Smile a little more than I used to and I like it that way

I’ve been bad at posting for quite a while now. So, this might end up being kind of long.

First, though, some randomness. You’re apparently supposed to be able to have LJ post a mini news story on your Facebook when you post a public entry. I turned that on before my last post, but… it didn’t work? I never got the “toast” they mentioned to ask if I wanted to cross-post. And. I’m not exactly sure how they know what your facebook is, since they don’t ask for info. I’m guessing it must be tied into your email address? I dunno. Oh well.

I went on vacation in August for my birthday. My best friend (Emily), and I went to Vancouver for a week, and we had a blast. We spent time on the mainland as well as on the island. I an desperate to go back again, there was so much we wanted to do but we ran out of time. I have pictures from the trip on my gallery.

Speaking of vacation, American Airlines is being evil and taunting me. I could get wonderful airfares to Toronto on Halloween weekend. That would be beyond wonderful since I’d get to visit Emily. But… yeah. I can’t. I can’t miss school (and I’d have to miss at least 1 day to get the cheap fare) and I really can’t afford it, thanks to the lack of a job. Ugh. Stupid evil teasing airline!!

Over the weekend, I saw New Kids on the Block in concert. OMG. That was an amazing show. I saw them perform 7 times as a teen (5 during the height of their fame, and 2 after Jon left the group). Seeing them on Sunday … wow. Laugh all you want, but they still can put on one helluva show. I would love to be able to see more shows on this tour, but alas… that previously mentioned pesky money issue prevents it. Oh well. At least I had a chance to go back in time and relive my youth for an evening, and have it turn out better than I could’ve hoped. πŸ˜€

School is going pretty well. I had a 4.0 for a very long time. I’m still getting all A’s, and -as of right this second- the lowest grade I’ve gotten in class thus far is a 90. But, that’s was on a quiz, and the average of all 3 quizzes for the module only counts for 30% of my grade. As long as I do well on the final on Friday… I should be able to keep my grade a high A. πŸ˜€ As I said, I have my final for module 2 on Friday. (We have “modules” instead of “classes”, but it’s the same thing.) We start Module 3 on Monday, and our final for that class is on November 24th. Then we have 1 last module, but that one is only 3 days long. So, I should graduate on December 3rd. πŸ˜€

Since I started school, I’ve been the best student in my class. (I don’t say that to brag – it’s actually leading somewhere.) The first module we had was Computer Basics — which covered Excel and Word. It’s a required prerequisite, and is supposed to help provide a basic knowledge of the two programs since they are so widely used. Well — I’ve been using both programs for years, so I knew about 99% of the material before we started. That meant, of course, that I moved through the material pretty quickly, as opposed to most of my classmates who were just marginally familiar with the programs. So, while James (my teacher) might be helping one of the other students with something, I was able to help out another one. That, of course, set a pattern for the rest of the classes. Thanks to my AR background at CompUSA, I pick up on most of the material pretty quickly. (I’m the only one in my class who isn’t changing fields, I’m just trying to get a “proper” education in accounting, as opposed to the minimal on-the-job training I’d had.) So, since I “get it” quickly, my classmates frequently turn to me for help when they’re struggling with something.

Out of my 5 original classmates (we started out with 5 people, but 2 finished at the end of August), I’ve had 4 of them tell me I should be teaching. On Monday, my teacher even asked if I’ve ever thought about teaching. The classmates who’ve said that to me have all said that I have an ability to explain the material in such a way that it finally triggers that light-bulb moment for them. And I do not mean that in a way that implies James is a bad teacher — he is an excellent teacher and we all enjoy him. But sometimes when you’re struggling with something, it’s hearing it phrased a new way or by a different person that helps it click. There have been times that Debra & Sylvia have been able to help me with something I’m struggling with in the same way, too. I really don’t think I’m teacher material, but it’s flattering that they think so, and that they turn to me for help.

Quick aside before I go further with teaching-related talk — one thing I’ve learned in class is that I do know Excel very well. There were even times that I was able to share something with our teacher that he didn’t know about Excel. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt to get my Specialist Certification in Excel. I’m hoping to take an online course at the community college at the beginning of next year to pick up the stuff I don’t know on Excel that I’ll need to get my certification. The best part – the course also includes an attempt at the certification exam. So I’ll get a couple of credits, some more Excel knowledge, AND my certification all in one shot! Yay! πŸ˜€

Okay. But enough about Excel. Back to the talk of teaching. I really don’t think I’d be good as a teacher due, in large part, to my Avoidant Personality disorder and my dislike of people in general. I may be good at helping teach in this class, but the fact that we all get along very well is a big part in why I do.

I posted back on August 1st about issues I’ve been having with my depression. This class … has helped a good bit. During the first module, the first time when I spoke up about something in Excel that I knew that James didn’t — I was absolutely terrified to speak up. So scared that I almost didn’t at all, even though I knew the answer. I was petrified that everyone would judge me and hate me and think I was a know-it-all and just.. Yeah. Hate me. I actually stayed quiet in class a lot at first (as I’m wont to do when I’m around unfamiliar people) because I was scared to even give a basic answer, much less something a little more in depth.

All of my classmates (including the 2 others who started with us) and our teacher have very similar senses of humor to me. There are lots of bad puns and jokes going around class during the day. That makes it very easy to “fit in” and get along with everyone. I’m also the “baby” of the class — both Debra & Sylvia have kids around my age. Debra and I tease each other back and forth like crazy. She says I remind her a lot of her daughter, especially with my little teasing remarks, and she teases right back.

Last Wednesday, we were both on the ornery side, and trading plenty of quips and barbs back and forth. James had just left the class room (we were on a break), and while she was on her way out the door, Debra had mentioned that she was having a male visitor (an ex) staying with her for the weekend. She said he was coming up just for her meatloaf. My response “oh, is that what they’re calling it these days?” That earned me a grin and a wag of the finger and a “Hush you”. Later in the afternoon, James randomly asked Debra if she was going trick-or-treating for Halloween. After she said no, I put on my best innocent face and looked at her and asked “Are you going trick-or-treating this weekend?” She blushed and stuttered at that one, and Sylvia and I both burst out into laughter, which Debra quickly joined in on. That ended up being several minutes of laughter, with poor James sitting there in confusion since he hadn’t been around at the mention of the male visitor (and Deb chose not to enlighten him). We were seriously giggling randomly the rest of the afternoon over it.

So yes. I really get along with these people. This class is very, very much helping with the massive vortex of depression that I was swirling away into. It won’t last, and I’m not “better”, but it’s helping keep it in check, anyway. I’m starting to get apprehensive, though, about what happens after I graduate in a month and half. These people will all go away, and there will be another new void there. Sure, I’ll eventually get a new job after I finish classes … but who’s to say that I’ll get along with any of my co-workers? With a new job, sure I’ll likely be around a lot more people than I am now and that means a lot more chances to find people I get along with … but it also means a lot more chances for people to dislike me. I’m always scared that people don’t/won’t like me. It might very well be an irrational fear, but that doesn’t make it any easier to combat or turn off. Of course, thanks to the treatment I’ve received at the hands of several so-called “close friends” in the past, I also don’t think it’s an irrational fear; but that’s another matter altogether. I could go on for days if I started in on that.

I know I need to find a psychologist. I know I need help. I also know that I can’t afford it right now. My unemployment benefits should run out at the end of this year, so I need to put as much money away into savings, just in case it takes me a while to find a new job. Plus, the whole AvPD issue comes into play, too, and makes me terrified to make the phone call, or start seeing someone to get the help I need to treat said AvPD. That’s one great big vicious cycle in and of itself.

But… all that will have to wait for now. Right now I need to stay focused on class, and enjoy the reprieve from darker depression while I still have the classes to provide it.

It’s also time for me to stop writing and get to bed. My shoulder has been in pain the last few days, and I’m afraid my tendonitis might be flaring up soon. Ugh.

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