Archive for August, 2015

August 31, 2015

It’s not Tuesday but here’s a back to school joke:

by Janie Jones

What did the mother buffalo say to her son as he left for college?


August 30, 2015

The Beginning of the End

by Janie Jones

Many of you have been patiently reading all my whiny posts about school for a while now.  However, here’s the last pre-fall semester update you will have to endure!


The Stickittoyou U academic calendar tells me I have just 70 instructional days in this, my last, fall semester.

After this fall then, naturally will follow my last spring semester, which apparently is 72 instructional days long.  Why the difference you might reasonably ask?  Don’t.  It isn’t reasonable or logical.  But the long and the short of it is that I am just 142 days of class away from completing my Bachelors of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology and my Bachelors of Arts in Biochemistry and being a bona fide college graduate.  By May 6th, or possibly sooner, I will be done with college.

Unless of course I do get into the Integrated Biosciences Cell, Molecular and Physiological Graduate Studies Program I’m applying for, but in that instance I will also be getting paid so I have high hopes I will feel a little more like a real person and less like a whiny college student.  Or at least that’s what I tell myself so I actually can pretend to be excited about more college education.

Anyway, I digress.  This is about my last fall semester as an undergraduate student which begins tomorrow, Monday, August 31st.  My personal D-Day of education.  A day that will live in infamy.  Or soon be forgotten in a mushroom cloud of homework.  I am both petrified and excited about tomorrow.

It seems like the entire university has picked up on my eagerness to be done.  Normally, fall semester doesn’t begin until after the Labor Day holiday, which, my dear overseas friends, is the first Monday in September.  Stickittoyou U has decided, in their infinite wisdom, that the semester will start before Labor Day this year.  Who knows why.  But the calendar does allow for a four day weekend in October labeled so euphemistically as Fall Break and a four day weekend for Thanksgiving a month later.  I think I will need both those long weekends.  This is my course roster:


Biochemistry Lab


Genetics Lab


Virology Lab

Note, there is no physics or math courses included in this semester’s schedule.  I am officially done with *all* my math and physics requirements.  I am so very, very happy.  Can you see this big stupid grin on my face?  Can you see the happy dance I’m doing?  No doubt there will be some sneaky biochem and genetics math creeping in now and then, but did I mention I am officially finished with my math and physics requirements?  From here through next spring I will only be taking biology and biochem courses.  I fully expect to be completely and utterly overwhelmed by 10am tomorrow, but it will be in the thick of the stuff I have been wanting to study since I first decided to take this plunge into the realm of real science.

So, I fully expect there to be a bit of ongoing whining, but hopefully it will be the kind that stems from having not enough time to read that extra chapter or do one more homework because it’s just so damned interesting and down right fun.  Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Oh, and fair warning, most posts will probably include a count down of those 142 instructional days.  It’s a BIG FREAKIN DEAL after all.

Well, happy Sunday to you all.  I am going to go celebrate my impending first day of class by- can you guess?- doing some of the homework assignments that have already been assigned.

No joking around.


August 27, 2015

Spudisims #21: Some people are different

by Janie Jones

The spud’s dad was telling me this story last night.

He’s a history buff, and collects figurines of the American Presidents.  He apparently has them all. The spud was looking at them the other day and apparently picked up Obama and said, “Daddy, you know, this President is different from the others.”

He apparently replied, “Yes, yes he is.”

“Daddy, why is he sooooo skinny?”

August 25, 2015

Tuesday Titters: Lame joke alert

by Janie Jones

Why do cows make good baseball players?

Because they are used to standing out in the field all day.


That joke is enough to make you utterly batty, isn’t it.

August 23, 2015

Oh. Now that is good.

by Janie Jones

Sanpelligrino pomegranate and orange

Our most favorite Italian restaurant serves a few flavors of Sanpellegrino.  Of course, it costs an arm and a leg to have at the restaurant.  So it’s very seldom that we order any.

I have noticed that the new Co-op I’ve been shopping at in the Big City carries a wide variety of Sanpellegrino flavors.  It only costs half and arm and half a leg.  I often have thought, “Oh, that sounds so divine!”  as I have walked passed the displays of Sanpellegrino and wistfully imagined a day when I could walk into the store and just buy a six pack and not care how crazy expensive it is.  Well last week they had it on sale and the price dipped below a dollar a can.  So, I splurged and bought three individual cans in three different flavors:  grapefruit, pomegranate orange, and blood orange.  Yesterday I decided to pop one open and give one a try.

For no particular reason I poured the pomegranate orange flavor.  Man, I tell you.  It.  Was.  Good.

It was a dog-chewing-a-bone good.

It was sunny-Sunday-morning-breakfast-in-bed good.

It was first-kiss good.

It was free-ice-cream good.

It was you-just-won-the-lottery-and-are-going-to-Disney-Land good.

It was I-don’t-care-crows-are-pecking-my-eyes-out good.


It’s that good.


I have not tried the other flavors yet.  As my budget does not allow me to kick ’em back like they are going out of style I will save them for when I have time to savor them adequately.  If they are as good as this flavor, I will begin to understand why people apparently are willing to pay such outrageous prices for sparkling juice.


August 20, 2015

Well I am just so screwed

by Janie Jones

Some of my teachers for this fall have sent the course syllabus out already.  All of my classes are morning classes and my latest one runs from 11-2pm.  I specifically avoid late afternoon and night classes.  I had a 3 pm class last year.  I did not perform well.

Why?  I am most definitely a morning person.  My brain works better in the morning, and if I have to do afternoon/evening stuff, I have to sleep in and go fresh to what ever I have to do in the afternoon/evening.  It is just the way I work.  And, the older I get the more morning based I’m becoming.  I pretty sure that my radiation also has played a role in the loss of my mental flexibility.  During the school/work week I am pretty much useless after 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  So I get up early, at usually 4 am, and study.  It sticks better.  I tend to go to bed by 7:30 pm sometimes earlier.  And being up until 8 is a wild late night for me.

I have absolutely no idea how I used to function as a high school/college student 20-25 years ago getting up sometimes as early at 3:30 am and doing homework, going to class, going to work, doing more homework and maybe getting to bed at 10 pm.  I can only assume I had more stamina and mental flexibility then.

So needless to say, I was very, very pleased that the courses I must take for my degree were all early in the day.  I deliberately avoided some classes I was interested in as electives because they were later in the day.

I’ve told you all this so you will understand the significance of what I’m about to say.  To sum up, finally, my Genetics teacher, whose class is at 9 am has made three tests mandatory night exams running from 6 pm to 8 pm.  That means by the time I am expected to sit this exam, even if I take the day off from work, it will still be after a full day where I’ve been awake for 14 hours, sat through his class lecture, another class lecture and a 4 hour lab.  I was pretty much planning to be in my pj’s and ready for bed by the time he wants the test to start.

I have long been anticipating this course because I think genetics is way cool, and now I am completely distraught and dreading this class.  If I could possibly drop it and wait to take it from a different instructor and still graduate on time I so totally would.  This situation is setting me up for disaster and there is almost no possible way for me to do well on night tests at this stage in my life.  I think it pretty much sucks that a teacher is able to require such a thing.  My only hope is that I can work out some special arrangement.

God Dammit!  I am so sick of teachers thinking they can rule your life.


August 19, 2015

Pride, Responsibility and Integrity

by Janie Jones

I’m feeling a little unsettled today.

I got an email from someone at Stickittoyou U yesterday.  Apparently they want to interview me about my scholarships and grants.

This year I’m getting in excess of $14,000 of “free” money, meaning I don’t have to pay it back, for tuition and school related expenses.  Most are need-based, but some are merit based and have minimum GPA requirements.  These funds will cover about 90% of my tuition, books and fees.

Yes, it rocks.  Yes, I’m extremely grateful.  Yes, I do feel honored and lucky.  And yes, I’ve worked very hard to get the best grades I can to be worthy and have applied for up to 50 some scholarships for this year.  But, there is a part of me that is also very embarrassed and ashamed to not be able to support myself and my daughter without all this need based funding.

It feels very much like being interviewed and having my story pasted all over the school homepage and “other uses” is trying to make me seem like someone of distinction to be honored and looked up to when I have done nothing but find myself too poor to make my own way in the world and too under-educated to get the good paying jobs (ie, more than minimum wage) that would allow me to live an average middle class life I was accustomed to before “life” happened.

Sure, everyone needs a hand up once and a while and people and organizations who give out scholarship and grant money are trying to acknowledge and help us who are less fortunate better ourselves.  But, it seems to me if you have a proper sense of pride, self respect and integrity you should be celebrating the donors, not the people who have done nothing but accept their generosity.

While many people fail to see my side of this issue, awards ceremonies and interviews just drive home my shame in being unable to provide for myself.  It feels like celebrating my failure.  I have done nothing to deserve to be celebrated, yet.  Everyone, in my opinion should strive to better themselves, what I’m doing is not special, or unique.  It should be normal, average, and expected.

So, I do thank the donors.  It allows me to do what I have to in order to be a better person and one day again be able to provide for myself and my family.  But I’m not there yet.  Currently I’m a hot mess of stress, frustration, panic, fear, longing, exhaustion, and insecurity.  It’s too soon to see beyond the struggle.  I am grateful for the help but it’s way too soon to see anything in my situation for praise or admiration and I don’t want to be an object of pity either.

I just want to say a heartfelt thank you and go about my business.  Why is that so weird to the world?