Category Archives: adventures in community college

News of little consequence

Dear Readers,

So, it’s been a shocking thirteen whole days since my last post. But since I’ve already bared my soul and my sincerest of apologies to you for past absences, I say let’s skip that usual drill this time. You all know that I’m sorry.

So, on to this post’s business… Below you will find the highlights of my life over these past thirteen days. You will notice that this list includes nothing really exciting or note-worthy. That’s because nothing really exciting or note-worthy has happened to me over the last thirteen days (and when I say that, I am momentarily forgetting about my wonderful Thanksgiving, Bobby’s week-long visit, two whole days off from work and a few glorious conversations with some long-lost friends). But somehow, despite the lack of excitement in my life, I have managed to have some giggles and a few “what the fuck” moments – those of which I can remember are chronicled below. Enjoy.

1. I don’t know why it has taken me 14 weeks to open my eyes and look at the signs posted in front of almost all of the doors at North Lake Community College, but I happened across this little gem last week while I was waiting for Nancy to return from the women’s room. I guess we’re slightly less likely to die if we duck-and-cover in C252 than if we do it in the hallway…?

2. We covered bacterial diseases of the genital system sometime last week in Micro. During that discussion, Dr. Su provided me with a plethora (props to me for using that SAT word) of wonderful quotations, which I will now pass on to you…

“I didn’t cheat on you yet, doesn’t mean I won’t…I’m a pig”

“just grow extra hair in your nose” (during a discussion about what would happen if you couldn’t sneeze)

“If you vomit on them, they run away”

“Men are tough. Hey, you got a little drip? You don’t talk about it.”

Fetus = “happy tumor”

“Sometimes they say ‘Oh! I got a pimple on my thingy!'”

“Sex is dangerous”

3. Last week at dinner, my brother announced, “I learned how to make sandwiches today in my Skills for Living class.” My parents didn’t really know what to make of that, but I got a good laugh out of it.

4. The second disc of the new Trans-Siberian Orchestra album has been playing non-stop in my car for the last week and a half. Brilliant.

5. Yesterday I went shopping with my sisters. While they were trying on stuff, I was browsing the “tops” clearance aisle and I found a cute, strapless, rose-colored garment that looked a bit too long to be a dress, but I thought would go really well with a pair of jeans. So, I went to the dressing room to try it on. But after I unzipped the zipper and slipped it over my head, it became very clear to me that something was wrong. Of course, before I had a chance to take it off, I heard “Hale? Are you in here?” and, like an idiot, I responded and the next moment, my sisters were banging on the door to my stall. And because sisters are programmed to operate in particular way, it wasn’t enough that I said “I really don’t like it. I look stupid wearing this.” They had to see it. So… I opened the door and the first words out of Bobby’s mouth were, “why are you wearing that skirt on your chest?” I’ll let you imagine my embarrassment and the inordinate amount of teasing that followed. But anyways, I ended up buying it. I really like it – as a skirt.

That’s all I can remember for now. I might update this list as things come to me, but probably not. December is coming! I hope you all are prepared.




I’m not dead

Dearest Readers,

I promise I have not forgotten you. The last two weeks (and I can’t believe that two WHOLE weeks have passed since I last posted) haven’t been extremely taxing on my time, so I don’t really have an excuse for leaving y’all in the dark and neglecting your needs for excuses to procrastinate. My apologies. Because I know you all are on the edge of your seats wondering what’s happening in my oh-so exciting life, here’s the digest version of life since the last post:

Tom visited me! Much, much fun was had, rollercoasters were ridden, drinks were drank (drunk?), Texas spirit was seen, and great stories were born. It was very hard to see him leave.

I finished the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology! I am now well-versed in the ways of skin, muscle, bone and the nervous system. Now on to semester number two…

I’ve been having a lot of pain in my left hip when I run. Actually, it’s been so bad that I stopped running for nearly two weeks because I was having a hard time walking after I ran. So…I went to a doctor and we talked and took x-rays and all that stuff. And… I have bursitis. Again (well, this time it’s in my hip). Damn my old woman body. My doctor gave me some cortizone pills and this gel stuff that people with arthritis use and told me to do three weeks of physical therapy and to keep running on it. All that was nice and good, but it hasn’t helped. I haven’t gone to physical therapy yet, but running on it has just made it hurt more. So, I don’t know. I’ll let you know what happens.

Stupid parents of the kids I coach keep bringing their infected children to the gym. For some reason, they all seem to think that though their children were too ill to go to school, it is perfectly fine for them come to gym and share their germs with us and all of the other kids. And now I’ve caught something nasty. I don’t think it’s the flu (thank goodness) because I haven’t really had much of a fever, but I feel pretty awful. My chest is all tight and my voice is like ten octaves lower and I’m achy and my head hurts. Ugh.

And, finally, Bobby is home this weekend! She’s off for her fall break. It’s so good to have her back in the house. I miss her so much when she’s away.

But that’s about it. More to come, I promise.



In which I am an artist

Dear Readers,

I sincerely apologize for my few postings over the last few weeks. I have been battling the treacherous foe of midterms (and have emerged victorious!). Though I realize such circumstances should have made me more susceptible to the lure of procrastination this blog holds, I have been oddly on-track and committed to my classes. Weird, I know. I’ve been studying during all my free time (I even brought my books to work and studied while I was waiting for my kids to arrive) and I only turned on the TV once this week (it was to watch Top Chef, and no amount of stress or academic commitment will force me to abandon that weekly hour of bliss…though I feel a smidgen – but only a smidgen – less devoted to the show since my favorite competitor was eliminated on Wednesday). In any case, after three more exams next week, the first semester of Anatomy and Physiology will be finished! Woohoo!

So, since nothing really exciting has happened in my life since my last post (besides the fair! but there will be more on that later), I thought I’d share my newly-discovered budding artistic talent (haha) with you. Yesterday in lab and in preparation for our practical next week, dear Dr. Su spent the entire two hours going over the very basics of everything we’ve done in lab so far. Though I love that man, I was just about ready to shoot myself by the time we finally finished. But out of that mind-numbing boredom doodles were born! (see below) And though you probably can’t read it, the best thing Dr. Su said during that whole class is recorded at the bottom right corner – “You will be the blind man touching the tail of the elephant and thinking the elephant looks like a rope”. Enjoy.


In other news, here’s a taste of what’s been on the news in D-town lately. I laughed so hard when I heard about this. It sounds like a fairytale gone very wrong, or something along the lines of the tooth fairy or baby-delivery storks… except not cute or magical or kid-friendly. I swear the news guy who reported this last night was nearly crying from trying so hard to not laugh.

In other other news… Tom Miner is coming to visit me for four-day weekend! I AM SO EXCITED!!



“Laura” inspired

Dear Readers,

This post is a gift to all of my friends who are fans of “unnecessary” quotation marks

Image023I found this in the North Lake computer lab when I got my photo ID made, but didn’t have my phone with me at the time. So, I had to go back (obviously) and capture the proof that you now see above. Stupid me hasn’t figured out how to turn off the oh-so loud fake camera noise that my phone makes when I take a picture (and stupid people at the Nokia company didn’t think to disable the camera sound when the phone is put in silent mode), so everyone in that computer lab peered over at me and saw me standing guiltily, holding my phone in picture-taking stance. It was very awkward, but so worth it.

Also, I wanted to alert all of you out there to the blog I happened upon yesterday…Newspaper Mishaps! (unfortunately, that’s not the name of the blog, but I feel like it’s an appropriate description – and the blog is definitely worthy of that exclamation point).

Tomorrow I am going to the fair with my mom!! I’m so excited! It’s state fair season!

Love, love, love


Bones on the brain

Dear Friends,

Today I had my first experience with mind-numbing information inundation in Anatomy and Physiology. I guess I haven’t mentioned yet that I am taking the accelerated version of the class. This means that the normal two semester-long course is smushed into one, apparently very overwhelming semester. This also means that I took my first exam (of eight) last week, finished the material for the second exam (which I will take this weekend) and started the material for the third exam today. Today we learned all of the bones and all of the grooves, bumps and irregular processes of all those bones of the appendicular skeleton. And by the time we were done, my brain was so numb that all I could manage to recall during the half-hour break between lab and lecture was that “Some Lovers Tried Positions That They Can’t Handle” was the mnemonic device I was supposed to use to remember the names of the carpals.

And now for an update on the classroom lives of my much-adored slew of community college students…

-Today was the first day in four weeks that Scrubs has appeared in class without her namesake. That is, today is the first day they weren’t visible. Much to my disappointment, she was wearing a sweater, though I am certain that had further investigation taken place, we would have found a brightly-colored, cartoon-cheery shirt of the medical type covering that woman who loves them so well. Up to today, we have seen Kermit the Frog, Dr. Suess, Winnie the Pooh in addition to the patterns I listed in her initial character sketch.

-An unexpected relationship has developed between my dear Mrs. Criswell/Griffin and The Returner. It started off as Nancy not-so-innocently wanting to get on The Returner’s good side in hopes that she might share her Returner’s wisdom. But after Nancy bought her a pack of lifesavers (because The Returner was our “life saver” in helping us in lab), I became more suspicious. Since then, it has only escalated. Though she constantly denies it when I bring up the subject in our car-rides, I swear I sometimes catch Nancy sending The Returner a loving gaze. And last class, The Returner ventured over to our side of the classroom and knealt down and talked to Nancy for an entire five minutes about things completely unrelated to Anatomy and Physiology. Scandalous!

– A piece of little-known fact, courtesy of Dr. Kelly Sexton: “If you heat up a baby, it will sweat.”

And finally, I leave you with the following thought:

What the fuck is up with our professional athletes?!*

Good night and good luck,


*if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check here and here.

Community College

Dear Readers,

I know it’s been way too long since my last post. I promise I have not forgotten you. I have simply been preoccupied with the two newest undertakings in my life. Ladies and gentlemen, I have started community college. And I have a new job! Allow me to introduce you to them:

1) Anatomy and Physiology
Here we have Professor Kelly Sexton. First observation made about Sexton: Kelly is a man. Second: Kelly very much resents the fact that he has to spend 9 hours every day with adolescents who fall asleep in his lectures and nursing students who ask too many questions. Kelly also has a thick North Texas accent. He likes to add very dark background colors to the powerpoints he uploads online to discourage students from printing them. And above all else, Kelly prefers to be called DOCTOR Sexton.

Other characters worthy of note: Harley Davidson. She is a current nurse returning to school to receive her bachelor’s degree and sits across from me in lab. She’s to-the-point, all-business and no-nonsense. Harley Davidson does not like to smile (though I’m crossing my fingers for tomorrow…I’m feeling the funny coming on). She walks through the classroom door like she’s on the warpath. And, oh yes, she likes to wear Harley Davidson jumpsuits.

Mrs. Criswell/Griffin. A WONDERFUL, wonderful woman. She is the mother of one of Bobby’s good friends (back then she was Criswell, but has since remarried and is now Griffin… I keep accidentally calling her Ms. Criswell and because I still feel weird calling her Nancy, it has made for some awkward moments in conversation). Like my mom, she is going back to school to become a nurse. We carpool. And she sits beside me in lab and lecture and we make funny comments to each other.

The Returner. Took the class over the summer and made a “B” and is back because she wants an “A”. She’s very aware of how attractive she is. I’m pretty sure she’s bored out of her mind.

Scrubs. Sits in front of me in lecture. Laughs at everything Kelly says. She purses her lips after she speaks and nods her head as if she’s trying to stretch her neck when you’re talking to her. She wears scrubs to class and when I asked her if she  had a job in the medical field, she replied, “oh no, my daughters are medical assistants and when I go to buy their scrubs, I always pick some out for myself. I like wearing them because they’re just so darn comfortable.” I’ll let you make of that what you will. So far, she’s worn Felix the cat and Snoopy scrubs to class. I’m keeping notes; hopefully we’ll have the full collection by the end of the semester.

TMI. Asked Kelly some bizarre question about adipose tissue that, for some reason, required her to tell the entire class that she had had injections into her head to treat her dead hair follicles and that the injections had left small craters in her scalp. She sits far behind me, so I didn’t know what she looked like until Ms. Criswell/Griffin pointed her out at the end of class and whispered, “I’m never going to be able to stop looking at her head now.”

2) Microbiology
Taught by the incredible Dr. Henry Su. I love him. He smiles all the time and is passionate about what he teaches and laughs at himself. He makes hilarious analogies for the concepts we’re learning. I absolutely adore him. Favorite quote from last class: “Sometimes you need to zip up your pants and sometimes you need to unzip your pants.”

North Lake Guru. The go-to person for any question about the resources that North Lake (the community college I’m attending) has for Science classes. I think she used to be head of the Science study lab – or something impressive like that. She’s an excellent student. She sits beside me in lecture and is really on top of her stuff. I’m hoping we can be friends. And I’ve never seen so many freckles on one body.

The Pharmacists. Don’t know much about these guys, other than that I eavesdropped in on their conversation on the first day of lab. They sit in the two chairs across from me and both want to go to Pharmacy school. Pharmacist 1 is just starting his prerequisites. Pharmacist 2 is in the middle of his application process. He is hoping to get into UT Austin. I feel like such a creeper telling you this.

He Who Sleeps. He’s blonde. And no matter how hard he tries (and he tries really, really hard), can’t seem to keep his eyes open during the lab introduction.

3) Spanish 1
On Saturday mornings. I’ve only been to one class and next Saturday’s is cancelled because the school wants to pre-funk Labor day. I’ll fill you in on this once I get a better feel for it.

I am coaching gymnastics at Dallas School of Gymnastics, the gym where I used to train. I’m teaching preschool and beginner classes and am helping coach the team. It’s been downscaled a bit (they no longer have a team for levels 7+) since I was there, but I am having a great time. Basically, I am getting paid to play around (and by that I mean teach them important gymnastics skills in a calm and structured manner…) with kids on trampolines and gymnastics equipment. It’s a blast. I hope you’re jealous.

K, well I hope this extra-long post makes up for the week of nothing.
Keep it real,

oh! P.S. Some wonderfully generous anonymous person donated $50 to my LLS campaign. If you’re out there (and you know who you are), Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you!