I’m free!

If you haven’t noticed already the countdown widget is over, signifying my first semester of college is over! 😀 It ended at 2:20 PM on December 5, 2013, and Spring semester does not start until January. To be truthful, this last week has been quite interesting, with unexpected surprises occurring almost constantly.

It started with an email from the instructor of one of my online classes (Computer Concepts) on Monday, December 2. She was dropping the results of either a missed test or your lowest score. This meant my grade was about to go up (I had done all the tests, so my lowest score was dropped) because it would no longer be counted in my class grade.

The Thursday before, I had emailed the same instructor confirming my presence in her class the following Thursday (December 5). Because this was an online class, I had to be in-class for the final test. While this threw my schedule off a bit and would force me to take the final in my morning class that afternoon, but I had to do it. Wednesday afternoon, I receive an email addressed only to me saying I do not have to be in class, and that I can take the class at home. The only requirement (which was already in place regardless) was that it had to be completed by 10 AM Thursday (end of class). Although it was Wednesday night and I had all intention of going to church, I was allowed to stay home and complete the test (I know, I am such a backslider :P). Needless to say, I completed the test that night and finished the class with an unofficial A (I expect the official grade to be the same). So in this one class I received two unexpected gifts.

As I already alluded to, I was able to take 150 question final in my morning class (entitled Introduction to Computers, which I nicknamed Windows for Dummies) that morning rather than in the afternoon. This surprised a few of the students who thought I was in my other class (which was on the other campus 45 minutes away). I completed it in 50 minutes with a score of 97.

Finally, English and Composition class had a few tricks up its sleeve, though not quite as large as Computer Concepts. First, I had to write a short research paper (it was not a full length paper, only enough to familiarize ourselves with APA staying). However, it was not our final (I’ll get back to this in a moment). Rather, I had a standard (standard in the school’s eyes) five paragraph essay on my own topic as my final. The rules were 1. I had to write it in-class, and 2. it had to be handwritten (I and many others typed all our essays). On Tuesday, I had only began to write it when the instructor walked up, saying I could go type it if I wanted. However, I was determined to write this essay so she left it at that. Later on, when class was almost over and only myself and one other student were still in class (and she was leaving), the instructor again approached me. She said that she has the power to change the rules, and that I could go home, finish the essay, and turn it in on Thursday (which we were allowed to do and not have any points knocked off). This was obviously a good thing, so I finished writing it Wednesday afternoon (before I took that final). Thursday morning, I went to her office and turned it in. She was appreciative I took the time to handwrite it (noting she could tell I was going to handwrite that essay no matter what). I also noticed our research papers sitting in a stack. I asked if we were going to get them back (she was actually keeping them and did not mark them up), and what my grade was on it. Turns out, she had swapped the grading scales so our research paper counted as our final (thus possibly raising or lowering our final grade) and the essay averaged with our others.

In the end, my (currently) unofficial grade in all three of these classes is an A, with a B in my fourth class, College Survival and Student Success (talks about taking tests, types of note taking methods, an absolute waste of my time).

I wrote this post not to brag about myself and how well I did in my first semester at college. Rather, I wrote it to say “Look what God has enabled me to do!” As Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Philippi:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

Without God’s help, without His hand of protection and favor upon me, without His comfort, I could not have done as well as I did. After all, I was homeschooled from 1st grade until the end of High School, and only one other time have I experienced a classroom style setting, and even it was less formal than this! Had I not put my confidence in Him and let Him guide and help me, had He not “wrote the code” so to speak to direct me, I do not know how this semester may I ended. I look back at these events and through the semester, and I can’t help but see God in the midst of it all, granting me favor with my instructors and blessings all through it, and I simply must thank Him for all the good He has done.

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!” – Psalms 150:1-6 (NKJV)

So, what are my plans until my next semester starts the first week of January? I am not quite sure, actually. Certainly I will be programming something, but what exactly is unknown. I have to get back into the programming mood since I don’t have any school work right now. I still have some Christmas shopping to finish up. I may play a video game I haven’t played in a while (LEGO® Racers 2 modding is hot right now, so I may play a vanilla game since I have never gotten past Dino Island), or a game I have never played (LEGO® LEGOLAND, anyone? :P). I’ll look for any fixes to my writings on here I can make, maybe finish a pending tutorial, who knows what I’ll do. Rest assured I’ll wind up doing something, the question is, what will that something be?

Merry Christmas, everybody, and enjoy the (digital) snow while it lasts! I know I am! 😀