Friday, May 31, 2013

Studying... Any Help?

Lately, I’ve been using my free time to do stuff so I can go back to school.  I’ve always thought the worst part about college is the stuff that comes prior to taking classes.  I didn’t really mind sitting through class when I was attending college, or studying the subject matter, but applying for financial aid, getting letters of recommendation, and finding out exactly what I need to do is more confusing to me.

The most terrifying things:  1.  Something happens during my application process, and I’m not able to go when I’m planning to go;  2.  I don’t pass my Praxis test.  Both scenarios leave me without the money I’ve spent while trying to go back to school, and set me back in time with my goal to start a good career.

The Praxis test… It’s one of those tests that you don’t study for, but I’m required to make a certain score before I can start taking classes.  I’ve been out of college for over 6 years, and I might be a little rusty on a lot of things.  Mostly, I’m concerned about math.  To compensate, I’ve been looking over some flash cards.  It doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, but it’s the only thing I can think of that might help.  I took a practice math exam online, and passed by a small margin, but it was the only free exam that I could find.  The worst part about it all is I’m not sure what’s going to be on the test.  I’ve studied A LOT of math, and wasn’t very good at most of it.  I passed, but it was because I was tenacious, and put the time and effort into knowing what I was supposed to know.  Now, I’m faced with an exam that’s going to test me on a variety of different math questions.

It’s just nerves.  I really want to go back to school.  I want to get the financial aid that I need, turn in all the right forms on time, and pass the required exams.  I’ve passed tests before, and I’ve been under pressure before.  Come to think of it, being under pressure probably puts me into a better, more productive, mindset.  It also drives me crazy with stress, and I want everything to be over.

If anyone knows how I can improve my skills on the Praxis Test (Praxis 1), please feel free to share the information.  More free practice tests would be great, and/or resources on likely test questions.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Let's Take the Praxis Test

Now that I’m trying to focus on going back to school, I get to look forward to taking the Praxis test before I can start taking classes again.

The Praxis test is a skills test that includes math, reading, and writing.  For me, I’m worried about the math portion the most.  I’ve never been very good at math, but now that I’ve had some time away from school math seems more like a challenging game, rather than a dreadful enemy.  I’m scheduled to take the test on the eleventh of June.  Hopefully, I’ll be ready.

I’m not sure if the Praxis test is the only thing I need to be worrying about, or not.  I’ve already filled out my financial aid forms (not sure what I might be getting, yet), I’m in the process of getting my letters of recommendation filled out, I’m working with the University where I earned my degree so I can have my transcripts sent to my post-grad college, I’ve done my background check, and I’ve filled out my application, including the 250 word essay (easy as pie for anyone who enjoys writing) about why I would like to become a teacher.

This decision to continue my education isn’t without concern for the future.  After all, I’ve already earned one degree (B.S. in Social Science), and I didn’t exactly land a dream job.  I’ve made my own choices, but I have to admit that I thought there would be MORE options to choose from.

Recently, I gave up a life that I wasn’t satisfied with.  Some people would see it as a mistake, but I see it as another part of my personal journey through life.  I’ve been a person who plays it safe when it comes to life, but it landed me somewhere that caused me to feel lonely and cut off from the rest of the world.  Now, even though I’m a college grad who makes minimum wage, I feel like I’m, at least, part of the human experience again.

That being said, I’m not satisfied with minimum wage.  I want to be part of the world I live in AND have enough money to enjoy it.  I want to do something I enjoy, and be somewhere I fit in.  I want to continue my education, and earn a position in life where I can finally be comfortable and start concentrating on my friends and family.  Life might not lead me down the path I have planned, but there’s no reason not to set out on my journey.  Right now, I want to be a teacher, and I’m trying to find the right path.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Trying to Become a Teacher

As I stated last week, I’m thinking about going back to school to become a teacher.  Actually, I've made the decision; I’m going to try.

For a variety of different reasons, I chose not to pursue that path when I was in college the first time (2002-2006).  I earned a bachelor’s in social science, but I can’t say that it’s helped me very much.  At least, not yet.  I loved taking the classes that earned me the degree, but I haven’t had a job that fits the material I studied.  I’ve applied to jobs, but haven’t landed an interview for anything that relates to my degree.

I hope this doesn’t come off as me complaining, because I’m not trying to.  Everyone would love to land a great job based on their knowledge and skill set, but things are competitive out here.  I’m just thinking that I could try again, and this time I’ll have a clear goal in my mind.  Besides, it’s something that I was told I would be good at, something aptitude tests have suggested to me, and something I almost majored in to begin with.  At the time, I guess education just didn’t sound as exciting as psychology.  I wanted my four years of college to be interesting, and social science was very interesting.

Now that I've had time to reflect on my interest in social science, I think it would go hand in hand with my current interest in teaching.  I’m interested in people; how they learn, how they develop, how their thought processes work, what makes them who they are.  I’m interested in cultures, history, and the future of humanity.  I like watching the news.  I’m interested in space, and things we haven’t discovered yet.  I love to read, and my collection contains books from a wide range of genres, including science fiction, horror, thriller, fantasy, educational, mystery, and even westerns

I’m not giving up on writing.  If anything, I’m trying to enter a career that is conducive to writing.  I want to be learning, ALWAYS.  I want to feel the push to explore deeper, and understand better.  I want my characters to be knowledgeable, and my settings to reflect reality (even if the world’s are based in fantasy).

I’ll keep everyone posted.  Just to let you know, on a more casual note, my computers are still unreliable.  At this point I’m just waiting to see what kind of financial aid I might be getting, because I’ll bite the bullet and buy a new laptop if I can get the money.  I’m still looking forward to publishing The Dream Machine.  We were almost done with it.  I say “We” because I have to give credit to my wonderful girlfriend for her editing.  If it wasn't such a tedious task I might even ask her to edit these blog posts.  She keeps me humble when it comes to grammar and punctuation, and that’s a very important part of making my stories enjoyable… in the (hopefully) near future.

Thanks, Bek.


Friday, May 10, 2013

After a Long Break...

It’s been a while since my last blog post, so let me start off by thanking those of you who are continuing to follow me on my social networks.  We live in a time where people must continually be present online to market themselves to their audience.  Because of the nature of my desired goal (to publish books), it was especially disastrous when my computer overheated.  My information was saved, and moved to a jump drive, but I don’t have a reliable computer to continue working with.

Currently, I’m using a computer that was given to me by my sister, and it’s been very helpful when it comes to fulfilling basic tasks (browsing the internet).  Still, this computer has its own problems.  It has to be restarted several times before the screen will display images.  Often, when it does display images, they look smeared.  It’s almost like looking at abstract art, except I’m just trying to watch news videos.

The other computer (the one that overheated) is pixilated, and won’t function if I try to view web pages.  It would be impossible to accomplish anything on that computer at this point.

Bored yet?  I tend to get longwinded.

Anyway, I have thought about posting more blogs, but when my computer stopped, I stopped.  If I’m not currently making progress on a book, why would I continue to blog?

Good question.


The answer is this:  This blog started out as a place where I could share my journey.  This is just another part of my journey.  My stories didn’t disappear, they’re just not finished.  It’s going to take longer to complete them now that I need a new computer, but it’s actually giving me some time to think about my work and where I’d like to go with it.

On a very quick note (more to come on this topic), I’m thinking about going back to school to become a teacher.  I’ll talk about this more as I make progress (or if I fail to make progress).

My sister is graduating tomorrow.  She’s an incredibly smart person, and I’m proud of her.  I’m very thankful to have a family that I love.  My brother and sister are two very intelligent people, and I’ll be seeing both of them (along with my mom [Happy Mothers’s Day!], and my grandmother [also, Happy Mother’s Day], and my Dad [Happy Late Birthday!] tomorrow.

My sister studied education, and maybe she’ll be able to give me some pointers on becoming a teacher.  I’ll keep all of my readers informed, whether I fail or succeed.  It’s all about the journey, so let's see how it goes.

As always, thanks for following.