Thanks, UWM.

Ahhhhhh.

That is a big sigh of relief. Not that I didn’t expect to graduate, but when your last big college semester is 18 credits of upper level English courses, you can’t help but feel discouraged most of the time. I’m quite proud to say that despite the massive amount of difficulty I faced this semester, I came out with excellent grades.

I learned a lot over the past five years (don’t hate, sometimes it takes people longer than four when they switch their major a lot!). I learned American Sign Language and about Deaf culture. I was the Executive Director for the Conservative Women’s Movement on campus and truly learned about discrimination and unfair treatment of conservatives in education. I had an interesting seminar course on anthropological linguistics. I was exposed to 19th century mystery novels. I had enough Psych courses to interest me in Ed Psych for a possible grad program. I learned about William Blake and what a talented and crazy man he was. Most importantly, I learned that you don’t have to read the book to write the paper or religiously attend class – even when attendance is a grade factor (unless you will die without an A… then you might want to continue not having a life outside of the university.)

Despite doing well, I actually disliked most of my classes this semester. The subtitle for one Lit course was “mystery, suspense and the supernatural”. I was pretty excited to read the chosen novels, until I actually picked one up from the bookstore and opened it. It was hundreds of pages of *b o r i n g*. So, I turned to my trusty Google and found online summaries and notes for all of the obscure titles that Sparknotes didn’t have. I didn’t read a single book for that class. My grade was a B+. Why? Because I’m an excellent paper writer and I strategically attended the important classes. Of course, attendance was part of the grade for the course and yet, I managed to show up just enough to hear key paper ideas from classmates and the professor and to participate enough to show that I know what I’m talking about.

That mentality followed me to other courses this semester, as well. I learned that sitting in class is not really that important and if you can find the information and retain it and say something profound about it, you will never struggle in school. It baffles me that some students attend class like it’s their job and can’t take a test or write a paper to save their life.

College is about strategy. Recently, my husband asked what the point of my degree is if I just plan on being a housewife soon. Whether I get a 9-5 job or work in my home, the strategies I learned from my education will carry throughout my life. I learned how to be creative and crafty in my research methods. (Smart consumers do research!) I learned how to say something smart about topics I don’t care about in the required amount of words. (Perfect prep for small talk with grown-ups I don’t like or know) I learned how to pay attention to important things and forget unimportant things. (Like blocking my husband out when he talks to me -ha ) I mastered the art of writing an intelligent paper with limited information or provoking thoughts. (Like the convincing letters I may have to write to get my children excused from things or to negotiate billing and other issues with insurance companies.) Those are all priceless tools.

Holla!! Im super excited to have graduated!
Holla!! I'm super excited to have graduated!

Here, Im more composed but equally excited.
Here, I'm more composed but equally excited.

Golden Showers… of sunlight?

It was a beautiful, warm and breezy day today. A day that I spent holed up in the university library furiously researching cross-cultural color terms and writing a paper. My reward for my hard work was going to be an early Subway dinner in the park with my husband, to enjoy the last few hours of sunlight.

We arrived with our food and found a nice grassy spot far enough away from a family picnic to enjoy some quiet but close enough to the woods for scenery. Halfway through the meal, one of the guys from the family picnic near-by walked passed us on his way into the woods. I thought it was weird, but I’m not familiar with the park, so maybe there was a building or bubbler back there. He heads back to the picnic and I joke to my husband, ‘Maybe he just peed in the woods!’ I was kidding, of course. It was still day light, there were a lot of people around, and the woods are sparse and quite see-through.

Then about ten minutes later, a middle aged woman walked back to the same area in the woods. I knew it couldn’t be woodland-urination because ladies just don’t behave like that. Especially middle aged ones in cute outfits. Since we couldn’t see the previous guy or this woman after they got to a certain point in the woods, we really had no idea what they were up to and we wouldn’t find out until we actually got up.

The woman emerged from the woods adjusting her clothing, which was a good indicator that she had just gone to the bathroom there. I was a little shocked. I didn’t think people actually did that with an actual bathroom (and other people!) so close!

We joked about calling the police. If there was an anonymous texting feature for the local police, we probably would have done that. That family is lucky! They would have had three fines coming their way. Oh yes, there was a third. The third time, a guy walked into the woods, but not as far as the others… Had we wanted to, we could have watched him – he was that close. It was appalling.

I guess park woods are the new bathroom stalls.

great expectations

Unfortunately, Charles Dickens is not on my list of favorite authors, I just happen to like clever reference titles.

I have some high hopes for this blog. Mainly, I hope people like to read about the same things I like to write about- which could be anything.  Interests include, but are not limited to: linguistics, family, homemaking, literature, gaming and cooking.

As school is coming to an end, I admit, I will miss my massive writing assignments.  They made me think outside the box and forced me to express myself in clear written form.  And let’s be honest, they helped me become a whiz at scouring the web for free literature notes. I hope what I learned for (and paid for!) five years will prove useful.