The Split of Real

I’ve been trying to rationalize quitting for a few months now. Rationalization has always come easily for me. I’ve had many legitimate reasons for giving up, I’ve had numerous barriers, obstacles, and heartaches come up this year, and this past semester. I’ve had many reasons to just say, F this and do something else that is easier, to give in to the pressure, stress, and pain of it all. I’ve been praying and asking for help on what to do with my life. My life affects so many others lives. I want to do good for the World, and I want to know that I am doing the right thing. I rationalized over the weekend on what to do. But something kept telling me that this rationalization is just a fear, that I can’t give up. The little voice, you know the one that is usually against you, telling you that you suck, and aren’t worthy or blah blah negative? It was actually turning against my rational thought, it was turning against my fear and is now telling me not to give up. Don’t give up. You need to stay on your path. Don’t give up now, you’ve made it this far. Don’t give up, you need to do this for yourself and others. Don’t give up, you will make it through this. And so, when I asked for help last night and prayed some more, this is what I heard playing over and over again. This morning I awoke and 4:30, the usual time I am awakened by God to have a chat with me. The light of my computer screen flicked on, and my daughter crawled into bed with me. I couldn’t go back to sleep. Spirit continued the conversation with me, and said, this is what to do, don’t give up now. You’re almost there. And so I am listening. Instead of quitting, I will register for classes today. I will continue, because my voice that once fought me on everything, has now decided to root in my favor.


5 reasons to love UT Austin that you didn’t even know.

Today the family and I went and visited the University of Texas at Austin and walked around and took some pictures. I will be studying English there this fall, and wanted to give my mom and kids a view and experience of the beautiful campus. In the process of having fun and fulfilling our mission of it, I found 5 reasons to love UT Austin that I didn’t even know about. Scroll to the bottom to see all of our pictures from the adventure today!

My Favorite Plant, The Bird of Paradise.

The People of UT Austin

the people at the campus itself are quite extraordinary, fun to watch, and some of the nicest you will ever meet. Upon arriving and finding a parking spot off of University and Dean Keaton, the family and I walked towards the tower, our first destination. As we were walking, we were stopped by a man in a sweat soaked pink dress shirt, expensive loafers, and a golf hat, he told us he was a reporter and was writing a story about the Anniversary of the Tower shootings, the new carry law that is going into effect, and the memorial that is being built to honor the victims from the sniper shooting at the tower back in the 60’s. The man, he will remain anonymous gave us a little info about himself. He and I had a lot in common, and he in fact was also an English major at UT from the 70’s that also struggled with mathematics. The “dude” was cool, and I am using the word dude, because he was using it too.

On the way to our visit of the tower, we saw a turtle pond. The kids and I loved it!

The turtle pond, the turtle pond was awesome.

The Turtle Pond

















The Tower

When we got to the tower, we visited the restroom where we met more nice ladies who ooohed and awwwed over my red-headed child. When we walked into the lobby to figure out the Tower tours, we met some nice employees who told us that they weren’t doing tours during the day right now but to visit the student Union center. Again, the people of UT Austin showed they are super awesome and helpful positive people.

The Student Union

We visited the Student Union center and picked up a brochure and talked to the employee who informed us that the day tours will start back in August and that tickets cost six dollars a person. I hope to take the kids back soon!

After all the walking around in the hot sun we stopped at Chik Fil A for some lunch and ate in the nice cafeteria in the Union.

Yummy Lemonade

The buildings, architecture and art on campus

Robert Lee, Colonel of the US Army

Robert Lee Statue













Littlefield Fountain, by Pompeo Coppini0728161106a

A memorial fountain for students and alumni that passed in WWI in 1931 by Major George W. Littlefield. A plaque underneath states,

“A short life hath been given by Nature unto man, but the remembrance of a life laid down in a good cause endureth forever.


A quick Analysis of Online College Courses. Ha, Quick

A Quick Analysis of an Online College Course; based on my personal experience. Should you take an Online College Class? Or try earning a degree solely online? My personal opinion and quick answer NO. But, ultimately, it depends on the individual.

I will give you a quick background on myself. I didn’t do that great in High School and I mean, socially and emotionally, My GPA was average and I went to three different schools before finally obtaining a diploma from an Online High School in the Phoenix area. Online High school left a lot to be desired, but at the time I was thankful to have something I could do whenever I wanted, and I worked a part-time job and was able to finish classes at my speed and graduated a few months early. However, I lost basic social skills with teachers and students, my learning style suffered, and I didn’t take some of the classes that I really should have and didn’t even know about because I had a lack luster adviser at the first High School I went to, Saguaro, and then didn’t have one at all online. I blindly graduated.

College Online courses suck in my opinion. And they usually have crappy, unorganized profs (not all, but most I’d say). Don’t do Online unless you have a horrible schedule, can’t find another solution or basically you have no other options for a class. I get it, trying to meet degree requirements quickly can suck, and finding an adequate schedule can become nearly impossible at times. I really regret taking an online course because I see it as a lost learning opportunity. Unless you’re like the most unsocial being on the planet, and like teaching yourself practically everything, they’re horrific. You’re paying for college, get the most from your money and take a class at a good school that has great profs and students. The experience is worth it and you will be happier for it!

Let me break it down for you:

The prof basically does nothing, and will post occasionally with instructions on how to do things, what to read, and then will leave you guessing on everything else. To me, it seems like a cop out and lazy teaching.

There is no lecture, and discussion is based solely on forums. This is what our world has turned to? I enjoy professor interaction and group learning as well as studying with peers—this is my favored learning style.

Where is the experience? Or hands on learning? There is none.

This is the most introverted style of learning ever created.

You have no motivation to go to class; you wear your pajamas, may or may not shower or put on make- up. There is no excitement or anticipation, and you can wake up, log on and post a comment here and there on the discussion board. Some classes even require email interaction with the prof and for the student to go to a testing center. I don’t see why this is considered an online class then.

You may have a ridiculous and overwhelming amount of work in an online college class, unlike a normal campus course. Think about it, you will read everything for yourself, retain it, study it, and then apply it to assignments and tests. Alone. You have no help. I am one that likes to have my hand held at times! Call me co-dependent, but why not take advantage of your peers in these classes? I like it and have developed some excellent friendships in college just from studying together!

Just think about it before you decide to enroll in a college course. It’s not for everyone. And, seriously, consider the subject you take before you jump in. If it’s a math course and you’re not a math-brained person, it is very difficult to stay motivated and do well.

Good luck in college and your pursuits and I hope that this article was helpful to you!

My advice: How to be successful in your undergrad years

How to be a successful English major

I’ve just finished my fifth semester in college with a full course load of thirteen credit hours, and I feel very accomplished. Granted, I did take a long break during this time; I finished my first year back in 2007. I’m an English Major and applying to transfer next fall. I broke up my sophomore English lit courses, and successfully finished one after the other this past spring and summer. I haven’t taken any writing courses since then, but with the fall semester finished, I’m done spending all my time studying for classes I struggle with, like math. I can get back to my true loves, reading and writing, and my purpose for this article. I have talked with a lot of students during my time in a community college. That “sentence” sounds like I was doing time in prison (hmm very similar). I am not always social, but I’ve always been interested in education; so I make it a point to have academic discussions with peers. This gives me a chance to compare myself to other students, and see what is working or is not for their classes. I found it necessary to compile this list of success tips after a discussion that I had today with a fellow student. I find most of this to be common sense, but there is always someone who misses the boat on at least a few of these. It will be helpful for anyone that is a type “A” personality, or for someone that just wants to be a better human being.

This female student (who shall remain anonymous) talked with me today about her experience in her British lit course. I found it very informative, not only because she has a similar interest–writing, but also that she was getting a “D” in the course. She expressed her frustration with her missed opportunity of doing well, and stated that she was mistaken in hearing her professor’s instructions about a paper being optional. I found this very sad, and the fact that she was accepting this low grade is something that could’ve easily been avoided. (This is a classic example of what not to do!) I can tell you why, and give you the five mistakes she made. When she told me that she did write the paper, but didn’t turn it in because she didn’t like the way it sounded, I said to myself right away, “that is her first mistake.” You can’t be a perfectionist with too much pride in college; it will get you into trouble. Accept that you are here to learn and that you will not impress your prof with a perfect paper, anyhow. Mistake number two, not talking with your professor to clarify their instructions. Number three, not making an effort to visit with your prof to see what you can do to get this grade up; instead, she took a zero. Number four; don’t miss your classes and opportunities to begin with. Five; why do you think it is ok to be absent five or more times and still do well? If you have a legitimate excuse, make it known right away!
If you have ever taken a semester, you would know at a community college, especially, they require a really annoying and crappy class called “College Success,” or something equally lame. I was forced into taking this my freshman year, and did well, but that isn’t why I am bringing this up. This class is pointless; I will be frank with you; if you can get around it in any way, do it. It’s a waste of time and money, and will not help you at all; not to mention, that it will not transfer as a class for most degrees, or give you any sort of valuable requirement. If its aim is to make you successful, it does not. People either have the IQ for college at the start, or they must be willing to put in their time and energy. If it were up to me, I would get rid of this class all together. I would then invest in some math readiness courses and a seminar that can help you determine your goals; and if there was enough money left over, real actual counselors that can help you get what you need; to get out of college with a degree. This leads me to my next topic of advice. The school counselors are full of it, and when I say full of it; I mean they don’t even know what they are doing, or how to get the right answers when they try.
My personal experience is this, if you want to do well, you are going to have to invest some time and energy, and do it on your own. No one is going to do this for you, and if you are lucky you will meet some gem people along the way that actually care to see you reach your goals. So, regarding counselors; they usually have the wrong information, won’t take responsibility, and do nothing in guiding decisions for the right classes. Academic counselors, in particular, do not understand degree requirements, and often, just cause more problems than I can count. For example, I have talked with numerous academic counselors; one in particular, led me to believe that my degree plan was offered at a University that I was interested in transferring to. Unfortunately, this was not the case, but after I did some research I was able to avoid this mistake.
I have not met other students exactly like me, or with the same interests and goals for that matter. I can guarantee, though, that there are similar people that experience difficulties, and have hard times outside of their academic life. This is a challenge, I too, have had, and I would like to give you some insights that have helped me in my successes in college up to this point. My hope is that these tips can help you, not only in your English courses, but any other dreaded courses you may have, too.
Here are the top tips that I can give you to do well in your semesters in college; they will make you very successful when you do them regularly. These are not tips that you can do once and be golden; these are repeated behaviors that will help you in the future.

I. Make a point of getting to know people; faculty, administration, financial aid, librarians and students—they will be the best help to you.
II. Try to figure out what you want to get out of college right away; if you don’t know what you like, at least don’t do something you hate for the sake of the money, or status. This almost always goes against you later on.
III. Get a degree plan, and if you can get someone to sign off on the courses you need to take, even better. Pick a degree and stick with it.
IV. Talk to your professors, they are actually paid to teach you. Wow! What innovation. I know many students that refuse to take advantage of office hours. This is vital in doing well in your courses. If you don’t speak up, ask questions, or utter a few words to your professor, why are they supposed to care about you come end of semester? And that letter of recommendation that you wanted—forget about it!
V. Wait to buy your book “new” until the first week of class, try other options first; and if you need to get it wholesale or used try ordering it ASAP.
VI. Take advantage of every opportunity, like seriously, what’s it hurt in asking if you can do a rewrite, or some extra credit to get your grade up? The worst that could happen is a prof says, “No,” and now you will never know, because you didn’t take that opportunity to ask.
VII. Turn in your papers and assignments on time. It doesn’t matter if they are “perfect.” If you turn in nothing, you will get a big fat “0” and this is much harder to recover from.
VIII. Don’t be late, just don’t. It’s rude and disrespectful. Plus, your prof. almost always knows.
IX. Which leads me to the next point of success, always show up prepared, and don’t miss excessive classes. If you do, you will probably only do average, or worse. Strive for an A, why not?
X. Keep your phone and other electronics off and put away. It pisses other students off who are trying to learn, and most professors find it offensive. I suggest taking your notes the old fashioned way, with notebook paper and a pencil, and if you must use a computer, ask first.
XI. Give up your life. No, seriously, this is like the only way that you will do well in college; especially if you are already like the other mediocre community college students. Give up your drug and alcohol habits; these will only hurt you in the long run. Give up your annoying bf that is distracting you from your goals. Give up excessive TV and internet use. Cut back your hours at work or just do less bad things.
XII. Last but not least, invest more time to study, and do important things like cultivating skills that you will actually use. If you want to write, spend more time writing. If you want to be good at math, do more problems. If you want to do something well, you should do it every day. And if you want to be successful, you will be. This is my overall tip for you. If you care, you can succeed at anything that you put your mind to. Most people have low self-esteem to begin with so you are making strives just by being in class and trying. But everything takes practice, and rarely does it come easy the first time around. My method is this, if it sucks the first time, try, try again. And if the writing sucks (which, it usually does), revise, revise, and then edit some more.