Monthly Archives: February 2011

Technical Difficulties

Sorry readers but we’ve been having some technical and logistical difficulties blogging. We are hopping to get back on track as early as tomorrow, Sunday 27th.

On the bright side, we have a good share of stories ready for you so stay tunned for some more Mrs. and Mrs. coming soon!

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One’s GPA is a Very Misleading Number

So I’ve enrolled for two classes for next quarter and I will be able to enroll on a third one in a week. Let me tell you something, this was not easy. After hours and hours of browsing for classes and professor reviews, I think I’ve found some interesting classes.

For my third class however, I was torn among two history classes, a writing class, and a Russian culture class. One of the history classes, is about the Arab states in the Ottoman Empire, the other one about both World Wars. The writing class is about comedy writing. The Russian culture class is self explanatory (I think) and I would have my wife as a classmate.

Since I am taking a class on international relations of the Middle East, the class about the Ottoman Empire would give me some background that I definitely don’t have. I am obsessed with war, hence why I’d like to take the class about the World Wars. Obsessed in the sense that I’d love to understand why people go to war- not because of any morbid reason. However the professor has gotten TERRIBLE reviews. The Russian culture class sounds interesting and I could take it with the Mrs. And the writing class is just gonna be an easy class.

If you asked me what I want to take, I’d say the Wars class. Why isn’t this choice easier? Because of what happen with this quarter’s class. It sounded interesting and I thought I was learning, but I was about to screw my GPA. Lesson to be learned: GPAs are bringing down student quality because everyone wants to take the easy class. Sad, but true.


Surprise Dinner… Sorta

Today marks the third day I’ve gone without working (not consecutively). Two were mental health days and today happens to be President’s Day (we forgive you if you didn’t know today was a holiday, since it doesn’t even feel like one). So because I have been enjoying myself lately and my honey has a couple of papers due this week, I decided to surprise her with dinner.

She was supposed to be back from work around 3pm today. She doesn’t take a lunch so she can get home earlier so I knew she would be hungry. If you wonder why dinner would be a surprise, well… let’s just say tonight was my first time cooking in years (cooking a whole meal, not just a side or such). So I figured I could walk to the store (she takes the car to work), get the stuff for dinner, for an appetizer, and get back in time to cook before she got here.

I did mine with peas- and to the chops, I added a can of cream of mushrooms.

By the time I made it home, she called me- which meant she was leaving work. Which also meant I was nowhere near ready to surprise her. Perhaps you could say she had surprised me at this point. I decided to go ahead with the appetizer: Shrimp and asparagus bruschetta. I needed to get some tin foil to put this stuff in the oven and that’s when I realized we were out of it. I didn’t have enough time to go back to the store before she got here so my surprise was pretty much ruined at this point.

We did have rosemary and garlic simmered pork chops with mashed potatoes and peas for dinner. Not quite a surprise at the end, but the Mrs. loved it. And that’s truly all that matters to me.

-Mrs. This One


What’s With the Spam?

I wonder if there are some people who get paid to this. To go blog by blog and leave comments that don’t even make sense. “Thanks bro”- I’m a gal, bro. “Cool”- I just wrote about suicide and you think that’s cool?!. “I will pay to blog,” have you read my stuff? You really don’t want to pay me to do it professionally. I seriously think they could at least try a little harder than that.

What’s the point anyway? So I can go to some financial news website? If you were a good site, you wouldn’t have to spam us poor bloggers ALL THE TIME to go read you.

Am I the only one having this problem?


That’s All I’m Saying

I’ve spent most of today doing laundry, washing dishes, resting and taking it easy. If you wonder why this is such a big deal for me to even start my writing with it, then you haven’t had the weeks I’ve had. Due to course load and work, we have both paid little attention to the apartment. Sure, you’d think we’d find the time to clean at least once a week, but in the past several weeks (months, really), if we’re not at school or work, all we want to do is rest.

At first I was able to cope fine. Then I spent 3/4 of Winter 2011 sick, so we realized it was stress-related. Physical pain, anxiety, headaches, stomachache; you name it- I probably went through it. So I decided to drop a class. Mind you, this wasn’t just any class- this was the class that was killing me (literally).

I did terrible in the midterm. Well, that’s really subjective. The professor chopped off a whole letter grade because I used a different word to the one she was looking for, and because according to her I didn’t mention something even though I did mention it. I had a presentation and this lady grilled me. Making sure to announce to the whole class that I was wrong. But when my classmate was wrong, she’d simply say, “well kinda but it was different.”

Did she hate me? I’m not sure. I’d rather think this wasn’t personal… I just feel like a different person knowing that I will not be dealing with that anymore. I can breath now. I can gather myself again. My wife said I’m smiling again.

For the time being I will try to pay more attention to my current classes and make sure I finish this quarter alright. Then on Monday, when I get to register for Spring, I need to be a little bit more selective as to what classes I take. Maybe use tools like Bruinwalk.com or RateMyProfessor.com. Oh by the way, when I looked up this professor’s rating on those websites (silly me, for not doing it before), EVERYONE said she was the worst professor they’ve ever had.

All I have to say is that professors should be out there to teach and help the student. That’s all I’m saying.


Working Student? What’s That?

Yesterday, I wrote a post about how my wife and I are Paying Our Dues while in school. The Daily Bruin, the UCLA student newspaper, ran a story yesterday about a proposal that Pres. Obama has made about cutting the Pell Grant for summer sessions in 2013. While I’m not necessarily worried about that for myself (I will hopefully be a graduate student by then), I am worried about people’s perceptions of students. I am realizing more and more that my wife and I are in the minority that have to support themselves while in school.

About a week ago, my wife went to her prof.’s office hours. When she casually mentioned that she works 24 hours per week, the professor stared at her in disbelief, “How do you get anything done?!” Two days ago, I was talking to my thesis advisor, Prof. G, about when I can see him during the week so we can set up regular meetings. “I work eight hour days Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I also work sometimes on Thursday afternoons. Are you available Tuesdays before or after class?” He raised his eyebrows at me and widened his eyes a bit. My wife has also been a bit ill the past quarter, and we both agree that it is stress related. When she told her doctor about the amount of work she is doing and her course load, her doctor said, “No wonder you keep getting sick!”

My point is that in a University setting, not very many people will make accommodations for us working students who must support ourselves from work and from grants and scholarships. While at a community college, a working student is a normal and natural thing, but not a full-time student, part-time worker usually. At this level, we are almost unheard of (and for good reason, I suppose). We depend on those Pell Grants, especially during the summer, so that we can take courses we might not otherwise have time to take during the school year. The Daily Bruin’s article quotes a first-year business/econ major who says, “People could take a larger course load during the year instead.” But honestly, my wife and I can’t. It seems physically impossible at this point, and summer appears to be our only option.

In short, I’m glad that the cut won’t happen until 2013, but I’m very sad for those students, like my wife and me, who support themselves and will not have a chance to take summer classes. We need to educate others on this issue because I know that my wife and I aren’t the only self-supporting college students out there. We also need to vote for people who will give us education reform without education cuts… Maybe I’ll run for president someday?


Paying Our Dues

I’ve feel like I’ve been needing to take a deep breath for a while. At the end of last quarter, I thought that school couldn’t get any more stressful than it was last quarter, and I was truly looking forward to this quarter because of the classes I decided to take (History of Rome from Caesar to Constantine; Seminar on the Russian Revolution with my thesis advisor, Prof. G; Intro to Sociological Theory with my wife). Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Let me clarify, it’s not that I’m not enjoying my classes. I am loving them. I know my wife is loving her classes, too (for the most part…). I just had no idea that this much stress was possible! Both my wife and I are working 24 hours per week (her: MWF; me: MWThF) and are taking more than full time units (her: 15!; me: 13). This leaves very little time for things like sleep, cleaning, or cooking, which, ultimately puts more stress back on us (no time to cook leads to paying for meals leads to more time devoted to working to earn money leads to less time used on homework leads to less time being able to sleep leads to sleeping when we should be doing things like cooking or cleaning… repeat).

Long story short, I’m looking forward to a bit of R&R over spring break. We are visiting my wife’s family in the South, and I have never been anywhere that I consider “southern” (I went to Orlando to Disney World a couple times… not really the “south”). I’m very excited to start in Atlanta and work our way inland to Alabama. I think it’ll be a good trip, but I’m not sure how much relaxing I’ll be able to do since I’m quite nervous about meeting my wife’s family.

I have higher (farther) places I’d like to go as well. Today, as always, I got a deal in my inbox for TravelZoo. I decided to poke around the site a bit because I had a few minutes to kill. I was bombarded by deals across the Atlantic for $499 4 nights in Dublin (air and hotel included) and Paris for $1099 for a week (air and hotel included), and I couldn’t help but daydream about the future when we’ll be able to travel more…. But for now, we will continue to pay our dues as starving, working, married students trying to support ourselves and each other without going crazy. Wish us luck for our last month of class this quarter (we need it!).


Misery Loves Me: A Valentine’s Day Story

Someone told me once that posting once a day was an ambitious task. At first I claimed that I could do it if I put the effort to it- which means I forgot we don’t live in a perfect world. As much as I’d love to come here everyday and tell you some crazy adventure that these two college kids went through during the day, sh*t happens.

Yesterday during Valentine’s Day, we worked and studied for most of the day. Hence why when my wife asked me if I wanted to go to a 9:55pm showing of Barney’s Version, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Never mind that we had a midterm the following morning, that we were tired, or that I needed to read for a different class- I just needed a break from everything.

Halfway through the movie, my wife asked me if I still had the car keys. I looked at her in disbelief as I answered negatively. She gave a not-a-good-time-to-be-joking-honey look and I could feel the panic taking over my blood flow. I ran out of the theater headed to the concierge. I asked if someone had turned in any set of keys… no luck. The first time we ever go out without me carrying my set of keys. This had disaster written all over.

It was time to make a phone call. The strategy was to get a ride home, get my keys, go back to get the car, come home and call about the keys the following day. So who was I supposed to call? Keep in mind is almost midnight at this point, on a weeknight.

First friend, didn’t answer. Second friend, couldn’t find his keys or get a hold of girlfriend who had the keys. We decided it was better to call a cab- wait, we don’t know how to do that. Third friend: would arrive in about 15 minutes. Then we had to worry about the landlord. Paying the 20 dollar fee for calling after hours.

At around 1am we made it home.

Note to self: Do not leave the house on Valentine’s Day ever again.


Patience is Key

I’ve noticed that a lot of people have found my blog while searching for “one bad meal a week.” Although the lack of comments prevent me from knowing what they were looking for, most likely, they had the pleasure of reading my post on tips to lose weight. I don’t know what your story may be, but I know how important it is to lose weight; whether to be healthy, feel better about yourself, or get into those sexy jeans once more. In either case I have one advice for you: be patient!

I know that this is a touchy subject, but you didn’t gain weight overnight- which means you also won’t lose it in one day. Since January 1 of this year, I have lost 7 pounds as of today. It might not seem like a lot, but it truly is a milestone. How did I do it? With the tricks that you already know: Eat rationed portions, watch my calories and squeeze in some exercise as much as I can.

How can you stay on track? Want it badly! There’s really no other way around it. Only you can take control over this. And if you need someone for support, well… here I am! Use me- I’m willing to help in any way I can.

 


Dusting Off the iPod

I stopped listening to music pretty much after marriage. Okay, I do listen to it every now and then when I drive, but since we’re usually in the car together, we talk and music simply becomes background noise. Music isn’t an activity I look for on purpose anymore.

I suppose that music could be a great way to fill gaps that people leave sometimes- there are songs about love, friendships, and well, life in general. But I guess once those gaps are less noticeable, music isn’t that big of a deal. But the Mrs. had two iTunes gift cards and if she wasn’t gonna get any new tunes, I wouldn’t let the opportunity just walk by.

After adding a few songs however, it made me realize that I miss jamming and losing myself in the rhythm of a good song. So maybe I’ll try and befriend my iPod more often. And in case you were wondering, these are my newest additions (and some words about why I got ’em):

  1. “When I get you Alone” by Thicke Because it’s pure awesomeness.
  2. “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap I heard this track while watching “500 days of summer,” so I had to have it.
  3. “Panic Switch” By Silversun Pickups Because it makes me sing every time they play it on the radio.
  4. “The Runaways” (Album) by The Runaways I watched the movie “The Runaways” not too long ago and I fell in love with this band. I promise it has nothing to do with Kristin Stewart playing yet another lesbian role. Okay maybe it has something to do with it.
  5. “What’s my Name?” by Rihanna & Drake I almost didn’t admit to this, but this song has a nice beat to it.
  6. “Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service Heard it in Grey’s Anatomy. Enough said.
  7. “Lisztomania” by Phoenix My wife used to listen to this song all the time when we were dating…
  8. “So What” by P!nk It’s Pink so I don’t think I need a reason.
  9. “Laura No Esta” by Nek Italian singers drive me crazy!
  10. “What it Feels Like for a Girl” by Madonna The one Madonna song I didn’t have.
  11. “Entre tu y Mil Mares” by Laura Pausini Another Italian singer. She’s perhaps my favorite.
  12. “I Love Rock & Roll”(Album)  by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Same as #4.
  13. “Bad Reputation”(Album) by Joan Jett Ibid.
  14. “What the Hell” by Avril Lavigne Post-divorce music, needed to know what she’s about nowadays.
  15. “Cuando Nadie me Ve” by Alejandro Sanz This Spanish singer’s voice is just amazing… This guy sings with his soul. Same for the following three songs.
  16. “Corazon Partio” by Alejandro Sanz
  17. “Quisiera Ser” by Alejandro Sanz
  18. “El Alma al Aire” by Alejandro Sanz

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