two semesters until my 20 year bachelor’s degree is complete

There only thing standing between me and a grubby little piece of paper saying I’ve received a Bachelor’s Degree is 20 credits. TWENTY. That’s five classes. I’m taking three of those this fall semester: Conflict Resolution, Organizational Behavior and (wait for it) The American Male. You like that third one, right?

I’m getting my degree from the College of Individualized Studies at Metro State University in St. Paul. What that means is I was able to go in and really customize my degree plan to things that I felt best fit into my area of concentration, which is Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Or I/O Psychology for those of you in the biz or those of you who just want to seem cool. My school offers a B.S. in Human Resource Management, but it required courses that caused me to break out in hives just by reading the titles: Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, College Algebra, Boring Spreadsheets III, How to Run Reports Nobody Will Care About, etc. I know how to do some of those and, for the rest, I just ask someone in another department to give me the answer. That’s how grown up jobs work, kids.

I’d originally selected a class called Psychological Testing. I wasn’t incredibly looking forward to it because it had proctored tests, which means actually going somewhere other than my couch to take a test and being super paranoid about the proctor standing over my should watching my every move. Or however that works.

Well, lo and behold, ONE WEEK before the semester was supposed to start, I happened to login to our Student Services portal to see that this Psychological Testing class has been dropped from my schedule. Did I mention it was one week before the semester was supposed to start? And did I mention that I have my next two semesters very specifically planned out? I know I definitely didn’t mention they didn’t notify me of this cancellation. That was my favorite part.

I emailed my advisor with a list of three options I felt would fit into my degree plan. He didn’t respond. The next day, I signed up for The American Male and emailed him to let him know that all the classes were filling up and there was no way in Hades I was going to push this out another semester. The third day, I emailed another person and left two voicemails, because HI, I MEAN BUSINESS. My advisor finally calls me back, says, “Wendy, you’re beating up on me today!” To which I respond with, “Here’s the thing, guy that reminds me from Stanley from The Office, we just need to wrap this up so I can graduate next semester. That’s all.” For some reason I’ll never quite understand and never really want to understand, he felt it appropriate to say, “Okay, okay, okay. You can spank me. I deserve it.”

Nope. Just nope. No, no, no. 

But I got over it pretty quick because he okayed the change on my very detailed degree plan and all was well in the world until I had to go pick up my books and explain to them I already had to return two of them because the class cancelled. That took over an hour and I’m pretty sure they marked the wrong ones as returned, but hey, whatever.

This semester wraps up mid-December. My last semester will include Statistics and my required Capstone class. If I don’t wind up curled up in the fetal position eating the Statistics book for a midnight snack, I’ll finally be finished in May of 1996. That’s exactly 20 years after I graduated from high school.

That’s the stuff Aesop’s fables are made from right there, you guys.

the last year has seriously flown

My desk on the last day at my last job.

Exactly one year ago today, I was at the Imperial Room with co-workers from my previous job, and I was in the process of getting absolutely obliterated on drinks that I couldn’t keep track of at all. Later, I would puke on the back porch. My wife would probably tell you more about that if you wanted the details. The hardest part for me was leaving some of my co-workers (the non-homophobic ones) and the CEO, who was an enormous catalyst in my professional growth over those five years. The easiest part for me was everything else. I won’t go into detail, but I’m sure you can read them in my future memoir and it will likely take up 43 chapters with very few pictures.

And since then… man. You know how they say you shouldn’t do ALL OF THE LIFE CHANGES at once? Well, screw that. In the past 365 days, we’ve done some things.

  • I started a new very awesome job.
  • We celebrated Minnesota legalizing gay marriage.
  • We went camping.
  • I started going back to school.
  • We went to Vegas.
  • We got married.
  • We saw Macklemore.
  • We went camping again.
  • I went to Missouri in October.
  • We went to Missouri for Christmas.
  • Amelia started going back to school.
  • We went up north for a cabin weekend.
  • The Kid switched schools.
  • We got pregnant.

I don’t necessarily know that the next year will slow down with things on the agenda like going to Montana, graduating with my AA in Liberal Arts, going to New York, buying a new car, starting my Bachelor’s program, and having a baby all on the agenda for the next six or seven months.

When I put it all into perspective, I can’t wait to come back and look at this post again in 365 days when we’ll have an almost six month old and a 17 year old a month away from graduating high school.

This is probably a gimme, but I’m pretty happy with this life of mine right now.

my third semester starts

Yesterday was my school’s unofficial first day of the spring semester. I’m taking 11 credits again and, once again, they’re all required courses including Introduction to Art, World Religions, Environmental Biology, and Information Literacy and Research Skills. I am looking forward to absolutely zero of them, but I am looking forward to this being my last semester at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC). The teaching staff, from my experience, is pretty fantastic, but the administrative/admissions/advising crew is worth about the exact opposite. Long story for a different blog post after I’ve already been given my degree…

Since I’m taking all my classes online, that always means we have to do that obligatory introduction online in our discussion boards. It’s one of my most dreaded times of the semester, just as it would be if I was in an in-person class. I hate introducing myself. It always ends up something like this:

I’m Wendy. I’m getting my AA in Liberal Arts. I’m taking this class because it’s required and my options are extremely limited in online classes at this school, so I’m stuck with this hot mess of a class. And I’ll likely not want to associate with any of you guys after this class ends, because your lack of punctuation, capital letters, terribly misspelled words and really terrible ideas make me sad. I have to force myself through this class because this required nonsense is the bane of my existence. And no, I do not want to meet in person to study, and no, I do not enjoy group work at all. Have a nice day.

I might be a little softer in the way I present it, but not much. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m in school for the right reasons and my approach at getting it done as fast as I possibly can might not be the best idea in the world, but I like efficiency and I like being an overachiever. Too bad I can’t get a degree in those. I bet the electives are better.