Friday, December 18, 2015

How to make a fun semester even better

I requested an unofficial transcript for the semester so I could print a copy to take to the university's new student orientation.  I was delighted to see that I have STRAIGHT A's for the semester!  Woohoo!  I got straight A's for having fun - gotta love it!

This university's administration is SO messed up!

First it was all those auto-emails from Admissions, promising a response to my query within 3 business days.  I think the shortest time I waited for a response was 2 calendar weeks.  Then the system took a coupla days to acknowledge that I'd paid the enrollment confirmation fee.  Now it's New Student Orientation (NSO henceforth).

First, navigating their NSO page is an exercise in frustration, as many of the links keep circling back to ones I've already visited.  NSO is mandatory; can't register for classes until you attend.  However - there are no NSO sessions left before the start of the semester!  I might have been able to sign up sooner if:
1) they'd responded to my application in mid-October as promised, instead of Dec. 2nd;
2) they'd responded immediately, or at least within the promised "3 business days", to my deferral request (submitted Dec. 3rd), instead of waiting until Dec. 17th.
Their foot-dragging put me a good 5 or 6 weeks behind where I might have been had they responded as promised.

And of course I didn't get a chance to get online to register for NSO until after dinner tonight, long after the Orientation office had closed.  I'm hoping there'll be someone in the office Monday morning who can help me with this little problem.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The university didn't cooperate with my plans.

Finally heard back from the university admissions office today.  I went by there Tuesday and was told I needed to accept their admission offer (which included submitting a hefty, non-refundable (natch!) deposit) before they'd even consider my deferral request. I went through those steps, sent them their money, then requested a deferral from the admissions officer in charge of such things.  I finally heard back this afternoon that they don't grant deferrals just so you can complete a degree elsewhere.  Never mind that when I submitted my application way back last July, I didn't know how close I was to an A.A., and no word of acknowledgement of how hard it is to get hold of a real person to give you a straight answer.  Harrumph!  However, given the glorious facility that is their performing arts space, and the wealth of wonderful-sounding course offerings, I'm not too broken up.  I just have to shift mental gears, from "community college" to "university".  And to think of the hoops I jumped through to test outta that computer literacy class.  Oh well.

I also heard back about my prescreening audition for the School of Music.  I was not surprised to learn that I wasn't invited for an in-person audition, given all the vocal problems I was still recovering from when I had to do the recording.  No matter; this just gives me that much more time to select and work on audition pieces for the Fall 2017 cycle.

So no, they didn't cooperate with my plans, but in January I get to start sinking my teeth into their banquet of "Theatre" offerings, so yay!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

And that's the semester!

Finally finished and submitted the research paper for my last class (Script Analysis).  At 10 pages (and could've gone longer), it was easily the longest paper I've written this semester.  In fact, it's at least as long as my next two longest papers combined, just because the professor had so very many things we needed to cover.  A useful exercise, but oh did it take a long time to pull together everything I needed!

Now my time is my own again and I can spend time on voice practice, Lend Me a Tenor research, Regency sewing, Christmas cards...

Regency stays complete! Next - a toile of the dress.

My seamstress just blogged (with my permission) about my stays, now that they're finished.  As soon as I finish this last paper, I can call it a semester and start working on a toile for my very first Regency dress.  First stop will be a fabric store to get some grid fabric, because I know at least the bodice pattern piece will need adjusting.  I've got some lavender dotted fabric that I'll use (because it was just as cheap as the muslin I was looking at when the Chief & I were in Amish country this summer).  With any luck at all, I'll be able to use my toile as a "real" dress.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Three down, two to go

Two more finals under my belt.  Yesterday's Technical Theater final was easy; identify 10 tools and provide a materials cut list & assembly instructions for a standard platform and flat.  The tool ID was a piece of cake, as I'd used all but 2 of them during the course of the semester.  I lost 1 point on the platform instructions because I forgot that you use more crosspieces in a platform than a flat.  However, since that's only 1 point off the total for the final, I'll take it!  Looks like the only other points I lost all semester were for one of the quizzes (I only knew the answer to one of the 3 questions).  Again, I'll take it.  The grade totals haven't been weighted yet, but I think I'm looking at an A in that course - wahoo!

Today's final was for Acting I.  I didn't start my paper for that one until I got home from yesterday's finals, but a little digging through my notes and a coupla online searches gave me what I needed for the paper.  The monologue was a little rocky; I knew it when I was practicing it in the lobby, but once I got on stage I stumbled a coupla places.  I didn't actually forget the words, just tripped on them a few times.  Not a disaster, just not as good as I'd hoped.  My scene went well.  I was blessed with a good scene partner, for starters, which made everything else easy.  We did a decent job of incorporating the new business our instructor suggested last week, had decent volume (I think), and generally managed to acquit ourselves honorably. :)  Not sure whether I'll end up with an A or a B, but either way I think I'll be happy with my grade.

That leaves just the drafting and execution of my Stage Makeup final design (tomorrow) and the research and writing of my Script Analysis paper, due Sunday night.  I've had enough late nights this week that I'm pretty tired, so I'll probably just draft the makeup design, make a few research notes for my paper and go to bed at a decent hour for a change.  Tomorrow I'll dig into my paper in earnest.  Ideally, I'll have at least a rough draft written by bedtime tomorrow night so I can edit it Saturday and, God willing, turn it in that afternoon and call it a semester.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Finals underway

Turned in my take-home final this morning.  Still to do:  Script Analysis research paper; Tech Theater final (shop math and identification of tools and lighting instrument parts; that one will only need about an hour or so of review); research paper, monologue & scene for Acting I; and a design draft and execution for Stage Makeup.  Busy, busy, busy!

Oh, and Saturday holds my voice teacher's trunk show (she makes jewelry) and working concessions at a holiday show.

If I can just hang on through this weekend, I can breathe again.  And Monday I start working in earnest on "Lend Me a Tenor" designs.  (1930s styles are so lovely!)

They got on that right away!

I emailed my IC3 certification last night for transfer credit.  I got an email at lunchtime today letting me know they've got the equivalency credit in my records already.  Wow, that was fast!  They must get a lot of these requests if they're able to turn mine around so quickly - love it!

I'm in! Now to find out when...

I finally learned on Wednesday that my uni application was accepted, for this spring.  Um...  Since I submitted that application way back in July, 4 months ago, I've learned that I need just two more classes to get an Associate's degree next spring.  Might as well do that, and take some other classes I'm interested in, at the "discounted" community college rate.  That's why I asked if they'd let me defer my enrollment until the fall.  So far, things are starting to fall my way.

I wanted 4 things to happen, in order:  1) uni accepts me; 2) they let me wait until fall to enroll; 3) the Music School calls me back for an in-person audition; and 4) they accept me into the Voice program.  I've got #1 taken care of, and am hopeful for #2.  Even if 3 and 4 don't happen, I can still be a Theater major; no audition required for that program, though there is a scholarship I can (and will) audition for.

Achievement unlocked!

One of the requirements for my Associate's degree is a basic computer literacy class.  Fortunately, there's an alternative.  There's a company that, for a consideration (of course), offers a 3-part IC3 certification exam.  I arranged to take the Computing Fundamentals exam last week and passed it with very little study.  Because the person who proctors the tests arranged it on such short notice, all I really had time to do was download a study guide, take the 2 practice exams, review the results, and cross my fingers.  All the computer classes I had to take for work stood me in pretty good stead; I passed on my first attempt.  (A good thing, as you have to buy a voucher for each attempt.  Not something that'll break the bank, but they add up.)

I was scheduled to take both the Living Online and Key Applications exams this afternoon.  Again, not much time to study, as I had trouble accessing the online materials associated with the study guide.  I spent the morning working through the LO practice tests, then started working through the KA study guide after lunch.  I finally got the online practice materials downloaded, but with only barely enough time to speed through one of the two KA practice tests before I had to report to the testing center.  As I rather expected, I finished the LO test with a comfortable amount of time to spare.  (They allow 50 minutes for a 45-question exam.)  The KA test was the one I was not at all sure I'd pass on the first attempt.  I was still puzzling out a couple of questions when my time expired, so I thought for sure I'd be retaking it.  Not so!  To my relief, I passed, and by a comfortable margin.  In fact, to my surprise, that was the exam on which I scored the highest.

I've now sent in a copy of my "transcript" for the college to evaluate and certify that this covers their computer literacy requirement.  That'll free up 3 credit hours for something I really want to take, or maybe I'll just slack off next semester and take only 4 classes instead of 5.  (Not likely - too many things I want to take, and it's so much cheaper at the community college than at university!)