Friday, November 16, 2007

Holiday Greetings! (a humble message)

So a ton of good I have done keeping up with my "open communications" huh?

Since school started back in September for myself and my kids, it's been one heck of semester already. I guess the silver lining is I was able to by-pass mid-terms for all my classes. Are you shocked? I know I am.

Let's step back even further shall we?

During the summer, Christopher's last year in Little League ended (finally) but not without having to go through All-Stars (and if you survived all the flashy news updates, I thank you). To recap, his Buena Park American Little League Major All-Star team ended their "Road to Williamsport" at the Section 5 Tournament as finalists (that's 2nd place for all you non-baseball fanatics). Before that, they won the District 29 All-Star Championship beating the likes of Northwest Downey, Little Lake (a Norwalk team), Cypress, La Mirada and to end it winning the finals against their rivals La Palma/Continental after some controversial officiating and heated dispute between managers, parents and players too (not our well-mannered boys, but theirs).

Through it all, I had some serious juggling of Intermediate Algebra to do and it wasn't pretty at all. In fact, given the situation at BPALL, I had to more or less "babysit" Christopher while at practices especially since they were held at the field.

I have only one thing to say: THANK GOD LITTLE LEAGUE IS OVER AND WE'RE FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY OUT OF THERE! It took everything within me to stay absolutely quiet (of course that only lasted but so long) and despite the backstabbing, I still managed to give BPALL some free press. If they would have played their cards right, there could have been more articles every week with different players highlighted and photographed. OKAY...I'm SOOO done with BPALL now so let's get off that sore subject.

Well needless to say with all of the juggling that was had, my school work and grades were suffering. I was up until 3, 4, or 5 a.m. everyday for 5 weeks straight trying desperately to keep up. Not to mention the few times I didn't even make it to class simply because I had to "babysit" Christopher not only at his practices but at his games too. I managed a D in the class. I was 67 points away from a C. I cried knowing that I would not be able to enter into Cal State Fullerton in the fall 2007 semester as planned. Big sigh. My professor was kind enough to call me and give me my grade and words of encouragement. He told me if I had taken this course during a regular semester-long class instead he was confident I would have a passing grade.

So, I took his advice with a grain of salt. I retook this course because I had to in order to advance to the next level of math - Statistics. The good news is (yes, believe it or not there really is good news) by completing this course I completed the last of my GE requirements and obtained my Associate of Arts (AA) degree. Nice, huh? With that under my belt and coming to grips with the mere fact I have to take this darn algebra class over again, I had to think positive for the semester ahead. I was determined to take, complete and pass this algebra class in the fall which will allow me to take and pass my very last math class (good ol' Statistics) by the end of spring 2008 and FINALLY fulfill my transfer requirements to enter CSUF in the fall 2008.

Now let me tell you what I am taking this semester. In addition to Intermediate Algebra (again), I am taking Advertising, Web Design (I actually dropped this class about 1 month ago simply because there was far too much on my plate), and Digital Video Editing.

Algebra is on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. SLAP ME SOMEONE. What was I thinking? Actually, this was the only day I could take it and I'm glad I have the professor I have. He's a little wishy washy and anal when it comes to his class assignments (he even gives these speed drills at the start of class to get our minds "focused on math"), but I am retaining better and quite frankly understanding the material so much better this time around. For a while I was at a 91%, that's an A in the class. I dropped a little bit to 88%, but I'm still quite happy with my progress. I'm praying I can keep it in the high B (85% or higher) percentile. That would be ideal.

Advertising is cool. My professor I was told has been at Cypress for decades. He's a good guy but kind of old school. In fact he's not very technologically savvy at all. He plays VHS tapes and has two remote controls double-sided velcroed to a red notebook so he doesn't lose them. Most of the time we're watching him rewind tapes. The ads he shows are from the 90's (i.e., America's Funny Home Videos with Bob Saget). They're funny nonetheless but just plain old. The idea of course is to show its simplicity. He strongly feels you could make a good quality commercial even on a low budget.

My first campaign was on an ATM Rewards Card. I was the Account Executive and I had a team of players under me. We held meetings, I delegated, we designed, I delegated, we worked on Target Markets, I delegated. You get the drift? We made our presentation and after all that was said and done we ended up with a B. I was a little disappointed but had to take it for what it was worth. After all there were a few people in my group that did very little close to no work at all but received credit for it. Either that or we all go down! And that wasn't happening.

Our second campaign is reviving the vintage game Twister! It's been a bumpy road thus far and we actually shoot video on Saturday finally so I'll update you as we make progress. It's due next Wednesday and I'm real nervous we won't meet our deadline. Gasp!

As I mentioned I had to drop Web Design because of all the things I had going on, I devoted the least amount of time toward the homework assignments, reading assignments and lab assignments. It made sense to drop this class so I did.

One of the reasons I kept the Digital Video class was because I knew we had to shoot a commercial for Advertising class so I needed to be able to use the editing software, Avid. The good news is I spoke with my professor and I am able to use the footage from the Twister! video to create my own "commercial." Even though someone else in my Advertising group has been designated as "editor" I still wanted to do my own version, not necessarily for Advertising, but for my Digital Video class as my final project. I am also suppose to shoot something environmental so I may end up going to the Salt Marsh off of PCH in Seal Beach area or El Dorado Regional Park. It's going to be a busy 2-4 weeks trying to get all this done before December 20, our final meeting. Bummer.

Well, that's it in a nut shell. Oh, did I mention we bought a new truck? An SUV really. A 2001 Dodge Durango, hunter green color. We still have my little Ford Escort. Now we have two vehicles. What a relief! I feel as though I have my independence back!!! I drive the truck to work mostly. I take Christopher and his friend, Ryan to school every morning on my way to the office.

A few more end notes:

We'll be heading to Ronnie's house in Carlsbad to spend Thanksgiving with him, his wife Kathy, his 2 year old daugher Kalissa, my parents, my kids, Steve and Ronnie's in-laws. Should be fun!

Finally, I start my caroling season the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I don't have my schedule yet but once I receive it, I'll do my best to post it. Hopefully you can make it out to a performance.

Happy Holidays everyone!