My life is simply that. A weaving. We live in small town USA and I'm living a life I love…

Feeling Like an Idiot 101…

I’ve been trying to decide what I will be when I grow up…  You may think it’s too late for me, but I’m not 30 yet, so I figured I have a year and a half to decide.  (kidding, kinda…)  So, I’ve devised several working planning within my noggin and I’m sorting them out.  But my two top ‘choices’ both interest me greatly and would work well with Stephen’s profession…  there are some other career options that interest me but I need something that compliments a pastor’s lifestyle.  I’d honestly love to work at the Board of Elections, or maybe even in public relations politically, or in fund raising, but those things would pull our train down two different tracks and would lead to a really unhealthy lifestyle.  That being said though, what I’m rolling around in my head are these options:  a.  I love weddings and have talked for several years about possibly being a wedding planner.  The thing is, we’ve been to many wedding and I’ve helped with several and there are so many options for making a wedding personal and cheaper than the tens of thousands that people spend.  It takes doing some things yourself and thinking outside the box but it can be done.  And I feel like I could so do that, even down to offering personalized wedding invitations that don’t look self-printed but are…  anyways, option b.  offering customized graphics, brochures, bulletins for smaller churches at smaller charges.  This one isn’t hashed out very well yet but one of my pet peeves of the local churches is bad printed materials.  When something has been typed on a typewriter in the 1970’s and recopied about 100 times and it looks like it, it’s time to retire the piece.  But, I do understand that probably the majority of churches only employ one secretary, and sometimes she is not even full time and it’s impossible to keep up or get everything done that needs to get done.  So, my thought is marketing a business, not really a business, just myself, to produce church literature for nominal charges that would be per piece.  Again, not sure how to market it, not sure if it’d be accepted because a lot of people don’t realize the impact of quality print pieces.  

So, all that to say…  Both of these ideas work with graphics and such…  At Vandalia I had started tampering with Illustrator and used it to design the materials we would send to the printer, impact cards, brochures, etc.  And then since moving here I’ve used it and dabbled in Photoshop a little.  Now, I’m by far not the most talented but I really enjoy doing it and think I do a decent job at it.  But, I know that both Illustrator and PHotoshop have a lot more to offer than what I’ve been able to pick up on my own.  So a couple months ago Stephen and I started to talking about me going to Sinclair (a local community college) to take a couple classes.  Upon looking into it I discovered that I could survey the two, not getting credit for it, or I could enroll, take two prereqs, add one addition class on InDesign and end up with a certification.  All at less than $50/credit hour mind you… so that’s what the plan is.  This fall I’ll take the two required classes, ones and intro so it’s only a 1 credit hour class so it shouldn’t be bad at all.  

So, I went to register on-line and was told that I couldn’t.  Because I have no college experience, I am sentenced required to take the Accuplacer Test (assessment/placement test).  Okay, it has not officially been TEN YEARS since I’ve taken a standardized test.  But, no sweat.  I went down on Friday and found the right building, went to an info desk to ask where to take it at.  

“Placement tests are taken on the fourth floor.  Here’s a card with a practice website on it so you’ll know what’s on the test.  When you come back you’ll go to the fourth floor and it’ll take at least two hours to take.”  

I responded verbally with, “Thank you very much.” Mentally I responded:  “Lady… I’m down here without kids.  I have an hour and a half left before I need to head home.  I was reasonably intelligent in high school.  I don’t need  a practice test.  I’ll take now thank you.”  and I headed to the fourth floor.  

So, I headed up.  I had to apply, check.  Then I was taken into this large computer room filled with mostly high school or new college students to a computer.  Now, I was asked whether I wanted to start with Reading or Arithmetic.  I choose Reading because I always scored lower on Reading.  So, I made it through the Reading and the Grammar sections.  I know I wasn’t perfect but I feel reasonably confident with those sections.  Next section, Elementary Arithmetic.  Elementary my foot.

I made it through and I feel pretty good about it.  In fact one of the problems read:

A pound of turkey takes 1/3 hour to cook.  You have cooked a whole turkey for 4 1/4 hours.  How much does the turkey weigh.  

That’s cooking skills… I so got that one right.  I stumbled on this one:


I think the procedure is 3 x 8 and then you’d take the square root of 24, which it doesn’t have one… anyways, one problem not a big deal.  

I thought I was done… I looked at the clock and thought… two hours, huh.  Nope, not me.  It had been about an hour at that point.  But no, I wasn’t finished.  The next section popped up, “Elementary Algebra.”  First of all…  I did not have algebra in elementary.  Second of all, I didn’t panic because I had three years of Algebra in school.  I typically scored a solid A.  My last year I took “Algebra II Trigonometry HONORS” for pete sake… I can do “Elementary Algebra”.  

Sadly…  I can’t.

I guessed on the first question.  An educated guess but a guess none the less.  Then the second one popped up.  I had told myself if I couldn’t figure it out I’d walk away, go home, learn algebra all over again, and come back to finish the test.  

My fate was determined by this equation…

30 a4 b3
40 a2 b2

I walked away… I am now down to 9 days and counting on re-learning Algebra.  I know the equation above is probably pretty simple and hopefully it’s like riding a bike, once you get back on and take off it comes back to you… hopefully…  If not, I suppose I will simply never take a math class at Sinclair.  We’ll see…  

So, I headed back to my car feeling like a total idiot.  Oh well…


2 responses

  1. you are designy and are not mathy?? you’re normal, for a designy!! i graduated college with a degree in graphic design and basically start a new checking account when i need to balance the old one. for real! (okay, maybe not totally for real, but i am mathimpaired!)
    i was going to suggest you take indesign. illustrator and photoshop are good to know, but having a good graphics / publication program is a must, and indesign is the bomb. i learned on quark, but have since changed to indesign. i’m still learning but the interface with illustrator and photoshop are so great. very user-friendly.
    hope you get the math thing worked out. hopefully you won’t have to start over at the beginning of the test!
    oh, and i know what you mean about small church graphics. (and by using the term graphics, i’m being very generous!) it would be good, if you know how to design websites, to put together a basic template so you could offer the a web presence as well. if nothing other than their service times, directions and an email link, it would be a great resource for even a small church.
    i think there’s a real market out there. no matter of your city location. there’s always small, struggling churches!
    best wishes!

    15 June 2009 at 11:33 pm

  2. I totally agree with the previous comment. I write and make printed pieces/publications for a living, and reading about your math tests made my head swim. If you’ve worked in Illustrator, you’re going to LOVE InDesign. I use Illustrator mostly for working with graphics, PhotoShop for photos and certain images, but InDesign is the best for publications, like the church pieces.

    Let us know how it goes. I’d love to do publication and Web site work for churches.

    19 June 2009 at 2:44 am

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