Day 586

Apparently I'm getting really bad at updating this thing at night.  Oops.

Yesterday was our joint rest day.  It was awesome.  Jessie and Richard came by in the morning to drop off some movies... then they got stuck in the snow. So they borrowed Kimmy's shovel to dig themselves out.  I did a little studying while Kimmy played the new game I bought.  So I read that for a while.  It was kind of boring.  Actually, it was really boring.

After lunch Kimmy took a nap and I played a game.  I was tired of studying... so I stopped.  I think I did some cleaning or something as well.  We also picked out a present to get with some of our Christmas money.  After lots of thought and discussion we decided on a spice rack.  So we went to Macy's, got our new spice rack, then got a pizza on the way back.  We watched a movie during dinner, did some more laundry, then Kimmy went to bed.  I stayed up for a while longer, for I was not tired.

Um.  That's really all that happened yesterday.  So... the end.


Day 585

We had a bit of a lazy start yesterday.  It was great.  I had one of my favorite breakfasts: ham and eggs.  Actually, I realized later on last night that I had ham for all three meals.  I have exactly zero regrets.

After lunch (more ham) we did a little shopping.  We needed more duct tape to keep the cats out of  that dreaded place under the tub.  I've come to the conclusion that the cats just miss Kimmy and are looking for her.  They only try to get under the tub when Kimmy isn't around.  And I think they just hate me and I trying to run away.

Anyhow, I spent my afternoon and early evening studying.  Kimmy had to go to work.  So I studied some more.  It was ok.

I talked with mom and dad on the phone for a little bit.  I updated them on our plans for going to Findlay and how the job situation is going.

I feel like this has been a really lame update, so I will now add pictures.

 I took this picture over the summer while cleaning.  This is Amber's hat, but I was keeping it safe for her.


Day 584

I tell you what.  Yesterday did not start well.  After my initial morning ritual, I had a bit of an adventure.  You know how I've been talking about about our cats trying to get underneath the bathtub?  Well, it seems that yesterday Beans REALLY wanted to get back there.  So for about two hours the cats and I played this game (not really a game) where I would try to stuff things into all of the holes leading to the area under our tub, then Bacon would get everything out of the holes and Beans would go back there.  One time Beans was under there for about half an hour.  As it turns out, there is a hole in the floor under the tub.... and Beans got in there.  Like, she was under the floor crawling around.  It was scary.  Eventually she came out and I used all manners of cardboard and duct tape to block up any holes going to the area under the tub.  Oh..... these cats.

After that, I didn't feel like studying at the moment.  I was too fed up with keeping the cats alive.  So I played my new game.  It was fun.  Then I got some lunch and started studying.

Kimmy got home from work mid-afternoon.  I studied some more.  My studying has been going well so far.  Since I just had a class in this, what I'm finding most helpful is reading the chapter and trying to fill in information gaps or learn things I didn't know, work a few basic problems to ensure that I can recall formulas, then trying to find harder problems to see how well I really know things.

I made some corn chowder for dinner.  It was good, but I really miss getting corn from the farmer's market.  That corn was WAAAAY good.  Frozen corn just doesn't cut it, but we make do.

After dinner I studied some more.  Then my brain gave up from studying so much, so I went back to playing my new game.  It is fun.  

Let it be known, Kimmy is a bad influence.  I was going to be a good student and go to bed early, but Kimmy convinced me to stay up later and play games.  Because it's Christmas break!  It didn't take too much convincing though.  I didn't really take too much convincing though.

Ok.  Time to do things!


Day 583

Originally yesterday was going to be an intense study day.

It wasn't.

However, I feel very well rested, so that's good.  Kimmy had to go to work in the morning, but it was snowing really hard.  Like, to the point where they closed the mall and she got sent home.  We had planned on going grocery shopping today, but that didn't happen.  Oh well!  We made do with the food we had.

I spent a decent amount of time in the morning using plastic tarp to cover up some areas where we're getting a lot of airflow coming into the house.  There are plenty more, but I got the main one in the kitchen. That one has been the biggest problem because it's near the thermostat and there are no vents in the kitchen.  So it's been getting really cold in that room and hot everywhere else.  Hopefully it's better now.

Now that Beans has spent some time trapped underneath the tub, we figured that she wouldn't want to get back there anymore.  But obviously that's not how it's been working out.  Instead, she's been trying to get back there harder than ever... and it's REALLY annoying.  She found another way back there, so I had to find something else to block that entrance.  Normally I'd duct tape cardboard over it, but a) we're almost out of duct tape and b) measuring and cutting the cardboard is a lot more work than I feel like doing at the moment. So I just jammed some rolls of toilet paper in there.

Yeah, not too much else happened yesterday.  Just a little studying and relaxing.  Today will probably be a cleaning day... our house really needs it.

So off I go.  See ya!


Day 582

Wow.  It's been a very exciting past few days.  Sorry I haven't kept up with this... I didn't have internet access for my laptop and have formally given up blogging on my phone.

Kimmy had to work another midnight to 8 am shift.  I'm glad she doesn't have to do that anymore.  She slept for a while when she got back and I did some packing and cleaning.  I did a little studying, but mostly I just got ready for our trip to Springfield.

I think we finally left around 4.  The drive was fairly uneventful, if I recall.  It was a bit windy, but largely uneventful.  Shortly after arriving at Kimmy's grandparents' (where we stayed), it occurred to us that we'd forgotten all of our toiletries.  So we made a couple quick stops to the dollar tree and Walgreens so that we could do the important things... like brush our teeth and I could take out my contacts.  We spent the rest of the evening talking with Kimmy's mom and grandparents.

I was officially initiated into Kimmy's Christmas tradition through the making of noodles.  It was fun.  They make the dough from scratch, then rolling it out and cut it up.

Eventually everyone went to their various family functions, Kimmy napped, and I studied.  I was able to get a lot done, so that's good.  That evening we went to have Christmas with Kimmy's dad's side of the family.  I met some new people and ate really good food!

It was Christmas!  After we got up we all went over to Kimmy's cousin (Amanda)'s house, had breakfast, and opened gifts.  Then we had breakfast part 2!  After breakfast I played with Cole (Amanda's son)... someone had to help him break in all his new toys!

After talking with various family members for a while I took a nap.  This is a rare occurrence for me... but I felt way better afterwards.  And I woke up just in time to eat dinner!  I have great timing.

Dinner was fantastic. We had mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potato casserole, beef, noodles, and green stuff.  And they gave us many many leftovers!  :D

But then we had to go home :(  We had a long trip ahead of us and wanted to get back before the storm got bad.

When we got home, we feared that the cats might have destroyed something.  Thankfully the house was in tact.  The only issue we came across was that beans had gotten somehow peeled the cardboard back from the bathtub and gotten stuck underneath it.  But she is now safe.

So the end.  We have lots of cleaning to do today... so that'll be fun!

Day 581

Day 580


Day 579

Good morning!

Originally, yesterday was going to be a super productive studying-and-cleaning day.  Apparently that didn't happen... but I actually think it was for the best.  I needed some rest.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday morning wrapping and preparing Kimmy's present.  After I wrapped it, I used a bunch of yarn to create a path that Kimmy had to follow which led to her present.  Surprisingly, the cats didn't mess with the yarn too much, but I shut them in the bathroom while I was setting it up because I knew they would have wanted to help!  And by "help" I actually mean "attack all of the yarn."

Then I did some studying.  In my head (where everything works perfectly), I'd imagined getting through two chapters.  My goal for break is to do at least one chapter a day.  I set my study schedule up for one chapter a day, but I'd like to get ahead of it's possible.  But I just got through one chapter yesterday.  It was fine, but not optimal.

Kimmy slept in pretty late because she had to work from midnight until 8 am. I do not envy her.  After she got up and opened her present, we just bummed around for a while.  She wrapped some presents for her family and I studied.

After dinner she took a nap before she had to go back to work and I relaxed some.  I played a video game with my friend Mark for a while, then went back to studying.

I was up for a little bit after Kimmy went to work.  It's a good thing I didn't go straight to bed because our cats discovered that they can get underneath the bathtub.  To the people who have not seen our house: this is a bad thing.  See, in our house, there are a few... "holes," as we call them.  They're places that lead into the walls and we don't know where they go.  It's a little weird.  Well, our tub/shower is in the corner of the bathroom and two sides (one long side and one short side) touch the wall.  The other long side is covered like a normal bathtub.... but the last short side has no covering.  This means that the cats can get underneath the tub and we have no idea what's back there.  We keep a large piece of cardboard taped to the wall so that they can't get back there, but last night they were able to wiggle past the cardboard and go exploring.  It was bad.  So I spent some time trying to get them out (which I was successful in doing), then I spent some more time taping every side of that cardboard so that no amount of cat wiggly could undo it.  I think we're safe now.

Ok.  Time to get some stuff done.  Fare well!


Day 578

Yesterday was an incredibly long day.  Oh my word.

So it started off early... and with lots of me being sleepy.  My interview started at 9, but I had plenty to do beforehand so I got up at 6:30.  I could have gotten away with getting up at 7, but I wanted to be completely certain that I'd have enough time to get everything done.  So I did all the important things, then went to the in-hotel Starbucks for breakfast.

My interview consisted of 3 hour-long interviews and lunch, each with two people.  I'm used to half-hour interviews, so it was a bit of a challenge.  But as the day went on, I thought I got better.  Lunch went especially well, I thought.  We went to an American pub type restaurant and I got a hamburger with egg and bacon on it.  So much awesome.  A couple different people I interview with have advanced math degrees (one had a PhD, another almost had a PhD elected to not finish), so I enjoyed talking with them about their areas of expertise and the transition between academic life and the business world.  During my last interview, the director of a specific actuarial department high-fived me for something... but I don't remember why.  It was still awesome.

We left around 2, I believe.  I had to stop to get some caffeine because I was a little drowsy.  I wanted Kimmy to be able to take a nap because she worked at midnight and needed some sleep before she went to work.

After we got home we made some dinner.  I took a nap while it was baking because I was really tired... like the kind of tired where you feel a bit nauseous.  By this point (around 7) I'd  had two cups of a coffee and a five-hour energy... but it had all worn off.  I was pretty tired.  I'd originally planned on studying last night, but decided that I just needed a break.  I'll study some more tomorrow.

Ok, I think that's about it from me!


Day 577

I didn't update yesterday because a) I didn't feel like it and b) not too many eventful things actually happened.  I studied, then we went to dinner at Jessie and Richard's.  Then I studied some more.

So today.  I meant to get up early to study... I woke up at 8:30.  Then I blinked and it was 9.  Then I blinked again and it was 10.  Oh well.  I was still able to get a decent amount of studying in before the day progressed too far.

We left for our adventure around 2.  The weather was pretty awful.  It rained, snowed, then got super bright.  And then it rained some more.  Oh, and it was crazy windy.  I tell you what, if the Mayans are correct and the world ends today, I'd say the weather was pretty appropriate.

We got here around 5, then went out to get some dinner.  There is a nice little strip-mall type place right by where we're staying, so we went to a TGI Friday there.  It was... different.  It was really loud and there was a group of business men and women just standing by our table.  I'm guessing they came by for a drink after work, but they were all seriously 2 feet from our table, if not closer.  It was strange, but we appreciated the experience.

After dinner we came back and I prepared for my interview tomorrow.  I did that for a while, then we watched some TV.  A little bit later (much later), we decided to go get some food.  I saw on my GPS that there was  Taco Bell nearby.  After we drove around (and failed to find it), we realized it was pretty close so we decided to walk.  Wow, that was not the best choice.  It was so cold outside.  Sooooo cold.  And windy.  And snowing.  And Taco Bell did not exist :(  Bleh.

When we came back we watched a special on TV about all of these predictions concerning the end of the world.  It was interesting, but ultimately pretty fake.

And now it's time for bed!  I'll keep you all updated on my interview.  Night!


Day 575

Today was yet another exciting day full of: studying, housework, more studying, eating, and more studying!

I've been letting my body wake itself up in the mornings.  It's been amazing to wake up and not be tired.  For those of you who have forgotten how this feels: it's amazing.  It's this fantastic feeling of "ah yes, this is how things are supposed to be."  Like after you've had a cold and have been congested... for a while you start to forget what it's like to breathe normally.  But eventually you manage to get over your cold and breathe like a normal human being.  You get this amazing sense of "yes...yes... I have been missing something, but now I am complete!"  Anyhow, getting enough sleep at night is wonderful.

I've had eggs almost every morning recently.  Oatmeal just hasn't sounded especially tasty and eggs have.  And I have no regrets.  I've stopped trying to be fancy with my eggs for the time being... mornings just aren't meant to be frustrated.  Mornings are meant for surviving until you finish the coffee.

After breakfast I started my studying!  It went ok, I suppose.  Over break, my goal is to read through and work all of the problems from one lesson a day.  But I think that (especially on the earlier lessons on which I feel confident) I'm going to try to get through one and a half or two lessons a day.  Getting ahead will allow me to A-take some days off and B-have more review time at the end. I'm finding that there are plenty of study problems... sometimes to the level of absurdity.  This would be fantastic if I hadn't just taken a course in this material... but I have.  So some of the beginning problems that are little more than "do you know what formula to use here?" feel a little trivial.  I'll do a few for practice, but I don't want to get bogged down doing every repetitive problem when I could be spending my time better and getting more done.

So that's my plan.

Kimmy had to go to work, so I spent the rest of the afternoon studying, doing laundry, eating, and studying.  I also started going through the book and writing in corrections from the errata page that was on the company's website.  There are quite a few (which shouldn't be surprising for such a large document) and about half of them are just spelling/punctuation type errors.  I haven't come across any that affected my work as of yet.

After Kimmy came home, we made a quick trip to the store to finish up some Christmas shopping, then we ate ice cream and watched a movie.

Now it is bed time.  I have more studying to do tomorrow... what fun!  Good night, everyone.


Day 574

Story time - I didn't have class today because I'm on break.  Good guys: 1.  School: 0.

Oh goodness, it felt so fantastic.  I can't even describe.  Actually, it didn't really hit me until sometime in the evening, but we'll get to that.

Kimmy had to work at 6:45 this morning.  She was not happy (and incredibly tired).  I decided to be a team player and keep sleeping.  You know, to give the cats someplace to sleep.  Or something like that.  Basically I was still really tired.

After I got up, I had some breakfast and got to studying!

This is everything.  I'm hoping not to go through all of those pens... but I'm sure that I will need way more paper than that.

The first couple of chapters are very basic review, but I went through them anyways to make sure that I wasn't missing any basic concepts.  I worked most of the problems, but found that they were getting repetitive, so I just moved on to the next section.  My schedule for Christmas break is pretty intense, but I'm hoping to get ahead as often as possible.  I mean, if I don't have anything to do... why not study?

After Kimmy got home we had some lunch.  She took a nap and I went Christmas shopping!  And thus ends that topic.  I did some more studying when I got back from shopping.  I felt like I'd been gone forever... but it was a little over an hour.

After dinner I did a little more studying, but my brain was pretty tired and quite ready to be done for now.

That's when it hit me... I don't have any homework assignments, papers to grade, or lectures to write.  The only academic thing I have to do is study!  Otherwise, I just have some housework whatever else I feel like doing!  Oh wow, it felt so good.  It was so very relaxing.

And relax I did.  Now I shall sleep.  Night!

Day 573


It was a great day.  We slept in, I did a little grading, then went grocery shopping.  We left a lot later than we had anticipated, so we had to hurry.  Jared and Kanissa (my best man and his girlfriend) were coming to visit and the entire house needed a very solid cleaning.  So after shopping and lunch we went into overdrive and cleaned all of the things.  We got almost everything done before Kimmy had to go to work.

After Jared and Kanissa got here, I showed them the house, then we went to go get a movie.  We had hamburgers and fries for dinner, then watched the movie.  Kimmy was able to get off of work early (yay!), so she came home around 9:30 instead of 11.  When she got back we played a couple boards games.  We had originally planned on staying up silly-late... but it was around 11:30 and we were all exhausted.  So we just went to bed.

Kimmy and I woke up around 8:30 and got some breakfast.  When we were done, I made some breakfast for Jared and Kanissa.  It was quite the feast: pancakes, bacon, and eggs.  And, if I may say, it was pretty good.  After breakfast we went to Marsh to make some snacks.  Originally we'd planned on making rice crispy treats... but then someone had the excellent idea of using fruity pebbles instead.  It was an excellent choice.  They were really really awesome.

Later on in the afternoon we went to go see The Hobbit with Jessie and Richard.  It was pretty good.  They added a few things that hadn't been in the books, but I thought were really good.  Then we all went to dinner at Amazing Joe's, which is a barbecue restaurant in Muncie.  It was pretty stellar.

Then Jared and Kanissa had to go home :(  Boo.

I finally finished my grading last night.  Final grades are due at noon, so hopefully after that I can see all the reviews my students left for me!  This is always a little scary, simply because I'm not good at knowing what they really think about the class.  But we'll see!

Day 572


Day 571

In honor of my first day off of school, I slept in until 10am.  I haven't gotten this much sleep in a really really long time.  It was awesome.

So yesterday morning I got up early to do some studying before heading up to campus.  I was pretty nervous for my test.  I had worked through the problems about 2 and a half times and remembered how to do them for the most part.

Anyhow, I got to the classroom to proctor my exam a little early, so a few students asked me questions about some of the material.    And then it began!  I think the first person was done in about 40 minutes, the last took the full 2 hours.  I spent the majority of the time studying for my own final, but I took a break for the last 30 minutes.  I didn't want to totally kill my brain.  Then I cleaned everything up and went off to take my last final.

It actually went decently well.  There were a couple problems that had been changed (and became much more difficult), there were two problems that I'm not entirely sure I got correct.... but overall it went well.  There's a decent chance that I got all A's this semester, which would make me pretty happy.

On my way home, I captured this awesome picture:

You no longer have to even leave the comfort of your side of campus to get scammed out of your mind by returning your textbooks!

When I got home, Kimmy and I had a celebration lunch at Wendy's then.... I started grading.  Yuck.  I got about 1/4 done, then needed a break. It had been a long day.
We got a Christmas present in the mail today!  And I think Bacon was almost as excited as we were.

Kimmy had to work last night, so I went to hang out with some of my friends from my program.  It was fun.  We met up at a place downtown, had some pizza, and just talked about life for a while.  School, work, family... all the good things in life.  I don't really know how we got on the topic, but we spent a considerable amount of time sharing humorous (and horror) stories from getting spanked as children.  It was a good time.

Kimmy and I got back around the same time.  We were both pretty tired, so we didn't stay up too late.  Which resulted in me getting almost 10 hours of sleep!  Oh, it was lovely.


Day 570

I don't actually know if I'm going to survive tomorrow, but if I do it's going to be pretty fantastic.

Today started off with a bit of excitement.  I went to the computer lab at school to print some things off to study for my exam tomorrow.  We have 33 problems, from which 10 will be on the exam.  I looked at the first problem and thought "I have exactly no clue how to do this."  So I moved on... and things got worse.  And worse.  Yeah... so that was great.

I did a little tutoring for a student, then tried to get a handle on what was happening with these problems.  They were tough and largely cover material that wasn't really discussed in class.  In fact, one of the topics that we spent the past... 3 weeks?... discussing won't be on the final at all.  But there are number of topics that we never mentioned that are on the final in great detail.  Today was not a fun day.

After lunch I proctored a test, then did some more tutoring.  I went home for a while after tutoring and gathered my senses a little bit.  I'd worked through some problems and was beginning to understand parts of the material.  So after dinner I went back to campus to print some things off, then studied with Tim and Dustin for a while.  A very long while.  I think nearly 5 hours?  Something like that.  We took a break to get some snacks, but we studied pretty intensely for most of that time.  My brain is tired.

I'm hoping to get up a little early tomorrow to get some more studying in, but we'll see how that goes.  For now: it's bed time.  Good night.


Day 569

One more test and I am done!  Wooooo!

OK, so here's a recap of my day: I studied.

Yeah, that's about it!  I got up to campus around 10, then studied for a couple of hours with Tim B. and Erica.  We worked through a few problems and wrote formulas.  Lots of formulas.  Will filled up two dry-erase boards, then erased them and filled both again.  And we probably had another 4 boards worth of equations that we could have written (but didn't need to).  It was silly.  Tim and I got a quick lunch, then went back to studying. When we returned, Tim H. joined us as well.  So we all studied for a little bit longer... probably another hour.  Then went off to take the test!

I think I did well.  There was one question that I'm not 100% sure I got right, but I think I got it at least 85% correct.  The others are right, provided that I didn't make a calculation error.

After I got home I didn't study.  It was amazing.  I'm still feeling a little stressed, so hopefully that goes away after Friday.  It's strange: I don't feel nervous about my tests or anything like that, but I just physically feel very anxious.  Mentally, I'm quite relaxed.  It's a really strange sensation and I'm not a huge fan.  

Kimmy and I had some dinner, then I just relaxed for the evening.  I played some games with friends, browsed the internet, and things of that nature.  I'm going to spend pretty much all of tomorrow studying and preparing for my test on Friday.  Normally the test wouldn't be so bad because it's open book.  But I don't have a book.  So I'm going to copy off relevant pages from the text book and use that (my professor said I was allowed to do that).  So that's my activity for tomorrow!

I had an interesting thought earlier today: next Friday, Kimmy and I are going down to Louisville for my interview at Humana.  However, next Friday is supposed the end of the world, by the Mayan calender.  So I guess if the Mayans were correct, I won't actually get to interview with them!

Well, I'm off to bed now.  Cheers!


Day 568

Well this was an exciting day for sure.  Studying is exciting, right?


I woke up around 8, then proceeded to begin studying.  I just worked through some problems and things.  It was fine.  After some lunch I went up to campus to study with some other people in my class.  It turns out that the math department had a "final feast" today.  A lot of the faculty and staff brought in food for all of the math department students to help us make it through finals week.  It was so awesome.  They had fruit, veggies, chips, sloppy joes, and cookies.  There were a decent number of us in there eating and studying.

I studied with both Tims for about 2 hours.  We pretty much just discussed exam problems and went through formulas.  Then I went to go tutor one of my students for a while.  We didn't get through everything, so I gave some advice on how to best read through math textbooks (because it honestly is pretty difficult) and we scheduled another time to go through things.  When I was done tutoring I went back to the study room and we studied for another 2 hours.  This time we tried to go through some things that had not been on the previous exams.  I know that 75% of the exam will be from previous exams and our last homework, so I feel well prepared for that.  Mainly we're just trying to have a good base covered for the remaining portion.  I also want to build a good base for when I start studying for MFE..... on Monday.  Oh gross.

I got home kinda late.  Kimmy and I made some dinner, then I worked on writing my test for the class I teach.  It took a while, but I'm pretty happy with it right now.  And I think it will be reasonably easy to grade, so that's handy.

And now... it's bed time.  I'm going to studying for a little while longer tomorrow morning, then we'll see how the test goes!


Day 557

Ok.  So here I am again, updating this thing.

Today was the last day of lectures for the semester!  I spent my morning doing some studying.  I'm a little bit nervous about the test on Wednesday... but I think it will be ok.  I just don't feel like studying anymore.

Classes were fine.  Basically we just talked about the finals and asked some questions.  I'm hoping that after my test on Wednesday I'll be able to just buckle down and plow through the material for Friday's exam.  Oh goodness.... this is going to be awesome.  I have this big ball of stress in my stomach that I hope works itself out after this week is over.

When I got home Kimmy and I started making dinner.  Jessie and Richard came over for dinner, so we tried a new recipe.  It was a chicken enchilada casserole.... but really it was just chicken, cheese, and more cheese.  So it was really good!

Tomorrow is going to be a rough day.  I spent a couple hours in the evening reading through a chapter in the text book and working through problems.  I think I understand it better, but the book seems pretty unclear on a lot of things.  For instance, in one section they explain some things using Method 1 (as I'll call it).  They went into great lengths to explain some formulas and how everything was related.  Then 2 pages later they start using (without really explaining) Method 2.  The book mentions that the two Methods are related... but that the relation is too complex and not necessary to understand.  Then the rest of the chapter uses Method 2 without explaining why Method 1 was every mentioned.  It a bit confusing and somewhat troubling.

After my brain was done studying I worked on writing my test for a bit.  I'm hoping that the test is easy to grade... but that's not really my specialty.  I'm pretty good at covering the important material from the class and at asking good questions, but a lot of times the questions themselves are difficult to grade (since I try to give plenty of partial credit).  But we'll see!  Hopefully I can get everything graded in the 24 hours after the exam.

Ok.  I have a big day tomorrow, so it's time for sleep.  Good night.


Day 556

I totally lost track of time... so this is going to be quick.  And my day was quite dull, so it will be additionally short.

So I woke up and got some breakfast.  I've made myself breakfast sandwiches the past two mornings to change things up.  They've been tasty.  While I ate breakfast (and after I was done) I did some work on writing my test for my class.  It's going decently well.  I'm hoping that they all do well... I'm doing my best not to ask any really difficult questions.  In fact, I feel like a lot of them are pretty easy.  But there is a lot of material to be covered and most of it is unrelated, so I don't want to make the questions too difficult.

Then Kimmy and I had some lunch.  It was uneventful.  At the moment, basically the only thing on my mind is studying for my final on Wednesday and writing my exam for Friday.  After my final on Wednesday I'm going full-throttle into studying for my exam on Friday.  And when I'm done with all of THAT... I'll bust through grading all of the finals.

So I spent the afternoon studying and doing homework.  I've been working through old tests and, surprisingly, have been remembering a majority of the formulas.  Thankfully.  I think that tomorrow morning I'm going to look at the formula sheets I made for the previous tests and make sure there aren't a lot that I've forgotten.

Kimmy made lasagna for dinner!  And it was really tasty.  Since we had to share the lasagna we made last week, we decided to make another one that we don't have to share :) 

After dinner I got back to studying.  I'm near the end of working through the third exam... and my brain was just worn out.  So I'm done for the night.

In other news, I'm ready to just get studying for MFE.  Truly.  The fact that I'm going to start studying for it soon is always looming over me... I'm ready to just get to it.  I think that once I start studying there will be at least a little bit less stress... not to mention I'll be through finals at that point as well.

Ok.  I'm really tired so I'm going to bed.  Night.


Day 565

And today was pretty fantastic.  Truth.

I, once again, slept it.  I could totally get used to this.  After showering and everything I did my obligatory checking of the internet and websites.  All of my regular websites survived another night while I slept, so that's good.  I went up to campus to get some stuff done with Tim.  While I was there I looked inside the math department study room and was not disappointed.

Like any good math department at Christmas time, it is decorated with various 3-dimensional figures.  I used to do this at Mount Vernon.  Dr. Noonan was very big on having his upper level math classes make ornaments for the department Christmas tree.  I was really bad at it.  Kimmy would always help me... she would do the difficult shapes and I'd do the easy ones.  But it was still fun!

After I came back home Kimmy and I got some lunch then went grocery shopping.  We also got some plastic to cover one of the doors and a window so that they cold air doesn't invade us anymore.  It will be really nice to not have a lot of cold air coming right into the kitchen and the thermostat.  Yes... that will be nice.

When we got back from grocery shopping I graded for a few hours.  On the plus side, all of the grading it done!  Yay!  So the only thing I have left is to create the final exam and tutor some students.  I'm glad I was able to finish the grading so that I can focus on studying for the next week.  And oh, what studying will happen.

So then Kimmy and I embarked on one of our absolute favorite dates/traditions.  That's right ladies and gentlemen, we had a Fat Date.  Chinese, Little Ceasar's, ice cream, and a movie.  It was so fantastic.  

While we were at the Chinese restaurant we got to witness some truly awesome things.  The first wasn't actually awesome, it was bad.  A lady came in and was VERY upset that the restaurant had gotten her order wrong.  And I just sat there thinking "lady... English isn't any of their first language.  And your problem is petty.  Unless you're allergic to what you got, I think you put on your big girl pants and deal with it."  Sorry.  I've never been able to understand when people get all up in arms over ensuring that their little preferences are met perfectly.  Maybe it's just because I'm too flexible and am fine with most situations in life.  But frankly, a $6 meal is not worth getting bent out of shape.  Some things are worth getting bent out of shape... like the endless wars in Africa.  Yes, please let's get worked up over that.  But our food preferences are trivial.  </rant>

The second thing we saw actually was awesome.  The obligatory young child who was sitting out front doing homework (a requirement for all true Chinese restaurants) made nun-chucks out of some pencils.  It was so fantastic.

When we got back home we ate some of Muncie's finest cuisine and watched Captain America.  It was the best.

And now it's time for bed!  Yay bedtime!


Day 564

Yesterday was a pretty good day, I believe.  Yes... yes it was quite lovely.

After some fantastic sleeping in I got up, had breakfast, and did some grading.  The class I teach is part of the University Core Curriculum (UCC) and must meet certain national criteria to ensure that we're doing our job.  Now, whether the implementation is successful is not relevant at the moment.  But as part of the mandated assessment, I had to administer a specific test question and then grade it on a rubric that is supposed to reflect a certain level of competence in that area.  So after I graded the questions I had to pick a student's work that I deemed to fall into the categories: poor, acceptable, excellent.  Then I turned that in to the guy in charge of this nonsense.  So that was my morning!  It was lovely.

Then I had class.  We talked about some new stuff... and realized once again that our books are horribly inconsistent.  As Mr. Owens so elegantly summarized one specific inconsistency "they first introduce the notation ri to represent what happens at time i... then inexplicably never write that again, instead using the notation r(i)."  That was more comical than harmful, but there was another inconsistency that was making things really difficult to understand.  I think I get it....?

Also: this happened.

When I got back Kimmy and I made some dinner and cleaned.  We had a few friends over for dinner last night, so I figured it would be good to clean up first.  We made lasagna and cheesy garlic flat bread!  It turned out well.  Paul, Dustin, and Erica came over for dinner, then we played a game afterwards.  This game is known by many names... some call it Draw-Pass, to others it is Pictionary-Dictionary, and it was recently released as the board game Telestrations.  The idea is that each person has a stack of paper... on the top sheet you write a phrase or word, then pass your stack to the next person.  Now you have someone else's phrase (and a different person has yours).  You then put the piece of paper with the phrase/word to the back of the pile and draw your interpretation of the phrase.  After you finish drawing, you again pass your stack on and receive a new stack.  You then write out whatever is going on in the picture you just received.  So the game cycles between describing someone else's picture and drawing someone else's description.  I don't know if my description made sense... but it was fun.  Later on in the night Tim came by for a little bit.  So we played some more, then had cookies!  As we were eating cookies I showed them how my Cutco scissors can cut through pennies.  They were all very impressed.  It turns out that Tim, Dustin, Paul, and I have all worked in some sort of direct sales industry... though some of theirs were direct Pyramid schemes.  I still hold that Cutco technically is a legitimate business, even if it feels really shady.

Then everyone went home.  Kimmy and I cleaned up and just chilled out of the rest of the night.  It was good.

That is all.


Day 563

Ladies and gentlemen.  I just slept in until 9:45 and it felt amazing.

Yesterday was a really full day.  It started off with teaching.  Actually, it started with decided to wear my rubber ducky tie.  THEN teaching.  Yesterday was just a review day for the exam.  We went over some things that they had been having trouble with throughout the semester and I tried to get a feel for where the strengths and weaknesses of the class were.  So hopefully I can make a good test based off of what they said.

After class I went to my office and did some studying for my exam.  I felt pretty well studied for it, so then I started grading.  Tim came by after a while and we studied together, mostly just discussing different ideas and trying to figure out what's going in that class.  Then we went up to Alex's office and studied some more... and by "studied" I mean "we really didn't get any studying done."  Then we went to go take our test!

It really wasn't too bad.  I know I missed one question, but otherwise I think I did well.  I stuck around campus because I was teaching Alex's class for him, so in the mean time I went to the computer lab and did some statistical analysis of my students' grades.  I learned that Excel can determine trend lines and it does forecasting.  So that was neat.

During Alex's class I mainly just handed tests back, then did review.  It wasn't super structured since all I did was answer questions.  Most of the people left after I gave them their tests but about four people stayed around to ask questions.

I got home just as Kimmy was going to work.  She made some spaghetti for dinner, so I had that, then went up to the office.  I didn't feel like doing any work, so I talked with one of my friends on Steam for a little bit, then he and I played a game for a while.  When we were done I did some more grading and such.

Then Kimmy came home!  She had to work late, so I didn't stay up too long after she got back.  The end!


Day 562

Ok, I'm starting to go to bed earlier.  This is a good thing.

This morning I slept in a little bit.  I didn't get up until 7:45!  It was awesome.  After I got ready I went up to campus.  One of my classes met in the computer lab today, so I wanted to get up there early to make sure I got a computer (there are never enough for everybody).  And I got some work done.  After class I worked on some homework with people in my class, then Timbo and I got some lunch.

After class I came home and figured out what all I have to do in the next week.  It's going to be pretty busy... but I should be fine.  Then I did some dishes before we got dinner.  I needed to do something that did not involving thinking.  I was pretty tired so I had some coffee with dinner.  Thankfully I don't have to do that too often... but it's finals week (almost).

So I studied for a while.  We have an open book test tomorrow, but I want to make sure that I have a decent grasp on everything before the test.  I'd prefer to only have to use my notes to look at specific formulas and not be actually learning the material on the test.

While I have everyone's attention, I'd like to point something out that I believe really encompasses how poor the Ball State website is.  Now, normally when a person is looking for information, a simple Google search is of service.  I wanted to see my grades (Ball State uses a system called Gradebook), but I didn't remember the website.  So I Googled "Ball State Gradebook."  Nothing out of the ordinary.  But I will show you the page, from the Ball State website, that was the top result.

There is a link that says "access the BSU Gradebook."  Now... normally you would think that this would take you to the log in page for Gradebook.  Logical, yes?  No.  No, no... that would be silly.  This link actually takes you to a video describing how to log in to Gradebook.

"Rage" only begins to describe my feelings.  And this is the system they have for every important website associated to Ball State.  I have to imagine that it's about 100 times more work to create this video than to just... I don't know... provide a hyperlink or web address?  Some poor employee had to create a video tutorial for this when they could have, instead, simply added one extra line of code.

End of rant.

Ok.  That's it for now.  Good night!


Day 561

I started my class today with a short story.  I said "you know how I knew today was going to be awesome?  After I made my coffee I looked at the pot and noticed that it seemed awfully clear.... it was at this point I realized that I hadn't actually put coffee in the filter."  Ah yes, it was a wonderful day!

Class went well.  My students have been working on a group project and today they did their presentation.  Most of them were pretty good.  Three of the groups brought food!  It was good.

When I got back to my office I began the never-ending process of grading. I guess I didn't really begin, since I have yet to ever finish... but you know what I mean.  I graded.  It was buckets of fun.

It wasn't.

After my office hours I went up to the computer lab to work on some stuff.  One of my classmates wanted to check some answers on the homework, so as we were comparing answers I noticed that I'd done two of the questions wrong.  This was 20 minutes before class, so I had to hurry to get it all done. I think it's right... close enough, anyhow.  During class Dr. Imon went over some things for the test on Thursday.  It'll be fun.

It won't be.

I was pretty excited to come home.  Last night Kimmy and I had put together a dish that was supposed to cook in the crock pot for a few hours.  Before I went to school I'd plugged it in and everything.  It was going to be awesome! So when I got back the house smelled really good.  We waited a little bit to eat since neither of us were hungry when I got back, so I got some work done.

Then it was dinner time.  Oh man, I was excited.  We'd cooked some turkey in a mixture of pineapples, orange marmalade, teriyaki sauce, and some other stuff.  And then..... 

It tasted like pot roast.  Bleh.  It was so disappointing.  I will never understand how you can cook meat in liquid all day and have it turn out to be so very dry.  Yuck.  Kimmy and I were pretty bummed that it didn't turn out.  And we were both still really hungry so we went to get some food real quick.  I'm not very good at coming up with quick meals... so starting another meal was pretty well out of the question at 7pm.

When we returned from getting food I did more grading for a while.  I also started preparing for my exam on Thursday, writing formulas and such.  I'm getting pretty good at using the formula editor in Word, but I've noticed that when there are a lot of formulas on one page it gets pretty slow.  Just in case you were wondering.

Ok.  I'm tired, so off to bed I go.  Night.


Day 560

I guess it's that part of the semester where I have a really hard time going to bed at night.  I do not like this part of the semester.

So this morning... wow that feels like so long ago.  This morning I finished up an assignment for my first class.  I was having some trouble at first, but eventually I was able to figure it out.  That... was basically my morning.  Kimmy went to work and I went to class.

Class was fine.  I got my test back from last week.  I did decently on it.  Mr. Owens commented that it appears that I understand the material, but I make mistakes at the end.  I confirmed his suspicion and explained that one of my biggest issues is working enough problems to work out all of those kinks.

When I got back I started making dinner.  I made a pot-pie using some left-over turkey.  It turned out really well!  So that's exciting.  After we finished eating I had to go back to campus to finish up some work for tomorrow.  Alex and Timbo and I had some projects to work on, so I was up there for about 4 hours.

It was not fun.

But then I came home... and Kimmy had made cookies!  They're really good.

And now I am tired.  So off to bed I go.

Fare thee well.


Day 559

Blog post incoming!

When I woke up this morning, oatmeal just did not sound that appetizing.  And we were out of eggs.  So I did the next most logical thing: I had cheesecake.  It was so great.  I have no regrets.

Today during church Pastor Mark began a study/dissection of the character Ebenezer Scrooge and his feelings on life.  I really appreciated what all he had to say, partially because it's something I've been putting a lot of thought into recently.  In the story, Ebenezer is bent on acquiring wealth for the sake of being rich.  Pastor Mark related that to how so many people work so hard to acquire stuff... and ultimately it makes no difference.  People work jobs they hate to buy stuff they don't need.  That idea has been a very prevalent one in my head for the past few years and I've really tried to keep that in mind on a daily basis: am I letting my possessions control my thoughts?  Yes, in some meta way... I think about how I don't want to become obsessed with possessions, therefore the idea of being anit-material drives me.  But really I strive to not have excess and not be wasteful.  Which is atypical: the middle-class is stereotypically known for letting their possessions define them ("keeping up with the Jones'").  However, I've tried really hard not to do that. I try to match an object to a specific need... first in my head, then in reality.  It seems to work out pretty well.  It also helps to accept that things need to be thrown away.  This helps me resist growing attached to things or to money.  I do not want to become emotionally attached to stuff.  Possessions exist for the me to use them as tools to achieve whatever ends I desire.

Anyhow.  We came home, had lunch, then committed to a very successful Sabbath: Kimmy napped and I didn't do any work.  I have a decent amount of work to do this week, but it's really not too bad.  So I wanted to make sure I had a good, restful weekend before finals week starts.

Later in the afternoon we finally went grocery shopping.  It was productive.  Yep!

We went to Jessie and Richard's apartment for dinner.  Jessie made chicken/tortilla soup and it was really good.  We got to see the floorplan of their new house!  It looks really nice.

When we got back from dinner I felt super productive.  So I got did a lot of cleaning that I've been meaning to do for a while.  We also started some laundry.

And now it's time for bed.  This is my last week of classes, then finals week!  Here we go!


Day 558

Yesterday was awesome.  Actually, this entire weekend has been pretty great because I don't have any immediate deadlines, so I've been relaxing pretty hard.

After I got up yesterday I considered being productive and then immediately decided to not do that.  Kimmy had to work yesterday morning pretty early and I felt that it would be inconsiderate if I did all of the chores around the house and didn't share any with her!  I mean, how selfish would that have been?  So selfish.

I did have to run (drive, actually) up to campus to make some copies, at which time I was pleasantly surprised by the nice weather outside.  So that was good.  When I got back I started grading.  I graded for a good chunk of the afternoon.  I also sent my students a spreadsheet that helps them figure out what grade they need to get on the final to achieve a certain grade in the class.  I know that this week would normally be when a third of my class emails me to ask that question, so I wanted to give them the ability to do that themselves.

Kimmy and I made pizza for dinner and it turned out really well.  Actually, it's probably the best pizza we've made so far.  And the breadsticks were really good as well. We've been experimenting with cheese-filled breadsticks.  In the near future we want to try putting cheese and bacon in the crust of the pizza.  Doesn't that sound amazing?

After dinner we tried to go grocery shopping... but apparently Aldi closes at 7 on Saturday.  We went to Macy's to get a couple things, then off to Wal-mart.  So we'll have to finish up grocery shopping today.  I really need to get the Aldi hours of operation down... this is the second or third time that we've gotten there after they closed.  Oh well.

Ok.  That's it for now.


Day 557


Yesterday was pretty intense.  I spent most of the morning studying for my test.  I was feeling pretty confident by the time I went to campus for class.  I got there a little early to prepare for my quiz.  I had a quiz in my first class and a test in the second.  I finished the quiz pretty quickly, so I just studied for the test for the remained of my time until the next class.

I thought my test went reasonably well.  It had 5 questions (each with multiple parts) and I finished it in about half an hour.  That's pretty normal... somehow I've been gifted with the ability to work very quickly with reasonably good accuracy.  That's very useful on the actuarial exams.

When I got home Kimmy and I started making pizza dough.  Actually, Kimmy made the dough while I cleaned up the kitchen.  We used our Kitchenaid to mix the pizza dough and it worked really well!  Except for the part where everything got stuck to the mixer (we forgot to use the bread hook), but it still mixed really well.  When the dough was just about ready to finish raising Jessie called me to see if we wanted to meet with them for dinner.  So we went and just the the dough raise for even longer.

We met with Jessie and Richard at Ruby Tuesday.  It was good.  I'm not really sure what it was, but I thought the waitress seemed strange.  Oh well.  So I got them updated on all of my exciting school adventures (of which there are so many.......).  I also shared my two newest pieces of knowledge from the world of science: "scientists claim that they're close to reversing the aging process" and "the Large Hadron Collider disproves super symmetry."  The significance of the second article (from what I understand) is that before this discovery, the idea of supersymmetry was necessary for unifying the theories of general relativity (explains how big things in the universe work, like planets and galaxies) with quantum mechanics (explains how little things in the universe work, like sub-atomic particles).  Supersymmetry relied on the existence of a particular theoretical particle.... and the Large Hadron Collider has effectively disproved the existence of this particle.  So a large number of physicists just watched 30+ years of research and education vanish.  30 years of their working life just significantly decreased in importance, which just seems so incredibly sad to me.

Anyhow, that's the end of my exciting news for the world.  To celebrate my test being over yesterday I'm going to spend of today grading.  Woo!