Monday, March 8, 2010

I'll Be Ready -- 5 Minutes After It's All Done

February is usually more or less a nightmare for me, given the last few years I seem to be getting seasonal defective disorder. This February was no different. As its early March now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The week of February 15th, however, was hectic. My grandfather died the Friday before and I had missed classes that week from the road conditions. Already behind the Monday after, I was attending calling hours and a funeral that would destroy the rest of my morning class attendance. I started to panic because in the back of my head, I recalled Professor Rigney telling the class we had two makeup quizzes, no exceptions. I missed her class last Monday, the 7th, and then missed her class on the Monday after, the 15th, for my grandfather's funeral. Luckily, I contacted her and she was much more flexible than I expected and understanding of my situation. I got to make up the test I missed because of my grandpa's funeral. My other professors were equally understanding, and Ms. McCullagh and Mr. Stewart were both extremely helpful and reassuring through that hard time.

Despite those struggles and stressors, I've also had my share of triumphs. In my psychology class at the Salem Campus, I scored a 106 on our first exam, tying for the highest score in the class. And trust me, I earned it. I spent hours studying for the exam with the multimedia disc to the course, reviewing notes, and re-reading the chapters in the book. On the flip side to earning my keep, just yesterday I found out we were not reviewing for our Great Books 2 exam, we were taking the Great Books 2 exam. Although I did no studying, I think I did really well on it. Hopefully that's the last time I pull a "high school' in a college class, seeing as I did no significant studying in high school, unless you include cramming before the tests.

Since Spring is around the corner, track has become mandatory this week, and I'm making baseball practices when I can. The upcoming months promise tighter schedules then I've already had. March is just a sling I always get shot out of into Prom and Graduation season; and if you haven't already realized, I'm not going to be ready for any of it 'til about 5 minutes after it's all done.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spring Semester

Spring semester is a lot harder than I first anticipated. It's not so much the homework from the classes, which is the same as last semester's load. It's the getting into college with armored-carfulls of money that is causing the trouble. At present time, I am writing three essays, requesting 4 separate letters of recommendation, arranging a job shadow day, and preparing for spring track and baseball. Also, almost every week, I must compose a 5 to 7 minute-long monologue for speech class, the class I've added at my high school this semester. None of it is particularly difficult, just attrociously time-consuming. And, considering I'm the profusely unorganized type, I'm struggling to remember what all I need to do and wondering where everything is. Once my scholarships are finished, I can regain a semi-normal life, which will be coming at me on February 15th, next Monday. I retain hope that all these efforts will not be fruitless. But who knows! Thats all for now, I'm gonna go sweat something else for a few hours!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My first week back to college classes were actually pretty exciting as oppposed to depressing. My new schedule of college classes is very different from my fall semester's. The only class I'm taking at the City Center is called Great Books 2. At the campus building, I'm taking Medical Terminology and Psychology, so I can get some basic pre-requisites for my Exercise Science Degree.
Great Books 2 is taught by Professor Santirojprapai. Our first lesson of the year was to pronounce his name correctly, with my guess being pronounced "San-tee-roodge-prah-pul." That made him laugh, seeing as the correct pronnunciation is "San-tee-roach-prah-pie."
The class so far looks to be a winner, except the name of the class itself is misconstrued in many odd ways. The first day back, as I walked in to the City Center, a kid asked where "Awesome Reads" was. I wanted to say, "probably the same place 'Gnarly Novels' is," but it was the first day back, so I refrained.
Medical Terminology is taught by Professor Rigney, who is my favorite type of teacher- strict, but fair. She came out front and said the first day that she doesn't care how well we do. She presents the material and it's our job to learn. She doesn't fiddle with grades, and theres a quiz everyday. It's gonna be a dry class, but very important for all of us going into a medical field. Psychology is in the same league as Medical Terminology, the professor is very clear of how everything will go, and the syllabus tells us exactly what we're going to be learning. Four exams will basically comprise our grade in that class, with small amounts of extra credit filtered in.

Monday, January 4, 2010

One semester down. One to go.

Well, my first semester is over as is my Christmas Break from high school. I don't return to classes at Kent until January 19th, which is a huge extension compared to going back to United today. My first semester at Kent, looking back on it now, was nothing I should have worried over, which I did for a while before I went there the first day in September. The City Center environment is not a sensory overload, as it would've been if it were at a larger campus with hundreds of college kids. It turned out to be exactly half-way between college and high school; a more professional atmosphere, but in an old high school. Legit Professors, but students that are still in high school. Less class time, more homework. College credit and G.P.A. responsibility for those credits, but with a little more active support from the professors. And for the majority of the S2S students that don't live in Salem, it felt like, and was, a commute.

There's a lot of freedom in doing Seniors to Sophomores, as I've mentioned before. In high school you couldn't stop at Subway to eat, or pick up something at Wal-Mart before returning to school. I got a lot of errands done over the semester between morning classes and high school, and had my biggest crash course of the semester in time-management. (Hint: Use working clock, and daylight savings is all about falling BACKWARD.)

Being the rebel I am, emboldened by Senoritas, I did skip a couple days. And it didn't hurt me one bit. I missed days I could catch up on notes and not have to turn anything in. I wouldn't encourage it, but used with precision and in moderation, it's a strategy just like anything else, in my opinion. I missed two days. I'll leave this subject hang by saying another person I know skipped 5-7 days and failed a class.

Just like any high school class, or even any college class, each was different per the professor; you really have to wait and see what teachers you have and go with the flow. That said, nobody in the program had the exact same experience as anyone else. I can safely say that there are no major drawbacks to doing seniors to sophomores that I came across, and I'm just as glad I did it as I thought I would be when I entered the program.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I know, fall baseball was rough on me with no weekends basically! That was finished two weekends ago, so now time is freeing up. Homecoming was great, as good as united dances get, anyway, what with a bunch of hillbillies all dressed up and trying to dance to rap and hip hop...
It's been a while. I'm not nearly as busy as i was last blog, I just forgot...for a little over 3 weeks...which is embarrassing. Anyway, as I just said, I'm a lot less busy, considering I now remember how having weekends feels like. The weekend after baseball was over, I caught up completely on homework (I didn't turn in anything late, I just missed a lot of the reading) and relaxed a little. During that week, I found time to work out more in preparation for January and February's Indoor Track Season while still doing work in my Classes. It's been pretty basic the last few weeks, my routine has been established. I feel like I know what the Profs consistently expect of me, something every student eventually learns from his teachers. You know, the feeling that when you proofread your paper you can guess pretty accurately what you'll get on it. So I got that goin' for me. Anyway, two weeks ago I skipped the Learning Community for an Amish Mill Festival in Carroll County, where my grandparents live. It was the first one I skipped, which is, to me, legal; especially considering most kids have only gone to one of the Friday Funday's. Two days ago at our last Learning Comm., we got Interim Grades. I have two A's and a B, which is what I expected. We also are beginning scheduling for the Spring Semester, and I made an appointment with Kristin Toothman for next Monday to see if I can take some courses in the P.T.A. program in East Liverpool, which will be my major, anyway. That way, I'll be getting a head start not only on my Frosh year of college, but also a jump start on my major.
All for now, Brock

Friday, September 25, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Getting time to stay in shape is almost obsolete for this time of the year. You need to be fit just to take on so much running around. But hey, I asked for it. This last week entailed all of the following things- mowing three yards, line judging volleyball 2 separate days, announcing for the Junior High football teams, lifting weights, applying for scholarships, running errands for parents, fitting in time to replace my stereo, completely lost my weekends to baseball doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, basketball open gym, about 45 minutes per night of homework, facilitating a Principals Advisory Council meeting, tearing down for Homecoming, getting groceries for my home-bound grandfather, and finding time to stuff myself with food. (Breath) I’m not blaming S2S program schedule, though. Actually I have more time to do things because I get out of school at around 1:40.

Apart from my head spinning, I’ve met a lot of people through the program. They are all obviously very smart and ambitious. That is a huge difference from High School right there- these people have ambition, and it’s contagious. In fact, I may be one of the least mature people here, which is a 180 from United.

My cousin, Bethany, sits beside me in Human Biology class. She has always gone to Salem, so it’s still very surreal to be in the same classes as her and all of her friends. The professors I have are so different from High School as well. I’m not about to bash my past teachers, because I had some great role models and learned a lot from them, but my ‘profs’ are in another league. They teach without demanding authority, they’re not caught up in being in complete control, they just are. They all are easy to listen to, and are exceptionally reasonable. My success so far can be mostly attributed to them. I got an ‘A’ on my HumanBio test, and I’ve actually retained what I’ve learned.

That’s my summation for month one of Seniors to Sophomores: exactly what I hoped for so far. I’m not just being lectured, I’m being taught.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 1

It’s been quite a while since my first post, but now things have unfortunately been set in motion that can not be undone. The first day of school was both rude as an ice-cold shower, and as liberating as riding a dirt bike.

I slept in today as my first and only kent class for the day began at 9:40. I first drove over to the Salem Campus’ bookstore to get my books, free, numerous, and incidentally, grouped together. I stood for 10 minutes looking dumb-founded all over the packed bookstore for my required materials until an angel of a woman asked if I needed assistance. I was out of there within the minute. I got to the S2S campus in Salem, the old Junior High, and originally the Salem High School, at 9:30. I went in the right entrance and upstairs, and quickly got lost. Luckily, everyone else was too. I ended up in the office with four other people in my Theater class who were confuzzled as much as me. Turns out, there was a typo on our sheets for room number. With that fixed we proceeded to the computer room to activate our accounts, and went to room 211 where we already had a substitute “prof” named Professor Dees. Cool man. He answered questions and quickly got us out of there. Two friends of mine and I walked outside in a fugue-like state, dazed that we had both three hours extra free time and three hours extra homework than high school.

A sweet thing I learned today was that my 87-year-old Grandfather, Howard Gray, attended High School in the same building I now stomp through. Just a fun fact. Anyway, even though it was surprising to get ample homework on the first day of school from a Professor that wasn’t even there, I completely trust the system already. There will be no baby-coddling, like in high school, which is almost as unsettling as it is reassuring.