Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall 2014 class schedule

Classes are starting today. Here’s what Alex is taking this semester: 

French:  He took Latin in high school and did not learn a single thing in the two years he took it. He was enjoying it and starting to learn some at the beginning, then the teacher left to join the Peace Corp about 2 months into the year. The replacement teacher had a hugely different teaching style and he struggled through it. Then even that teacher did not return for the second year, so he had to take the class online to finish the language requirement for graduation. It was that, or start over again with Spanish; as he had to have 2 years of the same language, and he didn’t want to start over again with another language he did not really care about learning, he plodded through. He just didn’t learn anything.

Since we have family living in France, including his cousin who was born there, there is a chance he might actually be able to use a knowledge of French. Although it is not a required class, he opted to take it anyway. The class meets four days, plus he has both a scheduled lab and an open go-when-you-like lab outside the lecture times.  This is a 50-minute M/T/W/R class, plus labs. 

Intermediate C++: He did so well in the intro class this summer, he’s taking the next level of it. This is a 75-minute M/W class. 

Intro to Java: This is another computer language class that also builds on what he learned in the C++ class.  This is a 75-minute T/R class. 

CG Characters Production:  Doesn’t this sound fun? “Using computer 3D graphics programs as a medium, emphasis will be placed on 3D design, creative expression and communication of ideas.” I believe this class was picked partly from a desire to learn it and partly because he has had the teacher before.  This is a 105-minute T/R class. (It’s still only 3 credits, so I do not understand why it is an extra 30-minutes longer than typical twice a week class length.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

20 Years Ago Today

When I got up this morning, I reflected that it was about the same time of day I was getting up on this date 20 years ago. Except then, I was heading off to the hospital to give birth. Today, I only had to suffer a day of work. (Although it was a tough day, and the work lasted longer than my labor did, so I’m not sure which day was more difficult!) This afternoon, the baby lost his teenager status. *sniff* There’s no denying he’s an adult now. Statistically, anyway... 

I hope this doesn’t mean I’m supposed to be old now, because that will not be happening for a long time.  I’m sure my own parents will agree with me!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

My mother is too far away for an easy visit. I was working today and due to the time zone differences, it is too late to call her, so I will not be able to speak with her on her birthday. I hope she knows I thought of her several times today, and I hope that as her birthday fell on a weekend, she got to do something special to mark the day. Love you, mom!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dumpster Diving

A few years, I picked up a job doing some pharmaceutical audits. A certain drugstore got into trouble for HIPAA violations when it was discovered some of their confidential patient information had been chucked into the dumpsters rather than correctly processed in a manner that kept the patient’s name and prescriptions completely confidential. They had to pay enormous fines and submit to random store visits for auditing. They were required to do it for 3 years, and they voluntarily extended that an additional 2. There are teams of auditors from the audit company who fly/drive to areas to meet with a local person contracted to be the dumpster diver. Basically, they don’t mind doing employee interviews and looking around at things, but they don’t want to be the ones getting dirty, so they hire us to do it. They do it for 2-3 months, but since divers are local, we only have a few days. This year, I had 4 days/11 stores.

I feel like a CSI/detective/someone who actually did something with that Criminology degree she went to school for. Due to confidentiality agreements, I cannot say which drugstore pharmacy we audit, nor which stores or even cities I’ve been in, and I definitely cannot mention any results of the trash examinations. Completely separate from any patient data, I was pleased to find someone’s wallet one year, so police were called to return it to them. I’ve found a number of people are not pregnant; I’m guessing the use of the test right at the store probably means that was good news for them. I’ve found it is amazing how many people bring their own bags of trash from home to dump into store dumpsters. I don’t know why that is better than just putting it in a can by the street, unless they live in an area not served by waste pickup. But mostly, I’ve learned that I find it perversely fun. It would not be exciting to do on a regular basis but for a couple of days a year, I really enjoy it. Except, of course, for being in a big metal heat radiator in the middle of summer in the South. That part is definitely not so fun.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Joyful Temps

You know it is going to be a fun day to be working outside when it is 80F (heat index 85F) and 97% humidity and it is only 7:30 AM. Highs are expected to be around 97F (heat index 108F). I was planning to take water bottles, but I think I’ll take some towels as well!