It’s official! Winter Quarter 2017 has been my BEST quarter yet, in school!!! I am more than halfway through my sophomore year of undergrad studies. I know that I still have a ways to go, but it sure was encouraging to finally feel good about my work.
My Freshman Year was rough. I was working full-time and did two quarters of independent study. My 1st quarter was 12 credits of Discrete Math. I am actually glad that I did this because it gave me an opportunity to study at my own pace without the time commitment and pressures of being in a class. This payed off in the long run because I had already completed my discrete math credits by the time I started computer science. Winter quarter was a little more rough. My boyfriend got a new full-time job and I was in over my head trying to learn how to program in Java. It was challenging for me to understand programming without having any experience and context with computers and technology. I did read “Rebel Code: And the Open Source Revolution” by Glynn Moody and “The Mythical Man Month” By Fred Brooks. I am so glad that I read these books because they helped me to appreciate the progress we have made in technology in such a short time-frame.
Exactly a year ago I was Disappointed, Distraught, and Utterly Pissed Off because it was such a struggle to get into a class. All the classes that worked with my schedule filled up quickly and I was on the waiting list for a program and did everything I could to get in, but the professor still wouldn’t let me in… I took the only other option and searched for openings in evening classes. Thankfully I was able to get in to Musicianship -2 credits, The Evergreen Singers -2 credits, and Statistics? -4 credits. I could NOT believe that I actually signed up for that, but now looking back I am SO thankful that I did because knowing how to use excel has served me well since then :). It was also nice to dip my toes into the world of music and performance after being away for so long. I finished Spring quarter of Freshman year on a High note!
Sophomore Year had a super rough start. First of all I was not expecting to study at Evergreen because we were in New Zealand and I was going to take an online course, but Evergreen did not cancel my Financial Aid award in time and my new school was unable to grant me financial aid. Also, my Bf and I missed our pets tremendously and could not wait for them to get shipped to us. So, on the Sunday morning before classes, we took the grueling 13 hour flight home complete with customs, extensive security checks, and ALL THAT JAZZ. I made it in time to go to class and felt a little out of sorts, but thankfully I got of the waiting list and into the class. I could already tell that by the end of Day 1 that I was way out of my league. We were getting quizzed on binary, hexadecimal, and two’s compliment notation. Most of the students in my class were already familiar with a lot of it. On top of all that, my social anxiety kicked in and I was overrun by a feeling of not belonging in that program. I decided to give it my best. Every class was full of quiz questions and a measure of where we were. I would go to class and be so nervous and sit there and sweat every single time. I was in such a state of constant anxiety that I could hardly think straight and I dreaded going to campus every time. On Saturdays I took an Afro-Brazilian Dance / Feldenkrais class which kept me excited about going to campus. I loved the music and being able to move. The rest of my time was spent at a desk struggling to focus and understand computer science. A little over halfway through the quarter I got really sick which added even more hardship. Thankfully my professors worked with me.
Computer Science Foundations was supposed to go for two quarters, but I found myself wishing that I could study something that made more sense to me. I started perusing the academic calendar and came across “Dancing Molecules Dancing Bodies” which covered Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Biology, and Dance. I felt a sudden spark and desire to take this 16 credit program. In the meantime, my bf started suggesting that I study something that interests me. So I did. I registered for this program and told myself that I would not give up completely on technology, but I desperately needed a change of pace. I was growing tired of feeling stupid, incompetent, and inadequate at programming.
I believe that was the BEST decision I could have ever made! I have been learning so much in this new program and excelling. I finally enjoy learning again and I look forward to going to class rather than dreading it. I also signed up for another quarter of Afro-Brazilian Dance and had a wonderful time. This past quarter I was so busy concentrating on school that I spent less tie working out and preparing healthy meals. I felt more self-conscious about my body on some days because I have been weighing more than before. Thankfully we had 2 dance workshops a week. I know that I need to be more active than that, but at least it is a start. I guess that achieving a balance is an ongoing work in progress.
Another highlight of this past quarter is the fact that I set priorities for myself and procrastinated minimally. I started taking DJ Training, but had to put that on the back-burner half-way through, since I had so much on my plate. As a result, I was able to spend more time studying.
Overall, I am thrilled with how much I grew in this past winter quarter!!! I am looking forward to what the future will bring!!!
Love, Joy, And Blessings Always,
❤ Alana Xoxoxo