Goooooooooooal!

I have decided to make some summer goals**.  Normally, I like to just take summer day-by-day and see what happens. I might read some books or workout when I feel like it. Summer has been my relaxing break between vigorous semesters of college and now that college is ending, I think the grown-up thing to do is have some goals.

In addition to the constant goal of finding a new job/career path, I want this summer to be about new things. Not necessarily trying something new every day (although that could be an interesting experiment and fun FRIENDS reference) but trying new things in the activities I already enjoy but never branch out of.

Example: reading. I love to read so that’s not new. But I typically read the same things. I either like historical fiction, fantasy, or trashy fluff girl books. I want to read some new things this summer. My most artistic friend swears that comics are an ingenious form of art and literature, so I’m curious to see if I agree. I also want to read a biography because I haven’t since it was a requirement in high school. *Suggestions for this are welcomed.*

I also love cooking and need to branch out of my regular dishes for the sake of my own interest (not to mention for my husband’s!). I received a gigantic Bible of Italian cooking so I think one of my goals will be to master that.

A short story has been in a works for a while because I keep scrapping it. The last goal is to finish a short story (or more!) by August. I even have a pretty link on the blog that’s sad and empty. This must change!

**I reserve the right to remove, add or alter these goals at any time during the summer of 2009.

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.