drop, it starts to sputter and choke.  I’ve seen this behavior before, when I drove old beaters, so without thinking I react, slap it in park.  I can’t remember what the cause of it is, though.

The RPMs come back up and smooth out, but then climb to about 2500.  Yeah, that’s what I expected, but I still can’t remember what horrible thing is going on under the hood.  I kick the accelerator down, thinking “sticky throttle?”, but knowing as soon as the thought comes that this isn’t the problem.

The RPMs come back to where they should be, and the engine settles down, back to its normal hum.  I’m talking to my car, my baby.  “Please, not today.  I love you.  I love you more than my wife.  You’ve never given me a problem that was your fault.  Please.”

(More misery below the fold)

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First Lessons from College

I Thought We Were Supposed To Get Answers, by Cayusa @ FlickrLesson 1:  Pay Attention

Several weeks ago I went and got the study packets when I was finding out about returning to school.  The lady at the admissions desk was very kind, I was my usual charming self (not flirtatious, but charming in that Southern Way I’ve picked up over my adult life), exchanging pleasantries, blah blah, she gets the packets, writes a note at the top of the math packet, highlights some stuff up there, gives me the English packet, explains that I don’t need an appointment, take the exams by the 27th, blah blah, transcripts, blah.

Lesson 2: Read the Instructions

I bring the pile of papers home, set them on my desk, fetch all my old math texts, fold the cover page and the introductions over  to open the math packet to the first problems and start diving in.  First five pages is elementary school/ middle school math, no problems, then some very basic algebra, some geometry, nothing I don’t still master, ’bout page 20 I start seeing secants and quadratics and irrational numbers and radicals, and I start working and referencing, and looking up and trying to remember, and working sample problems.  I’ve been working at getting enough of a handle on enough of the material that even if parts of it escape me, I can come back to it over the summer and give it my full attention, and in the meantime still get enough questions right to pass the test.

Fast Forward to today.

(Continued below the fold)

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The Wisdom of Little John

Little John Conquers the WorldSo I’m speaking to my wife, and the subject of her father comes up. It’s a little touchy, understandably, so I’m gently joking a bit.

I mentioned that I re-read Thanks for All the Squirrels yesterday, and I made myself cry a little. (Ok, I did have to wipe a few tears, to be perfectly honest.)

“I’m a big sissy,” I say.

John pipes up:

“Well just because you got a dick between your legs don’t mean you can’t cry.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Dad would have been proud, I think.

Our Kama Sutra


Click the pic to go read more xkcd. Great comic strip.

HT: Berlzebub