April 29, 2010

Semester is Over

This has been a long semester back in school. When you're talking about schedules, classes and what fits where it didn't seem like it would be so hard. But each class required so much extra work outside of class for homework. That wouldn't have been so bad except each class also had a lab which required almost as much work as the lecture but didn't give you any extra credit for the extra effort. So it felt like I was taking 7 classes instead of 4 (my psychology class didn't require a lab).

Although it was quite a struggle I felt like I was able to achieve a semblance of balance between classes until finals! My finals felt like all my tests were at one time and I just couldn't quite handle that much study and information cramming! To make matters worse, a large percentage of the class grades are based on the final exams (which are comprehensive by university policy). I really feel like I have tripped and fallen in sight of the finish line. I'm hoping that the rest of my classwork, previous tests and a generous curve will help to rectify my average performance on my final exams.

However, now that this semester is finally over I'm excited that I get to see my family again. Except for our family scriptures and breakfast in the mornings and FHE on Monday night I haven't really seen them this semester. Since I only have one more pre-req to finish (just 1 class) and work I should easily double my family time! Who knows, I may even get to practice Mario Kart (Wii) and be able to give David a run for his title as racing champion!

Hopefully, I'll also be able to catch up on a few highlights that actually did occur during this semester but which were never recorded and published due to my crazy schedule!

April 24, 2010

Anatomy Lab Final Looms!

Unlike most finals at UVU, the anatomy lab final cannot be offered in the CTC (testing center). I guess having cadavers in the testing center might affect the testing of the other students from the other disciplines across campus. In any case, the final is only being offered on one glorious day (strange that the mid-term had 2 days...). So, in order to beat the crowds a few of the die-hard anatomy students joined me for an early morning cram session starting at 7:00 am, just outside the anatomy lab doors.

Don't let the smiles fool you, we are not happy to be here and no real studying is going on. We are just so tired that we don't really know what we're doing. But our books are open and we reminisce about the glory days of the past semester and how much we won't miss the late-night open labs.
Darcy has been in line since around 6:30 am! Of course she was the only one with a really good reason for being early. Her friends were anxiously waiting for an early morning departure for Mexico! Just as soon as Darcy was out of her anatomy final...

The rest of us just want to get the test done so we can move on to other studies, other tests. I think there comes a point when enough is enough and you need a break. I know I have reach a certain point of exhaustion and just want to sleep.

Oh yes, joking at this early hour, just prior to this major exam, doesn't always go over well. I should just stick to subtle anatomy review.

Thanks everyone for studying with me through out this semester. It has been a long and hard bout with Shively anatomy tactics but we have survived to tell about it. And, more importantly, we have made some new friendships. I wish you the best in the rest of your endeavors.

April 23, 2010

Date Night: Making Noodles

Michelle arranged a special date night for us. With the craziness of this semester we haven't had the chance to go out on any dates. The USU extension office offers a variety of classes to the community to teach various skills and tonight's lesson is how to make pasta. It was designed as a date night intentionally and so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

The first thing we did was to make the dough. It wasn't very difficult and ended up mostly being flour and water. That was certainly surprising to me. I figured it would be much more difficult than that.

Once we had the dought to the right consistancy we had to roll it into a flat sheet of noodle. There are all sorts of devices that help you through this process and it would be fun to own a few of them some day.

Once the noodle dough is flat you cut it into the type of noodle that you want. We decided to try a couple of different options. First we sliced some spagetti noodles. The slicing part was easy, the seperating part took a few minutes.

We also decided to try making ravioli. For this pasta you just lay the dough on the ravioli pan, fill it with stuff, cover it and cut the squares out. Simple enough that even I could handle it.

Finally, you boil the noodles for a few minutes to cook it. Then you sit down and enjoy epic creation. We had an enjoyable time together, away from the kids. We're gonna have to do something like this more often!

Thank you sweetheart for a wonderful time. I love you.

(Posted 7/24/10)

April 19, 2010

Studying: A Preparation for Finals

The craziness of the semester is magnified as you get to finals. This semester my finals are all comprehensive. While everyone class expects you to remember everything that they have presented to you, this semester my teachers are planning to see if this theoretical expectation is true! So I've be confined to the library to try and recall all of the information from this intense semester.

I've been fortunate to have a great study buddy through this semester. Whitney Jensen has been in my anatomy class and my microbiology class. So we've had a lot of information to review. It has been a blessing to have someone willing to put in so much time studying all of this stuff. Admittedly, most of our time has been spent studying anatomy concepts, especially relating to the tricky testing proceedure of the lecture portion of this class. Another large chunck of time has been spent in the lab going of thousands of anatomical landmarks.

Lucky for both of us we've found some other dedicated friends along the way. Rachel Solter was another dedicated student who has spent many hours studying and reviewing for these exams. (I'm surprised we didn't get a study room named after us in honor of all the hours we've spent there studying this semester!)

I'm grateful for the patience of my study buddies this semester. Thank you for all your time and patience as we've worked through this tidal wave of information and exam preparation.

(Posted 7/24/10 - Update: I ended up with C's on both anatomy finals, lecture & lab; C on my microbiology final, A on my physiology final; didn't take my psychology final because I had aced the rest of the class and was exempt.)

April 17, 2010

Gardening: Step 2

It has taken us a little bit longer than we wanted to get to this point in this year's garden. But the school semester has been grueling and has provided limited time to spend cultivating the soil. Michelle finally decided that waiting for me to actually form these rows was not getting anywhere and she took matters into her own hands. (I had actually created rows at one point but I didn't do a very good job and Michelle had erased my mistakes.)

Now I understand what a real row is supposed to look like. Deep furrows separating mounds of dirt where the plants will actually be planted. I also laid down the pvc pipe for the watering system.

Michelle has adjusted her garden rows so that each row will have plenty of sunlight and won't significantly shade the adjacent rows. Since some plants grow taller than other plants this planning takes great forethought.

And now we are ready to proceed to the planting stage!

(Posted: 7/24/10)

April 13, 2010

Hiking the Y - A Family Tradition

I'm not sure what the appeal is but our boys love to go hiking to the "Y". Maybe it's because the "Y" is sitting right outside our front room window and they can see it every day. Michelle has decided that she would like to branch out and discover other fun and exciting hikes. While I would tend to agree with her it doesn't change the fact that the boys keep asking for the opportunity to go hiking the "Y".

So here we are again. Aleky has decided that he is a big boy and doesn't need to ride is the baby backpack. So he heads off with the other boys to cruise up the mountain.

David and Donovan have designated themselves the official water carriers and insist on carrying the water backpacks on every hike. That isn't bad except the water goes with them, as fast and as far as they go, sometimes leaving the rest of us a bit parched. But who can deny that kind of enthusiasm?

While Aleky isn't quite as fast as his brothers he is not to be denied.

This year Aleky hiked all the way up to the "Y" on his own steam and back again! Holy cow, is my 2 1/2 year old son doing all of this? I'm gonna have to really work to keep up with them!