school woes

Jun. 7th, 2010 07:54 pm
mutedtempest: (Default)
I know it's my own fault for staying in this program, but dear Lord. I have never felt so inferior in my entire life. I know I should take it easier on myself since I do have brain damage that affects my computational skills and in my defense I didn't realize this stuff would be quite so computer intensive, but...gah.

The thing that upsets me most is that it's not impossible to understand. The last course took me 9 months, but I WAS eventually able to work it out for myself. I will with this one too, it's just incredibly frustrating that it takes so freaking long to grasp it.

I know people think I'm lazy and that I never study, mostly because I want them to think that. That way, they can't look down on me for being stuck on one equation for 3 months. In reality, I spend hours every day reading my textbooks over and over again, writing notes in longhand in my notebooks, typing page after page of them on the computer and reading them aloud to myself in hopes that something will click. Sometimes it does, but if so it takes forever.

I've completed one assignment. I signed up for 100% temp, and I'm supposed to be done by June 30th. I want to be, and I can be ambitious and think that I'll do one exercise per day. Really, I just hope I'm somewhere close to that deadline this time.
mutedtempest: (Default)
Yeah, okay, so it's just one class. But it was the first class for my master's degree, and I feel pretty good about it even if it took me 9 months to complete the damn thing.

I've always known that I suck at science and math and anything remotely computational. When I enrolled in the program, I was under the misguided impression that it was going to be more...well, I guess old-fashioned cartography is the best way to put it. As in paper maps drawn artistically and ornate script used for the map keys. It's not like that at all, and while I know it's my own fault for not looking into it further before signing up, I'm still kinda disappointed.

This program is basically a form of computer science, involving a ton of coding and formulas and computation. And I suck at it. I managed to pass the exam only by realizing a big mistake that my teachers made - we have selftests online at the end of each module, and the exam questions are lifted word-for-word from these. Given that the exams are online, I can easily go into the selftests and find the answers. Voila, passing grade. I know it's bad of me, but I honestly do know the material. The questions just have very specific multiple answers and if you don't get every single one correct, you get no credit for the question.

So, yeah. I found out I passed this afternoon and enrolled in the next course immediately. I'm starting the work on my first assignment for that course, and while I don't think I'll finish it today at least I'm doing something. I want to see how far I can possibly get before June.
mutedtempest: (Default)
GIS bores me to tears. I adore maps and thought that a program in Geographical Information Systems would allow me to gain insight into making them, at least to an extent. I knew it wasn't cartography and that the good majority of the course dealt with specific software, but I still was under the impression that it was a mapping program. Not really...it does deal with maps, but not in any way that's interesting to me. When I complete the program, I can be a land surveyor, and honestly I just do not care. I have no desire whatsoever to be a land surveyor or anything of the sort.

When I signed up for it, my main objective was simply to gain admission to a Swedish university in order to obtain a student residence permit and live here until the degree was completed. I did gain admission, but as the Migration Board likes to go in circles with its rules, it did me no good residence-permit wise. I fought, too. The entire summer was spent appealing, being told completely opposite things by Lund Uni and Migrationsverket, and struggling to understand just why I was being continually denied. In short, none of my appeals mattered. The case went to the highest court in Sweden, and they refused to even HEAR it. So, despite being a full time student at a Swedish university and receiving student aid that amounts to about 146,000SEK an academic year, I did not receive a student permit and am here as a tourist on an extended visit.

I COULD go to the expense of hiring a Swedish attorney and actually bringing the case before the court, and legally I'd stand a good chance of winning. But by the time I got the money to do it and actually went through the process, I'll be over 30. It just doesn't seem worth it for a degree I don't really care about lol.

Since gaining admission to a Swedish school did me no good, I don't really feel compelled to continue a degree that I care nothing about. I've been looking into graduate programs back home since I really miss the entire campus experience. I'm far too late to apply for the fall, but perhaps next spring or even next fall, should I choose to do so.

The only problem is that Ive fallen in love with Pite and have no desire to leave. As a tourist I'll have to eventually, yes, but I can come back after 90 days outside the Schengen area. If I pursue an on-campus program I wont be able to come back to stay for any significant length of time.

In my searching, however, I did come upon an online master's degree in History from the University of Nebraska. Online History Degree The requirements are pretty steep, so I'd more than likely have to complete a Graduate Certificate before I started the Master's program, but I adore history and that really wouldn't bother me much. I'd be able to spend a good deal of time in Pite too since the degree is online.

I don't know. I'm really at a sort of crossroads here. I can do basically anything I want when it comes to furthering my education, I just don't now exactly where or in what format. The degree in history would interest me, though. Guess I need to think hard about it and weigh my options. I did contact the head of the History Department at UNK and asked about the graduate certificate, though. I guess I'll wait to hear.
mutedtempest: (jason/my life sucks)
I've been missing way too many days to attempt to catch up with the meme now. I do have a fairly short attention span for things that don't interest me...which makes me regret my master's degree choice even more. Oh well, the more I procrastinate on that the longer I'll receive government money to live abroad, which really amuses me to no end.

more yada )

So, yeah. Some stressful things on the horizon but I think I can handle them all right. I'm actually a little excited about going south for a few days. I adore Pite but this wanderer is starting to get itchy feets a little bit. XD

so

Oct. 29th, 2008 05:21 am
mutedtempest: (Default)
i cant sleep and i was looking on the website for UmeƄ University, and they finally posted the deadlines for the fall. (they were for fall of 2008 when I last checked a couple weeks ago...makes sense). Anyway, due to the large number of applicants for programs in English, the deadline is January 15th.

I'm really freaking out about this and I don't exactly know why. I mean, the deadline for last year was the beginning of February, how much does two weeks really matter? Still, it worries me.

I can apply beginning the first of December, which I'm totally going to. The only issue is that I need to have my advisor send me a letter, which details my last semester and when I'm slated to graduate. This wouldn't be a big deal, but American universities usually have a break over the holidays, so...yeah. I may very well be totally fucked.

Still, it appears that since it's a supporting document I can have my advisor mail it directly to the university. That might actually be required since it says that documents need to be sent from the school.

I'm just freaking out. I have to get five transcripts sent from different schools, as well as my high school one...which may be an issue since as far as I know the request has to be made in person and I really dont have the funds to fly back to Illinois JUST for that. The uni says high school records are optional, but that I should send them if i want to take Swedish classes or whatever. Which I don't know that I'll need to do if I'm living with two Swedes but meh. Just, meh. I mean obviously I can call the high school sometime in the coming month but I HATE not knowing things. I hate not being sure of how they'll turn out.

Also, I owe money to the uni I'm attending now, since i added classes after the term began. Which is not a big deal, since my financial aid for the spring will cover it. Still, who knows when that'll get there and classes dont start until January 20th. The aid will be there before then but still. Gah. I mean I can work to pay it off quicker but fuck, the timing on this thing just fucking BLOWS. I just really hope the transcript can get there in 12 days or I am royally fucked.

I worry a lot over important things and usually things end up going just fine. I mean, i really hope they do this time and that this is just me in panic mode because I want this so badly.

I can get in there, right?
mutedtempest: (WIU)
School, I mean. I was worried, but now I think that maybe I was being overly pessimistic. I looked at the requirements for each of my four online courses, and honestly they seem fairly simple if I keep up with the readings. I've already posted some things for several of the classes, and while the majority of my textbooks haven't been delivered yet, nothing is really due this first week anyway aside from some class discussion posts.

My astronomy course is a bit more of a challenge. It's not an online course, but is called a distance course. Basically, that means that I answer questions and do labs for the textbook material and send these to my professor via email. Which is pretty much what I do in my online courses. The difference is that there are 5 exams, each of which has to be proctored, or monitored by someone official. It wouldn't be a big deal, except I don't know if I can find a suitable proctor in Scotland.

I think what I might do is try to take as many of the exams as I can before I leave. Yeah, I'll be cramming, but as long as I have some knowledge of the material I should be all right. Able to pass them, at least. The great majority of the points in the class come from the questions and labs anyway, so I might just go ahead and take the exams over the course of the almost three weeks before I leave. I have my textbook and the study guides, so as long as I'm not really doing anything else I think I can pull it off.

Also, I found out something cool. The online classes end December 16th, just like the on-campus ones. However, the distance courses (of which Astronomy is one) have a course deadline of March 1st, 2009. So I basically have an extra three months to complete everything.

I'm not planning to fall that far behind, and I have a schedule mapped out in my head. Still, it's nice to have that safety net.

I also emailed my advisor today, and if I pass all my classes this semester, I only need 5 more.

In early spring I have to fill out a formal application to uni in Sweden. That should be fun. lol.

But, yay! I can do this.
mutedtempest: (WIU)
I love school, and I love the fact that I got into an actual university. I also love that I'm enrolled in a semester's worth of online and distance courses, which means I can still do them in Scotland.

However, the books for these classes are insane. I'm enrolled in 15 credit hours right now, which totals 5 classes. Five books wouldn't be a big deal, and would be expected. But I counted last night, and the classes I'm taking require not 5 books in total, but 15.

Granted, some of these are novels, since I'm signed up for a class entitled Women in Literature and I'll need to read books written by...women. lol. But when each of these books is over $20 on Amazon, it adds up. Fast.

Most of my classes only need one book, but the two that require more have at least 4 apiece. And the book for my astronomy class is $124 for the current edition. And that's the LOWEST price I could find. I did find a 2000 edition of the book for 97 cents, though, so I'm going to try to see if my professor will let me use that instead. lol.

Now, I understand that textbooks are ridiculously expensive in America, and I don't mind that. But I'm pinching pennies right now to save as much as I can for the move to Scotland, and I don't fancy spending hundreds on 15 different books that I'll have to lug across the ocean. Honestly, I'm more upset about the prospect of carrying so many damn books in my luggage than I am about the cost. Haha.

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