Sunday, October 26, 2008

MacGuyver Monday: Getting back in the saddle

Usually my Macguyverings have to do with reusing materials and unwanted items, but lately I am short on another commodity as well: time. I had to give up blogging, posting freebies, and cleaning and cooking other important activities I enjoy. However, I am reorganizing my life to allow more time for these things. So here is my newly MacGuyvered daily schedule:

5 AM: Get up, showered, and dressed
5:30 AM: Make bed and turn on computer. Answer email, post freebies, and blog if these have not already been done the night before.
6:00 AM: Start laundry and clean that day's morning cleaning area (see chart below).
6:30 AM: Wake up kids. Eat breakfast with them and get them ready for daycare or school if they are in the group that go to one of these places.
7:00 AM: Wake up kids that don't go anywhere. Review the day's plan. Load lunches and stuff into car.
7:30 AM: Leave the house and take everyone where they need to go.
8:10 AM or so: Arrive at college, park, and go to pre-calculus.
8:30 AM: Rue the day I decided to be a Biology major, because you know they don't make liberal freakin arts majors learn what f(x) means Precalculus
9:30 AM: Catch up time. This is usually when I do my homework or type up whatever lab report is due that day.
10:30 AM: Biology. Not your sissy Biology, but Biology for Science Majors. Please note: on MWF, this class ends at 11:30 and I eat a hurried lunch while running to the computer lab so I can work on paid writing. On TTh, we have a longer period to allow for lab work and it ends at 12:30. On these days I eat lunch with a friend or read.
1:10 PM: Chemistry. Again, not the Chemistry most people take. That Chemistry was two or three pre-req's ago. On MWF, this ends at 2 and I spend an hour in the library studying afterward. On TTh, it ends at 3--lab again.
3:30 PM: Pick up kids from their various places. We're all home by 4 if it goes well.
4:00 PM: Take people to lessons if it is Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday. Try to squeeze in quality time with children who are not in their lessons; otherwise, do homework or go grocery shopping.
5:30 PM: Home from lessons. Start dinner. Turn over laundry. Correct children's schoolwork and oversee homework while it cooks.
6:00 PM: Eat dinner. Sometimes DH isn't home, but eating any later means people (me) get to bed too late.
6:30 PM: Clean up from dinner and clean up that day's cleaning area.
7:00 PM: Pack lunches and bags for the next day.
7:30 PM: Children's bedtime routines.
8:00 PM: Study schoolwork.
9:00 PM: Do an hour of paid work
10:00 PM: If not passed out, write the next day's blog and post freebies.

There are a few downfalls to my system. First, areas of my home may need cleaning more often than they actually get cleaned. Tough cookies. Pre-med is hard enough without adding endlessly repetitive cleaning tasks.

Second, I should be studying 45 hours per week according to most calculators. Ooops. I count two hours a day TOPS. Weekends are spent catching up with loved ones and more paid work--did I mention my childcare bill is in the four figures? I'm scraping by with mid to high B's--and, yes, I know that's not good enough for med school. I'm trying to find more study time, or at least a more effective study method.

Third, I suffer from overproductivity syndrome. In class, my eyes are darting around and I have trouble concentrating on JUST the professor. Why? I'm used to doing three or more things at once. I'm used to keeping track of a horde of little people while performing these multiple tasks. One man talking is simply not enough to command my attention.

I bet they think I'm on crack.

Oh, the cleaning schedule:

Morning: Monday: Living room
Tuesday: Upstairs bathroom
Wednesday: Kitchen
Thursday: Landing and Laundry room Friday: Master bedroom

Monday: Dining Room
Tuesday: Downstairs bathroom
Wednesday: Finish kitchen
Thursday: Family room
Friday: Kids' rooms

Weekends: Fold and put away laundry, do the week's shopping and planning. Breathe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

State of the Union Address

Oh dear, has it really been more week than a week since I posted? It's been so long since we caught up, so I figured I'd give you a head to toe account of how I'm doing lately.

Hair: Falling out, which it has been doing on and off for the last year or so. My hair will just start growing back long enough to get extensions, then fall out before I can make the appointment. I even started eating meat every day--a desperate measure for me--and (sigh) nothing. I feel like people are always staring at me and hoping whatever exotic disease I have isn't contagious. A friends assures me it isn't that bad.

Brain: Over tired. Precalculus, biology, chemistry, repeat as necessary. Most of my classmates are either youngsters supported by their parents or have these phenomenally supportive spouses and families. Mine are supportive in theory, but they aren't willing to do anything crazy like... the dishes.

Face: free of makeup. No time. Plenty of stray eyebrow hairs, though, if you're into that kind of thing.

Clothes: clean. I do have some standards. I'm getting more casual by the day, however. I walked into class on the first day of the quarter wearing a silk designer shirt with a lot of fussy folds held together by a belt and shoulder seams, topping True Religion jeans and adorable suede ballet flats. Eek? Everyone else was in the baggy sweats and torn jeans that apparently comprise the uniform of this generation. I'm not going that far, but I have definitely downshifted into jean and tee mode.

Nails: decidely unmanicured. Short. Boring. Like my hair, but not falling out.

Shoes: a whole other issue. A professor who shall remain nameless has a few simple rules for lab day: closed toed, no cloth or other easily permeable material. Sound simple enough? I wore some adorable kitten heeled loafers and the 'no heels' caveat was added. Fair enough, but I actually own not one pair of shoes that meets all three criteria. Out of maybe one hundred pair of shoes. I keep looking for something cute and suitable, but nothing has surfaced. I do have ballet flats, but I think they rather miss the point because they leave my feet unprotected.

I feel like an ambassador to another planet. Academia is hostile to homeschooling, ignorant of the grassroots organic/environmental movement of which I am a proud part, and generally a yin to my yang. These are people who think Al Gore deserved that Nobel Prize and that the average person needs someone in power to tell them how to manage every aspect of their lives. Can I get a side of ration with that intelligence? I am an oddity in the crowd of fresh, impressionable things. A thirty something mother who has experienced the real world and came back to report. I have a young face, so sometimes I feel like a spy. Does my math teacher know that I have eight-count-them-eight children? He likely thinks I am tired from a kegger, which would explain the dirty looks every time I yawn during his early morning lecture.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's Like Netflix, But For Cool People

I used to get Netflix, but I was a little frustrated by the experience. They had a lot of mainstream movies, but a rather thin selection of the artsy foreign movies and obscure documentaries that I prefer. I ended up cancelling the service because the only people finding movies they liked were my children, who can get that twenty-four hours a day from Noggin and PBS kids.

Then I found GreenCine. I am in love! They have thousands of movies that I have never seen or heard of--which means less of the 'hollywood machine' formula films that are pushed down our throat at every turn. Plus, they have a huge selection of documentaries to enrich our homeschool lessons, and those strange Japanese anime movies that my almost-13-year-old loves.

I think they have some sort of free trial, but I'm not sure. Regardless, this is worth every penny. I haven't seen my favorite french movie since I broke the VHS tape from overuse when I was seventeen.