The Theatah!

theater stage

CC 2006 Nancy

As I start my final year of college (barring some far fetched scenario where I do graduate work in my old age),I have a single fine arts credit hour required. Traditionally, at Wilmington College, this means taking a class called Regional Theater in Performance. Or, as those of us taking the class call it, Date Nite 101. It’s an unusual class. I’m not sure how it’s taught on Wilmington’s main campus, where the students are mostly 18-22. At the Cincinnati branch, it’s what’s called a hybrid class: Mostly online, but with two or more class meetings during the semester. In this case, we met last Friday and will meet again in December. In between…

There’s very little online about this class. You can turn in your assignments, reacting to what you’ve seen between class meetings, via the school web site, but really it’s very simple: Go see three plays with a certain minimum of production values (like your local high school doing Death of a Salesman), write a reaction paper to each, and be prepared to discuss what you saw at the second and final class meeting. It’s kind of interesting in that the last theater production I saw was the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival’s The Tempest. That was pre-Y2K. Yeah. It’s been a while.

The only major production I’ve ever seen was Oh! Calcutta! That’s right. My first professional theater experience was seeing naked people, including local radio jock Bob the Producer streaking across the stage at the end of the show. It was performed at Music Hall, the grand old venue in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine and home to the Cincinnati Orchestra as well as the local ballet and opera companies.

Prior to that, my experience with theater was at my own high school. I worked the lights and the backstage crew for Bye Bye Birdie in my junior year, and had roles in A Tomb With a View, the one-act version of M*A*S*H (as Col. Henry Blake), and The Pajama Game. In the last, I was given a non-singing role after auditioning by singing “Hey, There” one octave higher than I rehearsed it (and proving I had no future as a hair metal lead singer.) There is evidence of all this. Somewhere on teh intrawebs floats a picture of a very, very young Jim Winter sitting on stage in a toga. Yes, a toga.

I have three plays picked out, all based on movies. This seems to be a common trend these days. One of them was a no-brainer. The company up in Loveland is doing the musical version of Young Frankenstein, which I want to take AJ to see. The local Shakespeare festival is doing the stage version of The Birds, which should prove interesting. The Tempest looked almost like a movie when they did it, beginning with the cast in rain slickers waving what looked like a giant sail obscuring the stage while an a capella version of Madonna’s “Frozen” played. It was like watching the opening credits. Only without the credits. The Birds? I’m going alone on this one. AJ’s not into this one, and Nita is terrified of birds. And they are using real birds.

But we call this date night, and the first play I’m going to see will be this weekend. A local high school is doing Beauty and the Beast, which is Nita’s favorite Disney movie ever. We intended to see it at the Aronoff Center a few years ago, but a series of problems kept us away (one of which was a leaky gas line, so it worked out that we didn’t get to go.) When I asked Nita if she wanted to see one or two plays with me, she asked what was playing.

“Well, Mason High School is doing Beauty and the…

“YES!”

Last time she said yes that strongly was when I proposed to her. So we’re going Friday night. Yes, it’s date night.

Will I continue to go after this class ends? Maybe. I have it on my bucket list to see all of Shakespeare’s plays live. I’ve seen Richard III and The Tempest. The movies have burned me out on Hamlet thanks to repeated showings of the Mel Gibson and Kenneth Branagh versions, but maybe I’ll it see it on stage soon enough.

For now, though, I want to watch my wife’s eyes light up when she sees Beauty and the Beast. And I wonder how long “Puttin’ on the Ritz” will be stuck in my head after Young Frankenstein.

 

A Year Of Senior Moments

Three Stooges Graduated

Source: threestooges.net

Tonight, I begin 7 weeks of Purchasing, an accelerated course in corporate buying and inventory management. It’s one of two accelerated courses I’m taking this semester. There’s a third class, Regional Theater, that gives me a single fine arts credit. I show up for a class in September, one in December, and have three date nights at the theater in between.

Because the other two classes don’t overlap, this will be an easy semester for me. It’s the beginning of my final year of college. In the spring, I’ll receive the bachelors degree I should have gotten back when Reagan was packing his things.

Nita is also finishing her degree in web design. So by this time next year, we’ll both be college graduates. It’s weird going to school in middle age at a time when most people are thinking more about retirement. In some ways, I was when I started this journey. I realized that, in my old job, I had reached the upper limit of my earning potential for my field. I also was starting to see fewer and fewer years where I could earn a living. I needed to have a more lucrative and more valuable skillset if I had any hope of not having to beg AJ to let his mother and I to live with him in exchange for our Social Security checks. (Will that even be around then?)

It’s paid off already. The company I work for now pays me 13% more than Medishack did. Just what I learned in the last two months can eventually earn me even bigger increases if I choose to go elsewhere. Even with student loans coming due soon, it should fund my writing habit quite nicely.

But for me, the payoff is even bigger. The program I enrolled in couples my technical associates with a business bachelors. And friends and neighbors, the business degree is something I never realized I needed. It’s made me aware of marketing, of finance, or running a small business, which is what writing – independent or traditional – is. I understand the businesses I work for now, and I understand what I need to make my writing profitable.

And besides, this is something I put off. I messed up my financial aid out of high school. I dropped out in the nineties for reasons I’m not even sure about anymore. So this last time, which started in 2009, had to be it. I was 42 when I started a remedial algebra class.

I’ve thought about getting a masters. I may revisit the idea since it would permit me to teach classes at some of the local colleges. But six years is enough for someone my age. I have other things I want to do. Like writing. Holland Bay would have been finished years ago if I had not gone back to school. There were other reasons, but focusing on my education really did take away a lot of the momentum I had in 2008. Now, that all that time spent studying will open up again soon. I may revisit the idea. I did tell a few people that, if it meant a title with a huge salary, I’d get the degree someone paid for. In that case, it would have to be worth it to me and to an employer. If writing were successful enough, I’d probably find a program to allow me to teach. But for the foreseeable future, I’m done with college come this spring. It’s off the bucket list and paying dividends as it is.

Overly Ambitious Writer Is Overly Ambitious

wired man

Photo: Mike Licht, used under Creative Commons

Ever feel like you’re pulled in too many directions?

I get that a lot. Today’s post was supposed to be the final Space Stuff! post. Well, not only is Dick’s SF novel still in progress, but the characters decided to throw in a plot twist I did not plan.

I hate when they start feeling their oats and writing their own stories. Well, no I don’t. I just don’t like it when I can’t turn over my fingers to them. Why?

I’m multitasking. Big time. What am I up to?

  • Fitness – The plan is to do the Pig at 50, literally running the Flying Pig Marathon the week of my fiftieth birthday. At the moment, that means devoting three nights/afternoons a week to running. So far, a mile and a half is a challenge and will continue to be for the next week or so. Even tonight’s later winter snow will not stop my run to the local park. This only looks to take up more time as I go to two miles, then three, then five. Next year’s goal is a half marathon (13 miles). That will require almost daily running, with at least three days of 15 miles.
  • Education – I am working on the bachelor’s degree I should have had when the first George Bush took office after finishing the associates I originally abandoned in the 1990’s. This semester is a math-intensive one. I’m taking the summer off, but I plan to graduate next spring. And then…?
  • Freelance development – Which means I need to learn how to program in more than just C# over ASPX. (Say what?) I want to write mobile apps. I want to do interactive web sites for businesses who don’t want to pay people in-house to build them. I want build them for authors. (They will be cheaper sites, but there will be more clients. Win-win!) So I need to block out time after homework to study… Well, right now, it’s MVC, Photoshop, and WordPress. Speaking of which…
  • Freelance covers – I don’t post much here on that because I’m mostly grabbing images off the Internet and importing them into GIMP. But I’ve hit GIMP’s limitations, so, thanks to AJ’s student discount, I have a Photoshop install. Now I’m going back to the beginning and learning that app from scratch. At least now, I understand why so many Photoshopped images look so bad. When this is done, I’ve already found one or two clients who are willing to trade editing for cover art.
  • The blog – Notice I’ve cut back to three days a week? Even that’s a challenge when you don’t know what the next day’s topic is. Plus Dick (The Dick Bachman to my Stephen King) will have his own blog, Twitter feed, Facebook page, and even a page on Pinterest. Blogs are necessary, except when they aren’t. Then you shouldn’t have one.
  • The day job – 8 hours plus commute. ‘Nuff said.
  • Family – All this is pointless without Nita and AJ. I’ve moved most of the work down to my office so Nita doesn’t have to listen to me chatter endlessly about whatever’s on the Internet while I’m boning up on Java or creating JimWintersDick.com (Watch the price of that domain skyrocket now.)  But I need to spend time with them. Otherwise, I burn out. I mean I married Nita for a reason.

I know that looks like a lot, and right now, it is. But at the same time, once I start doing more, I can start earning more. Somewhere in there, I always find time to write, even if it’s a scene I’ll write in about fifteen minutes (This is Tuesday night.) that I have no clue about.

And at some point, I’m going to have to learn a new skill: How to do nothing.

Not as easy as you think.

Back To School – 2013 Edition

snape teaching

Source: Warner Bros.

This past weekend began Year 2 at Wilmington College’s Cincinnati branches. Unfortunately, I have to go to Cincinnati State for both classes this semester. That may be meaningless to you, but to those of us who attended Cincy State or Wilmington in Cincinnati, we all dread the labyrinth that is Cincinnati State’s parking garages. Wilmington holds classes in two places in Cincinnati: The aforementioned Cincy State campus, where class is usually tucked off in the farthest possible room from any parking garage accessible to students, and a self-contained Blue Ash campus that shares a building with Citigroup. Just pull in the lot and walk through the front or back door.  I’ve been lucky. I haven’t set foot on Cincy State’s campus since last December. Now I will likely not see Blue Ash, only 10 minutes from my house and near a lot more interesting places to eat before class, before January. Or maybe next fall.

I did not get a summer break this year. I began the Accounting track in the Spring and needed to take a summer semester to get the second half of it. This began what I now refer to as “my year of math,” for this week, I start the first of two Statistics classes. (Statistics 101: Lies, followed by Statistics 201: Damn Lies). I’m not worried about this. There’s a long-overdue summer break at the far end of this, during which, Nita has decreed, we’re taking a summer vacation.

I’m also taking my first chemistry class in mumble mumble years. This one worried me. I looked at the syllabus to get an idea for what to expect from homework. Read 3-4 chapters a week. Okay, that’s doable. Do the review questions at the end of the chapter. I looked at those questions. Chapter 3 had 64 questions at the end of it. That was a disaster waiting to happen. So I set about writing out the questions ahead of time. This way, I could just delete true or false from those questions and all the wrong answers from the multiple choice ones. I’d copied up to seven chapters’ worth by the morning of the first class, a Saturday morning. Immediately, my hand went up. “Do we have to do all the questions?”

Turns out our prof’s fulltime job is a chemist for the water system and has a long memory about being a student. No, we don’t have to do 30-60 questions per chapter (which would be 240 questions in a worst-case scenario in a 4-chapter week.) We would do homework in the handouts and work on our research papers. We have just gone back to doable.

Were I in my late teens and early twenties, I would have complained loudly about 240 questions, 3-4 chapters, and research papers on top of my other classes. It would have interfered with my part time job, my underage drinking, and my “study breaks” with various girls in my dorm/apartment building. My forty-mumble self thinks my young self would need to shut up and get his priorities straight. My problem is a full-time job, a family, other obligations, and one other class (Lies and Damn Lies, of course). But this is also the life my prof needs, who also understands we’re all business majors who don’t want to stress out about covalent bonds, the impact of CFCs on ozone, or how to balance chemical equations.

On the other hand, I kind of miss having to do a few of the questions. One of them was clearly written by Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory.

“Dmitri Mendeleev was the last born of 17 children in his family. Can you write the atomic symbol and give the total number of electrons and the number of valence electrons for each of the first 17 elements in his periodic table?”

To which Penny would have said, “I dunno. What’s the atomic weight of cheesecake?”

At least I know now I can still exercise, write, and work on learning new programming languages. College, especially in middle age, is a sacrifice, but the sacrifice shouldn’t interfere with more important matters.

 

What’s Wrong With America: Education

There’s several things wrong with education in this country.

First, there is a disturbing movement by some to actually discourage people from getting a college education. It’s a waste of money, they say. It only builds up debt and overtaxes government programs to fund it. They posit that people should spend this time starting and building their careers. So let me get this straight. You want accountants, engineers, and IT specialists who are wholly untrained in their fields doing these jobs?

From personal experience, I can tell you that every step of my education, an education I should have completed 20 years ago, has brought a marked improvement in skills and career opportunities. It’s insane to suggest college is a waste of time.

But part of their position comes from a very real problem. Colleges are lagging behind what American businesses and government need right now. We don’t train enough engineers. Technical schools teach technology that’s three to five years old, leaving students to have to fend for themselves. And we graduate too many IT geeks without a clue as to the business processes they support. Add to that the sheer neglect humanities and sciences have to endure, and you have a recipe for decline. Don’t like engineers from India taking all the job openings? Quit whining that your kid has to do math, turn the friggin’ TV and Facebook off, and knuckle down. And schools need to adapt. Fast. The programming I’m teaching myself today is going to be obsolete in a couple of years. Schools are further behind on this. It needs to stop. Now.

The worst part, however, is our attitude toward education in general. Taxophobes like to attack schools for waste and overspending with a zeal that makes the most radical gun rights advocate look apathetic to his own cause. As a result, we’ve developed a collective attitude that the people we pay to teach our children and prepare them for the adult world are treated with less respect than the bored kid at the McDonald’s drive-thru.

All I can say is you get what you pay for.

They Never Told Me College Was Supposed To Be Hard

My associates degree came from a two-year technical college. Most of the classes were done online or even in the workplace. As you can imagine, the demands on my time, as long as I only took two or three classes, were not that great. In fact, the classes that taught programming languages, especially once I learned C#, mainly consisted of learning a new way to write a “Hello, world” program, followed by if statements, loops, and eventually talking to a database. I do this stuff for a living now.

Then I get to Wilmington College’s Cincinnati campuses. They have a program where I can take three classes a semester, but only have to take two at a time. My advisor suggested taking three during the summer. Since there are no accelerated courses in the summer, that ain’t happening. When I started my first class at Wilmington, the prof said first thing, “We expect two hours of homework time for every hour you spend in the classroom.” I hear that all the time. Nita and AJ, who both attend University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash, get that, too. Except most of the time, that doesn’t pan out. Then again, they are both taking technical majors. I am taking Business Analysis so I’m not a complete geek when I enter the consulting phase of my career. And boy, they’re not kidding at Wilmington.

Currently, I take a Society & Business class that runs the entire semester. That class is 2 1/2 hours on Tuesday nights. OK, that’s five hours of homework a week. I can do that easily enough. But both accelerated courses, Introduction to Management and now Modern Short Story, are four hours every Saturday morning. (I am soooo looking forward to December 15, when I can finally sleep in!) That’s eight hours a week.

Uh-oh. My job is 40 hours a week with 5-7 hours of commute time each week. Somewhere in there, I have to write. Somewhere in there, I have to spend time with my family. I have to exercise, get groceries, deal with car breakdowns, illnesses, bills… Yeah, 13 hours is hard.

I did have one classmate who is taking four classes this semester while working full time with a family. She takes two accelerated classes at a time. That would be 16 hours a week at home. Now I know not everyone’s going to spend that much time working on homework. We’re adults. Life doesn’t stop because we went back to school at roughly the same time as our kids started college.

The problem for me is writing. It’s hard to get it in when the coursework is reading and writing intensive. If I mention this problem, I hear, “But you like to write,” and “You’re always reading anyway.” The problem is a term paper on why BP looks rather saintly next to Kerr-McGee (Remember the movie Silkwood? Kerr-McGee did a lot of stuff like that.) doesn’t pay the mortgage. And I’m always reading because I want to, not because I have to.

Of course, you’re probably saying, “Hey, Jim, you’re writing this blog post. What are you whining about?”

I’m writing this on a Sunday morning, about the only time I have to do it anymore. But yes, I am complaining. I know I committed to getting a bachelors after I finished my associates. So it’s not like I begrudge the work. But it’s taken me most of the semester to find a way to balance out the work and still get writing and exercise and learning a new programming language in.

But there is some relief on the horizon. Originally, I wanted to get an MBA if I finished the bachelors by a certain date. (Right now, I can probably be done by 49.) But you get an MBA to impress someone enough to make you an executive at either the company where you work or another one. I work at a small family-owned business. They are not going to make me CEO or vice president of anything in the future. My next job will likely be at a consulting firm or as an IT manager somewhere. The only CEO position on my horizon will be at a company that has not formed yet. And the CEO’s position will not be determined on whether I have an MBA or not. It will be decided by me and Nita playing rock-paper-scissors. So no MBA. Which means no deadline to finish the bachelors.

Which means I can take whole semesters off.

Good. Because summers are for writing.

And margaritas.

The Fighting… Um… Quakers?

Now that I’ve finished the associates degree I abandoned in the 1990’s, I start work tonight on the bachelors I should have finished in 1988. I’m going to Wilmington College in one of their adult learning programs in Cincinnati. So no, I won’t be driving an hour to school in Wilmington, a small town about halfway to Columbus from here.

Really, the main campus is off Route 3. A few miles north is Wilberforce College, one of the few predominantly black colleges in Ohio. Route 3 skirts Clifton, where the University of Cincinnati sits, and passes close to Xavier University before you even leave Cincinnati. And it brings you within minutes of The Ohio State University. Maybe they should call it the University Highway. I digress.

I’m going for a degree in business analysis. Which is a fancy way of saying I’m going to be a geek with some business skills. One of my first classes is Introduction to Management, or as I call it, Leveraging Synergies 101. Actually, the textbook for this class frowns on corporate buzzwords and faddish management books. This is good. The last thing I need is to be trained how to trigger the next mortgage meltdown.

As of today, there are now three college students under our roof. Nita is taking web design at the University of Cincinnati. AJ is also going to UC for electronic media. It’s a weird time for us. But it’s all for the better.

Jim Winter Is “The Graduate”

It finally happened. I finished the associates degree I was supposed to finish in 1997. In 2009, I basically started over again from scratch. Only my English comp classes from 1994 counted.

The Three Stooges in caps and gowns

Source: Columbia Pictures/Sony

In the nineties, I got about halfway through a computer programming degree that focused on COBOL and mainframe technology (this was the ramp up to Y2K.) But hey, it was the tech 90’s. I didn’t need no steekeeng degree. Anyone who got involved in computers was going to make HUGE money.

I eventually landed at BigHugeCo, who appreciated my talents, but did not pay me HUGE bucks. At least I was making decent money. And then the field I landed in became a dead-end job. I was a PC technician. That job’s salary has dropped in recent years, even before the crash of 2008. Hey, the nineties were over. I needed the steenkeeng degree.

I went back a few months after Nita and I got married. I now had a family, and I needed to do something more to take care of them. So I entered Cincinnati State’s .Net program. I’d already had some web design experience. Now I wanted to make web pages do something more than display static information.

One layoff, four contract jobs, and six weeks of unemployment later, I landed a job where .Net programming was 50-60% of my job. Happy? Boy, howdy.

I was supposed to wrap up last year, but communications issues resulted in my having to retake my capstone project. Fortunately, my capstone was a work project. I wrote a knowledge base for the IT department to use. I left a long paper trail this time. The grades came in Monday morning.

With that A, I became a college graduate.

It’s been a worthwhile journey. AJ is starting at the University of Cincinnati this fall. Nita is already going, telling me she was inspired by my going back at 43. She’s going for web design. Why? We both like creating things instead of being a cog in a wheel.

Yes, I finished the degree I originally should have finished in 1997. Now I start at Wilmington College in just over a week. There, I will start on the bachelors I should have finished in 1988.

What’s Wrong With America? Well…

No one doubts America is not having its finest hour. In fact, you can pretty much write off the past decade. Still, America has a lot going for it. For starters, Greece is not a state. (Sorry, Europe.) So why no bragging?

Well, we tend to brag when times are good, and why not? All nations are like that. I’m pretty sure that, after Caesar stomped all over Carthage, he stood on Hannibal’s grave doing a pelvic thrust going, “Yeah! How to you like them Alps, elephant boy! Who’s your daddy?” These days, we limit the bragging to moon shots, the Internet, and the return of Beavis & Butthead.

But let’s be honest. The call it The Great Recession because it just barely skirts being another Great Depression. The world hates our last president, and while they love the current one, he’s a JFK-aspirant who turned out to be Rutherford B. Hayes and running against the Republican version of the 1976 Democratic slate of candidates. In fact, if you listen to people talk about our future, it sounds an awful lot like…

The 1970’s.

And let’s be honest. The 1970’s sucked. Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.

But if this is such a great place to be, why’s everybody so down on America?

Oh, got a few minutes? There’s a list.

Why make a list? Simple. I’m not one of those moral cowards like Sean Hannity who thinks criticizing America is unpatriotic. If anything, “My country, right or wrong” should be grounds for deportation. Why would you want to be wrong? Such thinking makes the nation suck. And this applies to all nations around the world. If you can’t take a long, hard look at what needs fixing around here, you’re in the way.

So what’s on the list?

  • Left vs. Right: Seriously? Some people take this paradigm to such extremes that they check the bumper stickers on the car next to them in the mall parking lot in case the other guy might get his politcal cooties on them. I used to work with one guy who could not resist explaining to me why Ron Paul was his personal lord and savior when all I said to him was, “Could you pass the salt?” Sadly, this guy was symptomatic of most people’s political thinking, both liberal and conservative.
  • Political discourse: Building on that last point, why is it most people get their political opinions from burned out ex-rock DJ’s, whiny former sportscasters, and morbidly obese outsourcers who rail on capitalism for outsourcing jobs? Seriously?
  • Big business: I like capitalism. I love the idea of making money. I fail to see where that justifies being a dick. Maybe a bank CEO can chime in and explain that to me.
  • Labor: Unions in America are a laboratory experiment to determine the effects of screwing oneself while getting screwed by someone else.
  • Energy: People, please, stop fellating Exxon already.
  • Technology: Want to be prosperous? Go out and invent some shit.
  • Healthcare: There is nothing moral, ethical, or honorable about allowing people to go bankrupt for simply getting cancer. That, not some idiotic politcal stance, needs to be the top consideration. Period. End of discussion.
  • The metric system: Twelve inches for a foot. Three feet to a yard. How many yards in a mile? What crackhead came up with that system? And what booger-eating moron decided base-ten measurements were communist? Kill that guy. He sucks to much to remain part of the human race.
  • Transportation: Whoever thought up the airlines as they exist today should have kept his mouth shut.
  • The two-party system: Yes, they’re big tents. They both smell like ass, and anyway, I want my own tent.
  • The media: Someone must pay for making the Kardashians famous.
  • Education: Too many stock brokers, not enough engineers. Stock brokers invent nothing, just suck all the life out of what others do invent.
  • Jones: Keep up with Jones? Fuck Jones!
  • Us: This is actually the best news. Because we have never shied away from laying the fear of God into people who try to bring us down, and people, it’s time we collectively kick the man in the mirror’s ass. I’m sick of listening to him whine. Aren’t you?

Academic Overload

So I’ve mapped out my plans to finish my degree as quickly as possible.  Because I changed majors last year, I had to scramble to make up for lost time.  Some of this is arbitrary.  I’m 43 and don’t want to be a 53 year old senior.  Yes, the obvious pun of that plays a part.  But there’s also the empty nest factor.  AJ will be in college by the time I finish my bachelors.  I would like to spend some time with Nita – who’s also gone back to school – before we decide to move to a warmer climate and sponge off what’s left of Social Security.

So I had to overload a couple of terms.  Late fall (which encompasses most of winter, actually) found me taking two programming classes, a database class, and this annoying orientation course required by one of the college’s four-year partners.  The good news?  I could finish the orientation course standing on my head.  If anything, it was a nuisance that could have been handled in a two-hour seminar.  However, I am not on the Ohio Board of Regents.  I don’t get to make the rules.

Next term, same thing.  Four classes.  This time, it was three technical classes and English Comp.  OK, I can do English standing on my head.  On the other hand, .Net development requires a lot more attention, especially when you tie it to databases.  As this is the whole crux of why I want the two-year degree, I needed to focus more on this one.  The problem is four classes translate into twelve credit hours.  And that’s twelve hours classroom time.

I fell into the online class trap.  Hey, I’m not commuting.  I don’t have to be in a classroom on a set night for three hours a stretch.  I can work whenever, right?

Well…

The problem is a three credit hour class translates into  five hours if you count the technical labs, assuming you don’t make mistakes in the programming classes.  On top of that, you’ll likely need to put in another hour or two reading.  So now we’re up to 28 hours a week.  On top of a full time job.  On top of having a family.  And my family misses me.

Last term, I tried to cut corners.  Didn’t work.  I missed a major project.  I passed.  After all, a D is a passing grade.  If your employer is reimbursing you for anything C or higher, it’s an expensive passing grade.  I sucked it up and moved on.

This term, same thing.  I tried to manage it by doing everything remotely and planning for one class that’s mostly reading and one I can do at work.  It’s still a challenge.  Like standup comedy was.  If I were in my twenties and addicted to Mountain Dew, I could pull off doing 16 hours easily.  But then I’d be working 30 hours a week or less, and on a much more flexible schedule.

Nita has the right idea.  Unlike me, she’s not really affected by the switch to semester classes in 2012.  (All schools in Ohio have to make the change by then.)  She’s not on a deadline, and by the time her school makes the switch, she’ll have finished her “freshman” year.

Fortunately, one of my classes is in Javascript, a fairly simple language made simpler by almost a year in programming classes.  Two of my classes are based on ASP.Net programming.  So essentially, what I do in one class I can duplicate in the other.  The only problem class this term is Macroeconomics.  For starters, it makes work more stressful when the Tea Party goofball in the next cube wants to lecture me about the economy, particularly when I hear how much more he’s getting wrong.  But the main thing about Macroeconomics is that it’s not like history or English where it’s mostly reading and essay.  There’s a little bit of science behind the voodoo.  As such, I’ve had to slow down.

Next term, I take only three classes, one classroom-based, and one an extension of my ASP.Net program this term.  The other is Introduction to Psychology.  Maybe I can figure out why I think I can do a full time schedule with a full time job.