Friday, September 11, 2015

How Should We Live:?

I believe that we should live in a way that we can live with ourselves knowing about and claim responsibility for all accomplishments and mistakes alike.  We should learn and grow from our mistakes and problems instead of running or hiding from them.  We should become stronger due to adversity; use it as a stepping stone to greatness.  We should treat every being humanely.  The color of one’s skin should merely be a feature, such as red hair or brown eyes or freckles, but not a label to treat them lesser or greater than anyone else.  We should treat people, animals, and the earth with kindness.  We should show respect to others for believing or thinking differently and learn from their views to help further solidify our own beliefs.  We should not push what we believe onto others oppressively, but rather share and invite what we think and feel and have to say in an open and comforting discussion environment.  We should push each other to be their best version of themselves, and help lift up any who have fallen along their journey.  We should each contribute and pull our own weight whenever physically/mentally possible.  We should give up on growing weeds (grass) for show and instead grow crops and vegetable/fruit/herb gardens.  We should eat more fresh food and stop reliance on medicine as a first defense.  We should live the way that we would be proud to see our life play out for the world at the end of our lives, to be left without regrets, and a wealth of knowledge from all of the experiences, good and bad. 

I do not believe that we can be completely free of conflict, nor do I think we should be.  Without conflict there is no growth.  My proposal of a way that we could live is plausible, but not something that would happen overnight.  Small mindedness and fear/anger unto others would need to be rectified. 

Question: Why does fear drive many people to respond in a negative manner?  At what point does fear become anger?

*Leave your thoughts and answers in the comments below

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Failed by the Education System

Last month I took my Level II C++ class, and it was the worst experience ever.  I will post more about this, but for a bit of background, I am taking 5-week online classes at the University of Advancing Technology out of Tempe Arizona.  My online instructor disappeared from the class for 3 of those weeks (later we found out he had a death in the family), we didn't get a new instructor until about 9 days left of the class, and were still awaiting grades and answers to questions from Week 1 on through.  In the end I had to chalk this one up in the loss column and even decided to change my major to Web Design and Development: 
Comment below any of your horrific class experiences you have lived through.

Suffice to say that the following is merely the class review that I wrote and posted: 

This class has been the worst class I have ever taken in my education career, and considering that throughout the past 14 years of my post-high school education I have attended 3 professional colleges, and multiple military training courses that is saying something.  We didn't even get access to our Pearson book until almost week 2 and even then content was missing and out of order.  It is now week 5 and I still have unanswered questions from week 1. 

I am very sorry to hear of Professor Gardner's loss but I don't see how the college can expect and entire class to pay for the way this class has gone.  I was originally told that if I filed for an incomplete that I would be provided with 4-5 additional weeks to complete the coursework and given the lack of grading, feedback, instruction and responses I felt that this would be necessary for me to even get close to grasping how to successfully complete my assignments.  Now that I have realized that I will only be provided with 1 more work with an incomplete after not having instructor assistance for practically 3+ weeks, I know that I just don't have the knowledge, experience or know-how to successfully accomplish these tasks, to sit here and say that I truly do not have the tools for success in this course honestly has brought so much stress and many tears of frustration.  We have been set up for failure in this course and I commend those that have been able to pull out a win.  I have slept no more than 2 hours a night for weeks now to try to make it through this class and to also stay on top of my other class that I have been taking at the same time.

Disappointment doesn't even come close to what I feel for the way that things have gone in this course.  I had to have extensive talks with scheduling, my advisor and other school officials due to this course.  I have even made the hard decision to step back and put myself backwards in my education to change my major because this is just now an acceptable way to gain an education for me.  I am paying a lot to attend UAT and I had to get an additional personal loan to pay for the difference between FAFSA and I have to work additional odd jobs and second jobs on top of being a single mother just to afford to go to school and then to have an experience like this is truly very frustrating for me. 

I have given so much to this course and I was failed.  I understand that Professor Coddington is not to blame for the previous issues, and I have had wonderful results working with her in other courses.  Unfortunately by the time that she has come in to this class it was just too little too late for me.  The damage was already done.  I have had to stand here in defeat to know that I must take a loss for this course.  It is very hard for me.  I have never failed a college course before in my life.  I have never felt so inadequate and so utterly deserted by an instructor.  I have lost the trust that I had in my education here.  I have busted my butt to have the 3.9 GPA I have on top of life and this kills me inside.  I honestly don't know what else to say in reflection of this experience. 

I wish all of my classmates the best as they make many additional life altering changes due to this experience from withdrawing from school completely to changing colleges to changing programs of study and to pushing through somehow.  We have definitely put our blood, sweat and tears into this, and I am drained.  Thank you to anyone who has offered advice, explanations and assistance.  I treasure all of the votes of confidence and apologize for failing in my own part of the effort.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My new buddys

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is written by Melanie Dickerson and paints the picture of rising from the ashes of life.
The story revolves around the character of Odette, a girl adopted by her rich uncle who experience poverty after the death of her parents.  This leads her to illegally hunt deer to feed the hungry and poor.  Odette is an eligible bachelorette, but has the good fortune of not being pressured by her uncle to marry.  She has not yet found someone that she can see herself spending her life with, but one festival she finds herself attracted to a man she has never met before: Jorgen.  Jorgen is the hunter is this Robin Hood-esque tale.  The attraction is foreboding of what will come in the future. 

Unfortunately a lot of the story is disjointed and has the flow interrupted with the repeated injection of a few words like “ja” that take away from the story.  (Think of Save the Last Dance and the horrid overuse of the word “Aight”).  I have nothing wrong with adding in accents or other languages, but when it is limited to a few constantly used words it begins to grate on my nerves and become annoying in the reading, making me want to skip over dialogue. 
The redeeming qualities of this novel were the ancillary characters.  I wish I had the chance to get to know them more, as they were described well and felt as though they had more depth and life than the main characters.  I love the independence and strength that Odette stood for, but as the story progressed the dialogue was not developed in a believable manner.  The mystery element was interesting, but it would have been nice to have more misdirection.  I enjoyed being able to read the story from both Odette’s and Jorgen’s eyes.  It added an element of duality from the male and female polarity.

If this book were to be truncated into a short story, I think it would have taken off a lot better.  It had enough of a plot to last through a short story.  Instead it felt stretched and thin in content as if there was a lot of filler instead of actual story development to turn it into a full-length novel.  I would say that Melanie Dickerson has great potential as an author, and I would check out a book of hers that was more recently written.  Hopefully with more editing in story development, as she definitely has a grasp on story telling.  Less filler, more story.
Overall I give this book 3/5 stars.  It had great potential, but I felt let down.  The combination of stories such as Robin Hood/Swan Lake/Romeo & Juliet were present, but fell flat. You may be interested if you enjoy reading romance, fairy tales, young adult, fiction, retellings, etc.

*I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.