BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Online Learning and Procrastination

51zS47EOayL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgMy son and I are both taking online courses at the moment. His is an intense, college level math course. Mine is a self-paced book study for professional development credits. We both tend to be procrastinators. Here’s what’s happening.

My course was supposed to start during my Spring Break, back in March, but the questions weren’t ready. I thought I would read the book, answer a few questions, and be done. Not so.

I read the book (The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion), and frankly enjoyed it, but still the questions weren’t available. I read it as a digital library loan, and others were waiting for it, so naturally I had to return it. Well, then the questions were posted. By this time I was back to school, and my time was far more limited. Still, I read through the questions and was shocked to find that there were 22 of them! Oh, and some of the questions required additional reading. Hey, wait a minute… nobody said anything about that at the beginning of the book study!

I ordered a copy of the book because there was no way I could answer the questions without a paper copy of it in front of me for reference. I got the book, put it in an easily noticeable spot, and carried on with my life, forgetting all about the book study.

Fortunately for me, the moderator sent out an email not too long ago reminding everyone that the book study was wrapping up at the end of May. Yikes!

Okay, I told myself, you have the last week of May off. School is out and summer work hasn’t begun. You can do this!

Well, so far so good. Last night I stayed up until almost 3 am answering questions that I could easily recall and find support for in the text. Those requiring more careful rereading and reading additional texts are still awaiting my responses. I’m about a third of the way done, and I’m sure I’ll complete it in time. At least that’s what I say now.

Deep down, however, I know I’m a procrastinator. I know that I’ll probably get down to the wire on this one. And I’ll probably scold myself for it, too.  Sad, but true.

Anyway, I’m a fan of online learning for the flexibility it allows, but it worries me because it allows you to put off your work until you’re in a position where it’s do or die. Those deadlines come and go, and if your work isn’t submitted, too bad.

My son, fortunately, seems to have figured this out more quickly than I have. He’s really surprised me. Every day he takes over my desk with his computer and his math book and he does his work. I sometimes wonder if this is really the same kid who never seemed to do homework in high school (but really, he did, I swear it). I can’t complain, whatever he’s doing is working, so I should probably change my ways and try to be more like him.

It seems that the student has become the teacher. I’m okay with that, I really am.


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Happy Birthday to my Boy

Today was the first time in years that I didn’t serve birthday cake for breakfast on this date. You see, that’s our family tradition, or at least it was. Today, however, my son woke up on his birthday away from home.Birthday-cake-clip-art-clipart-cliparts-for-you-2.jpg

Now he wasn’t far from home, just a few miles away in the dorm, but still, he wasn’t here. He turned nineteen today, and it was strange not starting the day with a little birthday party.

He’s growing up, and changing, and so our traditions are changing too. We went to lunch with his grandmother today, and that was a wonderful way to celebrate. Not the same, of course, but still we spent time together.

Frankly, I was pleased that he made the time to do it. After all, when you’re a college student so many things compete for your time and attention, and typically your mother and grandmother don’t top the list. He did it for me. I know that. I appreciate it.

My son has matured so much in the past year. The change from a senior in high school to an almost finished freshman in college has been remarkable. He’s accepted the change with grace. I can learn from him.

Happy birthday, son. I love you.


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Why I Am Still Up

It’s nearly midnight and I have to be up early for work tomorrow morning. I teach kids, so walking around in a fog isn’t an option for me. I have to be “on” from the moment I walk in the door to the moment the last kid is gone for the day.

By the time I’m done, I’m tired, not to mention the fact that I resist going to bed just on principle, so I regularly stay up well past a reasonable bedtime. I’ve been a night owl for a long time, and the idea of an early-to-bed routine just doesn’t make sense to me. Honestly, though, I should embrace an early bedtime. By the time Friday rolls around I’ve accumulated so much sleep debt from the week that I can barely function.

Tonight I can still function, but I’m tired and ready for bed. Why, then, am I writing instead? Because the boy isn’t here.

Not in the same sense that he hasn’t been here since August. That’s different. He was in the dorm, and I could tell myself he was safe at his home away from home. Tonight is a completely different situation, at least from my point of view. Tonight he’s at a friend’s house and he’s taken my car, at night, for the first time.

Yes, he has his license. Yes, he’s responsible (3.83 GPA folks, woot, woot!). But he’s out. This is new territory. I know, it’s a little silly. By the time I was his age I had been out late in my parents’ car many many times. Not him.

My son has always gone at his own pace, which he rarely alters for anyone. His physical development left us wondering at times during his babyhood. Would he ever learn to crawl, then walk? How about talking? Would he master that? And shouldn’t he have learned how to ride a two-wheeler by age nine? Would he ever get the hang of it? Yes. To all of it.

It’s no wonder that he’s doing different things now than he did in high school. We all go through changes as we grow up and move from one stage of our lives to another. It’s normal. It’s important. And it’s something that I, as his mom, need to stop fighting and learn to live with. As I do, though, I think I’ll stay up for a while, at least this first time.