Thursday, September 20, 2012

Running Out of Steam

I bet, when you saw this, that you thought I was running out of steam on Ab's lunches, didn't you?  Well, this is not the case - at least not yet.  I hope I can keep this up for her.  I think I will.  It will get a lot easier after December, that's for sure! 

I am in week three of the next-to-final class for my masters degree and, folks, I am running out of steam.  I am attending Walden University which, if you have never heard of it, is an online university that is based in Minneapolis, MN.  I am going for my Masters of Science in Education: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.  The entire program is online, which was the big draw for me.  I had taken a few online courses in the past, and I like the fact that I can study wherever, whenever, and however I want to.  I will say, though, that this is not for everyone.  If you are not self-motivated, this is not the way to go.  My particular program is 20 months long and consists of 10 courses.  Each class is eight weeks long, as opposed to the traditional 12 weeks, so it is accelerated by about 33% when compared to traditional colleges and universities.

All of this being said, I love Walden University.  I came to know about it because a few teachers I knew back in Bloomington had achieved their masters through this institution and they loved it, too.  It is great for parents who have a hard time leaving the house to go to class, or for those who have odd hours at work, or even for those of you who are anti-social.  Just to clarify, I am not anti-social.  I can be a bit quiet when I first meet someone, but soon I am chattering away and the other person is desparately looking around the room while trying to find an escape route.

I would not have signed up for my masters program, which started in May of 2011, had I known that Dan was going to start a new job in Chicago, effectively leaving me as a single mother for most of the time, in October of that same year.  Doing this on my own with children - I can handle that.  Doing this on my own with children and a full-time job - I can kind of handle that.  Doing this on my own with children, a full-time job and a house on the market that has to stay in perfect condition - this is where it gets a bit dodgy.  Thank goodness Dan had the foresight to ask two lovely women to help me out whenever they could.  Lori came once every other week (sometimes every week if I called and sobbed) to clean the house and Kylie came once a week (or sometimes twice) to stay with the kids overnight so that I could go to the grocery store or study or ball up in a corner and tear my hair out.  I could not have done this without these ladies - seriously.  Then Dan would come home on most weekends to be Daddy again - until May of this year.  That's when the house sold and the girls and I moved to Virginia to stay with my mom until we could find a new house in Chicago.

This probably prompts you to ask why on earth we did not find a new house sooner.  This was the sixth house we wrote a contract on!  Good gravy, people!  Do you think we are that silly and unprepared??

Anyway, next week, a week when I have three papers due, mind you, I will pack the girls and all of our stuff into the minivan and begin the pilgrimage to Illinois.  It is a 15 hour drive, which I will divide into two days.  The reason for this is trifold - first, I have to let the children out of the car before I get arrested for inappropriate use of duct tape.  Second, I have to check into a hotel with wifi so I can do my homework.  Third, I don't want to drive 15 hours in one day.  I draw the line firmly at 12.  So there.

Here is Ab's lunch for tomorrow:


Mott's blueberry applesauce
Ham and colby/jack cheese kabobs
Honest Kids Goodness Grapeness sugar free grape juice
Whole wheat Ritz crackers and Laughing Cow garlic and herb cheese spread
Strawberries and green grapes
Chocolate pocky
Chocolate Teddy Grahams
Cinnamon apple rice cakes
and a love note.

By the way, I did try the sideways french twist today - did not work out.  I figured out why, though, and I am going to try again tomorrow.  If it works, I will take a picture. 

Mindi

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