Saturday, April 22, 2006

College has helped me to grow socially...

Wow- I don't even know how to start this one, but it's one that needs to be said...
I started this year feeling probably the same way that most Non-trads do; I felt old and was afraid that I would stand out~ afterall, most typical college students were 6 plus years younger than me. This year came with a lot of wake up calls and surprises. For the most part I have fit in great and not in an 'I'm going to relive my youth!' sort of way. I came to realize that there was a lot to learn from the traditional students and I quickly grasped the concept that they are my peers. They are my peers now as they are the ones I am going to class with and can relate most with the stage of life I am in. They will forever be my peers in the fact that we will continue at the same stages of career as me too. I no longer look at them to b younger than me...we are just kind of one. I have heard many other non-trads, even ones in their 40's, say the same thing. I feel that Saint Martin's does do a good job of "bridging the gap" which I hope to help with as next year's Senator of Non-traditional Students. Many people outside of the college community are surprised when I say that some of my best friends are 19-22 years old and in that same age group are people who have taught me the most this year.

Additionally, I have become more open socially. I will admit that I grew up as a snob and have spent my life being quite judgmental, but through college I have gained a wide circle of friends that I probably would have not met otherwise. One example is that prior to Saint Martin's I as afraid to go downtown because I didn't want to encounter any "greeners" and truthfully, I was prejudice of anyone who might fit into that stereo-type. I have learned though that even though someone may not dress the way I do or act the way I do, that doesn't mean that they are any less of a person. I have made friends with some truly awesome people who I sadly probably would have not 'given the time of day' to before and those people have given me great insight on many topics. I may not always agree with their differing opinions but I have learned to respect them the same and to understand opposing views to my beliefs.

Thanks to all who have helped me to grow this year! Yes, this school has its individual conflicts at times, as any school does, but overall it has some truly great students- I love you guys; it's going to feel so weird watching some of you graduate and move away and missing others of you as you go home for the summer!

Handed over Non-trad Club...

We had a great Non-trad club meeting this week...complete with Meconi's subs and door prizes. Not as many people showed up as I would have liked, but it was GREAT because we filled 3 out of the 4 officer positions for next year and have someone else who is interested in the 4th position. It felt especially great to hand over the presidency to Jame...it was a chunk off of my plate and I know that she will do a great job!

Any current Non-trads or future Saint Martin's students who are reading this, be sure to click the Non-trad club link on the side of the page and check out the End of the Year BBQ on April 29th...this is your invitation if you haven't already gotten one ;o)

Writing Center...

Yeah~ this week I started working in the writing center as a "peer reader"...this is a coveted position that I have wanted since the beginning of the school year! It's a great part time job at school which I was recommended for by one of my professors. Amazingly, I am the only English major that they have in there right now. There are only two more weeks of school left for this semester, but now I have a guaranteed job for the fall~woohoo!

One of my most dreaded courses comes out near the top...

I started this semester disliking my Poetry class and the professor who teaches. It was the first time that he was teaching English at Saint Martin's and frankly about a third of the students dropped the class within the first two weeks. I probably would have dropped it except that I need it for my major. I could tell that he was excited about the subject, but he spewed out more information than we could process and he was very opinionated...which if your opinion didn't match his then you were wrong. BUT- the class has turned around...he allows for more open discussion of opinions now and I am happy to say that I have gotten A's on all of my papers. Which makes me even happier now that we have talked him into letting us do a final paper instead of an exam. I have 9 papers due in my classes within the next 2 weeks, but that means that I only have 3 finals out of my 6 classes! Good luck to all of those taking finals!

My name is Janey and I am a caramel Mocha addict...

It's ironic, a short time ago I was not a coffee drinker at all. I have come to realize that I am a coffee addict...well, not normal coffee, just mochas and caramel mochas to be more precise. Caffeine is my drug of choice ;o) I never thought of myself as an addict until we went on our trip to the Non-trad conference in New Hampshire last month...a mocha was never something I had to have until I couldn't have one. The closest I could find was coffee at Dunkin Donuts, but coffee with lots of creamer is not the same as a mocha. After three days with minimal sleep, I was SO happy to find a Starbucks at the airport on the way home.

What brings this thought up now? Well, my barista caught me cheating on her! I have my favorite Starbucks which is actually the kiosk inside of Safeway...okay, I like it because you are able to earn free drinks. I love going in there because they always know what I want and if I decide that I don't want my usual, then they always know the right thing to suggest for my tastes. Another bonus is that my favorite barista has the same name as me but spelt differently- Janie. This week I had to go into the franchised Starbucks, which is actually just across the parking lot, to get a cute gift card as a door prize for the Non-trad meeting and my usual barista found out! I usually go into my Starbucks once a week and they had wondered why they hadn't seen me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Wowsers!

I found out last week that one of my articles that I had written at my summer job had won an award. I have spent the last two summers working in the Public Affairs Office for the ROTC Warrior Forge at Fort Lewis. Nope- I'm not ROTC, just a civilian summer hire. I had written an article last summer, about a cadet who had grown up in a concentration camp in Cambodia, that has now received 3rd place in it's category in the MG Keith L. Ware Journalism Awards! (It's an Army thing!) The award goes to the newspaper that I wrote for, but it's an honor to have received it.

Writing Center...

As of this week, I will be working in the writing center as a peer reader. This is a position that I have been wanting for a while. It was one that I was recommended for by one of my professors, but they didn't originally have a position open. I have been working in the Learning Center taking notes and reading books on tape for students with disabilities. Being an English major, I really wanted to be able to work on the writing side. Now that I have the position, I will be able to continue doing it next school year also. Tomorrow, I will be shadowing other peer readers and then I will be doing it on my own! So, if you need help with any help with papers (especially those end of semester ones coming up!), feel free to stop by and take advantage of one of the great free things our school offers us!

Well, it's official...

I am officially the Senator for Non-Traditional Students for next year. Truthfully, the Senator Elections this year were pretty low key. In the aftermath of the Executive Elections, none of the Senators really campaigned. Being the 5th Non-trad in my family to attend Saint Martin's, I am hopeful that I will be able to make some sort of difference and speak out on behalf of the Non-traditional students.

Thank you to all who did vote for me, but shockingly- the percentage of students who vote in the student government elections is less than 1/10th of the school population.

Friday, April 07, 2006

WEST-B

In order to get into the Education Department, all students must first pass the WEST-B test. It is a state test that is to ensure that we are smart enough ;o) to teach. This is the basic test and there is also the WEST-E, exit test, that we need to finish before actually teaching. All in all the test material isn't too hard, but the test in general is overwhelming. I took all three sections at once and it was 4 and a half hours of hell. Okay, I'll admit that I get a little test anxiety so that may have contributed to the hell. By the time that I left, my brain felt like mush. I had fully intended to take the test and come home to blog about it, but that is truthfully where my blogging fell behind. I didn't want to think about anything after the test; my brain was exhausted.

Like I said, the test itself was really not that bad. The math portion was- dare I admit it- kind of fun...yes, that sounds geeky, but I kind of like problem solving. Ironically, the hardest part for me was on of the English sections and I'm an English major! Remember in grade school when you would get the assessment tests with the paragraph to read and then have to summarize the main point? Well, that is on the test and no matter how many times I attempted these on the practice tests, I always answered them wrong! I walked out of the test thinking that I failed it and upset because if I did fail it there wasn't even really a way to study for those type of questions.

I am happy that I waited to write this because I received my scores in the mail this week. Each section is worth 300 points and you need a minimum of 240 to pass. I passed all three sections on my first try with my lowest score being a 278. So, it really can be done and for those of you who have to take it- don't stress; you'll do fine.

Wow time flies...

Time sort of got away from me and I became a little behind on blogs. Life really seemed to speed up after Spring Break and before I knew it a month had gone by with good intentions to blog, but no new blogs actually making it onto the page. So, today I will play catch up...along with giving a promise that I plan to work on not falling behind again.

Thanks to those who come and read!
~Janey

Monday, March 06, 2006

Officially announcing my candidacy...

I am officially able to announce that I am running for the Senator of Non-Traditional Students position on the Associated Students of Saint Martin's University (student government). While I am currently running unopposed, we are not able to start campaigning yet...so stay tuned for more information!

Back from New Hampshire!!!

Well, I just returned from a whirlwind trip to New Hampshire...I think that I literally spent more waking hours flying back and forth than I actually did on the ground there! We flew back there for the National Non-Traditional Students conference held at Southern New Hampshire University. There were four of us that went from Saint Martin's. We had a great time and learned a lot of helpful things to keep our club running smoothly...including great fundraising and events ideas. What was truly more meaningful for me was meeting great people...a huge shout out to my great new friends at Oklahoma State University, especially Larysa- Go Pokes! This was my first adventure to the East Coast, but I really liked what I saw and want to go back for a real visit. It was great getting out of my element to get a great perspective on life- it truly cleared my head...which was a great thing after mid-term week! The biggest moment of the trip though would have to have been eating a real Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia- well, okay- it was the airport, but it still checked something off of my lifetime "To Do" list ;o)

If you are a Saint Martin's student or prospective student and are interested in finding out more information about the Non-Traditional Students Club or to find out if you are a "Non-trad", then please click the link on the side of the page.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Winter Retreat


We'll try an icy color for this one! I spent my three day weekend chaperoning our church's youth group retreat up to the mountain. I had a great time getting to know the kids. I was using the opportunity of volunteering with the youth group to affirm my decision to teach high school...which now I know that I made the right choice. I even walked away from the weekend learning some things myself, also things about myself and walked away with a new close friend. The only downsides were lack of sleep (long hours and a hard hotel bed) and wow- I never knew how gassy teenage boys could be...then again, I had never been around so many for so long ;o) but I love them anyway! Definitely a great group of both kids and chaperones on the trip!

*The pictures above are of the hills we were sledding on at White Pass and of my cute little girl who was able to come along.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Superbowl...


I just want to wish my condolences for the Seahawks. My daughter became a huge fan this year...it's the first year that we have paid attention to football since we moved back from Germany. We spent Superbowl Sunday watching the big game on two giant screens at a Superbowl Party at our church. I have to toss my two cents in and agree that the referees made some really bad calls. Maybe next year! Go Seahawks!

Homecoming 2006


This year's student run Homecoming was beautiful and I'm not just saying that because I helped decorate ;o) I had heard rumors that in the past there were drawn out speeches that seemed to drag on, but this year it was pretty straight to the point. As a Non-Trad, I am proud to congratulate our Non-Traditional Students Senator Rachel Martinez for being named one of the two Student Leaders of the Year.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

An article that ran about me in the Halo.

One semester down and going strong!

Meet Janey Fassbender, transfer student-mom-involved citizen extraordinaire!

Janey, who entered Saint Martin’s as a transfer student this past fall, is a person you can relate to: She’s doing it all. And she’s done a lot in the past, too.

An English major with plans to become a teacher, Janey is a 1994 Shelton High School graduate and the fifth person in her family to attend Saint Martin’s. Both parents, a sister and her brother-in-law graduated from Saint Martin’s, and she has ties with the University dating back to when she was 5 years old.

Like many transfer students she took a roundabout route to get here. After high school, she modeled for a year, then attended Olympic College for another year and one-half. Two years in intelligence with the U.S. Air Force followed, included a long stint in Germany, extension classes through the University of Maryland, marriage and motherhood. After that, it was a divorce and four years as an insurance agent.

Four years ago, she simply wanted to make a stable life for her daughter, now a kindergartner, and herself, she says. But in September 2004, she was a passenger in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. The accident made her take stock in her life and goals.

“It was a wake-up call,” she said. “I wanted to be able to have the same hours as my daughter, do something I enjoy and make a difference for students.”

Janey has approached her Saint Martin’s career with gusto. After a few short months here, she has become an important part of the University community. She currently is vice president for the Non-Traditional Students Club, serves on several committees and is on the Activity Advisory Board.

In her “spare” time, she sings with a church group, teaches AWANAS and is active in other church activities, things she enjoys doing because she can keep daughter Kristin with her.

“I’m way too overcommitted, but I manage to fit it all in,” she laughs. “I’ve learned time-management, and I’ve learned to schedule my life.”

Janey plans to graduate in 2008. As part of her position with the Non-Traditional Students Club, she’s glad to answer questions and help other transfer students connect. You can find out more about the club and its activities by e-mailing Janey at
Janey.Fassbender@stmartin.edu or club President Jeff Bunnell, jbunnell@stmartin.edu.

Wow- Time flies!

I'm sorry that I haven't updated this since school has been back in session. I am taking 18 credits this semester and sort of lost track of time! So far most of my classes seem to be going well and I think that I am going to be able to handle taking this full of a course load without stressing out ;o) I will have some hours that I had originally anticipated as my Education class has us teaching Junior Achievement in the grade schools and I have been named one of the co-editors for the school newspaper "The Bell Tower".

I will be better about writing. This semester looks like it is going to have some exciting things coming up in it. Tomorrow night is our Homecoming Banquet, so I will be sure to update on how that went.

Thanks for reading! - Janey