Cake or pie?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays everybody out there. Whether or not you observe a holiday, I'm sure the time off from work/school/whatever is appreciated if you're lucky enough to have it. I got my chemistry grade in - an A-. I'm pretty satisfied with it, considering it could have been worse, I probably did pretty well on the ACS-provided final exam.

Unfortunately, I am sick. My sister, brother-in-law and nephew were all sick, and I had gone over to watch my nephew. I think they're all on antibiotics and my sister & brother-in-law were diagnosed with bronchitis. I don't feel like I have any lung involvement. I ran nearly 4 miles yesterday and didn't have any problem with my lungs, so that's why I believe that. There's no wheezing/cackling/crackling involved, and not really any coughing either with whatever I've got, just a runny nose and sinus congestion. If it's anything, it's either just a common rhinovirus or a sinus infection. :(

Anyway, I just wanted to say Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/etc. Gotta go!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cruising Along..

I keep checking the university website like a hawk on the lookout for my chemistry grade. I keep crossing my fingers and hoping that, above the 45 I'm pretty sure I got right out of 70, I was a pretty decent guesser on the rest.

I was so excited earlier today, a delivery truck came by and dropped some stuff off. One of my sisters asked what I wanted for Christmas, I said I wanted a white board (dry-erase board). I figured it would be useful for a few things: keeping me organized, and being able to work out problems on it for chem, and "teach" myself concepts in my post-bac classes, you know, or diagram a certain system or even a metabolic pathway. So I got my white board, now I have to mount it on the wall. She kicked it the markers, eraser, and cleaner set as well. Awesome!

I ran tonight over at my sister's house (Chris's mom!), since she has a treadmill, only 3 miles. I got over there and my sister says she was going to get Chinese food, her treat. The last time I ate Chinese BEFORE a run, it wasn't pretty. Needless to say, I had to cut that run short, so I resolved to eat after the run. I was looking forward to cracking open the fortune cookie and seeing what my fortune was, but I had a run to do, and my sister had Chinese food to pick up. I asked for beef chow mein, and I said thank you later after I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lately I've been watching the seasons of Supernatural on DVD while I run on the treadmill. Love that show: the humor, the GOOOOOORE at times, and they always have plenty of hot women on the show. I usually do 3-5 miles a day, more so when I'm training for a marathon. I've run two marathons: the 32nd Marine Corps Marathon in 2007, and the 33rd Marine Corps Marathon in 2008. I plan on running it again in 2009, but I'm also thinking about running a marathon in the spring. I know that the Music City Marathon is in Nashville, in April, I believe. The good thing about that, is most of my mom's family lives in and around Nashville, so it would be awesome to visit them since I don't get to see them that often. I am not sure if registration is closed, I need to get on that and check it out, and if it is, maybe there is something else I can run in the spring, full marathon or a half.

Coincidentally, I told someone the first "race" I ever ran was a marathon. They seemed kind of surprised and said, "Don't you usually do like a 5K, or 10K, or a half before biting off marathon?" What can I say? I'll leave it to the fortune cookie I cracked and ate before the beef chow mein, which said, "You like a challenge."

I guess that's me. I baked brownies tonight too, for the first time. I guess it's a result of wanting to use stuff up around the house and not having anything to do since classes are out, and at least brownies aren't that challenging. Well, maybe they are, to your gut!

First Semester Back = Done!

My first post-bac semester is done. I took cell bio, anatomy & physiology, and general chemistry. At first, it seemed like taking three labs at once could be a result of wishful thinking and/or possibly wearing Bad Idea Jeans­™. Honestly, when you take a lab, it really is like taking two classes instead of one, but most of the lab sciences I have heard of, the lab is only worth 20-33% of a course's grade. The problem is that even though it's only worth that relatively small percentage, it frequently takes up just as much time to prepare for the lab and study, as it does for the lecture portion.

I have two grades in, which I did well in - cell bio, and anatomy & physiology. I took the cell bio and a&p exams last Wednesday, December 10th. The grade for a&p was posted by last Friday, and the cell bio grade was posted by this morning. Tonight, I had my last exam, a nationally standardized general chemistry exam provided by the American Chemical Society. It was 70 questions, and from what I understand, statistics are applied in determining the exam grade. My professor had mentioned that in the twelve years he's been teaching, he's rarely seen people score in the 60s (out of 70), including people like me who had come back to school, even some people who had taught chemistry in community college or high school. I divided up my studying since it was a comprehensive exam for first term genchem, and felt like I was well-prepared. Out of the 70 questions, I'm pretty confident I was right on 45ish questions, like dead certain I was right. Some of the other questions, I was able to eliminate an answer or two and improve my odds in making my educated and not-so-educated guesses. The jury's out on the chemistry exam. I'm sure the grades will be posted within a day or two, but it will probably be my lowest grade of this fall, and I'm signed up for general chemistry II for the spring semester.

My take-home lesson: I really need to go above and beyond in studying for chemistry and getting help if I need it. It doesn't come as easy to me as the biology stuff does. On a brighter note, remember the A&P muscle practical I was mentioning a few entries back? I got the sheet/score back at the A&P final last Wednesday. Just like I thought - 38/40 right, and she just gave me 48/50 possible points for it. Hooray. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Welcome to the World, Chris, You Have 1 New Message!

Today my second nephew was born. He registered for life today, so here is his welcome message. His name is Christopher Matthew, to go along with his 3 year old big bro John Thomas. The picture above is the him getting a bath from his nurses, his first real bath aside from being cleaned up post-c/s. They are rolling him over to wash the back of his body. He arrived at 11:07 a.m. EST, weighing 8 lbs 3 oz, and was 20 inches long.


Thank you for registering with Life­™. You have a completely blank slate coming into the world. You are capable of doing great things, and capable of doing terrible things. My only hope for you as one of your uncles, and your mother's only brother, is that you grow up to be a good man, that you are kind, charitable, help your fellow man out when possible, and that you maintain your integrity. Do not let other people compromise the values and teachings your father, mother, brother, and extended family instill in you. You were born with a great set of lungs, a healthy body, and I know that everything is overwhelming now.

You're used to being sheltered in the warm cocoon of mommy's belly, but you're out in the world now, where it is bright, and cold at times. You're getting used to the light, and to the noises, which are clearer now, but there is oh-so-much to take in and process. Just keep your eyes and ears open, except for when you need a well-deserved nap, because growing to be big & strong is hard work. Take it all in, it will start to make sense.

I love you.