Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Brilliant Plan is Falling Apart

I may have told some of you, but my plan for grad school was for me to be done by May 2012. The program is 33 hours long (including the final capstone class/project). I started school last August, and my goal was to finish with school as fast as I could. Here was my plan:

Take 6 credit hours (so not quite full-time for a grad student, that'd be 9 hours) for every semester except for one semester in which I'd have to brave 3 more credit hours and be a full-time student working full-time. I'd go without a break, meaning I'd take classes during the summer as well. But, it'd be okay because I'd graduate by May 2012.

That plan is now quickly falling apart.

Why? Because my program is not offering any classes this summer. I had not accounted for this, and now my plan is going to have to be this:

I'm taking one 3 hour elective class over the summer (hopefully I can get that approved since it's outside of my prescribed electives for my program), and then I'm taking a full-time student class load of 9 hours for both Fall and Spring semesters so that I can still graduate by May 2012.

In other words....

By this time next year, I might be dead.

Ok, I'm being dramatic, but I seriously am freaking out about how I'm going to be able to handle a full-time class load with working full-time. I could spread it out, but I can't tell you how bad I want to be done by next May. I have a count down already. I want... nay, NEED, to be done by then. I HAVE TO BE!!!!

Lots of people have done it right? I can do it. I CAN do it... I hope.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Crafts, Books, and My Imagination Running Away With Me

Recently, I've been on this crafting kick and I've been reading/following on Tumblr a lot of crafty blogs and crafty-type people for inspiration. I don't know why I do this to myself because we all know how I am about finishing projects that I start. But, anyway, I came across this video that explains how to make a cool invisible shelf that makes it looks like your books are floating on the wall, like so:
Pretty cool, right? So I decided I desperately needed these shelves, because not only do they look pretty sweet, but it would help me get all the piles of books that I have laying on the ground off the floor. Since the video made it look pretty easy, I figured, what the hey. Now because I did not have any big heavy books that I was willing to sacrifice, I decided to go to Half Price Books (oh how I love thee) to find some in the clearance section or there abouts that looked pretty cool that I would not care about cutting into.

Then I came across these lovely beauties:
Awesome right? Perfect for looking nice on the wall since the spine is really all I care about. Well, if you've never heard of Half Price Books, it's a used bookstore that buys and sells (at half price) used books. It is a real treasure trove and I love going there because 1. it's cheap and 2. it's got books and 3. I always find some pretty cool/unique stuff. I love going there just to see what I can find when I have no particular book I'm looking for, like for this project, for example.

Anyway, as I started looking through these red books to see how much they were ($6) and which ones I wanted (I couldn't buy all of them at $6 each!), I noticed that many of them had an inscription on the inside cover (another thing I love about looking through used books). Then I noticed it was all the same inscription over the period of 3 years and for various holidays:

They are all for "Mom" from "Neal" and sometimes from "Neal and Sally." It dates back from the mom's birthday in 1969 to Valentine's Day of 1971. Out of the 12 books in the collection available at Half Price books, only 4 of them did not have an inscription. Despite the lack of an inscription on 4 of them, I feel it's safe to assume that it was an entire set once owned by "Mom" and given to her from "Neal" (and a few from "Sally"). But, here's where my imagination ran away with me.

As I started thinking more and more about the inscription and why this whole set would be at Half Price Books, it made me kind of sad. I'm guessing Neal was the son (I know pretty crazy guess, huh?), and this woman either loved book collections, Newsweek, art, or art museums. In the hopes to get a great gift that he could spread out in several gifts (I'm sure they were expensive, since I just saw that the set is going for $135 on eBay.), Neal decided to get his mom this set of books to show his mom all of these great places and the art contained inside them since most likely she would not be able to go to these far off exotic art museums.

I'm also guessing that Sally was a sister. My mom thought that perhaps she was Neal's wife or girlfriend, but because Sally only shows up in two inscriptions: that for Christmas 1969 and June 14, 1970, I think I'll stick with my sister assumption. I'm curious, however, about the June 14, 1970 inscription, since it's the only specific date in the set. Is that "Mom's" birthday? An anniversary of marriage? Death? Why is this date so significant? The details are too few that I can't venture a guess on this one.

And finally, why did this entire beautiful collection wind up at the Half Price Books in McKinney, TX. Sadly, I think that "Mom" is no longer with us, and as "Neal" was forced to go through all of the things that once belonged to his mother, he couldn't bare to keep this book collection. Maybe they were too heavy, a waste of space, he felt he'd never have a use for them, or maybe they reminded him too much of his mother and all of the occasions and memories he had of her receiving each book and her reaction as she opened the present. Knowing he and the books might be better off in a new home, he sold them, along with others, I'm sure, to Half Price books.

Where a few have just become my new bookshelves...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break--Evening Edition

This week is my very first spring break in my entire college career, and sadly it means nothing. I always thought spring breaks were cool, party-filled, friend-filled extravaganzas... perhaps I was misinformed. Or maybe it's because I'm a lame-o and still have to work. Spring breaks just don't mean the same thing when you're working a full-time job without a whole lot of vacation time.

While at BYU, I never got a spring break (although I didn't complain about it... too much... because we got out at the end of April). Now that I have one... not only do I have to work, but I have tons of homework to do. Dang graduate degrees!

Anyway, despite the fact that I'm working all week (although I do get Friday off, so yay!), I'm trying to make the most of my evenings without class:

Tonight I went to the dollar theater with a few friends and saw The Fighter. While I wouldn't say it was the best movie, it made me heart Mark Wahlberg even more (yes, I'll admit... I have a secret crush on Marky Mark). Side note: If you go to see it in the hopes that you'll see Christian Bale and his handsome physique (which does not get me up in the morning, mind you), you will be sorely disappointed.

Tomorrow I'm planning on catching up on some homework (I got to one of these days) and some Hulu and Netflix.

Wednesday night I'm going with a few friends to see The Adjustment Bureau. I don't care what anyone says about it, I'm going solely to see Matt Damon (another secret crush of mine).

Thursday and Friday are still tentative, but I'm sure it'll be something cool and exciting.

Saturday I'll have book club and that is always fun, since I hear we are having tons of various cupcakes. :)

So, even though it's been 6 years since I've had a real full-fledged spring break, this year will just have to be the evening edition.