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02 September 2013 @ 12:56 pm
(My) Life, (the rest of) the Universe, and Everything (else)...  
If you've noticed, please forgive my absence from this digital world we share.

School started back on August 19. The weekend after the first week of class, I ended up with a stomach virus. Because, you know, germs. I spent most of the summer not interacting with lots of people at one time. So when I was exposed to new and different germs, a few decided to take root. The weekend was spent waiting for recovery or death. Either one was fine with me. Recovery won! Yea!!!

This past week I started back working in the tutoring center. I work Wednesdays noon to 6, and Fridays 10 to 2. I really enjoy working in the tutoring center but it makes me worry about some of the students who come to us for help.

This past Friday, I had a student who didn't know the basics of how computers work. She was about my age, was really nice and eager to learn. But she had to send an email to one of her professors and didn't know that she had to use the @ sign in the email address. Because we are a community college, we take all comers. That's why we exist. But this woman has been thrown into an alien environment without enough guidance to make sure she understands that emails have to contain an @ sign. What can be done to make sure these type of students succeed? The tutoring center is open every day so we're certainly a resource. But right now there are only two "professional" tutors working in the center, one of which is me. Can I spend the ten hours I work there making sure that this one student understands the basics of computers? She is in an introduction to computers class but it assumes a certain amount of knowledge will come with the students. This student doesn't even have that. She took the first test for the class and got 3 out of 10 right. She thought that was okay. I told her that she had failed the test and needed to review the information again and retake the test. She probably hasn't taken any sort of test like that since high school. And I graduated from high school 37 years ago. (I only know how old she is because one of the passwords she had to use included her birthday. She wasn't sure how to enter it so I had to help her. She was born the same year I was.)

She's not the first student to not understand the basics of computers but her knowledge was far more limited than most other students. I get the impression she doesn't have children because older students with children at least have limited understanding of email and the internet. I want her to succeed but what resources is the school providing her to make sure she does? (Yes, I do get too invested in the lives of those I meet. I think it's a Gemini thing?)

My classes are a strange mix of interesting and frustrating. On the plus side, there are a dozen of us who have survived the first year gaming classes and are taking all the same second year classes. The drop-out rate for the gaming programming is really high because people think that we'll be playing games instead of learning to make them. Because there is a lot of computer programming involved, some people decide the gaming program is not for them. Or they fail the programming classes because they play games during class instead of paying attention.

Those of us who are left have quickly formed a tight group of survivors. It's always good when you have people you can depend on. And they all know I have almost no idea what's going on and they are okay with it. We had a project to do in our Level Design class that the instructor allotted three class periods for. I finished it the first class. My classmate Cody said that if I finished it, there was no reason everyone else shouldn't be finished. Anyone who was still working on their project should fail because I was already done! Yep, I'm the yardstick of ineptitude. Isn't that nice? (It really is kind of cool - because the ones who really know what they are doing will gladly help me so I don't get completely lost.)

In 3D animation, we have an adjunct who thinks he is All That And A Bag Of Chips(TM). He's not. He claims to be really good at 3D animation and he may be. Being talented at something and being able to convey that information to others is two very different things.

I finished our first project for 3D animation and was ready to turn it in. But I checked with my classmates to make sure I had everything I need. Steven, who is a fabulous programmer and my go-to when I don't understand something, said I had to "render" it before I submitted it. Since I had no idea what that meant, Steven showed me. I could then turn it in. The instructor wanted to "check" my project - which really meant he wanted to see it so he could point out all the flaws. That's his idea of "checking." I said I had finished it and was rendering it because Steven said I needed to. The instructor replied "Why didn't you ask me what to do next?" I said because I had asked Steven. "Why didn't you ask me?" the instructor said again. "Because I asked Steven. I always ask Steven." How is this concept so hard for you? Steven makes fun of me but he's not condescending. You, Mr. Instructor Who Is Useless, are condescending. That's why I asked Steven.

Then there's 3D Modeling II. This is the class that has met 2 out of 4 times. The other 2 times, the instructor failed to show up. He's blaming the school Administration, which sadly is probably true. The wheels of progress turn slowly if at all at the school. 3D modeling is complex and confusing. I almost didn't survive 3D Modeling I. I may not survive 3D Modeling II. He's not helping us, at least not yet. We are doing the program's tutorials which are designed for people who understand the program already. Which I should understand but I don't. Not really. He's going to have to help me or I'm not going to make it through this class.

And that's my life in a nutshell. All the school time has cut into my fandom/writing time. I guess that's inevitable. And it means I'm not around as much as I had been.

So how are you? I've missed you all!!!
Lizet Elainesimplyn2deep on September 2nd, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
that adjunct instructor sounds like a douche! I don't know that I would have been able to survive those classes. I guess you really have to be interested in the subject matter. I hope things get better for you!

I'm doing well in my classes. I was expecting actual homework, but it's been reading "homework". In 1 class we finally have an assignment due on Wednesday. I have it finished, printed and in my notebook. In another class I have to finish 2 chapters in the workbook so that I'm not behind. We have tests coming up later this month...I'm looking forward to them. I want to see grades in my online gradebook! lol
McDanno Isa O'caanmcdanno_isa on September 2nd, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
WOW Real Life my heroin is already busy with all that school stuff, and you think that's not enough and give her stomach virus?!!? Give her a break!!
But I'm glad you can handle it with all this. Cheering for you ...always!! Xoxoxo
From a little spark may burst a mighty flamedante_s_hell on September 3rd, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery. Good luck with your classes!

kaige68kaige68 on September 3rd, 2013 10:24 am (UTC)
You, my dear, have had a very interesting start to your school year. I am glad that you are feeling better. *hugs*