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2013-52 Week 4

Well, that was unpleasant.

There is some argument as to whether I had a low level flu or fairly nasty cold, but either way it lasted from early onset Tuesday until finally clearing Sunday afternoon. I wound up going home from work Wednesday at lunch and not going back the rest of the week. The rainy weather wasn’t much help on the one day that I had to make an appearance since I had to teach my first class on Friday, and the combination of sick, Dayquil, and rain left me sweating pretty profusely while talking somewhat fast busting through the syllabus and first chapter. I let them know that I had something and this wasn’t the norm, it certainly must have been an experience for them.

Thankfully it cleared up Sunday and I was able to get ready for the new week. Since I was out of commission most of last week, this might actually be a shorter post, as I don’t have all that much interesting to update on. Even the one interesting thing I had scheduled for last week I had to cancel on, which really sucked because I had been looking forward to it for a couple months. One of my favorite authors released his latest book on the 15th, and he came out to Los Angeles for a book launch last Friday. I had it on my calendar, but as the week wore on it became more and more evident that I wasn’t going to make it, although I had entertained the possibility of going all the way up until the “cold sweat” teaching on Friday afternoon. I’m still looking forward to reading the book (Brad Meltzer’s “The Fifth Assassin”) and highly recommend any of his books to you, although if you want to read “The Fifth Assassin” I recommend you pick up his last book, “The Inner Circle” first, as some of the characters carry over (and, of course, because it’s good). His genre is Suspense-Thriller with historical underpinnings, kind of like a Dan Brown (“The Davinci Code”) who actually does his research. Also, if TV is more your thing, go check out his TV series Brad Meltzer’s Decoded (repeats are on quite frequently on History Channel or H2), which delves into the fantastic back stories and grey areas of many of history’s greatest mysteries (huh, I wonder if that’s how they pitched the network).

Since the semester started last week, it was time to start both teaching (addressed above) and studenting . . . er, learning. In the continuing effort not to have to pay a couple hundred dollars for the on-campus gym and get some usage out of my fee waiver benefit, I once again enrolled in a class this semester. Rather than rejoining the after-school Faculty and Staff fitness program, which is good since I would have missed the first week anyway, I decided to try an online class so I could better fit it into my schedule. I, of course, decided this last minute, so I my options were limited (although it wasn’t that bad, there were probably a dozen classes I could have taken). I settled upon a junior-level English class, titled Intermediate Expository Writing. Boom, triple threat, keep my gym eligibility, keep my time flexibility, and contribute word count to my writing resolution. The professor didn’t get in touch with us until the first day of the semester, since communicating with the students beforehand was apparently against the rules of the union, so I didn’t get to see the syllabus until then. Reading through it revealed nothing overly challenging, although I am amused by the fact that I’m writing two practice essays for a test that I took, and passed, thirteen years ago. Our assignment for the first two weeks was to setup our online profile for the class, writing two to three hundred words about ourselves and our goals. The assignment was to be concise, but I actually found myself struggling to find things to put into the profile, as the assignment was particularly generic. Eventually I settled on the following and, after proofreading it (and catching a decent mistake, left out the “in a” in “in a particular hurry” – is it just me or “in a” in “in a” kind of awesome?), wound up posting the following. After contributing three academic interests (programming, data mining, databases) and three personal interests (running, sports, reading) in the appropriate box and finding a picture of myself on Facebook that didn’t feature anyone else or where I was wearing my sunglasses (the latter a personal restriction), my profile was set up and ready to go.

I am an IT worker and Computer Science instructor and I enjoy writing in my free time. I want to refine my skills in all types of written communication and it has been too long since I have done any expository work. I recently completed a yearlong project where I wrote a blog post every day, which came out to 172,245 words over the course of the year. I work on campus as an Information Technology consultant, mainly as a database guru but also working on servers and desktop machines. I do not, sadly, have anything to do with Moodle or servicing personal computers, so I cannot address any problems you may have with those technologies. Sorry! I do, however, also teach one Computer Science class on campus and thoroughly enjoy that.

My goals are pretty wide and far ranging. As stated above, my main goal for this class is to practice my expository writing and pick up any tips and tricks I might be able to find along the way. My other short term goal is to maintain access to the new Student Recreation Center so I can run on the indoor track, but I’ve already accomplished that by being here. My career goal is to transition out of IT into teaching full-time over the long run, although I am not in a particular hurry as I like both jobs. Outside of those immediate and long term goals, well I suppose I can’t get too deep in a couple hundred words.

Returning to work today was interesting, since between a vacation day and being sick I was only there for a day and a half last week. With one of the other techs on a cruise and yet another sick, thankfully it wasn’t a terrible Monday and I was able to ease back into things. Sort of like I’m easing back into this blog. I’ll see you next week with the first resolution update and the first full month of 2013 under our belts.

Weight: 230 Loss: 0 lbs – Running Yearly Mileage: 36.2 miles (+3 miles) Last year-to-date: 8.5 miles – Words-to-date: 7283 (+1113)

Posted in Matt 2013-52, Matt General. Tagged with , , , , , , .

One Response

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  1. M said

    Good for powering through, but I hope you held those kids double-arm’s-distance! Everyone wants to talk to the teacher on the first day! :-O

    and Hey! Those would be MY academic interests! (Aw, my little nut didn’t fall far from the tree!)

    I think you’ve outed yourself as Guy Who Loves to Write in that bio.Careful, your intro teacher might not bother to read your stuff! (We both could work on a little mystery 🙂 )

    Love, Queen Parenthesis!

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