Saturday, January 24, 2009

phase 1 complete

I took my Professional Knowledge test today. It was a little more grueling than I expected -- 100 multiple choice questions instead of 80, and 2 short essays and one long essay, instead of 3 short ones. I had to erase my third short essay and expand it into a longer one. It wasn't the writing that troubled me, it was having to erase so bloody much of my miserable handwriting. It's legible, but the pencils were all getting pretty dull by then, and since I'm left-handed, it's hard enough to write with a pencil without smudging.

I have a blister on my thumb from all the writing today. I am not used to writing anything longer than a shopping list long-hand. I'm not about to start journaling with paper and pen again -- ever.

I studied yesterday by taking the practice test, which helped quite a bit. I'm not sure how they score these things but I will be very surprised if I don't pass, even though a lot of the questions were really annoying. So much of Ed Psych and "best teaching practices" are mushy-soft science that you're forced to take a best guess; I hate that.

Biology starts Monday, and by the end of March, the plan will be complete. After today's test, I'm looking forward to working in a hard science where there are right answers and wrong answers. It will be so nice not to have make so many judgment calls.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

day(s) of arg!

My car's electrical system is haunted -- it has been flaking out and not starting randomly for the past couple of weeks. It spent the entire day in the shop yesterday after dying at the orthodontist's office (tech found nothing) and again today after flaking out on DH (found a lose ground wire) and I'm hoping that the million+1 diagnostics they ran were accurate and that the lose ground wire was the cause of the problem. I like my service advisor just fine, but I'd like not to have to see her for a couple of months.

I spent >30 minutes on the phone with Rio's admissions, records, and advising departments to see if anyone could locate the transcript that MIT was supposed to have sent over. No luck, which means calling MIT and finding out if they did send it, and to whom, and did they by any chance put my current name on the thing? Sheesh.

The water softener isn't working properly and the shower water doesn't feel nearly as nice as it usually does. Service call on Friday morning.

The light in the stairwell works when it feels like it, which is not often. This has been going on for a few weeks now -- electrician's coming on Friday morning, too.

Our internet service has been extremely unreliable lately, and for such an extended period that I actually called the service provider. After the usual interminable wait, the tech told me that they are, for once, not having any issues, but that the modem is 9 years old and that may be the source of the problem. Ironically it has been working flawlessly since I called... but now that I've written that, I can expect catastrophic failure in the near future.

My web host inexplicably changed my password without any advance notification. I've had problems with these people before but I'm paid up for like the next three years and I'm too cheap to switch, but I'm seriously considering it now. This post was written on Tuesday, January 20. Let's see when I can actually get it to publish -- because when I requested a new password, the email didn't come through. Later: only 15 minutes on hold and I got through to a tech who emailed me the password directly. It's a string of gibberish which I will reset back to my old, strong password asap. Sheesh (again).

Got up at 6AM the past 2 days to take Mom to her tests at the hospital. They went fine and we are very pleased with the care she is receiving, but getting up at 6AM makes the days very long, especially with the extra driving (dropping DH off at work, picking him up again, going to get my car at the service center.)

Tomorrow, an early appointment with Dr. C, my TMD (the joint is TMJ, if it's messed up, you have TMD) doctor. My face hurts and there's definitely something going on with my salivaries, but I can't be sure it's not referred pain from teeth grinding. I know I've been grinding, I don't think I can not grind my teeth, which means I may be headed for an appliance I wear all the time. Ick.

All of these are piddly little things, nothing but inconveniences, really. Here's the worst: I spaced on ordering my meds from Canada, and now I'm down to about 24 Domperidone pills to get me through however long the next batch will take to get here. I think it's typically about 2 weeks but it can be longer. I let myself take a couple before bed so I don't feel like puking in the morning. If I had any ideas that I didn't really need to take this medication, this experience is showing me otherwise. I feel horrid in the evenings now, but I figure it's better to have the promise of relief at bedtime and stretch what I have as far as possible, rather than have to go completely cold turkey with none at all for who-knows-how-long. I really have to pay more attention to these things, it was just inattentiveness that led to this predicament.

My biology class starts Monday and will be a lot of work. Assignments are due Wed and Sat at midnight, and those hard deadlines will be a great incentive to get me to do the work. My teacher test is this Saturday! I'm excited and terrified at the same time, although that feeling in the pit of my stomach may have more to do with the lack of medication than anything else. (I am planning on taking a normal day's dosage on test day -- I can't go in there feeling as if I'm going to puke.)

Here's hoping that things get a little easier going forward -- even if that meant just that the car stopped being flaky, it would be a tremendous help.

Monday, January 19, 2009

however unlikely --

The Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl. How weird is that?

I watched the good half of the game, but was spared from watching most of the frustrating half by a telephone call from an old and dear friend -- it was lovely, and the Cards won without my angst.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

marking time

Turns out my class doesn't start for two more weeks.

I want to get on with it! I want to get those tests out of the way. I don't like that I have them looming over me, on the horizon but weeks away.

I also hate wishing my life away, wanting time to go by faster. I am not good at this, waiting. I'd much rather be working -- and will be, later this week. In the meantime, thrashing about as usual.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

ThyCa East Valley

Tomorrow (technically, later today), I'll be facilitating the first meeting of the ThyCa East Valley Thyroid Cancer Support Group at the Cancer Center at Chandler Regional Hospital. We'll be meeting the second Thursday of each month (except July) from 6:30 to 8:30PM in the Education Room.

I'm oddly calm about this. Normally I would be bouncing off the wall with anxiety, sort of like, "What if I gave a party and no one came?" But I know people will come, and in reality, it would be easier if people didn't come. It's nice when fewer people come -- I rationalize -- because that means fewer people have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. (There are, of course, many other explanations, but that's the one I'm sticking with.)

I had trepidations initially about working with the Hospital, as they have rules about what you can and can't say -- but the reality is, I've been working with those rules for years now. I'm not a doctor and I can't give medical advice. I can say, "The protocol says this." I can say, "I have experienced this, other patients have experienced this other thing." I can say, "That's a good question for your doctor." In other words, I have to be careful how I say things, but that has been true all along.

Tomorrow also will be my first orientation session to become a volunteer at the Hospital. I don't need to do that, it's just to make things a little easier on my end, and give me the ability to run a meeting without my hospital-employed co-facilitator present, if necessary. It would be a shame to have to cancel a meeting if she couldn't make it.

The last time I managed a group of adults was years ago, at Oracle. It was a small group but I dealt with many people, as we were responsible for communicating requirements from three different application groups to the tools guys, and then we had to wrap an interface around those tools to meet the UI requirements of the app guys. It was fun. This is entirely different, of course, but I like the idea of having my own group again. I also like that the goals are well-defined and I already know what to do -- that's a big help.

It's odd knowing exactly when a new baby will be born. I have no idea how quickly this one will grow, or what it's going to require of me in the long run. So far I've been able to manage the phone calls and emails, and admin tasks have been minimal. There are things I'd love to do, like a mailing to the area doctors announcing the group and our meeting schedule, and I still may be able to pull that off, but we'll have to see. My class starts Monday and my professional knowledge exam is the 24th -- things are going to get very, very busy.