Government work

I didn’t sleep as well as I thought I would. Tired from the day and writing, I ended up staying up for almost another two hours. No hard appointments today, apart from one, a 2 p.m. doctor appointment for an EMG test- though I had a few other things I wanted to get done.

Firstly, I needed to write an appeal letter, 20230829_financial aid appeal, and email it over to Trish. An hour or so later I called as well, just to make sure I hadn’t errored in my reply or forgotten the attachment or something. I knew from her information that tomorrow a group would be assembling to decide the matter of appeals and being, well a form of government work, the proper paperwork must be in order.

After a few minutes on the phone, she was able to ensure me everything appeared correct and in order, and that I could be hopeful of a positive result. This being the case, I will owe $420 for the semester, the cost of my books for six classes, although only two or three classes are actually using books… I digress, overall I cannot complain about the cost of the opportunity being offered to me- most especially if my appeal is granted and I am able to receive a federal loan. Interest-free money that will keep me floating easily for the rest of the semester- if and only if- I learn to budget properly.

Really, I want to pre-pay for stuff I think, all the bills a few months out.. We’ll see. Or maybe, I could learn to leave my money in the bank, let the bills pay themselves (online automatic banking is nice, once you get used to it,) and focus more time on earning money than spending it. To that note, another item I crossed off my list today, I opened a Certificate of Deposit. It’s my first CD, a special that Blue Ox Credit Union is running, an 11-month term with a 5.13% interest rate with add-on capability. I only put $100 in it for now, yet that states an intent to have that hundred saved for the next year. Gladly, there is near no risk to my funds as if I do need to ‘break in’ to that piggy bank, I only lose the previous six months’ interest- no other fees.

Feeling pretty productive at this point, next on my list was to head out to the college, find the workout/fitness area, meet my instructor, figure out how to sign in and out, then get my first workout in for the week. For this class, Personal Fitness Independent Study, I have to submit workout logs for at least two 40-minute sessions per week. I am expecting a college-level facility, hopefully, that far outshines what I have been able to use before at the YMCA or Planet Fitness. However, I am not sure if this is a separate facility or area from what the college uses for its teams. Hm, for that matter, I should find myself a schedule of upcoming “Jets” games.

I want to say that motivation followed ambition, rather practicality answered the question with a look at the clock, just past noon at that point I spent the next thirty minutes convincing myself I did not have time to drive out to the college and be still be prompt for my doctor visit. Instead, I spent the next hour going over the first practice assignments in my government class, as there were several important items that could not be missed this week. Without another opportunity to see that professor this week (as a ‘hybrid’ class, it only meets once per week in person- giving me a three-hour lunch break on Wednesdays,) I wanted to do my best to make sure I could complete three items.

Checking my phone in the elevator, I was at least roughly on time, 2:04. Up to the second floor and signed in, I only waited a few minutes to be called back. This was my second appointment with Dr. Yuki for an EMG test, a follow-up now a year later. From the two nerves and six muscles tested, abnormal results were found with one nerve and three muscles- 50/50. (Which is just slightly worse than my college class completion ratio, so par for the course?)

My L Peroneal – EDB nerve and my L. Tibialis anterior, L. Peroneus longus, and L. Gastrocnemius (Medial head) muscles all had “abnormal interference patterns”. We discussed the possibility of continued recovery, as one nerve had shown a slight improvement from last year, however, I was told two years is the likely recovery window for nerve regrowth, so I am likely near the plateau point already. Due to my ability to walk as well as I can, there were not many interventions that would be worth the risk now.

However, oh do I hope to have good news soon (once the insurance approves it in two to three weeks,) the bottom of my left foot will be baby-smooth and wrinkle-free – hello Botox treatments. Although too extreme a step to try on the nerves and tendons in my leg with my current progress, it could be the solution to uncurl my toes. Effects vary from person to person, yet when injected into the bottom of my foot, I am told it should weaken/impair the nerve that has been pulling them in for the last 20 months. I have been able to stretch out the bottom of my foot to some degree, yet my toes just curl up in my shoe and shudder with each incoming step.

I decided to resupply at the stone depot afterward. I kind of like the online interface for the course and the quizzes so far. The quiz interface is slightly “gamified”, however effectively so. Not scheduled to be assigned until next week, I was anxious to open the book and begin to see what this class may teach me about our government. Also, I wanted a proximate test of my weekly time commitment to this class. I went about leisurely and maybe spent an hour reading and made it through a third of the material. Knowing that we could continue to retake the quizzes until the end of the semester (as long as they are first completed by the due date,) I felt okay to risk my first quiz less than fully read up on the material.

Perhaps an hour was spent playing the “quiz game” for chapter one, and I was able to work my score up to 100%. You start the game will 0 points and you must answer at least so many questions and have at least a 60% to finish the game. Answering questions correctly awards you points, incorrect answers remove points. Also, you can adjust your point risk per question depending on your confidence level (or if you know blackjack stats, you just push that slider to the top,) earning from 20 to 100 points per question. Correct answers on second guesses earn half points- and every answer pops up with colorful tooltips and a full suite of sound effects and animations. Levels will advance you upward, locking in your current scores three times, so that by proceeding to go for full score you don’t risk working backward.

To its credit, the game worked, with a topic that roughly interests me the hour on the quiz game was just as well spent as an hour on a trivia app, or the crosswords app, wordle, or anything of that nature really. With the first two weeks’ assignments now complete, and not meeting with this class for two more weeks (no school for Labor Day!) I wonder how many I have may done by then? Sitting around the house this evening felt nice. Perhaps, as I did not sit around the house yesterday, making today more unique (notwithstanding the previous 100 days give or take.) It was nice to have the TV off, sitting comfortably in my chair, clicking through screens on my laptop, knowing that I was being productive in doing so.

Tomorrow, another good day is planned. Humanities at 10 am and Writing at 3 pm. In between, I had a lunch date spring into my schedule- that is something I am looking forward to. Perhaps more comments on that another time, or not, we’ll see. Then I really need to mow the lawn, like, really. With the storm that blew through last week, there are limbs down all over Jackson, just not in my area, except in my yard. Of course, I can’t blame the storm- mine was a long slow problem that grew for years under my unwatchful eye. Proper yard maintenance should not be so difficult for me, I do not have much yard. Even now, there is enough of a stump that I know it will shoot up fresh next year, and then I will need a shovel, maybe a chain. Powertools, yes powertools may come out. Next year’s problem.

For now… no problems. I feel good. Honestly, probably better than I have in a while. I’m back on track, a track. If someone were to ask what I do, now I have a better answer than I did last month: “I am a student,” and then I can follow that with “Yes, full-time.” Seriously, at this point we can all start to look at the last year of my life together- maybe I’m a year behind? I could be graduating now. Except that really, I don’t think I had my shit together mentally or physically to have a real chance of success in school last year- too many other issues. Yet, one at a time, one step and then the other.

Time to rest.

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