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monday, november 5, 2001
getting there.

some hiatus this is turning out to be; i guess all i need to do to encourage me to write is to declare i'm on hiatus. the truth of the matter is i hated having such a negative entry as my final entry for awhile. yes, i needed to get it all out, especially since holding things in only makes them fester more and can risk a lot of negative things physically and emotionally, but that situation doesn't need to be the last word on my life for the next 4 weeks. besides, i know this will work itself in one way or another as well. and whatever happens, saxy and i have tried to help a friend. it is not required that we accept the kind of treatment she has chosen to give us. that helps neither her nor us. we worry too about her son. but f she continues to treat us as she has, or continues to choose not to pay us, then it is her choice to not live here. we've done what we can. the rest is up to her. nothing is more simple than that.

so it is time to move on to other things.

i'm finally getting a handle on things again, at least emotionally. i am still behind work wise on assignments, and probably will be in perpetual catch up mode for the last four weeks (yes, only four weeks left) of classes. or at least always in "oh my gawd, that's due tomorrow???" actually, this is to be expected in a 20 unit quarter since each unit equals 1 hour in class and 3 hours of work outside of class each week. but we're past the halfway mark and i've survived. for awhile there i was beginning to wonder if i would. being sick for 2 1/2 weeks with some hacking cough virus, then coming down with strep throat didn't help any either. i've missed more classes than i should have and i know that will affect my grades. it can't be helped; when your body is literally demanding sleep so it can get better, study time is not only short circuited but completely blasted out the window. it showed on my last 2 tests and neither of those classes have much else coming up that can counter them. this is where accepting b's for my final class grades will be tested, i am sure. i just have to remember that the accomplishment this time is not the grades but the fact that i made it through.

and thank god i never have to do it again.

next quarter looks to be shaping up nicely with 17 units. while those 3 units don't seem like much of a big deal, trust me they are. besides, one of the classes is one i have been wanting to take since i stepped foot on the campus: approaches to imaginative writing. it's a grad class and i am fortunate that seniors are allowed one or two grade classes in their last 2 quarters. i will also be taking the last 2 american lit survey classes, advanced fiction writing, and senior project. my understanding is that the senior project (a 1 unit class) is pretty easy. watch..i'll get the prof from hell who decides to turn it into a nightmare. would be just my luck now, wouldn't it? we'll all just have to hope that i don't. ;)

saxy and phoenixcat are not having as good an experience in school as i am, unfortunately. 4 honors classes just proved to be overwhelming for my daughter and we've dropped her out of 2 and placed her in college prep courses instead. we were going to take her out of 3 of them, but she chose to stick it out in english. we're trying to work with her on it as well. she is in dance, it's one of the reasons we chose this school for her, and we don't want to take that from her arbitrarily. the deciding factor for me was her biology grade: a d-, but her percent score was a 71.7%. on a straight scale this would be a c-, a d+ at worst, but definitely a c- at the university. she ranked 23rd out of 32 students, which indicated that 9 other students were failing the class (and i always question what comes close to a 30% failure rate - it just seems to be an inordinately high number of students failing and would, to me, indicate that the teacher needs to reevaluate his or her instruction style because far too many students are not getting it). after talking with several people in the know at the uni, and after she spoke with her avid counselor to find out how many honors classes were required for her to stay in avid (1), we determined that it would be better for her to take less honors classes. saxy and i also removed the bed time pressure. her bed time is still 10pm, but it is flexible in the sense that if she has a lot of homework she can stay up as long as necessary (or as long as she can handle) getting it done. poor phoenixcat is finding out the one thing she isn't is a night owl. hehe

hubby's problems appear to be related to a previously unknown disability. the limited testing he received when we paid for it shows two things: a below college reading level (but above high school) and a comprehension problem. i'm not surprised by the reading thing - he's one of those kids that was baby-sat by the t.v. movies and television are is thing, books tend to put him to sleep. personally, i'm not sure how accurate the comprehension difficulty is. when we talk, he seems to understand what he has read and heard in class. what seems to be the problem is getting back out. he found out this weekend from his mother that he's always had a problem with it. as a kid he'd do those story workbooks with the questions after the story and, even if the story was right next to the questions, he couldn't get the questions right. the sad thing is if he were going through school today someone would pick up on it and suggest he get tested. back when we were kids, however, problems like this were always attributed to not trying hard enough and lack of motivation. and now, since this was never caught in school, he can't get diagnosed or get help without paying for it whereas if it had been diagnosed when he was in school he'd get help, no questions asked and without having to pay for it.

we did have an issue with the doctor who tested him. we paid $250 for a number of tests, but the psychologist only did about half of them (probably less than half). an i.q. test was supposed to be among them, but saxy doesn't think it was. the issue with the i.q. test is this: your i.q., while questionable in many ways, will show approximately how well you can be expected to do in school barring any kind of interference like a disability. it your actual achievement is significantly less than what would be indicated by your i.q., then there's a strong chance that a disability is interfering with your ability to reach your potential. when this seems to be the case, more testing to pinpoint the problem is usually done to figure out what's going on. well, apparently this doctor had decided what was up and convinced saxy he didn't need the rest of the testing. of course, none of the money was returned either. and it appeared the guy wasn't going to send us a hard copy report either, which is something we really needed to get saxy disabled student services. the issue has been resolved to a degree, but i am not sure how happy i am with it. the doctor feels that he did sufficient testing to diagnose where saxy's problem lies (and i hope he's right - i really wish i could get him on kaiser and have them do a full work up) and they've been working on the report for 2 weeks and said that saxy should have it by the middle of this week. they also said it should have plenty of ammunition to use at the college.

i hope so because for saxy it comes down to this: if he can't pass his classes (which he's not doing too well at at the moment), he won't get financial aide. if he doesn't get f.a., we can't pay for him and his education goes down the drain until i am graduated and working. i worry about him, i really do. lately he's been looking at occupational therapy as an option instead of teaching, but he's struggling so hard and still failing tests. the only school that trains for o.t. out here is somewhat elite so you know what kind of grades they expect. i hurt for him. i really do.

i've got a busy week this week. 3 papers, an exam, and i have to have a new version of my story ready for handout to the class by thursday. plus the girls have check ups and i have a neurology appointment. i want to see if we can try something other than the adderall since i am still too fidgety in class. they did switch my doctor for me and i am hoping the new one treats me with more respect than the last. i'm also going to see if i can get an "f" off my record so i can take the senior project my last quarter. i basically have to attempt to get a retroactive withdrawal - which means i have to find all the stuff that applies to my withdrawal after census and loa from 18 months ago. wish me luck - if that f stays on my record the honors project is out because it drops my gpa below the required 3.5. i'm damn close, but close doesn't cut it when registering for the honors class and i'm pretty sure i'm getting at least 2 b's this quarter so my grades won't help bump it up at all this time around.

i'll be very glad when i'm done with the b.a.

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