Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One More First Day is Done

This is what $718 looks like
After an incredibly uneventful summer spent toiling away doing little more than data entry for the good Doctor's social psychology review project (without pay, of course), and eating a mostly steady diet of macaroni and cheese and cheap microwave dinners, I am finally back to the grind of classes. A couple of weeks ago, I bought my books for the semester and have since decided that, because they were so expensive and heavy, if I can consolidate my book load by selling back at least half of the books to the bookstore and getting the ebook versions from Amazon, I will probably try to invest in an iPad to use as an ereader. I have already calculated that I can save at least $150 this semester, if I can sell back all my psych books and replace them with ebooks. And, assuming I keep the iPad through at least the next three semesters (and hopefully beyond if I can get into grad school), it will have paid for itself by the time I graduate with my Bachelors.

Regarding my classes, I was actually pretty anxious last night and couldn't get to sleep. I ended up falling asleep around 3 AM, and had to wake up at 7 AM to get ready for school. I was most afraid of Intermediate French and Finite Math. After attending the first day of class, I am less afraid of Intermediate French, but I am still nervous about Finite Math. We aren't allowed to use graphing calculators in the class, only scientific calculators, so at least I won't have to struggle with the old nemesis, my TI-84 Plus. I suppose I can quit carrying it around and save myself some weight in my bag! The main problem with the math class is the instructor, of course. I don't know if he is a full professor or just a grad student, but he goes way too quickly through his notes in class, and speaks very quietly in an auditorium of 200+ people! We are supposed to get assigned seats next week, so I'm sure I will be near the back, which will only make things worse! If I am going to have any hope of getting through this class with a B or higher I'm going to have to do all the homework as diligently as possible.

My Cognitive Psych class seems like it may be interesting. It is taught by a grad student who seems pretty laid back. We will have a 10-15 page research paper due at the end of the semester, but I'm reasonably confident in my research and writing abilities, so the dominant factor in my success will be time management. It is no secret that this has always been a challenge for me!

Tomorrow, I get to learn about my next round of Psych Research Methods courses. This is the infamous 240 Series, where we spend a year in classes with the same professor learning about behavioral research. Since I already took basic research methods last semester, this should be no problem, but it will hopefully reinforce some concepts which I had difficulty with last semester. I also get to attend the first day of my final PE class, Fitness Walking. I took it because it seemed like the easiest PE I could take, although in retrospect I probably should have tried to sign up for Social Dance. My previous experience in swing dancing would have helped me get through it. And, I have a feeling that Fitness Walking is going to be more like "walk as fast as is humanly possible before you actually start running". Fortunately, the PE class is only half a semester long, so I will be done by the middle of October.

Beyond that, we'll have to see how this semester pans out. I will still be doing PSY 499 with the good Doctor. And one of my friends from Psych Research Methods is supposed to be joining the Doctor's team this semester, so it will be good to see a friendly face. On the horizon, I still need to get on the ball about registering and scheduling to take my GRE for grad school. And, I will be in the Doctor's second round of grad school resume and personal statement prep sessions, the first having occurred over the summer. As I have mentioned before, I really don't have a backup plan in case I don't get in to graduate school. So, I have alot riding on my success this semester and on the GRE. And, you know, I never did get around to studying for the GRE.

This may be a bumpy ride.

Have fun and keep living life... Or Some Approximation Thereof.

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