The weather has been getting me down this year. 2014 has left NYC gripped in an ice lock. Simply walking down the street was a challenge.
Yesterday it felt like spring, and people flocked outside to enjoy the weather. I took a walk down the East River Esplanade at lunch time and saw people running and eating their lunch by the dock. Something to look forward to in the spring.
But we are getting more cold, rain and possibly snow tomorrow. Hopefully it won't last.
A few years ago I posted about 337 Ocean Parkway. It's an abandoned house on my block that seems to be crumbling more every year. It's such a waste, and there is no sign at all that anyone is using it. I have been told that squaters have been known to live there, but not for awhile.
On my way to work yesterday I noticed an inspection notice at the gate.
I am not sure what violations could be lurking in this building but I'm sure they are legion. I wonder if I could just squat in it?
A few months ago, a known fixture on the Lower East Side was found dead on Avenue A and East 9th Street. As he was known to drink, do drugs, and often passed out in doorways, it was assumed that he died of a drug overdose. But according to blogger EV Greive, the medical examiner's office just anounced the cause of death was "blunt force trauma to the head". Weather the blunt force trauma was caused by a fall or if someone assaulted him, nobody is sure. A few days after he died, there were some inquires by his ex-wife to find out what happened.
Hopefully the police department will take the time to find out.
My registration appointment was at 10AM last Thursday. At Brooklyn College (and all CUNY schools I would imagine) the closer you are to graduating, the earlier, or later you can register for classes. This is to make sure those who need a class can get into a class before they fill up. A Freshman, for example, would have their pick of classes, while a Senior would not.
I face another challenge. I have full time job in digital marketing. The only time I can take classes are during evenings and weekends a time when Brooklyn College has very limited class offerings. It's bad every semester but this one is particularly worse. I spent a few hours pouring over the 165 page schedule trying to decide what to take. It was slim pickings.
I was only gone two semesters but there was a big change while I was gone. Students now have to use CUNY First to register. A cumbersome, and very slow interface to say the very least.
I had reapplied for admission in September. Brooklyn College does not allow you to do much in person. You can't make an appointment with student aid in person, you have to make your appointment online. Brooklyn College won't take a credit card payment in person, you have to do it online. The only thing you can't do online is reapply. You have to print out a PDF, fill it out with ink, and hand the form in to the admissions office, IN PERSON. There is no confirmation number, no COMPUTER RECORD to prove that you reapplied. Just some flimsy sheet of paper, sitting in an inbox in someone's office, that could easily blow away with the opening of a door to fly under a desk to be later swept up by a janitor. Oh, and I had to pay $20 (Cash mind you) for this.
I waited months to hear back. I was assured that I would get an email eventually, but in late November, and knowing that registration for Spring Semester would be coming soon, I called the registration office.
But the woman on the phone wouldn't answer me. I had to give her an empelm id, which I could not get without registering with CUNY First, which had the most aggravating and horribly entry screen I have ever seen. I would post a screenshot of it, but the site is down right now, so I can't.
My registration appointment was December 5 @ 10am. But there are thousands of students trying to register at once and the servers can't handle the load. Something that should have taken me 10 minutes ended up taking 90 minutes. At one point I called the registration office and I was told that coming into registration doesn't always help, because they use the same system as well.
I was afraid that my classes that I had painstakenly selected would be full before I could register. But after 90 minutes of angst and screaming into the phone that sent one of my co-workers running to my desk to make sure I was okay, I registered for my classes.
The experience prompted me to google "CUNY First Sucks" and I found this blog post.
I started attending classes in the fall of 2010, and was going non-stop until the spring semester of 2012. That semester I had registered for an evening English class, and one hour before I was supposed to leave for class, I decided to drop. I needed time to think. I needed time to focus.
I made a lot of false starts when I started college in 2010. My first semester I took two classes, and did very well. The following semester, much to the dismay of some of my friends, I attempted to go full time, while also working full time. Epic fail. I ended up dropping two of the classes, and wasting quite a bit of money. I am paying out of pocket for this. There are no grants, no scholarships, no student loans; just cold hard cash. Even though CUNY tuition is quite low compared to many other colleges, it still costs over $700 per class. I am determined to get my money’s worth.
To graduate from Brooklyn College you must pass a set of core classes. These include, Classical Cultures, The Shaping of the Modern World, Music: It’s Language, History and Culture and others. I’ve noticed some of my classmates were not interested in these subjects. I recall one classmate in my Classical Cultures class who was complaining "Why do we need to study the Illiad? " she would mutter. "I want to be an accountant, I don’t need this". She saw this class as an obstacle, and an annoyance. She had no interest in Roman history. She just wanted to pass this class so she could get her degree. These core classes were installed so those who graduated from Brooklyn College had a well-rounded education. People used to go to college to better themselves, to invest in their minds and enrich their lives. I sometimes think people attend college just to get a good paying job.
It’s easy to pass the courses if I want to do just that. I’m good at reviewing material and deciphering what I need to know to pass the exams and even get an A. But that would mean not reading all the material and cheating myself out of everything that class has to offer. The only way to do that with my schedule at the moment was to take one class at a time.
But that seemed overwhelming to me. So I stopped for a bit. I even contemplated not going back at all. What is the point? It was going to take too long. I enjoyed it at first. It was fun to be able to read for just pure enjoyment without having to worry about this paper or that paper. But the past few months I have felt lost and a little unfocussed. The hardest part was hearing about friend of mine graduating. If I had been going full time, I would be graduating by now. I felt heart sick about it. That is when I knew it was time to back. When you take a hiatus at Brooklyn College, even just one semester, you have to reapply. I was nervous they wouldn’t accept me back. I don’t know why I was worried. My grades were excellent, and I had even made the Dean’s list.
I got the notice today: Congratulations on your re-acceptance to Brooklyn College.
I have been reviewing my posts over the last year or so and I see they don't reveal very much. FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr have all made me a lazy blogger. (not that I ever was a popular one, although I did have fifteen minutes of fame after a post about the 2003 Blackout).
I enjoy reading updates on social media but I have been feeling rather nostalgic for the days when people published their own webspace. There was something less mainstream about it. It took more effort to compose posts, and publish. I used to publish two or three posts a week. I just reviewed 2013 and I only did 11 posts this year.
I know it's just November 25th and there are still 36 days left in 2013, I thought I would do a run down on what has happened in my life in 2013.
1) My mother died.
2) I completed my clinical trial. I had my last shot in March. It was a five year clinical trial and I'm glad it's over.
3) I had my ninth surgery. More reconstruction from the double mastectomy I had in 2007.
4) I took a two semester hiatus, but I will be registering for classes in the Spring 2014.
I took the two semester break because I needed a breather. I had no time to myself at all. I also needed a financial break. But the past few months I have missed going to school. I am looking forward to going back. I am looking forward to a productive 2014.
A few years ago I had bad experience at Golden Farm that resulted in my swearing off the place. Truth be told, I probably would be over it by now. But I have continued the boycott in support of the Golden Farm Justice movement. Sonny Kim has been cited for paying his workers below minimum wage.