Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Graduation Gift Ideas...


Classes are all done: CHECK!
Exams are all done: CHECK!
Grades all posted: Senior Survey yet to be posted, Film class A-, Magazine class A, Internship A

Graduation: Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 2pm
Graduating with honors and displaying my Latino heritage! CHECK!!!!!

Suggestions for gift ideas: (Yep, my suggestions are pretty lame, but good none the less!)

Chicago Manual of Style (Whatever the most recent version is, this is THE style book for the corporate world.)

AP Stylebook of Grammar (This is the accompanying book for the AP, Associated Press, Stylebook that is used by all media formats.)

MLA Style Manual (There are so many versions of this book, written by so many different people. I think the best version would come from the source at

2- or 3-shelf book shelf to put all these books in. Besides, most of my college books did not make it back to the college or sold to others as all books I used in classes will be reference materials going forward.

That's it! I'm EASY to please.

Wish me luck that I don't bawl and blabber like an idiot tomorrow.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Grades so far...

Even though they aren't posted, I have 3 of 4 classes grades.

Internship: A (ENG 490)
Magazine: A (ENG 301)
Film: A- (COM 428)

My only worry is my Senior Survey (ENG 495). I turned in my paper today. YEAH! Now, all I've got left is my final next Thursday.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last Week of Classes...

and last week of my college life. Next week, I have one written final. It's on Thursday from 8:30 - 10:30 am. I can't believe it's so early. Class didn't even start til 10.

But, a few things are happening this week:

1. Yesterday, I presented in film class on my "small" paper on diamond mining in South Africa. Even though I didn't have ACTUAL diamonds to show in my presentation, I stopped at my grandfather's and borrowed his Herkimer Diamonds (not really diamonds, but in some cases better in clarity than real diamonds). The presentation went well. Informal. I know my classmates enjoyed looking at the diamonds and the photos I brought. I think grandpa mined these stones in the 70's based on the photos.

2. I finished my magazine articles. The articles are 19 pages long, 2 pages for my resume, 2 pages for my query letter, a table of contents, and cover page. The magazine class could definitely be a senior survey for those people getting their English degree but not wanting to focus on literary analysis. I'll print it when I go home today and turn it in. No final exam here (the articles are it).

3. My internship was done last week. I really enjoyed it and got a nice review from my boss.

4. My film class. Tomorrow, we'll get everything back that we turned in over the semester that will come back to us, diamond paper and journal. I believe I'll get a B in the class because he was really brutal when it came to our group paper. I got an 85 on it - paper and presentation. He didn't like my part of the presentation and said so. But, he liked my reflection paper; so much so that he gave me a 12 out of 10 because I was so detailed in what happened.

5. Finally, my Senior Survey. My final paper is due on Thursday. I just want to be done. I've got to add hard facts (quotes) from the books in my paper. It wasn't enough to research and write my opinions about the books and what scholars had to say, but I also have to pull specific quotes from the books. I just need a C in this class to graduate. Yeah, it will affect my cumulative GPA, but I just want to be done!

OK. That's it for now. I'm still waiting on a decision on a technical writing contract job that I REALLY want.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All the CRAP this week...

In all the CRAP going on this week (like I don't have a thesis and just wrote 12 pages for nothing on my senior survey), 2 bright beams shown:

1. Today, I got to sit in on a grant review. Very interesting; very caddy women. I can't believe how many groups were turned down because they didn't "SPECIFY" what diverse groups they intended to communicate their project to. The one reviewer, African-American, completely turned down a Hungarian group's request for funding because they didn't signify they would advertise to AFRICAN-AMERICANS.

But, today is my last day at my internship. We got the last newsletter out Monday. This was a nice way to end my time. Positive thing? I get to put this down on my resume and employment applications as a "job."

Tina came over to the review, which happened to be next door to my internship location, and gave me a gift. It is a candle and an angel-ornament thing. I'll post pics soon. The candle, which I will never burn says on the back:

You are a Star

Isn't it amazing how a blanket of
stars can light up a night sky?
Side-by-side they twinkle together
to create a beautiful work of art.
When we shine together we light
up the world to make an
unforgettable difference

Thank you for shining with

2. On Monday, I sent an email to my internship adviser, asking if he needed anything from me about my time during my internship. After all, I am getting a grade for this, which just happens to be an A. Tina replied to my email and communicating to my adviser what her thoughts were on my performance here at the office. Here's what she said:

Michael and Cathy: Whether English Department needs my two cents or no, I am sending them here:
I believe that Cathy's internship has given great value to our office. During the entire time she was here with us, Research News moved forward, with little or no supervision, each month - from inception to publication. Her quick grasp of the simple publishing style and her equally quick understanding of research issues, needs, and areas of focus here at CSU were invaluable in finding sources, and creating notification for our faculty and students. In addition to being able to complete an assignment on time and in specification, Cathy is a person who brings to the endeavor a fresh perspective, and a willing hand: she has located for us sources for grant funding we had not tapped before, she grasped very quickly the importance of the student funding section of Research News and aggressively found sources for us to add to that section.

Besides accomplishing tasks assigned to her, and bringing other nuances and information to the venture, Cathy diligently fulfilled our contract - that is, we agreed upon a certain number of hours and a certain number of weeks for the fulfillment of this internship. Cathy met and matched that obligation - she made certain that if her hours had to alter for class or personal reasons, those hours were fulfilled on an alternative day in the week or in the following week. That kind of diligence and dedication is appreciated by those who depend upon the services provided by an intern, a student, or an employee.

Finally, I found in working with her that Cathy is a caring, thorough, and intelligent person. She has added value to our office during her tenure here. The Pre-Awards section of OSPR is very grateful for her time, efforts, and talents.

Pretty impressive, eh? I thought so. It's too bad companies overall couldn't be more flexible and willing to take chance on people like me who can offer 200% focus on any effort needed.

But, even with all this, my lingering issue is, that I have disappointed a few people this week, like my Senior Survey professor. I wanted to write a KICK-ASS paper. True, I need just a C from this class to graduate, but I want much more. AND, why should I try for less when I know I can do more. In essence, this is what she said: 1. you have no thesis, 2. you didn't read the books you are writing about, and 3. your quotes don't match what needs to be written. I feel like I wrote 12 pages of NOTHING. And, she said this, with the intent of it coming directly to me, "Just because you got a B- on your rough draft doesn't mean you'll get the same grade if you don't make the changes I suggest." My hope for salvation: re-read any areas of the books used in my papers and add the necessary book quotes to support what I'm saying in my paper. Books to read: The Canterbury Tales and The Book of Margery Kempe. Time to turn in: May 1.

My other classes: I know I'll be getting an A in my Magazine class. My film class? Not sure, but either an A or B.

It didn't help that my child decided on Tuesday morning to get up at 3:15 am and stay up because she had a nightmare, but didn't want to wake me. She woke me more than she knew.

With that, I'm closing for now. I've got to do a peer review for a classmate for her Senior Survey paper. It's due back to her tomorrow.

Lots of love,
8^ (

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Seven Deadly Sins

As part of my Senior Survey class, while reading The Canterbury Tales, we read about the Seven Deadly Sins. One of my FAVORITE blogs, which I happen to have to see every day shared with us a photo about one of those sins.

The blog?
Funny animal pictures with captions added to them.

Here is the seventh deadly sin:

And then, this one was HILARIOUS:

OK. That's it for today. Taking Cassi to visit Pa then we're doing stuff. Since I neglected her the past two weeks to get papers and presentations done, this is her weekend (with homework thrown in of course).

Lots of love,
8^ )

Friday, April 18, 2008

Recipe Share - Top Secret Recipe...

Shhh! Don't tell ANYBODY I shared this with you. I just found in recipe docs I've got that I've got the SECRET for making a home-made Shamrock Milkshake from McD's.

MMMMMM! My favorite. Every year they came out when I was growing up, if I didn't get AT LEAST one, I was depressed for the rest of the year.

This year, I think I had three or four.

But, now I can have one ANYTIME I want (especially when I am in one of those funks like tonight). Nope, don't want to talk about it! Just what I saw made me very sad.

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Shamrock Shake

2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon Mint extract (not peppermint)
8 drops green food coloring

1. Combine half of the ingredients for the shake flavor in the silver cup that comes in the DRINKMASTER (recipe suggests using the Hamilton Beach Drinkmaster, but I say whatever you got for mixing drinks will work), and mix on high speed until smooth. Pour into a cup. Repeat for shake #2. Or use a blender and mix all ingredients on high speed until smooth. Stop blender, stir and blend again, if necessary to combine ingredients.

Makes 2 12-ounce cups

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Update...

OK. Stress is BAD for health, but GOOD for getting the job done.

Last night, I didn't get the last piece of the film paper for today. I finished putting the paper together, getting the cover, table of contents, and the works cited for all four pieces put together, along with creating an intro and conclusion for the paper as a whole. Then, this morning, I printed the document 4 times, one copy for each of my group mates and one master copy to turn in. For the master copy, I used my binding supplies and comb-binded the master. Then, I worked on the presentation as Rodney submitted to me the information needed for his part of the presentation and Annette's part. I created the template and put the presentation together too. I also printed a hard copy of the slides to give to the professor with the report.

Then, I worked on continuing to write my Senior Survey paper. I had 6 pages of 12 ready for tomorrow (last night). I sent it to my classmate, Amanda who has been wonderful at helping me with my topic and suggestions for sources. She replied that she had read it and realized she learned something from my paper. My topic? How does the family survive when a woman goes on pilgrimage? Remember, this semester's Senior Survey dealt with Medieval Pilgrimage (The Canterbury Tales, The Book of Margery Kempe, etc).

Then, (enough then's?) I got ready for my presentation. We had to be dressed professionally for class. I showered and dressed in red dress pants, black blouse and black suit jacket. When I got there, I wanted to get our presentation up on the computer, not knowing what technology difficulties we would have. And, indeed we did have problems. We were going first. The second group decided they wanted their stuff up before ours. Well, that just didn't work. For one, we were presenting items that would be found on the Internet. I had the hyperlinks ready and working on the presentation (on another computer that was more modern). I had to close out all their stuff to use our items first. Because the room is a theater, the computer we used on the stage was controlled in the media room. AND, because the presentation wouldn't open directly to our links, I had to pre-open the links and use the keyboard on the stage to navigate between the two. One of the guys in group 2 was so PISSED. He was still pissed when class was over. Sorry, I was concerned that during OUR presentation, the FIRST presentation, that I would click over to a part of their presentation. Not good. My group mates all had notes for their parts of the presentation; I did not. And, for Barb and Annette, I ran the presentation for her. We even were able to answer all the questions that were thrown at us, especially since the questions came from group 2.

Not to blow our own horns, but we believe our presentation was the best. Everyone else experienced the technical problems we had, but no one had the technical knowledge that I did to overcome our issues.

And, after class one of my group mates and one classmate asked me if I had done presentations before because I seemed very flawless and knew what I wanted to say. I told them yep, that I had worked for a consulting firm for 7 years. During that time, I taught one-on-one training all the way up to teaching classes of 100 people. Presenting is easy for me. I don't mind being in front of a crowd at all, especially when I know my topic.

I came home, stopping for gas along the way. I'm trying to wait until the ABSOLUTE last minute to get gas. This time, I had 294 miles. But, gas was $33.50. I'm getting gas once to twice a week this way.

I came home and made dinner. I made steak and stuffing. We went out to Walgreen's to get Cassi's "itchy girl medicine" and to Giant Eagle to stock up on canned corn and other small grocery needs (lunch meat, bread, lunch snacks, butter). We got home and I started working on my paper again for tomorrow morning. I'm all done with it for now. It's just over 11 pages long. Good enough for the rough draft. I even printed my take home exam for tomorrow night's magazine class.

Now, I'm working on my writing samples for tomorrow's interview. Wish me luck. I should know something by 6 pm if I got the job or not. If I do, I'm actually now looking to start working on 4/24, half day, which is the end of next week.

OK. I'm still going strong, but dying slowly.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

P.S. Thanks to everyone for giving me LOTS of support. I should graduate Manga Cum Laude at this rate.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


My blood pressure is THROUGH THE ROOF! Tomorrow is my presentation for my film class.

MY STUFF IS DONE! I'm still waiting on Rodney's stuff and Annette's presentation/paper and Barbara's presentation pieces. Rodney, well, I'll give him some dispensation. He's worked very hard with the other 2 in the group and WAS sick for over a week.

But, I was with the other 2 last Saturday (and yesterday). My impression was that their pieces of the paper were done and we would be meeting to get their presentation sections together for tomorrow.


I'd say stressed isn't the word. AND, I'm also trying to get together my Senior Survey paper. I have to have 12 pages of 15 done for Tuesday. I've got about 4 done. I really have no thesis and am trying to piece together an interesting thesis and paper at the same time, while reviewing the pieces I want to quote into a harmonious writing (oh and try to put my own thinking in the middle).

And, to top it off, Cassi's home now, which is fine, but she wants to PLAY! Then, my step daughter keeps calling me. WHY? I know she's been calling me, asking me to get Rob to call her. Don't ask. I don't want to get into it right now.

Rob's sick. He ended up having to go to work tonight because he missed calling out by a half hour. Has the flu. He kept me up most of the night because he was having such a hard time breathing. Put his back out from coughing so hard. So, I ended up not getting up and awake until 1pm.

Please, God, help me make it through the next 2 and a half days without killing someone!

Pray for me!

8^ (

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Beautiful Child

For those few readers, here's the most recent photo of my beautiful little girl, who, by the way, isn't so "little" anymore.

8^ )

Sunday, April 06, 2008


This weekend, starting Friday night, I have completed the following:

1. Magazine article: edited main article and wrote 3 new ones (article 1: 2448 words, article 2: 350 words, article 3: 800 words, article 4: 333 words) and I included photos of our stove
2. Film Group Paper: I wrote my 5 pages for the group project while I worked with 2 of my mates to help them prepare their parts. They are working on it right now. Once they are finished, I'll review them and prepare them for the group printout.
3. Film Take-Home Test: My test consisted of 10 multiple choice, true/false, and fill in questions, along with 5 essay questions. My test typed was 8 pages long (single-spaced). I just emailed my exam to the professor.

With that, I am going to take a short break before I get started with my annotated bibliography for Senior Survey due on Tuesday.

Lots of love,
8^ )

P.S. Last night, I also washed 3 loads of laundry (washed, not folded), cooked dinner, and got a load of dishes into the washer and washed it this morning.

Friday, April 04, 2008

All HELL Breaks Loose...

For those of you who like my witty humor (you know the 3 of you out there), Hell is finally breaking loose.

If you don't hear from me at all for the next 2 weeks, you'll understand!

Here's what I've got to get done for the next 2 weeks (by date):

1. Due Monday - take home test from Film class. The first test was 8 pages of essays. (started but not finished) DONE 4/6
2. Due Tuesday - Annotated Bibliography for Senior Survey. Bib ready but "annotated part" not done yet DONE 4/7
3. Due Tuesday night - Magazine article edits. Started going through editorial review. Based on our proposal, what changes did we need to do to based on what our proposal stated. I've now got the main article written and 3 (yes THREE) side-bar articles written for my proposal. AND, I've added photos and captions. ALL DONE!
4. Due Monday 4/14 - complete paper for Film class AND presentation. The paper is 20-25 pages for the group. All I have to do for my part is my 5 pages. 5 PAGES DONE! Then, I'll help the group get the rest of the paper together. From the paper, a presentation needs to be created over the next week. It's a 20 minute presentation and 5 minutes for questions. We are giving our presentation on 4/14. Once this is done, we are done and I can focus on film journal writing.
5. Due Tuesday 4/15 - rough draft at least 12 pages of our research paper for Senior Survey. With that amount due, I'm going to write the FULL paper of 15 pages.
6. Plus any additional edits to my magazine article(s) that need to be done.
7. Internship newsletter and research
8. House, kid, husband!
9. PTO

So, if I don't talk to anyone on the phone, email, txt message, you'll all understand!

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

P.S. So, as you all might imagine, Cassi is at Pa's this weekend. She's made a new friend who lives right around the corner, within walking distance. Since I don't have class Monday afternoon, I may try to invite her over for an hour or two. She's in first grade. I met her during the fall fundraiser. She's so sweet and mom is very nice too!