Mar 8, 2014

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State of the Union (of Brie)

I’ve been radio silent for a few weeks now, but it’s because things have been busy, and good.

Firstly, this has been the first week of the NASA Systems Engineering course. Being able to take part in this has been super exciting. Adam also linked to this Caltech Science of the Solar System course that’ll start at the end of the month which I’ve just signed up for. I’m excited to see what I’ll get out of these as they are structured like normal classes, with quizzes and a final and the ability to pass or fail. I’m hoping that as I’m hunting down internships, it’ll be a nice thing to throw onto my resume for related coursework.

Secondly, this last Monday I got to visit Agilent Technologies with my engineering class; it was an amazing experience. We were there after hours and had four different guides for different parts of their building(s) on a tour that lasted well over an hour. I only really understood about 10% of what they talked about, but it was so fascinating. A lot of the other students were annoyed about how long the tour took (it went over the end of our class by about 40 minutes) but I wish we could have stayed longer.  It was a lot of walking though, they have four building that are extremely large with varying floor levels. I think I might have walked two miles following the guides around.

Thirdly, my first math test was a couple of weeks ago, I got a 91%, and though that is still an A, I felt ashamed that the mistakes I made were easily avoidable; classically I was just moving too quickly. However, the instructor keeps insisting that this is the hardest test of the class, that this is the one that people do the worst on. I find it hard to believe, but hope that it will prove to be true.

Fourthly, I’m almost at the end of the table drafting course. It’s been a lot of fun, but this couple of weeks we’ve moved into the AutoCAD lab to start exploring the program, and then after spring break I’ll start the actual AutoCAD class. I did really well on our first project which was just basically exploring the controls of the program. I finished it in less than 10 minutes, and then spent the next 10 helping my poor lost classmate.

Fifthly? I lots to do. I have an essay due on Monday and lots of reading plus other projects and math homework… But, today was nice, it was my brother’s birthday and we walked the Golden Gate bridge and then had Extreme Pizza for lunch. I had a headache from my moment of waking though and it just grew and grew, so after we finally got home I took some more meds and crawled into bed to try to nap it off. It was successful and I was able to get together with my Qwerty crew for delicious homemade tacos/burritos.

Everything is Awesome!

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Feb 10, 2014

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Oh man…

So, the week before last was pretty full. There was a lot of homework and things that needed doing, but I pulled through. This week was less full, but there was still a lot going on.

Tomorrow we have a guest speaker in Engineering that  I had to prepare questions for, and I’m currently working on an architectural layout for drafting which has been fun.

I’ve got my first math test two Monday’s from now, and I’m excited to see how that goes; over all I’ve been feeling pretty confident.

Speech is still annoying me, inexplicably. Wednesday I have to turn in nine different scenarios where I might give a speech or presentation; more difficult than not coming up with them.

English is also annoying me, but that’s mostly because there’s someone in my class who was in my English class last semester, and he’s particularly bothersome.

I’m thinking that English and Speech are so terrible for me right now, is because they don’t feel science-y or math-y enough. Like, they don’t connect enough to my major. I’m hoping to get some other humanities out of the way by doing them via online courses this summer. I’m hoping that’ll be an option.

I’m avoiding feeling overwhelmed or too tired so far (though other things have kept me up late this weekend), and having classes only two days a week is keeping me from loathing my commute.

Things are good. I’m happy. I love school, and I’m so excited about my future.

Also, this…

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Jan 25, 2014

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Short Week

Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so no school, which made for a wonderful extended “weekend”. Unfortunately things haven’t really picked up yet so I wasn’t able to take advantage and use that time for homework, but just relaxed mostly instead.

Wednesday I got right back to it though and ended up with a minor headache all day.

We finished up our first piece of linework in drafting and will be starting on new assignments this next week which will be focusing lettering. I’ve got shit for handwriting, so it should be interesting at the very least.

In math we started to finally started getting into actual coursework, which I’m not sure how I feel about yet, but I have a sizable amount of homework to get done.

Then after a lengthy evening break where I was able to have a nice long conversation with my mother, it was back to Speech.

Again, I was just so annoyed with the instructor, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and just do what I need to do to get through the course with an A.

It feels like last semester went so quickly, but things are moving so slowly now; I’m ready to be in the thick of it again.


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Jan 15, 2014

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Spring Semester ’14 – First Week

Monday was the beginning of my second semester and the start of the courses that will count towards my engineering degree.

It was a good day.

I left the house only mildly frantic and had to run back inside after starting my car because I thought I had forgotten my phone ( which turned out to be in my pocket).

But I got up to my second alarm, actually ate some food, and had time to do my hair and put on a little bit of make up; clearly my day was set up to go well.

The hour and a half long drive went quickly and I got to the campus with plenty of time to find my first class.

This year the majority of my classes are in one building which is large and has a confusing room arrangement – I had to wander a bit before finding it. Like a sheep though I took the cue of everyone else standing around outside (thinking the door was locked) and felt silly when the teacher came by right at 9 and turned the handle.

My first class was Applied Technology. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but got really excited when I found out it was drafting. So far I breezed through a visualization exercise and am working on a lining project which is fun and interesting. The second half of the semester will be working with the drafting program on a computer, but I love the manual work.

After ApTech I had some time for lunch then moved on to this semesters math course which is College Algebra. With everything that I want to achieve, I feel silly that I’m so far behind in my math sequence, but I have to follow the steps. It was a short class though, just going over the syllabus and the like, and then today was just about figuring out how to use TI calculator.

After Math I had another short break for dinner and went to Engineering 10, and introductory course. They had us sit in groups at circular tables, we talked about the syllabus and rules and also did a couple of “getting to know you” exercises. There’s going to be a lot of forced interaction and group projects in this class, which sucks, but fortunately for me I’m pretty good at forcing it.

Immediately after Engineering I had to run over to another building for English, which… is English. I enjoy writing, and it looks like there will be a fair amount of that (as well as a ton of reading), but again, more group projects to come.

Today I had ApTech and Math again, but Speech instead of English and Engineering. I had a 4 hour break after Math and killed time watching Greys Anatomy and browsing the web, but Speech… Man that is a class I was not looking forward to.

It started off with the sylabus and class conduct emailed a few nights before, where the first rule of the conduct was that students were not allowed to leave the classroom once class started for any reason or else they woud be marked half an absense. As in, no going pee or getting a drink of water.

How ridiculous is that? What are we, in kindergarten?

For some reason I got the idea that the instructor was a crotchety old lady, but its this middle aged guy who speaks like a cross between bill engval and clinton, chews gum, wears snakeskin cowboy boots, and is kind of a loud obnoxious dick.

I was also informed that we wouldn’t be doing strait up speeches, but there would be a group project, and three arguements where we would have to pretend to be in a situation such as a coach giving an inspiring speech before a game, or speaking to coworker etc. Truly, I would rather just lecture.

Thankfully this is a once a week class.


All in all, I’m really excited about this semester and continuing my journey.

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Jan 3, 2014

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Semester in Review

My first semester is over and I rocked it.


semester 1 grades


After finals were over and grades started coming in I kept having nightmares about getting Cs, or that even though it said I got an A, it would change at the last minute.

It’s official though, I’ve got a 4.0 for the semester!


Spring semester starts on the 13th and I’ve been taking my winter break to completely relax, enjoy my family, and stay up nearly every evening marathoning Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix ’till 4am.

After this weekend I’m going to get my shit together though; start the semester with an organized and clean pallet, with an empty laundry pile and a clear desk, maybe even vacuum a little.


I’m also hoping to do a lot of cooking and photographing to get ahead on our Qwerty Cafe schedule. It would be nice to have a little stockpile of recipes to choose from again.

Next semester will be a lot more work than this previous one, which will be good as I could use a little added pressure.



It’s only 15 units in total, which is one less than last semester, but it’s one class more. I’m also starting an Engineering course, and Applied Technology. It will finally feel like part of the path to my goal.









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Oct 8, 2013

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I am humbled by the outpouring of support that has come from the GoFundMe page that Cat and Jenna put together for me. I have been so happy and fulfilled by pursuing my education, and so very excited in my future. Also, since I’ve not been able to find a flexible part time job yet, I would *never* have been able to make it till now without everyone’s support and faith in my dreams. I am especially humbled by the crazy generous donation matching being made by my anonymous benefactor (whose identity I’ve been unable to wrest from Cat or Jen.) I am so touched and so eager to make you all proud. My heart absolutely burst with your love.

In other exciting news, my grade from my math exam last week was posted yesterday and I got 100%!

On one hand, right after I finished the test I felt like I should receive full credit; I took my time, I triple checked my solutions, and just generally felt really great about it.

However, on the other hand, I still have all my various doubts and anxieties so the further I got from the test date the more allowance I gave myself for a lower score. I though “well maybe I’ll get at least 95%” or “I’ll be happy with at least 90%”.

BUT FUCK THAT SHIT! I rock! This is just proof that if I take my time and understand the material, then there’s nothing I can’t do.

Uhg, I’m so happy.

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