Once a Gorilla

As they say, Once a Gorilla, Always a Gorilla.

I hate to say it but I’ve taken more pride in being a gorilla these last couple of semesters than I did when I first started out on this journey. Sad, now it’s over. There were a few things I wanted to do that I didn’t, such as attending a football game (while a student). But I guess we all have regrets now and then.

I would say my biggest regret right now, not being more excited on Graduation day. Why you ask? Well I was waiting on results for comps and I was afraid that I didn’t pass which meant I didn’t technically graduate. I felt like a fraud and a phony. I also wondered in the back of my head if because I felt that way and was afraid I’d regret the feelings, if I wouldn’t actually pass comps. I did on both accounts… I also think I owe my family an apology because while they were extremely excited… my guilt took over and I kept saying, “I’m not real sure I graduated…”

That morning we got to the school early. I wanted to take a photo shoot, kind of like “senior” photos. It didn’t turn out exactly like I would have liked. Oh well… I still got some good photos. I wasn’t taking them, hubby was and I couldn’t convey what I wanted. Sad how sometimes you see it in your head but can’t get it in words.

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Time for a Change

For months I’ve been talking about chopping my hair off. I kept letting it grow because I wanted to donate it to Locks for Love or some sort of place again. So I just kept letting it grow. It kind of got ridiculous.

Then came the day. After a chop and trim, I’ll say it came close to 4-6 inches off. Not enough to donate. I needed it long enough to pull up into a ponytail and… I didn’t want it tooo short. I feel like really short hair makes my face look chunky. Maybe it does anyway, I don’t know, but short hair makes me feel like it does.

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Results

I feel the crunch of the end of school coming. Not just the end of the semester, but the end of school. If all goes well I should graduate May 7th. That’s the thing though… right now I feel like a retard. Literature isn’t my strong suit. It never has been. I only grew fond of reading once I was out of school and had nothing better to do with my time. And then it was typically best seller type stuff. One of my professors said you read crap if you read best seller stuff. He says there is a lot better stuff out there in the form of writers like Faulkner and guys from the beat generation. By the way, the Beat generation was Modernism and about that time came the Harlem Renaissance.

But if you ask my professors, apparently I don’t know anything. In my Memoir class we learned that we put ourselves out there with our stories. And… Now I’m going to put my big girl panties on and put myself out there…

So last semester when I took comps but didn’t pass, the professor sent on the comments from the graders. It’s a pass/fail system. Here were the comments.

British Core Exam
Reader 1:
  • Passage 1 (Macbeth): Fail. A good understanding of the passage, but the writer doesn’t match the passage up to a clear theme in Macbeth. And the writer says Macbeth wants to be King of Denmark instead of King of Scotland.
  • Passage 2 (Fielding): Pass. Language a little awkward, but makes a good argument.
  • Essay (Wuthering Heights): Fail. Doesn’t define the term “gothic” well, and most of the characteristics the writer described (like a required death) aren’t necessarily part of a gothic genre.

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Tuesday Brain Splat

My brain is all over the place. One such place… relief. At least last night’s comps is over and it’ll be a week before I hear results on either set, so that means a week of freedom, right? Please tell me I’m right. The stress the last few weeks kind of got to me. Ugh! I was talking to one of the professors last Thursday and said that grad school is more stressful than any job I’ve had and I’ve had some stressful jobs. She laughed and said, yeah, in grad school, you have a deadline and have to work on something until it is finished, where as long as your job is one of those you can walk away from at the end of the day, you’re done until the next work day.

I think grad school is taking a toll on me… I look old. That’s my opinion, but whatever…. Oh and gray hairs… they’re multiplying, I swear. Seriously? I’m only 32 (I think…. don’t ask me my age, ask me my birthday, I’m better at that number). And a tan, I’d like a tan… although I don’t want wrinkly skin, I have enough of that… so there is that…. anyway like I said, my brain is all over the place right now.

Today I feel like it is Thursday (don’t ask why, I don’t know) and yesterday I swore it was Tuesday (that’s because I sat at the school all day on a Monday which isn’t typical). So let’s see if I can impart some wisdom on you today… Here we go… if you have something that is bolded, italicized, or underlined and it is followed by punctuation, that punctuation carries the same bold, italics or underline. Although underlining words is a thing of the typewriter age when people couldn’t bold or italicize words for whatever the word is I’m looking for…. um…. emphasis I guess might be it.

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Today

I woke up this morning tired, stiff, and dreading the morning. Why? Maybe because it is Monday, or maybe because I’m just not a morning person, or maybe, just maybe it was because I have to take my second set of Comps tonight. This is Set 2 attempt 1. And then D) it could be all of the above.

This is the specialty set. It focuses on Professional and Technical Writing, which is actually what I’m getting my degree in. I’ve been studying all weekend. I’m not sure who’s brilliant idea it was to put this test right around Easter. Okay okay, so truth of the matter is that’s just how it fell. Fall, it is the last Thursday/Monday of October and Spring it is the Thursday/Monday after Spring Break. It just so happened Easter was early this year and it fell the week after spring break. I’m still going with that wasn’t brilliant planning.

Is it odd to admit that I’m not nearly as stressed about this set of comps as I am/was about the other set? When it comes down to English, my weakness is literature. It always has been and I’m not sure why. I like to read, although some of those authors are dark… I’m talking DARK! I’m not really crazy about that I guess. Life is too depressing, give me something upbeat. ha!

When I got home Thursday night after taking the other set, I was a mess. I’m not sure how it went as they said it’d be about a week for results, but I was a mess. I’m still not sure I passed because I didn’t completely get finished. I left the graders a note that I wasn’t finished and wanted to address this this and this…. we’ll see what happens I guess….

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Poetry might be the death of me…..

My Memoir Writing class is causing me to have to think about the past and causing me to write new ways. Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog (me) new tricks… but… I’m having to learn.

Recently I’ve been having to write poetry. I don’t care for poetry. I really don’t like looking for hidden meanings. I’d rather something be spelled out for me because I may take it one way while you take it a different way and it was intended to be a completely different way.

So this week I was challenged to write one of my essays into a free verse poem. I took that as a challenge and made a 7 page Memoir essay into a Haiku. If you don’t know what a Haiku is, it’s a Japanese poem form that has 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

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The Under Dog

Why is it so hard as individuals to admit defeat? Have I been defeated? Well, the answer is technically no, not yet.

Growing up I’ve always had a fighting spirit. I always knew I could do better and I was always willing to strive for better. I didn’t have to be the best at everything, I always wanted to outdo myself from the previous experience.

In 1998 I joined FFA. My mom thought I’d use horses as my FFA Project but I wanted a challenge. I had shown horses my whole life, I wanted to learn something new. That’s when we decided as a family on sheep. That first year I knew absolutely NOTHING about sheep. And every time I showed, county fair, district fair and a couple local fairs, I was last. I didn’t know how to properly groom and/or show a sheep to save my life.

County Fair 1998 – First show ever.

I wanted a learning curve, boy did I ever get one. It was funny, I was bottom. I couldn’t get any worse. The only direction I could go was up. A lot of people stood behind me and saw my determination. I had a start, stumble, and fall, more often than not… but in the end, my persistence led me to win Grand Champion Dorset Market Lamb, Grand Champion Dorset Ram, Grand Champion Dorset Ewe at my last Missouri State Fair as an FFA Member.

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I’m One Step Closer to Being on DWTS

Hi, my name is Nicole and I absolutely LOVE to dance. No joke!

I was in Ballet for 10 years and tap for 5 as a kid. Loved it. Stupid reason I quit. Don’t ask.

My parents also took Country dance lessons so I learned how to 2-step, West Coast Swing, Waltz, etc.

In high school I actually used to teach my guy friends how to 2-step.

Later in life I learned how to line dance and then whatever you call club dancing to that type of music….

Moral of the story, I like to dance and this white girl has some rhythm… even if I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. (joking… kind of.)

So just last week I was talking to Deb about how some day I need to be famous so that I can be on Dancing with the Stars. She kind of laughed at me. If only they had cameras on at the shop, they’d probably see me dancing around on more than one occasion… haha. (Don’t worry, it’s all G rated, promise!)

Anyway… to be on Dancing with the Stars… you have to be famous. And well…. In case you didn’t know, I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’m not.

Sunday my family went to the FarmFest held up in Springfield and we were walking around.

All the sudden I turned around (don’t know why) and a gal came up and said, “This may sound funny, but do you have a blog?”
Me: “Yes.”
“Is this Abug or Tbug?”
Me: “Yes.”
“I follow your blog. I’m Robbin, I blog at Down on the Farm.”
(Very exciting! I read her blog too!!)

I was soooooo giddy, someone that actually reads my blog and doesn’t know me personally recognized me out in public. How awesome is that?

I was so giddy that I asked if I could take my picture with her. Yup, that’s me… I’m that cool. Hey, at least I wasn’t trying to walk and chew gum at the same time :).

And that is how I know I’m one step closer to being famous so I can be on Dancing with the Stars.

Comps Book List Update

Here it is 9:45pm on a Friday night. Is it sad that I’m home and sitting in bed? Wow, that’s so not how life was even a few years ago… some Friday nights I was getting Mike & Ike’s bounced off my head (lol love you Earl). I had other plans for a post for today, then last night hit and I had an allergic reaction to something. I don’t know what but my lip swelled up huge! It was CRAZY! This is the second time in 2 weeks this has happened. But nothing seems to be the same to cause the reaction. Anyway so I came home and took 2 Benadryl and well…. I fell asleep. I woke up this morning groggy, my lip was still swollen, I took another Benadryl and I was out again. (and no, there are no pictures… well there are but I’m too self conscious to post those on the internet!)

So since this post was written and waiting to be published sometime the beginning of this month, now seems like as good of time as any, especially since I now have 27, almost 26 days until Comps. Maybe… just maybe I’m having an allergic reaction to all the stress from studying for Comps while still taking classes…. Just a thought.

The other day I was camped out in the library between my morning class and waiting for study group. I sat for so long that when I stood up I felt a vibration in my legs. I’m pretty sure it was the blood pumping through my veins again.

Okay so this is the month of doom. I have comps the end of this month. Yes, I know I mention it a lot but I’m kind of freaking out! I have 3 chances to pass and then I don’t know what happens. No pressure or anything.

So basically they pass it out, we answer short answer and essay. Then there is an odd number of American professors and an odd number of British professors (specialty not where they’re from….) who grade it. It’s pass or fail. You have to have majority pass or else… you fail. Again, no pressure.

So anyway I’m doing an update on my list and where I stand… well because if nothing else it helps keep me on track, it gets my cheerleaders screaming for me and whatever…. 4 weeks baby, 4 weeks (or something like that)

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