Category Archives: Goals

I Passed!!!

Those who know me know just how much I hate math, and how much I struggle with it. Ironic when I actually do so well when doing data analytics. Go figure. At any rate, in my ongoing effort to finally finish my degree and get my Bachelors in Business Management it was necessary for me to take ¬†College Math II yet again. I had completed this course when I was at Eastern Montana College back in the 80’s, and again when I was at ITT Tech in the 2000’s, but both of the course descriptions for these courses had them clearly flagged as ¬†“not required for graduation” which meant that University of Phoenix, which does require the course, was unable to apply the credits earned at either school toward my credit requirements for my degree. As such…I had to take it yet again.

Now for the excitement part, and to give some context. Technically I have taken this course a total of 5 times now. Yes, you read that number correctly. At both of the prior schools I failed miserably to pass on my first attempt and had to take the class a second time, and when I completed the second attempt I barely scraped past with a very, very low level D- grade. One more wrong answer on the final and I would have failed.

So, clearly I struggle with this course. This time I passed it, and I passed it on the first try, and best of all….I got a C+ this time!!!!! Not only was it a C+, but my score was 79.07%!!! Maybe the material is finally sticking? I don’t know. All I know is that I finally passed that stinking class on the first try, leaving me with three more classed before I finally graduate.

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Filed under Goals, School

Bright Lights – Headlights or Opportunity?

Sometimes you see that bright light on the horizon and you don’t know what to think. Is is the shining light of opportunity with a bright, shiny promise of better things, or is it the headlights of a rapidly approaching vehicle come to knock you on your rump? Fun question to ponder though isn’t it?

The last few weeks have been filled with dread for me because I have one of those lights on my horizon. Tax time is coming up, and I have been very afraid that we wouldn’t be seeing much of a refund this year. Getting a refund is critical to my going back to school and finally finishing my degree. I don’t have far to go, having only 13 credits left to earn before I finally finish my two year degree completion program that I started back before the twins were born. For those doing the math this program has taken me well over four years so far, and I am hoping to finally finish before it turns into five years.

At that same time, part of me has been dreading that there would be enough of a refund for me to go back to school. It has been a long, hard battle to get this far, and I am ready to be done. At this point I almost don’t care whether I finish or not.

Kicker is, whether I finish or not, I am still faced with a ton of student loan debt that frankly, we can’t afford to repay right now. Originally, when I was working for the bank, our goal was for me to have been promoted into a position that would have given us the necessary income to pay for the loans that I was taking out to pay for my education. Had everything gone to plan this wouldn’t be a pair of headlights rushing at me. Instead fate took a different turn, I was unemployed for over two years, and now I am starting over again with a new company. My income is nothing like it was, and until I get this degree I don’t see a huge opportunity for advancement. Granted, as was the case at the bank, most supervisors that I see on the floor are actively doing coursework at their desks as they start down the same path I am so close to finishing, but I still have to put in my time and earn respect and prove myself before I can be considered for anything of that nature.

See those headlights? Frankly, right now, that is what they look like to me. I know that opportunity lies behind them, but they pack a huge amount of weight and I don’t know how to stand up to it.

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Filed under Dreams, Goals, School

Protective Instincts

I have never considered myself to be a violent man, but watching a recently aired television episode (Glee, Season 3, Episode 6) really got me to thinking. How would I react if I was the father who’s child got dragged into something just to further political ambitions? Let’s just say that the “it’s nothing personal” line would mean nothing to me, and I would be extremely prone to illustrating just how personal it can be.

I have always known that the protective urges of a parent could be strong, but I had no idea that it could be this strong. It is one thing to contemplate protecting your child from physical danger, but social and psychological danger? Yeah, I don’t think that social niceties would stop me from doing whatever I felt I needed to do to protect my children. Nobody gets away with using my family or my children for political gains. Nobody!

That said, and since I seem to see a large volume of traffic driven here by a couple of sites who’s creators seem intent upon doing just that, consider this a wake up call for personal responsibility. I don’t deal well with Trolls, but if being a Heathen has taught me anything, trolls can only be effectively deal with by bashing them in the head with a hammer. Thor is a great example of using effective troll management techniques. Granted, these days we are talking figurative rather than literal hammers. Even so, remember that while it might seem that one can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet, there are ways of peeking behind that curtain. It might take some detective work. It might take some time. Regardless, eventually I intend to speak to these people face-to-face and question their intentions. No more anonymity. Talk to me as a human, face-t0-face, or fade into the background never to be heard from again.

I think I have made my point clear. Engage in conversation if you so desire. Me, I am done ignoring the trolls. You want to use my family you go through me to do it!

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Filed under Baby Stuff, Children, Family, Fatherhood, Goals, Heathenry, Religion, waterbirth

Corporate Responsibility to Stakeholders

Before I delve into the topic I must first provide a definition of what constitutes a stakeholder. A stakeholder is anyone who has an effect or is effected by a decision or strategy. In a business environment this term has often become synonymous with stockholders and the Board of Directors. In a project management environment this term reflects managers that will be impacted by the results of the project.

Now that I have established what constitutes a stakeholder, I should advise that the title of this post can be deceptive. For most of corporate management groups this statement is interpreted as what makes the stockholders happy, and what can be done to create healthy investment income. Not a bad concept, and certainly one to keep in mind, but I propose that there is another group of stakeholders that are often completely disregarded: the employees. In this day and age management views employees as a resource to be manipulated and utilized at need. Even well respected business schools teach this perspective, and in so doing dehumanize the employees.

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Dashed Hopes and Temporary Setbacks

I thought I was being paranoid when I got this creeping feeling that my job was in danger earlier this week. I guess I was not being paranoid after all. Today, while the rest of my now former co-workers were away in a meeting I was advised that I was not being extended a job offer and that my services were no longer needed.

The last month has been filled with good times and bad. I think that right now the bad times are weighing far heavier than the joy of the good times can offset. At the start of this period I was working full time and feeling quite good about myself for the first time in well over a year. I was working with a great team doing work that I really enjoyed with every belief that at the end of my trial period I would be offered a permanent position. We got to spend the holidays with both sides of the family, and a good time was had by all. We got to be present for some major Heathen observations as part of a great group of fellow Heathens, and were privileged to be present when two of them swore oaths of matrimony on Twelfth night, the culmination of the holiday season of Yule. Yes, some very good times, and ones that will live long in my memory.

However, overshadowing the entire holiday season was the very real threat of losing my children due to an anonymous complaint of potential neglect because we let the children run around naked outside. Add in the notification by our friends and landlords that they were going to have to sell the house that we are renting the basement unit in. Then, as if we didn’t have enough hanging over us the brakes on the car started to growl and bind on us without warning. We got the brakes fixed at the cost of being able to pay part of our rent, and had the repairs done in the nick of time as they were a hair’s breadth from failing catastrophically. Then we finally cleared things up with the case worker investigating the complaint and were advised that the case was being dismissed as unfounded. Things were starting to look up, and while we still had to deal with needing to find a place we were comfortable knowing that I was working which would make getting approved to move in someplace much easer than it would have been a few months ago when I was unemployed. Then it all came crashing down as I was called in and told that my services were no longer needed. No more job. No more reliable income.

Where do we go from here? We continue to move forward, even with the odds once more set against us. I do not know how it will all work out, but I know that it WILL work out in the long run. These trials are making us stronger even as they cause us pain. I refuse to give in to the desire to hide away from the world and nurse my wounds. I have a family of my own to support now and I cannot afford the luxury of this kind of behavior. I may not want to be strong, but I have a role that I must fulfill, and I refuse to let these setbacks keep me from doing what I have to do to protect and provide for my family.

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Filed under Dreams, Fatherhood, Goals