Back to School

The first week of school is finished, professors have handed out their syllabi, and all the text books have arrived. Taking fifteen hours isn’t tricky, and I am in love with all my classes. This time around I am determined to get involved. When I graduated with my BA in English two years ago, I lamented the fact I wasn’t involved as much as I probably should have or could have been. No doubt being active in organizations, etc etc looks fantastic on a resume or it should, right?! Hindsight is always 20/20 so this time around, I’m righting a wrong and looking forward to it!

Of all my classes I am enamored with, Visual Communications Applications VCOMM 2950 takes the cake. Learning about layouts, designs and using Adobe In Design, Illustrator and Photoshop I could not be more excited. Now I am very rusty on my Photoshop skills. I remember begging my father for Photoshop when I was in high school. I thought that being able to airbrush out all my acne would boost my self-confidence (not that it did, but I enjoyed manipulating my pictures).

Learning the pen tool in an exercise for class
Learning the pen tool in an exercise for class

Learning CS2 was quite an adventure, now ten years and several software updates later, I’m going to be learning my way around the Creative Suite again – YAY!

Another challenge that I face with tackling another Bachelors is trying to figure out what I truly want to do as a career. I feel pulled in so many directions, “Ooh, that sounds interesting” or “Ooo, I would be great at that” which is why I am getting involved in things on campus. This is also a test to see if I am ready to tackle a Masters in media and what type of program I might want to do. But in all honesty, I am so happy to be back in school and so deeply grateful for the support of my family that are 100% behind me furthering my education.

Feeling overwhelmed

School started on Monday morning and now, even less than a week in, I’m feeling overwhelmed. Sure I have been away from the collegiate setting for almost two years; however, I didn’t expect my senses to be overloaded with thirteen page syllabi and people who would rather you not take notes on a computer, even if you’re in a communication class. The preference of the note taking does not bother me all that much. I guess when a person in authority (especially over a grade) rubs you the wrong way you just find everything to complain about. To be honest I really shouldn’t start my first semester back with such ill feelings. Truth be told I am very happy to be back at school. I love learning and hope to gain new perspectives and new information that I can use later in the real world. Since I completed my BA in English two years ago, I decided to tackle a BS in Mass Communication specifically with an emphasis in Video/Film Production. I should project change the title of my blog from “Musings of an English Major” to something more appropriate, right?! 

Of the twelve hours under my belt the only one I’m seriously freaked out over is Video Production. What does one do when you’re a complete novice behind the camera, and being asked to film a 3-5 minute documentary that *MUST* be polished and presentable in time for final grades at the end of the semester.  Now I am not a complete fool, I have seen video cameras and I have played around with my grandfather’s old SONY Camcorder. You know, the ones that were huge and recorded on Hi8 (8mm) video tape? Well this course is much more than that. Monday afternoon, I was introduced to of all things a shotgun mic, lavalier or “lav” mic, and a SONY HDR-FX1E HDV Handycam Camcorder (I think that’s what it was anyway). My brain feels like mush, but this is what I want to do – I want to produce film and video. Even as I child when I saw fantastic presentations on PBS, I wanted to be a part of the action never knowing what was involved. Now, ready or not, I’m getting my first taste of what goes into “production” even if at the beginner level. … not sure how I feel about all of this? It’s been a dream of mine since I was a really, really small. But are even the biggest dreams too big?! I don’t know, but I will give it my best “shot” no pun intended. 

 

Going back…to school!

On August 25, 2014 I will be going back to school! I am so thrilled, seriously I cannot contain my excitement. After two years of dreaming, scheming, and putting things off, I have finally decided to go after another bachelor’s degree – this time a B.S. in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Electronic Media Production. The Mass Comm department at Middle Tennessee State is a very active one, and the Electronic Media Communication classes always fill up very fast. I had originally intended to double major in English and either Journalism or EMC back in 2012; however, time and money were tight and I could not exactly do what I wanted. True, I do have two degrees – an Honors Associates and a Bachelors, but neither of them have assisted me in finding a foothold into a promising job. So it’s back to school, back to buying school supplies, back to buying college textbooks, and back to the structure of higher education. I have always wanted to use my knowledge and love of English/Cultural Studies and my love of media in some form, thus my returning to school. Ultimately I want to intern at PBS and produce shows and the like for public television. I have so many ideas and dreams that I want to make reality. I think my grandmother had the best advice when I discussed school with her:

“Now, keep a GOOD attitude as you venture forth into this new area of study. Bear in mind that each and everyone you meet along the way in life is a potential link to bigger and better things. Taken as individuals, they may not impress you much; but taken as a whole, they may well be the spark that gives you what you need to give your life purpose. Always come across to even the lowliest of people as a nice person with a good attitude ready to help in whatever situation you are in. It may pay great dividends that you least expect. Make the most of your education.” Great words of wisdom.

Also, I have committed myself to blogging on a regular basis. I was reading a very interesting article on Facebook via mindbodygreen.com about “How to Become a Successful Blogger” and there were several points that I found very valid, especially one that stated “Commit to a Schedule and Make it Public” which is brilliant. I’ve always said to myself, “I will blog more and regularly, too.” However, I always fail at committing to doing it — pure laziness, I will admit. This time though I have decided to make blog entries every FRIDAY! From August 15th 2014 until the end of the current semester I have committed to blogging every week! Thankfully, I have a great Calendar app on my Mac and iPhone called Sunrise, it keeps me up to date and on my toes; I even put my school schedule in it so I know when I’m supposed to be on campus. I remember signing up with WordPress six years ago with the intent to become a serious blogger, grammar mistakes and all. It is high time I actually do something about that, right?!

More later…

 

 

Now What?

“Now What?” has been the question people have been asking me for weeks now. It’s only been a little over a month since I graduated from college; however, it feels like I only walked across the stage yesterday.  I’m having major school withdraws and it sucks. The spring semester officially started today and I feel so lost not going back to school.  My boyfriend, Cleve, is going back to school to get his ASN in nursing. He’s super excited about taking A&P and Microbiology at my old school, Motlow.

My sister is also going back to school. After some six years, she’s a freshman at MTSU going after her degree in information technology. I’m so proud of her for going back to school. I know it will be tough on her, she has a full time job and two children to support, but it will be better for her and her family in the long run. It was so cute, yesterday my sister was on campus and asked me “where do I get my student i.d?” and “where do I get my parking decal?” It felt good giving my sister directions and advice on where to go and where not to park. Unfortunately for her, she has a 6:30a.m. history class in the humanities building on campus. The only upside to having a morning class is the parking is usually quite easy (parking at MTSU has been a pain for decades.) However, my sister learned the hard way that students cannot park just anywhere they please and she got her first ticket.  I can laugh because last semester I acquired something along the lines of 7 or 8 parking tickets due to my impatience at trying to find parking on campus and after at least 6 your car gets the boot. So, it’s really nice that I can continue to being an undergrad vicariously through two people I love.

Being in school for so long does have its negatives though, I’m so used to it that I purchased new school supplies on Amazon before realizing… oh wait, I’m not in school anymore. Not to worry the supplies I have will be put to good use. Waste not, want not.

Today, I have been applying for jobs left and right. I hope something comes of the applications I’ve put out. I want to do something meaningful with my life and the degree(s) that I have obtained. I know I’m smart, I just need potential employers to see it!

Preparing for an exam

Since my desk is too small, I’ve taken over the kitchen table with my third edition of Vistas that I’ve used for more than two years now. Heavily graffitied, I doubt I will ever give it up or sell it. The book may come in useful one day if I’m ever in Mexico or Spain, but I doubt it. I have about 200 flashcards that I’ve made, and of course there is Cleo Laine’s biography, Cleo that I made a previous post about. I cannot wait to finish the book.

The Reluctant Blogger

I don’t blog as much as I should or would like to. One reason is because not enough goes on in my life to warrant blogging everyday. Yes I’m a college senior, and yes I’m looking for a job – but does that warrant blogging about all of life’s ups and downs? I don’t think so. Another reason why I don’t blog much is because I’m afraid to. I hesitate in blogging because in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Oh god, someone is critiquing my grammar, and I’m supposed to be an English major.” (Aren’t people studying English supposed to write well?) I could always throw caution to the wind and make all sorts of grammatical errors and mistakes. Trouble is, I want to improve my  English and make less mistakes. I’ve never turned in a paper that didn’t have comma splices or sentence fragments. I know it takes time to improve technique, but I’m impatient. I want to be a writer when I “grow up” and I’m even considering going after a Masters Degree in English, but am I truly ready for it?!

I’m due to graduate in December and I’m highly considering taking the GRE. Yet I’m stopped by my own fears and concerns that I’m not academically up to snuff. Although I am excited for my last semester, (I’m taking a lot of cool classes that I truly am looking forward to,) again I am not too thrilled with ending my undergrad career with all of these questions about my future.

On a brighter note, I had my prescreen interview with Amazon.com Friday afternoon. I was nervous about it,  having never previously experienced a telephone interview. It went really well and I’m pretty sure I answered all the questions appropriately, if I had not I’m sure the lady I talked to wouldn’t have bothered asking for my “proof of education.”  Still I applied for a warehouse job, meaning I would be on my feet for more than eight hours a day walking upwards of five to ten miles daily, not to mention lifting 30 pounds or more. I’ve done my research and the pay is comparable to what I made during my summer job two years ago. 11.50 an hour with the possibility of being hired as a full-time Amazon employee (after a probationary period). Honestly, I’m really excited about the prospect of getting this job. I really want to work. I remember when I was in high school, my grandparents wanted me to get a job, and I dodged the idea left and right. All these years later with the economy still in the toilet and nearing graduation, I regret my actions all those years ago. I should already have a job that I’m successful at. No use crying over spilt milk, but the sting of my decision still smarts.

This week marks the end of my Spanish 2020 summer course. If I complete the final successfully (not if but when) this thursday, I will put my foreign language requirement to bed. After more than two years, I’m anxious in being rid of this Spanish monkey on my back. Today will be spent doing flashcards and ensuring I know the vocabulary and the grammar. It’s been a wild ride, but one I will be happy to see end.

July will see me back on campus taking a poetry writing course, so I will not have a chance to take a breath before the fall semester starts in August. That’s okay though, I had a break in May between the spring and fall semesters.

I still hope to make a dent in the backlog of books I have in my room. I have so many books I’ve either purchased or received as gifts that I’ve not been able to either start or finish.

To be honest, there’s a lot on my “to do” list but will I have time to do all the things I want to?! Who knows.

First things first though, must get a start on those Spanish flashcards.

Posted using Tinydesk Writer iPhone app

What Now?

I see people doing things and going places and I wish that was me. I want so much but get started too late. I feel like something of a non-starter, someone who tries their hardest to get somewhere, and yet ultimately fails because someone better beats them to the punch.

I’m due to graduate in December, I have no job and I’ve been searching in vain for gainful employment. I’ve wanted an internship at a newspaper but no one wants me. “You haven’t written enough..” they say. It’s either that statement or I get, “You’re not a very good writer, why did the school newspaper print this,” I read that in an email from a editor (who shall remain nameless)  I asked to council about getting started and what I could do to “get my foot in the door” as my grandmother always advices.

“Get your foot in the door, that’s all you have to do” I’m constantly reminded by my family members. How can I possibly get my foot in the door, when no one wants to give me the time of day?!

Honestly, at MTSU I feel like what I want to do doesn’t really matter. I want to better my writing skills, I want to be able to write with fluidity. More efficiently and with less mistakes. I can only imagine the reason why I don’t get asked to write for the school newspaper, even though I’ve been on staff at Sidelines since last December. Since I’ve been at MTSU I feel like my writing as progressively gotten worse, like a terminal illness that has no hope of a cure. You have cancer and you’re going to die, end of story. I feel like my life is one giant hamster wheel and I keep going round and round.

That’s what I truly want to do. I want to write. I’ve had a passion for writing for a long time, true I’m no great columnist and I don’t write for the New York Times, but even the pros were once rookies, amateurs.

I want to write musical play reviews, I want to write biographies of people I love. I just want to be able to have something in print, that I can honestly say “I wrote that, that’s mine” and beam with undisguised pride and mirth.

I feel that at twenty-four I should have things figured out. I should have all sorts of job offers and my portfolio should be filled to capacity with all sorts of clippings and pieces I could show prospective employers. I don’t.

Life should come with a road map with directions: If you wanna go here, do this..