Last week was very busy. Mid-term exams were happening in every class, as well as the standard quizzes and papers that needed to be done. This means that I can study as much as I want and still not get done. I went to the library every day to be in peace and have a huge cherry wood table to spread out my books and computer on. The Computer Information Systems class I’m taking has one online quiz every week, one lab assignment (hands on assignment done in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, or Powerpoint). Every Friday we do an additional hands on quiz in the classroom, and every other week we have a soft skills paper to write. Soft skills are general business skills such as business writing, communication, interview skills, business attire, and various other topics. The Chinese language class takes most of my time because there’s always homework and practice that I need to do before next day’s class. I don’t know my exact score, but it’s somewhere in the 90s.

Friday was my CIS homework day. I finished my last class at 10 AM and turned in an online quiz, a lab assignment in Access, and a six page soft skills research paper on entrepreneurship. I didn’t finish until after midnight, but I took some time off for a few volleyball games and other stuff with the neighbors. The midterm was on Wednesday and my overall score for CIS to date is 99.7%. This is my favorite class; right now we’re in the middle of learning Access and database design concepts.

Saturday I did art. Not the graphic kind, only the textbook stuff. Art class has online quizzes of fifty questions each. The quiz covers about 300 pages of the textbook. The good part is that I can take the quiz as often as I want, and I get to see the correct answers for the ones I’ve submitted. It took me six tries and four hours of last night to get all the questions answered correctly. I guess that makes up for the classes I don’t always attend. Classes are televised, which means I have the option of staying at home and watching it, or watching class later online. Sometimes I go to the actual classroom, but most times I watch only part of class while doing other homework. There are two critiques in this semester, a two to three page paper explaining the visual elements of a work of art. Essentially art is up to individual interpretation, so the important thing in doing critiques is to use textbook vocabulary and good grammar and formatting. I got a 99/100 score on my last critique: not sure why she didn’t give me 100, she said there was nothing wrong with it… The art class has plenty of extra credit assignments that I’ve managed to do, which put my midterm score at 100%.

Geography has been a stickler for me in the gradebook. I love the class and enjoy learning about world history and population but the exams are brutal. I have class once a week -an hour and a half lecture followed by a one hour movie on the class topic, and there is no homework or quizzes. It’s a big class held in a 300-seat auditorium. The professor has a PhD in history and is a walking encyclopedia of world events and politics. The midterm exam was on a 300 page section in the textbook about Europe. There are a total of 130 questions. I scored 83%, which is now my midterm grade for the class. Nobody in the class scored over 90%. I’m meeting with the prof next week to find out how I can do better next term. One of my goals is to score as close to 4.0 GPA as I can, and it’s necessary that I do well in my freshman year because that’s definitely the easiest. I have my eye on a few summer internships that require a 3.5 GPA and lots of participation in campus organizations. Making the dean’s list of academically outstanding students would be nice and might get me a few scholarships. NAU is stricter than a lot of schools about having good grades. I’ve met a lot of people who haven’t been allowed to return after their freshman year because of low grades. I think the rule is a 2.5 GPA -anything less and you’re out.

Monday I played bike polo for the first time. It’s a fun game, kind of like street hockey on bikes. This group plays every Monday and it looks like I’ll be helping them as often as I can. On Tuesday I met the ceo of a campus entrepreneurship club for lunch. It sounds like I’ll be able to help out with their projects. Meetings are every Monday night. The bike polo guys hooked me up with the NAU bike club, so I’ll check that out, too. They have weekly meetings every Wednesday night, put on bike races, do free bike tune-ups, and such like. Now I have evening meetings every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Ultimate Frisbee on Thursday.