Thursday, September 4, 2014

Me? An Inspiration?

When I took up my position at the company I currently work for, I gave plenty of warning of my hectic upcoming Fall Semester schedule and my strict "not quitting" policy on my college degree. My boss was fine with it.

When it came time to discuss my transition from a standard 40-hour work week at a company-wide standardized drafting office schedule to a potentially part-time (less than 30 hours) schedule to accommodate my in-and-out-of-office routine, I had a random sit-down with a coworker who told me that he wishes he could go back to college. That led to his saying "Be my inspiration!" I laughed and said I would try.
Now that I am a few weeks into the Fall Semester, I am finding it increasingly more difficult to get out of bed for a 6:30am clock-in at work. Not because that's too early for work (it's not, not really), but because I am starting to feel the effects of the back-and-forth work-school-work-school-work-home-wash-rinse-repeat. I'm not saying that I have too much going on outside of work and school, but it is rather difficult to make that staunch 8:00pm/9:00pm-ish bed time to get enough sleep to carry me over through the week. There is just so much to do.

But on days that I drag my ass out of bed, suffer through the insane 6:00am traffic jams, hit every red light, and patiently (ha!) wait my turn in the Starbucks drive-thru, even when I feel like utter crap and just want to roll over and sleep in, show up to work after my first class (which would mean missing only 1.5 hours of work), a small reward is nice. Today's reward was nothing major -- at least at the surface. A different coworker came up to me and was so excited, and just had to share with me what she did this week.

She started the process to attend college.

She hasn't been in a classroom since she was 18 years old, when she graduated high school. Her children are currently in college. She works multiple jobs to pay their tuition and to offset the amount of student loans they receive. She said she has always wanted to try to go to college, but never got around to it. Seeing me trudge along day in, day out? I was her inspiration. I was the nudge she needed to try to get a degree. It won't be a degree out of necessity, but a degree that she wants for herself.
I never thought I would be in this position. I mean, yea, I want to change the world; I have ideas aplenty on how I want to shape the future. Never did I imagine it would be like this. I don't feel like I've reached the point where I'm qualified to enact change. I mean, I'm still working toward my degree! It has been years upon years longer than it would have taken had I joined my friends and started right out of the gate attending school full time. Yet, here I am. It feels weird. It feels awesome. It feels terrifying.

I have given presentations to high school students about college and life after high school. As freaked out as it makes me to speak publicly, I enjoy it. I want to be a good role model for the youth of today. I am working with a great group of people to try to create a summer camp at the university for underprivileged students from Native American communities. To suddenly find myself as the spark of inspiration for two adults older than I am? I can't describe the absolute fear with which this fills me.

But, I have to admit, I like it. Now, as long as I don't mess up this whole degree thing... :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I AM...

I am writing this because, sadly, it is something that needs to be written. There is something that people aren't understanding yet. I don't get it; we live in a fantastical world full of endless possibilities, and yet people still scoff and show shock when I tell them about myself. Listen up, read closely, and learn something. Please. Because the responses I receive should NOT be of surprise.

I am not a superhero.
I am not a freak.
I am not crazy.
I may agree that "math is hard," but it isn't impossible to sort out.
I work a full-time job.
I am a draftsman.
I kick ass in AutoCAD.
I am also a student.
I am pursuing a bachelor of science degree.
In Mechanical Engineering.
And, yes, I AM A WOMAN.

STOP squawking about how it's a tough field.
STOP asking me "How can you do that? Math is hard."
STOP being surprised that I, A WOMAN, would choose such a degree.
STOP asking me how I will decide between having such an intense career and having a family.
STOP implying that I, A WOMAN, am the weaker sex.

I am not a naturally strong character, and I do feel the sting when you imply that I will fail, which is EXACTLY what you do every time you show surprise in my future. I do feel discouraged with every "but that's so hard!" comment. If I feel this way, even though I am stubborn enough to straighten my back and continue forward, how many young girls and young women do you actively turn away from their passion??

WHY do you perpetuate the nonsense that women can't make good mathematicians? WHY do you continue to show the up and coming generations that women are inferior?

STOP and THINK before you speak, before you react, and before you belittle a girl with a passion for science, engineering, math, or technology.

Try to keep in mind the spark you kill could be the one that could have saved your life with science, built a better levee system, designed a better car, or even invented the next big (or nano) device to power the teenage experience. Your words have power. YOU are the difference between a successful, happy woman and a pressured-to-quit, maybe happy, maybe depressed, girl forever wondering "What If...". 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Paranoia In The Classroom

For those that don't know, I'm a student at the University of Texas at Arlington. My employer gives me a little wiggle room in my daily schedule so that I may attend classes. Today, my schedule, as well as I, was shaken.

When I woke up, campus was closed and the hunt was on for a suspected gunman. I applauded the Dallas and Arlington and campus police departments for working together to proactively keep students safe. I commented on Google+: "If this is a hoax or bad information, it is good practice. If it is true, lives are being saved."

Not too long after, I received an all-clear from the school's alert system; classes would resume at noon. My class this summer starts at 12:30pm. I had not heard anything as to why - was the suspect in custody? Was it found to be a hoax? Was there no evidence to support the tip?

I arrived on campus and got a coveted front parking space. The lot was pretty empty. As I sat in my car and ate a drive-thru lunch, I watched a few more cars trickle in. Some students looked nervous, some looked exhausted, and some looked like they had no cares in the world. I watched each and every one of them with suspicious eyes. You see a lot of 'in plain sight' killers in the movies; it was scarily easy to picture more than a few of them with some form of weapon hidden on their body, in their clothes, and within easy reach inside bags.

I mentally slapped myself and gathered my things for the walk to class. For once, I was happy with my over large sunglasses (bought for function, not form [ie fashion]) and the fact that I could hide and be paranoid suspicious of everyone as I walked in the wide open quadrangle and between buildings. I felt like a bunny watching for the hawk. I made notes of what type of bullet proof cover was available, what doors were within sprinting distance, what shields existed along my route, and calculated my survival chances with each. I noticed that inside the building, on this empty day, my chances of survival were far slimmer than being outside - all of the doors were shut and locked, all lights were out, and I would be a sitting duck in a long hallway. It was not a comforting thought. Even the elevator gave me no hope; while there was a 'close door' button, there was no 'emergency stop' pull, so I wouldn't be able to stop the elevator between floors, away from any intruders (like I said, I explored pretty much every option).

Class was short, as days without labs are, but we were all jumpy. I thought about my seating choice (front row, center) momentarily before sitting, but decided a change wouldn't really do any good in a class so tiny. I'm small enough that I could probably just slip under the table and be fine, though.

I spent my time on campus learning what life with paranoia would be like. It was surprisingly not that difficult. That may, however, say more about me than I care to admit, though. When I returned to work, a coworker said the entire ordeal had made the news (finally), but wanted more information - according to him, it was bare bones facts. I looked it up, relating the only information that I knew had been provided by UTA, and found this short piece from the Dallas Morning News (see below). It was comforting to see that a concerned friend made the call to 911 about the suicidal man. I won't go so far as to call that person a hero, but s/he did the right thing.

News Link:

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Purchased an iPad. Testing the Blogger app. :)

Seems to be easy to follow and pick up. Should make it easier to get back to blogging....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Now that I am home, let me relate to you what happened to me while in the Mart of Wal yesterday:

A man, twitchy looking dude, casually walked by and asked if I needed help with anything. My automatic response, as is yours, most likely, was to say "No thanks." He acted as if he was going to walk past me, then stopped and asked how well I know the area. My hackles rose and I immediately went into defensive mode -- I mean, really, someone asking if you need something usually means store attendant, right?? I turned to him, making sure to keep my cart in my view as well (because I'm paranoid) and told him I don't know the area well at all. He looked slightly saddened. "Well, I just moved here from Flagstaff, Arizona and I just need help with...well, do you know anything about baby's milk?" Um...what? "I have an infant with special needs and I don't know what kind of formula to get for him. I was wondering if you could help me out?"

Told the guy "Sorry, I don't have any kids. I have no clue how to help you".

The first thing that flitted through my mind when he left: "Oh my gawd! Do I look like a mother???" Then my second thought: "What if it was just a ploy? A trick?" My final thought: "Oh my gawd, what if he's a kidnapper that has an infant and doesn't know the first thing about the kid he has???"

The moment my bags were in the kitchen, I scanned news stations online for missing kids. I found nothing. A slightly relaxing thing.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Delicipes: Delicous Recipes from My Kitchen

Just to keep things simple, I started a recipe blog away from this blog. I know people that would prefer to read just recipes and nothing else from my life, so this makes it easier.

If you care to keep up with my kitchen, follow Delicipes - just be warned that postings are not regular and the majority of the recipes are "old" concoctions and things I've found online or in a book (with proper credits, of course) that are possibly altered.


If you have a recipe you think I might like, feel free to send me an email [delicipes-at-gmail-dot-com]. If you host a recipe site of your own, let me know; I will link it in the blog's right-hand column, and, if I use a recipe, you get an additional link-to in the post! (Have I mentioned how much I love trying new recipes?)

The Real House Maidens of Bugman's Best - UPDATE!

The season is almost half over! I need to schedule my week 5 game (the halfway point) and finish painting my girls. I've let other things take over my time with my girls and I shouldn't have; but that's my own fault and they are suffering for it (only five girls are completely painted and one girl is stuck at the half-dressed point). Not that it is affecting their game play! No, I still suck (my first season), but I am having a ton of fun - and that is what the game is all about, right?