July and Summer Semester Recap

I have a lot to catch you guys up on. Josh and I just returned from a much-needed vacation. Summer Semester just ended. July was pretty crazy. I am going to try to hit on all of these things. This entry will be jam-packed with stuff, but I will use headers and bullet lists to keep everything organized and easy to read.

Let’s start with the fun stuff. That’s me to the left, on a beach. Our trip wasn’t a beach trip, and we didn’t go swimming, but we were really close to the ocean, so we took a couple walks along it and experienced some gorgeous sunsets along the water. I’ve only been to the beach a handful of times in my life despite living so close to it (about a 4-to-5 hour drive). Walking on it the couple times I got to this past weekend, I realized I love the beach. I want a beach vacation next year. One where we don’t go see and do a bunch of stuff, but rather spend time relaxing, swimming, and reading.

This vacation was kind of the opposite of that. We went to Charleston, SC, and saw a lot of stuff. I enjoyed myself and saw some great things, but we seemed to be always on the go. We saw the Angel Oak Tree (one of the largest and oldest trees in South Carolina), some Civil War sites, and some beautiful scenery. Here are some pictures from the trip:

   

These pictures are of the Angel Oak Tree, a fountain at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Josh and me overlooking the water, and a gorgeous view from Fort Moultrie, a Civil War site.

School

Summer GradesSummer Semester just finished up yesterday. My final grades were posted today. I only took two classes because I wanted to relax a little and get a little bit of a Summer break, but the classes were only ten weeks and covered just as much material as a normal semester class would cover, so these two classes felt like five classes. It didn’t help that one was a lab science.

My lowest test grade in Biology (94%) will be replaced with my score on the final exam (96%), so my grade will go up a little bit from the one you see to the left, but an A is an A, so whatever. I’m really proud of myself for doing so well in that course in particular. My instructor wasn’t the easiest to get along with, and she humiliated me a few times in class either for not knowing an answer to a question, or for helping another student she was bullying, and I had to bite my tongue a lot. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are a few of reviews of her from Rate My Professor, so you can get an idea of what I’ve had to deal with this semester.

RMP RMP RMP

I’ve never had an experience like that before in a class. I usually interact a lot in class, but after my experiences with her, out of fear of being publicly humiliated, I sat quietly during this one. I kept telling myself, “This class is almost over. You can get through this. You’ve got this,” and turned my frustration into determination. I studied more for that class than I studied for any other. Science is my weakest subject, so I kind of had to put extra time into it, but I mainly just wanted to show this teacher that she couldn’t and wouldn’t get the better of me.

Fall classes start on August 20th, so I have a little bit of a break. It’s weird. I don’t know what to do with myself when I don’t have an upcoming test to study for. I read a book for a little bit tonight, found myself feeling guilty, and wondered why. I realized I’ve become used to having an exam or assignment to get ready for, and the guilty feeling comes from spending time on something else. I had to remind myself I’m on break. Nothing is coming up.

The school-to-work-to-life balance has been tough. School takes a priority in my life, and since I study, it takes up more time than I spend in class. Work comes next, and life (hobbies, “free time,” etc.) fall to the end. I really envy my classmates who live with their parents and don’t have to work. I’m so financially strapped sometimes that it’s stressful. I have a car payment and rent, and then things like school books and car taxes come up, and I sometimes wonder how I’m going to afford everything. I have to continue to work. My jobs are demanding, as is school, so I find myself having no life during school. It’s kind of sad to think about it, but I keep pushing on because I know that this sacrifice will all be worth it when I graduate. This discomfort is temporary.

July Miscellanies

July

  • We put Huckleberry on a steroid for his IVDD, and it has made all of the difference in the world. He has stopped stumbling and falling over. He’s active and hyper again. I feel like I have my old dog back. We have a check-up this Sunday to determine how much longer he will have to be on the steroids. I am so relieved to have found something that is working.
  • My brother, Kenny, who is a year and a half younger than me, went to the hospital for heartbeat irregularity. His heart was beating over 300 beats per minute. They found out two of his heart’s valves weren’t pumping blood, and the other side of his heart was overcompensating. They performed an ablation to open up the two bad valves, and so far things seem to be good. He’s doing well, and I’m handling it much better than I was when I first got the news. When I was in the children’s home, my brother, Kenny, was there with me. He was my only family, really, and I guess until this heart thing happened, I didn’t ever think about losing him. It was scary. Thank God he’s better now.

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