Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I can't get NUMBERS out of my mind!

I hate math
I think I hate math
and yet I use it all the time
How many minutes before I have to get up?
How many hours did I sleep?
What time does Jenna have to be at the bus stop?
How long do I have to fix breakfast?
How many eggs should I use?
How much milk is left?

I address a letter to my granddaughter
and put it in the mailbox.
I have used a lot of numbers:
her house number
her street number
her zip code
my house number
my zip code

Jenna's first day of seventh grade
was yesterday
She had wanted to spend her last free day of summer
going to the Big City of Roseburg.
Roland brings me my phone
before we pull out of the driveway.
I had forgotten to return it to my bag.

There was a time when I had memorized
many phone numbers
all kind of different phone numbers
some with area codes
swimming in my head
I now have phone numbers on speed dial.
I now have very few
numbers memorized.

I drove passed the first onramp and
entered the second.
How many mile markers did we pass?
How many exits?
What is the speed limit?
How much sooner did those drivers passing me
arrive at their destination
before I arrived at mine?

I5 drivers are always in a hurry
because they mistime themselves
they don't look at their clocks
they don't like math

As long as we were in Roseburg
I made the trip to Lowes
to return an item that we
hadn't measured.
We hadn't done the math.
The cashier counts out the
amount of the item.

We spend too much time in the aisles
looking for a part that fits the measurements
I don't like to shop
probably even more than
I don't like math

We returned to the house
Jenna wanted to play a game
We played "Chatters Matters"
Her card asks how old her parents were
when they got married.
She attempts to subtract our ages
and the years.
The math was done incorrectly;
she started off by giving us
the wrong age

We use math to  keep score,
to double or half a recipe,
measuring . . .
I don't think the creator of our house
used either math or logic
not enough of it

Roland reminded me that we hadn't
paid for Jenna's lunch this year.
I can pay online, but there is a percentage
added to the  amount that I spend.
That feels so wrong to me. 
It would cost less in gas for me
to just take the payment directly
to the school.

I look at the calendar.
I notice an event coming up.
I wonder if I set my alarm
to remind me of said event.
How many more days?
I noticed the weather felt cooler yesterday than
it does right now.
I am check the temperature almost as much as
I check the clock.

What is up with all these numbers?
Why can't math just leave me alone?
None of us can escape it.
Numbers are a big part of
our lives.
Big numbers.
Fat numbers.
Numbers haunting me,
following me,
forcing me to use math often.
I don't even think about the many times
that I use math throughout the day.
Basic math.

Today is the deadline for posting
a discussion in which we are required to share
about five times that we used math this week.
I don't have to wait a whole week.
I use math more than 5 times a day!
Holy cow!
How could I hate something if I use it
all the time?

It's only Wednesday
and I have already been graded on my
assignments and my post.
That means I can spend the rest of this week
focusing on just my other class.

I wonder what the numbers will be
on November 8th this year.
Image result for vote november 8 2016



Friday, August 26, 2016

You Can't Change Others - You Can Only Change You

            When my sister brought her family to Oregon for a visit, she also brought a box that I had left in the shed back in Kearns.  In the box were several photos - some that had already been scanned; some were not.  I decided to scan most  of them and post them to facebook.

            I had found Pamprin (here) on facebook a while ago.  I have clicked on her profile just to see updated photos and have shared them with Jenna and Roland.  

            When I started clicking on photos that included Pamprin, her name came up to tag.  That seems weird as we don't seem to have any mutual friends. But then again, she is the only one in there. I thought that it might be a blessing and that perhaps she or her sibs would feel the desire to reconnect.  However, when I went back to tag some untagged photos, I noticed her name had been removed from all the photos.  So here are my theories:

            A.  Pamprin has no desire to be a part of the family.  She removed all of my tags and prevented me from tagging any pictures of her in the future.  I wasn't trying to stir up ill feelings.  I was really hoping to make a connection between her and her sibs.  But apparently, the feeling is not mutual.  

            B. She deleted them to prevent her mom from seeing them, thus preventing confrontation with one who is psychologically messed up.

            C. She never got to see the photos as she and her mom share the same computer and her account was still up when her mom got onto the computer and deleted all tagged photos.  

            D. Granted, some of them were not the most flattering photos.  Pamprin seems weight conscience.  I know she hasn't had the best eating habits in the past, but she is also big-boned.  I don't know of any diet plan that can produce weight loss in bones.  Perhaps she was embarrassed by the photos.

            Whatever the reason, I'm sorry about our situation.  It would be nice if Jenna and brothers got to know their sisters.  At this point, I don't even think the boys care anymore.  Tony never send Pamprin a friend request because of Maleficent's  piercing eyes and constant interference. Maybe some things are  better left alone.

            I remember  I once had a family history teacher that found her sister after years of searching.  Both had grown up in foster care (obviously separated from one another) and the woman she had found had discarded her past - or so she had hoped.  So while my friend had searched for a connection and finally found one - the person on the other end turned all her hard work into a dead end.  If someone doesn't wish to be contacted, what do you do?

            At least Pamprin did not make the request for me to remove all of her photos from my wall.  Nor has she blocked me from viewing her account (at least not yet). I am  unwilling to remove some photos as she's still a part of Jenna and their brother's past.
            We can't change the past.  We can learn from it, treasure it, try to escape it, or just deal with it.  I hope that one day the issues at hand may be resolved and new discoveries can be made.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Mind is Full and Spilling Over

Two more classes
Math and English
Why did I accept the math
I hate math
Ironically I'm going for my
Bachelor's Degree
in Accounting
But I learn
and I grow

this time the grade I
receive in class
will affect my GPA

I watched the lecture last night
everything is connected
this week
my last two classes

free writing
write a discussion post
attend live lecture
sorting through photos as I listen
never get away with that at
 a desk in school

instructor makes comments
more triggers.
My mind's racing
Never experienced that with math.
Never brainstormed about math
it gives me nightmares

my mind is spilling over
maybe a sentence or two
more than just an assignment
a letter
a post
thoughts floating in and out of
my head
usually out

Hopefully I'll be able to keep up

with my thoughts.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Two Paragraphs plus

        For our last assignment in English, we are supposed to write two paragraphs to express "I believe in . . ." fill in the blank. As always, my mind jumped from subject to subject. Though it wasn't my first thought, I did consider ". . . laughter being the best medicine" which changed to " . . . power in literature''  (although that seems it would be tough to do in just two paragraphs) to ". . . saving the libraries in Douglas County" which is the assignment I ended up turning in. Meanwhile my brainstorming has caused other triggers, thus this blog post will include a lot more than just my two paragraphs (plus my writing may not reflect all those same rules)

        I will also refer reader to other posts which I have written - but don't worry.  I will not give all 66 posts in which library is mentioned. They are referenced if you may be interested in reading further or if you've been a follower all along, you may already remember.  So don't click on underlined references unless you are truly interested.  So with no further ado, let me take you on a "Library Journey"

        My earliest recollection of going to the library was Ruth Vine Tyler Library located in Midvale, Utah.  It was in the days before CDs, DVDs and computers.  I think the library offered LP records to be checked out - though I don't believe anyone in my family ever checked out  the LPs.  Granted, my dad had quite a large record collection - possibly even larger than the library.  My brother Patrick and I also had a huge collection of children's records, so probably did not use the audio sources that were provided through the library.

        I do know that in addition to books, prints and pictures were among the items that could be checked out. I don't remember having checked out the pictures personally, though I do recall mom mentioning a neighbor down the street checking out pictures and hanging them on her wall for three weeks at a time.  Among those she had checked out were prints of  "Pinkie" by Thomas Lawrence and "The Blue Boy" by Thomas Gainsborough. I had remembered seeing them available.


        Ruth Vine Tyler is currently one of eighteen libraries in the Salt Lake County Library System.  I haven't taken the time to figure out which ones existed during my childhood.  I remember Whitmore Library having been built in 1977.  I think it was the largest of the county libraries at that time.  Largest I had been to anyway.


        It wasn't until after I was married that I really began to explore several of the other libraries.  At present I have been to only half at one time or another.  Our first house was located in Kearns and we would walk to the library on occasion.  Kearns Library always seemed to offer fun activities; it was definitely the noisiest library I had ever been in.


        Even after we had moved to West Valley, I would often visit the Kearns Library.  I wasn't as impressed with the West Valley branch - at least not in the beginning.  After a while, I came to enjoy going to the library in West Valley, as we could commute there by train.  It was through West Valley Library when Jenna and I were introduced to the mother/daughter reading group mentioned here

        Thus the three libraries I had visited the most often were Ruth Tyler, Kearns and West Valley - though Jenna and I found ourselves frequently visiting the Calvin Smith when Roland was working for an agency in a nearby location.  All of the other libraries I had gone to were mostly just because I happened to be in the area. We really didn't have to travel from library to library.  If, for example, the Herriman library carried a book that I was interested in reading, but not interested in driving all the way to Herriman, I could place an order to pick up the book at the library of my choice.  I thought that such a cool feature 

        I have always been grateful for libraries, but at the same time I may have taken the them for granted. I certainly took the hours for granted.  All libraries were open 60 hours a week.  Monday-Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday & Saturday 10am-6pm.  Our move to Oregon changed that.  Oh, the library hours in Salt Lake are the same, but only 20 - 25 hours a week for libraries in Douglas County (see here) I'm happy that Douglas County offers some similar services as Salt Lake as mentioned above or in this post on the library system (Douglas actually works the same way; but far less paid positions than in SLC - many positions in this county are operated through volunteers) 

        The libraries of Douglas County are no in jeopardy of being closed.  We have an opportunity of putting voting to keep the libraries open by accepting an increase in our taxes.  I attended a meeting at the end of May and heard one librarian compare our libraries to being on life support.  On November 8th we have the option of pulling the plug or keeping the doors open. 

        I believe in supporting the library system of Douglas County, which is why I'm voting "yes" on November 8th.  I would encourage all registered voters of Douglas County to do the same thing. It is important to realize the library provides great resources such as borrowing books and DVDs; there are also computers available to use.  Although it is true that not everyone in Douglas County uses or even feels they have a need for the library, let me list some reasons why everyone should vote to keep the libraries open.

        To demonstrate some of the reasons for keeping the libraries open, let me share a few examples. For instance, I know some mothers who like to bring their young children in for story time. As a result, it gives the little ones an opportunity to explore through their minds. Additionally, I know even more people who go to the library to use the computers and Wi-Fi, as they don't have personal access.  Furthermore, I personally like to go for the variety of books.  I think it is great to have the opportunity of borrowing a book and being able to return it for someone else to enjoy.  Again, these are just some of the reasons for keeping our libraries open.  These are some of the reasons why I'll be voting "yes".

        We need to get the word out.  I'm doing everything I can on facebook, but as I only know a handful of people, it's definitely going to take just more than my contribution.  I hope anyone reading this may pass it on to others who live in this county and help us save our libraries.  Thank you.

        For more reading on the history of libraries, see here, here and here

Friday, August 19, 2016

I can't believe I got an A in Philosophy

            The online school that I attend allows four weeks for each course.  I didn't think my mind would be able to process the information in such a short amount of time.  Thus far I am actually doing quite well.  Who would have thunk? (last word I picked up from Dr. Seuss)

The  four week period is called a mod, short for mosule.  I don't know how many mods I will end up with but I will have 62 classes which will equal 181 credits.  I will be done sometime in 2019. To quote from the last paragraph from this post, " Should I continue with all of my courses and don't use it any of it career wise, I realize what I have learned thus far has made me a better person whether I flourish in the workplace or continue to stay at home." 

            So I started at the end of June.  I had two classes: Computer Fundamental and Psychology of Motivation.  Loved the computer class.  Seemed a bit confused with psychology.  Just couldn't seem to communicate with my instructor - or the school.  I suppose I did get positive feedback on my assignments - but thus far seems to have been the only instructor to actually to make comments in the assignment itself;  all have made comments on the assignment but not in the assignment.

            At times I felt the instructor seemed more focused on context than content and my crash course week that covered APA didn't really do it for me.  She kept on sending me a link to a website that wasn't helpful to me personally.  I get more with hands on demonstration and explaining it as it's being demonstrated - not by reading it and trying to figure out myself.  It didn't work.  I didn't (still do not) get it.  

            This mod I had a philosophy class called Introduction to Logic. Philosophy has its place.  It's somewhat interesting, but I really don't like being graded on philosophy.  I really wasn't excited about having to take the course  I cringed when, during the first lecture, my instructor when she announced she "Loves philosophy . . . it's her passion."
            Because she has such a passion for it and I don't, I didn't think I would do well.  Happy to say I was wrong.  I have grown tremendously.  I can't believe how far I've gone - and actually having made a connection with both her and the instructor I had for a non-credited English class which I took.

            Next week I'll be starting English Composition.  I have already heard from my instructor.  It's been different this week than my first week.  The canvas (sort of an electronic classroom) closes on Sunday.  I hadn't received my final grades the first time it closed.  I could not view them until canvas reopened.  This mod I have my grades for both classes and there are still two days left.

            My final project for philosophy was a power point, which I really struggled with.  I hadn't been satisfied with what I had turned in and had decided just to start from scratch.  I had worked on it for about four hours, I guess.  I should have checked my email four hours earlier and could have spared  myself as the power point I had turned in had already been graded and I did not need to turn it in again.  I had succeeded in doing it right.

            Thus far I am receiving straight A's.  I don't say that to boast.  I was never a great student before, and so I am still in awe.