Spring break has come and gone and summer is almost over. I finished the spring semester, all 20.5 units, with my first C on my college record. Caleb and I gave our 45-day notice to vacate our residence in Imperial Beach for the second time, having lived there once before, and having to threaten the company with BBB, a lawyer, and police when we wanted something fixed.
In April, I began to donate the dog’s things (bowls, leashes, beds, floaties, toys, meds, etc.) as I couldn’t stand the thought of throwing them away, even if they included a half-chewed bone and a gutless purple monkey. I kept Sparky’s turtle and touch its dirty edges as a tiny reminder of the lives I had to let go and all the memories we shared. I will always remember how awesome they were.
I continue to get rid of things that I have carried around for too long. I made the decision not to have kids, so toting around my baby clothes because Mom wanted me to pass onto my children the toys and clothes from my childhood that she wasn’t able to give to me from hers is no longer an option. I will exchange their space for things I can use, like dive weights that hold water instead of the less colorful ones that don’t so that the teal and blue will make me smile as it reminds me of the sea.
We (the boss, another employee, and I) got a new girl, Darrien, on the work team and she focuses on teaching the kids yoga and mindfulness. We put the students in small groups and ask them an open-ended question to discuss with their peers, particularly people they might not otherwise talk to.
Darrien would move on to other things before the school year was out and the principal let us know that our services weren’t needed for the last two weeks in the first half of June, so summer came early. I used this time to petition attendance to a half-credit class (meaning using my other classes already taken to not take that one) so I could focus on the last nine units needed to get my Kinesiology degree — Chemistry 200 and Physiology. I also petitioned that my 100+ units already attained not count against my scheduled enrollment time so that I would get first pick at the new campus, the only one that offered the chemistry class I needed, at Mesa campus; a further commute north.
May would start with a flat on the car and since I was going to be late to work anyway I took the day off so Caleb and I could get new tires on both vehicles that will be making cross country trips over the summer, just not in the order we thought. The Tribute would get into a few accidents before our trip and end up in the shop after being t-boned by a drunk driver who hit Caleb in an intersection.
I got rid of Sparky’s baby teeth. Yes, I had kept them for 11 years in a little container with orange fish on it as I somehow managed to capture one of each type that wasn’t lost to him swallowing it. The movers arrived at the end of May to pack most of our stuff into storage for the last few years of Caleb’s career while we make some major transitions, and the other movers showed up two days later for boxes destined to Bahrain. I moved in next door so that I can finish school while Caleb goes to Virginia for months of engineer related training before joining the boxes on the return to the Island of Sand.
The new tenants, grandma with her son and grandson, in our old address are busy covering the gopher damage with new bricks and potted succulents while the property manager kept $500 of our safety deposit to fix a window blind that the maid service broke and to manage the weeds (dirt) that we left behind. I want to feel bitter, but the cheaper rent was a great deal for us financially. Caleb and I spent the last weekend in San Diego together on his friend Josh’s new pontoon boat, complete with trembling chihuahua and other couples and their kids.
Caleb would have his collars pinned, by me, as a Senior Chief (almost put his anchor on upside down) on the day we leave San Diego to drive across the country, something we’ve done many times together before and a place we always find solace from the chaos of life; though the long hours on the highway weren’t the relaxation I was going for we had a deadline to meet to get Caleb checked in on time so I could fly back to San Diego on Sunday and start school on Monday.
We made a massive detour, rushing down the west coast of Florida and speeding up the east side to dive and the only thing that got lost in the mix (or that wasn’t on my wrist when it should’ve been) was my dive watch when we arrived in Key Largo ready to get deep and wet. This would take up a majority of our two weeks on the road and we got to see a lot of new things along the way (that’s in another post).
My return to San Diego has me getting up before 6 am and getting to school before 7 am where I stay in classes with back-to-back labs in the middle of the day until 7 pm to drive the 30 minutes home while talking with Caleb so I can pack meals for the next day, shower if needed, and get homework done before getting some sleep. I spend my weekends at the kitchen bar getting fed occasionally and partaking in late-night snacks that keep me up and going.
During July there was the obvious 4th of July holiday, Pride weekend, and Comic-Con. I found time to walk down to the beach for the fireworks — a first after having lived here for probably five years of them. I made time to say hi to house guests — Emma the 8-year-old and Jarod 18 who were both nice, but Danielle the 50+-year-old watching Housewives of Boredom and crying about how she’d kill herself if she had the homework I did wasn’t helpful — and of course I forgot I have headphones to drown out those noises.
I also made time to take Uncle Ed to dinner for tacos at Salud!, schwarma at The Kebab Shop, and a Mandarin place because the buffet looked closed in the same shopping plaza. He was in town for a long week of work and staying along my route between home and school so I got to listen to him play his cigar box guitar while he found questions to ask about chemistry to add to our discussions. I appreciate his curiosity in my education even if I won’t be a chemist as I’m currently making a B in round two of the class.
I aced Physiology in six weeks though and enjoyed theorizing with my professor about the possibilities of the body to go wrong when so much is running smoothly every millisecond that we don’t have to think about. I was able to spend the day finishing a 200-page novel and yesterday I mailed my rental physiology book back, mailed Uncle Ed his laptop that he’d left behind, had my new lease notarized, dropped some things to Goodwill, and got a long green dress in the mail from Caleb who looks forward to seeing me in it when I visit in August.
I emailed the school to let them know how I was wrongly enrolled for a general education plan when they had my transcripts delivered and checked over so I could transfer a business degree and go to SDSU. I’m glad I made the switch though to a degree in a field that makes me happy and that I can pursue, and so my path has changed into the direction it needed to go. I take another step forward.
This will be unlike any break before it — spent with cold meds, textbooks, and peanut butter. I need to spend the week catching up, so I can be better prepared and have more time to study in the next eight weeks.
Since last month, I have learned to chip and putt, but only when I can remember to not “break my wrists”, keep my butt out, and always accelerate through. We will be playing on the Balboa Park Golf Course starting in April or we can go to the driving range if we’re not ready to compete against our classmates on nine holes.
There has been a lot of rain this month, and sickness, so on the days that the soccer field wasn’t closed to prevent our cleats from messing up the field the coach called out too, so this gave me more time to study bones (all but the three of the inner ear, so 203) and muscles (about 80, since it’s difficult to see the deeper ones on models and cadavers) for anatomy — two exams. My grade went from acceptable to awesome, but I’m hoping to do better when we test on the nervous system in three weeks, as I already know the location and function of the 12 cranial nerves.
Chemistry lecture isn’t going as well as I had hoped. There are hundreds of elements and a million ways to combine them all. It doesn’t help that I completely missed an online assignment worth 20 points, but I talked with the professor and he said he would drop that from my total grade, so that will raise me a letter grade.
Chemistry lab, on the other hand, is going amazingly well. I spend hours watching the professor’s videos and reading the handouts and writing the procedure into my lab notebook. I come prepared, make a minor mistake each time (learning opportunity), and then write about it properly in my post-lab discussion. The only thing I still struggle with is the professor’s humor to have multiple choice quizzes with most of the options being “none of the above” or seemingly tricky.
how many bones (65), and landmarks(~90), can you count?
I finished my managerial accounting with a 96 or 97, depending on how the professor rounds. The final was six questions and I had two hours to complete. I thought I might spend 20 minutes like I did on the mid-term, but ended up spending 90. My business calculus class is still hanging on by a thread. My midterm for that is in two weeks so I need to study because it accounts for 30% of my overall grade.
Kickboxing is the easiest class, and it should be at only half a credit. It allows me to blow off steam from the week before going into the weekend. I can see classmates making improvements in other areas of their life — stretching, diet, studying, and rest because the coach cares more about the whole person than just teaching them to punch people in the face (which we avoid).
(~48) muscles: origin, insertion, and action
I will spend the rest of the week: getting ahead on chemistry labs and doing all the worksheets that have been handed out; coloring, drawing, writing, and using flashcards to study the nervous system; do all 45 practice questions for the math midterm; and go to the gym with Caleb when he gets back from dropping our boat off in Montana. My online kinesiology class starts on April 1st.
Caleb has been busy mowing the yard (to keep up with the rain), doing dishes after making me dinner, washing and hanging laundry, sewing more on his quilt, and experimenting with new bread recipes to keep me filled up on carbs so I can concentrate on studying and getting in some steps when I need a break and we take a walk together.
Our shower started to leak more than usual so we got a guy out here for the day (on the landlord’s dollar) to saw through tiles and wall and replace our two handles with one. It’s a bit of a shit job (metal piece stabbed me and grout all over crooked tiles), but at least there’s less rust to be seen.
Our eleventh anniversary was 18 days ago and Caleb made sure his gifts arrived a day early; mine would arrive two weeks later. He got me an owl necklace (to go with my varied collection of the wise animal) and some earrings. I got him a personalized key chain with an acronym for March.
The principal at work had a birthday and the 7th graders had a little song, with drums, and dance performance to celebrate as they presented her with a cake. The boss gave me a test to administer to the students and he retested the ones who failed the following week. The class average is D.
The lady that bought the pizza last time hasn’t spoken to me (I’m glad), but the boss still wanted to do pizza and ice cream so I’m grateful I was able to email out of it due to being sick enough to leave anatomy class 45 minutes early one night. But there is a new intern that has impressed the kids with her knowledge of meditation and yoga so she can fill in for my absence and I will see them all after they get back from their two weeks break.
sheep’s brain with dura mater on the left
Other than all the homework in my life I still find time to walk the neighbor’s dog, watch a TED talk with Caleb during dinner, and talk to my Dad almost daily. I’ve only woken up late once but still made it to school on time and to my favorite parking spot. Caleb rearranged the living room and I thought it would bother me, but the layout works, so I just pull the curtain halfway as the sun begins to set so it doesn’t blind me.