04 January 2009

Abby Was Busy So I Need Your Advice

I'm making myself take the time to post. For those who live in Siberia and haven't heard, I'm going to school starting Monday. Is it wrong that I tell every.one who will listen? Maybe not the best news my gyno has heard, but still I am so proud.

I'd love to solicit advice from anyone who has warmed the benches of academia. Should I carry a book bag? Backpack? Plastic sacks with "Value Village" printed on them? What would you recommend?

I haven't purchased my books yet, but summa cum laud-dee-dah, Psychology-Pants Doozer from My Dirty Shovel blog has instructed me to wait. And really, who wouldn't take orders from her unless they are up for a good shovel whacking upside the head.

She told me this waiting game is to avoid buying the third $80 book when your instructor has decided to use only two of the 'required' three. Why do they do this?

Then the question remains: Can you bring consumables into the class in mugs, like coffee, water, or slug of gin? Should I bring a spiral notebook? Pen and paper? I feel very unprepared. 

Getting to school was going to be an issue as The Anti-Christ repair bill was as expected. We will miss our firstborn child.

The mechanic scheduled the van repair yesterday but the scrapyard sold the repair shop a bum trans-axle and had to yet again, swap the part for another one. I have no idea what a trans-axle is other than it's the thingie that turns the wheel thingies from the engine thingie. From it's name it must also come from a Trans-Am. Road-raging will be a breeze here on out.

Even as I type, my lovely and amazing Father In Law is enroute with their second vehicle for our temporary use. This is a blessing because now I can get to school, grocery shop, and not have to walk 2 to 3 miles every day in the rain to get the baby girl from Kindergarten.

As for today, Mr Coffee and I are going out on a date. Date nights are necessary to sneak in whenever possible and I admit, I relish going anywhere to eat where the menus don't also come with crayons. We have a Cheesecake Factory Christmas gift card burning a hole in my pocket. Yum.

Have a good rest of your weekend and leave your school supply list in comments. I'm gunning for the Value Village bags, but maybe you have a better suggestion?

~Bee is going to school. yay.
Listening to: Kids by MGMT


McBunni said...

Buy a good-quality backpack. ....I'm talking brand name. I used a Kelty backpack with tons of room and waterbottle pockets on the sides....it's the bomb....and when you're done, it will still be there waiting for you to hike with it cuz they last forever.

Do NOT buy a backpack with wheels. That is the epitome of non-trad. Please, for the love of all that holy, do not even go there!

Don't carry a backpack and a purse. Dumb. Get a wallet that will hold all necessary cards and throw it in your organizer pocket of your backpack.

For the first day of class all you really need is a pen, pencil and a multi-subject notebook. Yes, wait on buying the books. Doozie is right on the money. Nothing pisses you off more than realizing you could have saved $100 at the bookstore. Also, after getting a feel for what you'll be doing in class is when you'll know what kind of supplies you'll need. I never caught on. I always had to go shopping for more supplies after school started.

Bring some extra cash. You never know when you're going to have a snack cart attack. ......or the need for a Starbucks fix.....I'm sure there's one near the school.

McBunni said...

I have never seen a teacher that cares if you eat or drink in class. Just make sure it's quiet and not messy.

Snacks like raw almonds, PB&J, etc.

Coffee and water in various containers are staples in college. .....and energy drinks.

Get a Nalgene or SIGG bottle.

I'm sure I'll think of more. I will leave more comments. :)

Millie said...

I await your other blog friends' answers. I have none, but I love the slug of gin and plastic "Value Village" bag ideas.

You have a marital belt? Is that like a chastity (or lack thereof) belt?

Skerrib said...

I think telling your gyno about starting school is way better than telling your classmates about your visit to the gyno. Just my 2 cents.

I concur with the above suggestions. I carried a backpack cuz it distributed the weight evenly over my finicky back. I let my inner nerd run full-force and had a spiral notebook for each class, along with colored pens that I alternated by day just for fun (but then it ended up being useful for referencing stuff). Ooh, ooh, and I had the teeny sticky tabs to mark important spots in my books. It was fantastic.

Drank lotsa water (bathroom breaks break up the monotony), ate healthy snacks, but allowed for caffeine in the truly painful classes. If the professor is bringing in a POT of coffee for herself, you know it's bad.

I also knew folks who checked half.com for their books, and some who bought overseas versions, which apparently were identical except they were softcover and like half the price. The only disadvantage to waiting on your books is that you have less chance of finding them used. And used is awesome. That said, Doozer's point is excellent.

Skerrib said...

Oh, man!! I thought of more. Keep a stapler in your bag. If it's a mini-stapler make sure it uses the regular staples. If it's a regular-size Swingline, and someone raises their eyebrows when you lend it to them, just say "I don't mess around." They won't question it...but don't let them out of sight either until you get your stapler back.

SheaLuna said...

I also mostly concur with the above suggestions. I discovered after my first term that I actually didn't need to buy a single book. Not even the required workbooks. The teachers in each class always handed out copies of everything that needed reading or workbooking or whatever. On the rare occasion they didn't and I actually needed to crack open an actual book, I just borrowed my neighbor's book. If questioned, I just told them my dog ate my workbook.

The only point where I vary is that I live in London. In London, wheeled bags are much cooler than backpacks. All the cool kids have them. Mostly because you are a lot less likely to wind up with tendonitis of the shoulders or a broken spinal column from carrying 150 pounds of books, water bottles (with gin), bars of chocolate, and buckets of extra strength valium (does valium come in extra strength?). And face it, who is gonna argue with you when you put on a snooty British accent, stick your nose in the air and say, "Dahling, anyone who is anyone has a wheelie bag."

Rebecca Blevins said...

I don't know but it looks like there are some great suggestions.


... Paige said...

Oh, the bestest part ever of going to college as a grown up...my Beloved and I love to say that we are a couple of cool college kids--At the Movies. We hand them our "look at me the college kid" cards and they double take and yes sometimes snicker. We are of mid status, hey it's the new twenty, ya know.
Have fun and don't forget your pepper spray!

Anonymous said...

Me too, Jenn! I start on the 26th, though. Congrats on school!

Foo said...

The last time I matriculated was so long ago that people still cared what was happening on General Hospital. Bearing that in mind, I'd say go with a backpack. Spiral notebooks are convenient to carry and all, but I used to do the loose leaf thing because...

- It's easier to fill up the whole page without bumping into the spiral binding or teetering on the bottom edge.

- My major was technical, and I sometimes found that I made a total mess of things while trying to copy diagrams or computer code off the board. With loose leaf, you always have the option of re-copying your notes and re-inserting the page in the correct sequence.

- Don't like carrying that big binder around? Use several of the thin ones, if you need to have all your notes for a class with you to refer to. I used to have just one with enough fresh paper for a week or so, and I periodically transferred my notes to one big binder with tabs to separate my classes.

- Of course, I could be full of crap. I went through a phase where I took notes in calligraphic hand.

Anonymous said...


College was the best 8-years of my life. I was a Pike and we had great parties.

I would often get bored in class and rub my hair and my product would flake off into my text book and then the pages would stick together, don't do this.

Also I had a bad habit of keeping a tally of a professor's idiosyncrasies. Professors don't like it when you start to laugh in class and especially when it leads to uncontrollable pooting. Don't do this.

Also don't fall in love with the hot blonde who sits in front of you in Latin 4, she's not right.

Also if you have a gay Jewish Technical Writing teacher don't call him a faggot if he gives you a bad grade.

Also I didn't pay 1 cent for my education, I applied for every grant available and worked in the nuclear library which paid real well.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Anonymous said...

I hope your first day at school was a success. How exciting for you!! I have no advice. I got all nervous just reading this post :) And besides, I'm sure you have it all figured out not that you're a day in. Enjoy!

Doozie said...

I agree with most everything Krok said. And I also agree with mcbunz, no rolling backpacks...those are gay. You should really go with an orange costco cart, and put those plastic shelving organizers all over it so you can organize all of your office supplies. You should also carry enough food to feed the entire class. If needed, wear a hat that has the tubes which go into your mouth just in case you are so busy taking notes you can't eat.

If you want to scale that back a bit, I suggest the reusable black safeway bags that are environmentally friendly. People will really like you then.

Damn I miss value village!!

Ok, and here is the real stuff. Use a messenger bag, all of the cool people use those. Do you hear me? MESSENGER BAG. I hate backpacks. My supplies consisted of a 3 subject notebook the one that has pockets in it. Some people enjoy those expanding file, plastic things. I don't.

The less you carry the better. You certainly don't want to look like a buffoon. Everybody eats and drinks in class, thats what they do. Make sure to bring plenty of carrots, corn nuts and other really annoyingly loud foods. Also wear running shoes so you can get away when they try to kill you.

Doozie said...

Abbey is a tramp and not only that but she is really seriously dead

Muley said...

The Value Village idea is fine, but I prefer to be trailed by a servant pushing a trolley holding my books, beverages, snacks and all electronic devices.

Good luck on getting back to the classroom. I hear they don't write with coal on the back of shovels anymore, or whip people's knuckles with birch switches. It's a new world.

Jaina said...

You're making me wish I wasn't graduated yet...

You're safe with either a backpack or shoulder bag. I switched between both depending on what I needed that day for class, though I preferred my messenger style bag, it definitely seems to be the "cooler" choice. Your other option is a larger purse-ish over the shoulder bag. I've done that deal too. As mentioned in another comment, make sure to get a small wallet or something to transfer your essential purse items into your school bag. Nothing looks more ridiculous than carrying a bag AND a purse.

As far as for class: pens (I like multicolored), pencils (if you prefer them), highlighter (just in case, for notes or handouts)

Spiral notebooks are great for class. Like suggested above, multisubject can be helpful. But keep in mind you're going to be dragging it around. If you're going to go multi I would get it per day. (ex. I had a multi for my TTh classes and another for my MW classes)

A planner is a must for keeping track of assignments, classes and due dates.

I definitely agree with the stapler, but I'd go with a mini-stapler (with full sized staples) Your peers will love you when those papers come due.

Most professors are fine with food in class...they'll let you know if they're not. Drinks (especially water, and let's be honest, coffee beverages and energy drinks) are rarely, if ever, frowned upon. Chances are your professor will have one too.

And last, but never least, CHAPSTICK of some kind. If you're anything like me, the days you forget this are the worst. I'm driven to distraction if my lips even hint at dryness...subsequently, concentration and focus suffers.

Best of luck Bee!!! I'm so excited for you! (sorry about the post-length comment)

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

You'll be a pro by the end of the week! SO happy for you! Enjoy.

Unknown said...

I just bought an over the shoulder type of back pack and NEVER went to buy any books til AFTER the first day becuz you never know if the teacher will actually use them or not. I always brought food and soda with me to class... lol

holly said...

are you kidding? if you *don't* bring in consumables, you'll be laughed at. i never went to class without a drink. all my friends had coffee.

they're not the boss of you. they want to teach you stuff. they don't give a crap what you're drinking. unless it's college-of-the-damned. you're not going there, are you? i wouldnt...

i TOTALLY agree with doozie on the book thing. and not just because of the whacking. she is just right.

i can't give you bag advice. in junior college, i used a wagon. yes. my friends made fun of me, but who let them put their books in the wagon? me. and who's arms WEREN'T tired from carrying 7000 page books across campus? me. ha ha ha ha ha ha.

i was never trendy.

R said...

We have had issues with both our cars since I last commented on here. We probably owe the same amount of moolah or more (since it has been both cars). Where did I get the money? My butt, of course!

Anonymous said...

i loved taking a tote to class - easy access with a wide open mouth and no zipper (i did the traditional tan canvas with navy straps and the college seal on the side, uber preppy), and then used the smaller outside pocket for two pens, highlighter, cell phone. put my wallet in the big part along with thin spirals with easy-tearout pages, and i never used binders, i used manila folders. no hole punch necessary! good luck!

Gwynne said...

Good advice here. Love the wagon idea! And calligraphy pens, of course. Don't forget the crackberry...great for storing the answers to all of life's questions when test time comes around. ;-)

Utah Savage said...

All of the above.

Not Dorothy Parker said...

Always wait on the books. Also, sit on the front row in a mini skirt and thigh-high black stockings. Studies have shown this behavior to be effective in getting an A. If the instructor is female, there's a 50% chance she's a lesbian, so don't worry about that. If she's not a lesbian, she'll be intimidated by your hawtness and will make you the alpha female.

I could be making this up.

KUDOS TO YOU!!!! I'm so happy for you!

Jamie Dawn said...

Congrats!!! You're starting schooool!
I suggest you get a brightly colored Hannah Montana backpack and folders with Disney characters on them.
Write notes using scented glitter pens and wear big bows in your hair.
If you bring snacks to class, bring fruit snacks and Juicy Juice.

I can relate to the car woes. Our main car is in the hospital and we can't get it out yet cuz we can't afford the repairs. Meanwhile, each of our kids have cars whilst attending school which means theirs could breakdown at any time. We have acquired a used vehicle that is running okay at the moment, saints be praised!

A date? FUN!!!!!
Even we old married ladies love dates!

Kirstin said...

Hey there! I left you something at my blog!

Whistle Britches said...

well heck,
the caddy broke down in colorado and I had to thumb home.


Merrily Down the Stream said...

Date nights - TOTALLY neccessary to all marrieds with children. And I'm sick of eating crayons too! (o;

Jo Beaufoix said...

So everyone's said it all and it's Monday anyway so you already did it. Sorry babe I am so late, but hope it was blumming fabulous. Mwah.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I don't want my students to bring to class is their cellphones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They get 10 points off their grade if I even see it ;)However, I don't care if they bring a pizza (and share)...I even had one student (whose father owned a local fruit smoothie store) bring fruit smoothies for everyone (great marketing strategy...and the whole class benefited).
Your professors will let you know what is acceptable and what is not ;)

I'm thinking of you and just can't wait to hear how your first week went!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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