All my math the other day turned out to be right. I earned an A in Biology 101. And I’m very happy with that. I pulled the grades from a different place this time, so they’re formated a little differently… Also, can you imagine how different my life would be if I had worked this hard in high school. I know I didn’t have a 3.688 GPA back then, it was probably more like a 2.something-or-other.

  • Term GPA 4.000
  • Cumulative GPA 3.688
BI 101General Biology4.00GradedA16.000
COM 131Fund of Public Speaking3.00GradedW

The final grade hasn’t been posted, but class is over and all the quizzes, labs, tests, and assignments have been graded and posted to Blackboard. All of the numbers are there. We have all the pertinent information. Let’s see if we can’t figure out how this will turn out.

You know what, wait. I want to show off my test scores first. This will also be a lesson in why it’s important to study. See, tests 1 and 2 I did the bare minimum of reading and studying, which is to say that I did the assignments and that’s it, test 3 I really hit the material hard, and test 4 and the final, I did less studying, but still way more than those first two tests.

84/100 Test #1
84/100 Test #2
98/100 Test #3
92/100 Test #4
98/100 Final Exam

Weirdly, because I didn’t do anything extra that I know of, I also managed to get 102.3/100 for the online MasteringBiology course work. Not sure how that happened. But, as you can see from the scores above, a little studying makes a big difference. Anyhoo, let’s get back to the exercise at hand.

Biology was broken into two classes – the online lecture and the in-class lab. The lecture was worth a total of 660 points. The lab was worth 205 point and counts as a quarter of the total biology grade. The posted grade totals look like this:

Biology Lecture grade 618.3/660
Biology Lab grade, 208/220

Lab seems to have too many points. …checking… …checking… …checking… Okay, got it. Only 13 of the 14 labs are being counted; you’re allowed to miss one. Also, the lowest quiz grade gets dropped. Each lab was worth 5 and each quiz is 10, which would make it 192/205. Hmmm… you drop below 200 and it feels less great. Kinda shitty, really. But let’s see… This is supposed to be 25% of the total grade …doing math off screen… I think I’m looking at a 93-94%. Which means …checking the syllabus… 93-100 is an A, so if my assumptions are correct and my math is right, I should get an A in Biology. And if I don’t I’m going to kick myself for not doing the extra credit work that was posted on Thursday.

do the work

I imagine the official grade will be posted next week and we’ll all find out if I’m right. Later.

My grades have been posted to the GRCC website. As expected, I did well in both of the HVAC classes I took this semester. Though I don’t feel like I got as much out of either of them as I would have liked. That’s partially my fault; I didn’t do much of the assigned reading. That is one of the problems with taking classes in things you’ve been doing for 20+ years, you tend to take it a little bit for granted that you’ll be able to pick it up with minimal effort. Fortunately, My calculated gamble in Philosophy played out as I thought it would. I feel bad that I skipped out on the final paper, and the 40-points would have been very nice, but I still ended up with a B. So here is that official grades.

Class Grades – 2018 Fall

HVA 121Metallic and Non-
Metallic Join
HVA 275Commercial
PL 201Introduction to

I’m going to take advantage of the winter break to take a little vacation, celebrate some holidays, and relax for a few weeks before getting back to it in January.

My final grade for that electronics class has posted, and as expected, I earned a grade of C. Good enough. Not great, but really, just glad to be done with that one. School’s out for me until the end of August when the winter semester stats and I’m very happy for the break.
I still haven’t finished the bathroom repair, from that leak a couple weeks back. But I am hoping to get it done this weekend while Lady Ronn is on the other side of the state at her sister’s baby shower. It should be an easy repair, so I think it’s doable.
In other news, I let the Spirit go today. It was a great car and did everything I asked of it. Most notably, getting me back and forth to GRCC for the last two years. Thanks again to my buddy Ted for hooking me up. But today I expanded my options.
I’m a car guy. I like cars and I buy cars, but the future is calling and I want to be able to go in a few different directions. I want to have my options open. So, I found a deal on a 2015 RAM ProMaster City with less than 15,000 miles on the odometer. It’s not as cool as a pick-up truck, but for the price I couldn’t get a decent pick-up. So this will get me around, with the option of doing side work if I so choose.

2015 RAM ProMaster City Tradesman Cargo SLT

As I said, this gives me options. My list, in no particular order, might look something like this. I still need to finish school. I need to get my mechanical license. I need to look into putting a business together. And I need to figure out scheduling for all of the above.  This thing will haul 1700 lbs, tow 2000 lbs, has 131³ feet of cargo space, has more than 48″ between the wheel wells, and gets better than 20 mpg in the city. Options.

I think this’ll work for me.
My Facebook interface seems to be having issues, so probably you won’t see this post.

Well, that’s done.
My class load for the summer has come to an end. It was not a fantastic semester for me, but as I’m all about telling you when I get good grades, I suppose I should tell you about the bad grades as well. I mentioned already that after lots of very hard work I managed to get a B+ in my Intermediate Technical Math class. Note to self: do not take the next math class online. I am very happy to have that grade, but with a 86.982% I just can’t help think that I could have pulled off an A with just a bit more work and/or by asking for a bit more direction from the instructor. We live. We learn.
My Basic Electricity & Electronics class was a whole other story. Last night was the final and I did very poorly, 66%. I can only attribute a small part of that to having left my formula sheet on the kitchen counter, as there were not 34 math equations on the exam. What I can attribute it to, is all most completely checking out of the class by about the 2/3 mark. I’m not making excuses, I should have worked harder… but I just couldn’t. I knew this was a mistake from the very first class. For a class with “Basic” as the first word in its title, the instructor went out of his way to tell us how hard this was going to be, how much advanced math was going to be needed, how there should have been a math prerequisite listed in the catalog (there wasn’t), and how hard he was going to push us to get this 15-week class done in 9-weeks. He seemed to really get his jollies on making this basic class as difficult as possible.
Struggling students were told to do the reading or to go watch YouTube videos on the subject. During the last lab, a two session lab I might add, he told my group of three that he wasn’t going to answer our questions because he wanted us to figure it out. Between the three of us, what we figured out was how to get 4/10 on that lab. It was ugly. The class was a 4½ hour class, which is longer than most by a half hour, he would lecture for ¾ of that, give us maybe a short 10-minute break, and rarely enough time to get the labs done. I was not impressed with this guy, though he did seem to be very into his subject.
But the real problem, the thing I couldn’t get past, was me. I started off well enough. My existing background of basic electric principles and theory helped quite a bit. However, I knew from that first week onward, that I did not need this class for what I’ll be doing. I wanted electrical, what I got was electronics. They sound similar, but they are quite different. Transistors, resistors, MOSFETs, diodes, BJTs, and amplifiers are not things that I use in my HVACR work. I got something from the transformers and capacitors sections, but mostly it was in presented in ways that just don’t apply to what I do. And that was the problem. I started down the path of “I’ll never use any of this”, took it too “this doesn’t apply to my career”, and ended up at “I don’t care, I just want it to be over”.
I could have done better; should have done better. I didn’t read the chapters. I didn’t do the extra homework. Never figured out how to work this damn calculator. So it’s mostly my fault. I recognize that. Early on, I was more concerned with my math class, as I felt that required most of my focus. Right. I mean I know electrical stuff. But the electrical stuff from this class pretty quickly diverged from the electrical stuff I deal with at my job. But I continued to focus on math, and by the time that was over, it was really too late to get back up to speed in electronics.
I would have done better on my exam if I had remembered my formula sheets (two pages of electrical formulas). I still would not have gotten an A, but I could have probably pulled off a low B. So a 66% on my final drops me 3% and puts me at 75.65267% as my final weighted percentage. The official grades haven’t been posted yet, but that’s a C.
I’ll take a C, but I’m more than a little disappointed in myself and the effort I put in. I’m not looking forward to what these grades are going to do to my GPA.

TE103 – Intermediate Technical Math Online has finished. On Friday, I went to the testing center and took two tests: Test 4 and the Final Exam. I could have skipped the final if I had taken Test 3, done well, and not wanted to attempt to replace my lowest test grade, but a medical emergency here at home caused me to miss part of my Thursday class, that third test, and all of Father’s Day weekend. I’m not going to go into it, but the lovely and talented, Lady Ronn, is feeling much better now. I was at the college from 8:30 am until 2:30 testing. That’s a lot of time to be sitting in a cheap plastic chair, but I’m happy to report, it worked out pretty well. I managed 83/100 on Test 4 and 87/100 on the final. Better than I expected to do on either. Final grades have not been posted, but the unofficial score looks to be 86.982%. I’ll take that and smile. This was a difficult class for me, mainly because it had been so long since I’ve done anything more than basic math. I feel like I accomplished something good, but I will not miss the 6-hour math sessions 3-4 times a week.
Still have three more weeks in my electronics class… I am not enjoying that one much at all. It’s not what I was expecting, I can’t see any sort of application for this stuff in my personal or professional life, and worst of all, there is no context in the instruction. Now that I’m down to one class, I can focus on it more fully. Maybe that will make a difference. I must persevere and continue to move forward. It is a 4-credit class after all. 

A few things to share.
1.) Still having issues keeping the site malware free. I was  going to take it apart and restore from a back-up, but I made the mistake of thinking that the Pro Backup service that comes with my Pro package at Bluehost was actually a thing… it’s not. So I need to call them and get a few things straightened out. Mainly, I’d like to get the services that I’m paying for. I’ll probably have a full tear down on the site this weekend to find and destroy whatever malware is hiding in my files.
2.) Final grades were posted for the winter semester and I pulled off an A in each of my classes–HVA 221 Ductwork Construction and Design was the one I just finished and HVA 230 HVACR Elec Controls was earlier in the Winter Semester. Both were three credit classes, so I added another 24 grade points to my total and my GPA is sitting at 3.839, according to my Unofficial GRCC Transcript.
3.) I came home to find this on the office floor.

extinction level event?

So my fancy Tyrannosaurus statue is now in 4 pieces. It can certainly be glued back together. But how evident will the cracks be? I’m not sure. I’ve resisted the urge to immediately grab the superglue and start putting it back together… going to give it some thought and determine if it’s going to need any other work and/or improvements.
How could this happen? One theory presented was that the wind blew it over. This is unlikely given the depth of the pegs on the feet and the weight of the base. Perhaps the blinds hit it? No. The blinds are secured with brackets. What could have happened? There is some evidence that points to a solution to the mystery.
claw marks! NEW claw marks!

There are some claw marks in the paint that were not there when I left for work. Probably too small to be the dog, but just about right for a smallish cat. My working theory is that the cat was on the shelf and killed the dinosaur. Possibly with the aid of the dog or a startling wind gust. Either way and whatever the circumstances, I have one very broken dinosaur.

The grade for my final exam in HVACR Electronic Controls has been posted.
Going into the final exam I had missed a whopping 4 Points on all of my combined assignments and grades. The final was a little tougher than I expected, having far more detailed explanations required than I have found in most of these HVAC classes. But I persevered and ended up doing pretty well.
My final score was 56 out of a possible 60. That works out to 93%.
Which means I missed out on a total of  eight points, 272/280. For a not too shabby 97.16%. And then I get an extra 1% for perfect attendance.
So, that gives me an A in electronic controls. Woot.

The final exam for my Air Conditioning Theory class was last Tuesday. I just checked to see if the grades were posted. They were.
So here is my report card for the Fall 2017 semester. I wish I could say I was happy about those two A- grades, but I’m not. If my math is right, I missed an A in both of those classes by less than a full percentage point. Ah, well, my grade point will not matter in the real world. That’s another 7-credits under my belt, bringing my total to 31-credits. That puts me beyond the half-way point, as I need 60-credits to get this degree.

Class Description Units Grading Grade Grade Points
HVA 128
Heating and Cooling Controls
HVA 135
Heating Theory
HVA 136
Air Conditioning Theory

And with those classes entered in the ledger my current grade point is 3.808, or roughly, way better than I ever did in high school.
I only have two classes next semester, and there’s only a 3-week span where I have then together. I feel like I should take one more class, but there is  a lot of non-school stuff going on this winter and spring. Probably, I should just take care of that stuff and be grateful for a lighter load in school.
In other news; I just realized that I was publishing all this to my LinkedIn page… I’ve shut that off. That’s probably not the place for this blog.