#601 – What a Lovely Day

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Today was a fantastic day. I got to spend the afternoon with one of my favorite people, and when I picked my wife up from work found out that she had an even better day after a conversation with her supervisor.

The evening’s been spent lying in bed and goofing off on the computer. I’ll enjoy this little bit of respite. We’re going to be packing tomorrow night for a flight to Orlando Saturday morning to spend time with my wife’s family for New Year’s. Once we get back, the packing and preparation for our move is going to start in earnest, and it won’t be many days before I’ll be back in school.

Gotta enjoy the downtime while I can. There’s not a lot of it on the horizon.

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Stuff Gets Real

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Tonight I had my first bit of panic since starting this process of going back to school. I got an email from my biology instructor detailing where class notes can be found, as well as the syllabus. It’s the first communication that I’ve received that was class-specific and it took me aback for a few minutes while it finally sunk into my thick skull that classes start in less than 48 hours.

Somehow it all felt unreal up to this point – the meetings I’ve attended, the hoops I’ve jumped through to get registered, all of it. I don’t know why it was the letter from my biology instructor that finally drove it home. It’s not a bad thing, mind. It was nervous excitement that I felt more than fear, although there was a good chunk of fear in there.

I really hope I know what I’m getting myself into.

Consistency of Habit

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The above picture is a screenshot from my phone of Duolingo, the language app that I have used to learn Spanish and now Italian. I have another app, Elevate that I use for grammar, math, and short-term memory exercises. I do both of them every day. And according to this snapshot, I have been doing them both every day for a year straight.

When I started this streak, I didn’t honestly think it would last this long. I was just happy to be learning something and not just sitting at home twiddling my thumbs when not watching movies or playing computer games or reading or doing the occasional household chore. Being on disability seems like it might be all fun and games, but let me assure you, having no schedule and little to keep you busy gets very old, very fast.

I think that’s one of the reasons that I’m so happy to be going to college after all this time. It gives me some structure and some short- and long-term goals to work towards. The short-term goal is this semester, and the long-term, of course, is the degree.

Speaking of college, I got word today that I’d gained a spot in both classes that I had waitlisted for, and I accepted a spot in one of them. The other begins ten minutes after the first one ends on another campus, leaving me no possible way to get from one to the other in time.

The part that makes me happiest about this is that it means that I’m only going to miss one day of classes when I go to California next month on vacation. One day is going to be fairly easy to catch up from, especially with the syllabuses in hand. It also gives me five days a week that will be class-free, time that I can spend studying or keeping up with my chores or taking time for myself.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m glad that it worked out that I could only take two classes this semester. I would have hated to get back into the habit of going to class and studying with a full class load. I can save that pleasure for later semesters, when I’ll need to keep up with the program.

I’m worried that my checklist items will fall by the wayside given the more pressing use of my time, but I feel confident that I can keep at least most of my checklist going even while in school.

Seven more days to wait.

Small Victory

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Granted, it’s the weekend, and the trips weren’t far, but we went to the store and then later swung by a friend’s place to pick up something and stopped off at the drugstore on the way home. And I drove both times.

It’s still a big deal to me to have a day where I do all the driving. I’ve been scared to do so for so long, it feels both wonderful and weird to get back behind the wheel like this. And it’s going to take some getting used to for both of us. It’s habit at this point for me to take the passenger’s seat, and it’s habit for her to automatically get behind the wheel. It’s going to take a little bit of effort for us to break that habit, but I think it’ll be relatively easy to do.

Seven more days to go before classes start. I’ve been excited, but I’m also starting to get nervous about it. My mind keeps trying to wander off to a myriad “what if?” situations but I’m being diligent and stopping those thoughts almost as soon as they appear.

I just hope that will continue once the classwork starts coming in.

What a Weird Day

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Real short post tonight, since it’s bedtime.

Woke up at 2:45 am and decided to start trying to grab my waitlisted classes. It wasn’t until after 8:00 that the website finally let me log in, and then it was another 15 minutes before it would show me my schedule. Turns out that I can’t register for the waitlisted classes for some reason, even though it shows there’s now room.

Went back to bed at some point in the morning and didn’t wake up for good until after 2:00 pm. Everything’s been thrown off kilter from that.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more like what I’m used to.

Ready As I’ll Ever Be

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(Today’s going to be a real short post, because I’m real tired.)

Today I put the finishing touches on most of the stuff that I have to do before classes start on the 28th. I got my student ID card made – I look appropriately awful in the photo – and I picked up the textbook for my Biology Fundamentals class. Both of these I did at the Round Rock campus – the fourth Austin Community College campus that I’ve been to in a week. I parked on the south side of campus intending to walk past the west side of the 3000 building to get to Admissions and Records in the 1000 building on the west side of campus, only construction had the pathway blocked, so I had to walk clear around the east side of the 3000 building to come back to the 1000 building to the west. I got in there, wiped the sweat from my brow – it was 101 degrees out, by my car’s reckoning – and thankfully only had to wait for a moment to get my photo taken, and only a couple of minutes after that to get my card handed to me. I went from there to the northeast side of the 2000 building to the bookstore, and then walked back along the east side of campus to get to the parking lot on the south side. And that was the end of my exercise for the day. Between the heat and the fairly long distance (by my standards, anyway) I was done.

And that’s that. The only preparation I have left to do will be next weekend, when I pick up a couple of three-ring binders, some loose leaf paper, and a scientific calculator.

I can’t believe that so much has happened just in the past few days. I look back at everything I’ve done since last Thursday – the meeting with the departmental advising specialist, the appointment with my psychiatrist, the area of study information session, registering for my college algebra class and picking up that textbook, then finding out that biology fundamentals would be authorized by Texas Workforce Commission and registering for that class and picking up its textbook, the meeting with student accessibility services, the appointment with my psychiatrist, picking up a parking permit and a student ID – this is the busiest week that I can remember having in a long time.

And because of that, and because there’s not really that much to do, tomorrow I’m taking it easy. I think I’ve earned that.