Week Forty-Six: Flink, Flank, Flunk

As I am on my way towards keeping my resolution of writing a blog post every week this year, I’m up against the reality that one of my resolutions is going to be impossible to achieve.

For those of you who need to update your scorecards, here they are:

  1. Blog on Chocolate Sheep again, and regularly. Dare I say, weekly? IN PROGRESS.
  2. Finish the Doctor Who scarf I’m knitting for my friend Ginnie. COMPLETED!
  3. Complete my calculus class.
  4. Learn one new cast-on. COMPLETED!
  5. Find a Most Excellent Job in my chosen field of technical and scientific editing. COMPLETED!
  6. Learn one new cast-off.
  7. Help my kids be awesome. IN PROGRESS.

I don’t know that I’ve actually talked here about Resolution 5. At the risk of self-repetition, I can tell you that it took me a month to get hired, but I’m working for the Social Work Department at UW-Whitewater. In the short term I’m helping their department secretary dig herself out from her own workload, and in the long run I’m assisting with the program’s re-accreditation process. In the middle range, I’m updating, revising, and possibly rewriting some pretty large and important departmental documents. Welcome to technical writing and large-scale project management. All my experience with photocopiers, proofreading, manuscript revision, and pre-print planning is finally paying off!


Resolution 7 got an update today as the three younger kids brought home the best report cards of their lives. Also, the two oldest of the three youngest (got that?) took the Iowa Basic Skills Test this year. The school average was a score in the 74th percentile; one child landed in the 83rd percentile, and the other in the 93rd percentile. They would like to attribute this to the scientifically verified powers of concentration derived from the usually-illegal mint gum they were permitted to chew on testing days. I just think they’re awesome whether or not they chew the gum as they take tests.


And Resolution 6? I don’t have a problem with Resolution 6. I can cast off a new way any time I want to. (I just have to look up a method, and practice it. Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind-off might be a good candidate.)

But Resolution 3, she is toast. My poor Calculus I grade, recorded as an “I” for Incomplete at the end of Fall 12, has, over the slow but insistent march of time, converted itself to an “F” for Fail. This would be more galling if my priorities had not changed so drastically… and if my current employment status permitted me to enroll in another section of it so the new grade could overwrite the old. Frankly, I don’t have time to tackle Calculus I again on top of a new job that keeps me busy all day, and from 1 to 4 kids who keep me busy all the rest of my waking hours. And as I’m not taking physics right now, any calculus I would learn has almost no immediate application. It’s true that calculus-related concepts now pop up in my head from time to time. But there are so many things going on in my life right now that are more urgent than my desire to learn the calculus. I still want to learn it someday — and the satisfaction at having truly learned it will be more important to me than any grade on my transcript.


This hasn’t stopped me from thinking up a Major Project or two for next year…I’m nothing without a Big Plan. But I’ll discuss those next year, and most likely over at my Mom Scientist blog. For here and for now, I have writing and knitting to do. I’m still the same person with goals and dreams… even if my transcript makes it look as if I flunked Calculus I.

Published in: on November 15, 2013 at 8:00 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Having struggled with calculus for five quarters (yes, colleges used to have quarters, not semesters) until I, too, flunked, I can empathize. Love that Winterbean cartoon! “…Big Bird’s Book of Numbers”! ::snort::

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