Happy First Birthday!!

16 05 2009

(Most of you probably won’t read this until Saturday but that is still okay because Saturday is Party Day!!)

One year ago today my beautiful baby girls came into this world. They were early and they gave us a big scare but from then to today has been the most magnificent ride of any in my young life. They truly are the greatest of God’s blessings and I am so lucky to get to be their dad. Happy Birthday to Harper Elizabeth and Lily Martin Mielke!

THEN:

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and NOW:

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Me and Schooly McGee

11 05 2009

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I don’t spend much time on this blog talking about things related to my graduate school activities. I don’t really have a great reason for this other than it’s not as exciting as law school, Harvard Jesus Academy, or going to Africa for school, and besides why would I talk about school when I could talk about amazing wives and babies (see example below):3204_515614967664_135302925_30670554_5617469_n.jpg

Well today I am going to talk about my grad school pursuits for just a few minutes. If you choose to tune out now I will promise not to hold it against you, if you continue reading I thank you for your feigned interest and also warn you it could be boring. Three years ago this very summer I started the graduate program at Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) which has recently¬† now just become “Auburn Montgomery”. I decided to pursue a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) degree.

The program has been interesting and I feel like I have learned a good deal in the last three years. This spring semester, that has just ended, was the most challenging I have faced as I was enrolled in the two toughest classes (in my opinion) in the program, these courses also happen to both be required for the degree. The first class was Human Resource Administration and the most challenging part was the workload. This class is a PhD level course taught as such even though there were only Masters students in it. We had to read 200 pages of articles a week and write a paper about said articles EVERY WEEK. Now before it seems like I am complaining I would point out that this isn’t probably half as bad as a normal week at Prestigious Law U but I am also in a program that is supposed to be designed for working people. Well when you have kids, a full time job and another class besides this one that distinction seemed to miss the mark in here. It was a lot of work.

The second class is the one I have dreaded from the very beginning: Quantitative Decision Making (covering thigns like Cost-Benefit Analysis, linear regression, plotting, reading and analyzing data with Excel). The professor (who consequently might have very well gotten his certification to be a teacher from one of those Sally Struthers at home deals) liked to refer to this class as “Stats Light”. Well let me first let you in on a little secret…I SUCK AT MATH! I have struggled with school mathematical related courses my entire life. I mean seriously, I couldn’t math my way out of a wet paper bag with a compass, a map, and a native american guide. So my anxiety level for this class was WAY high. It was also high for another reason. I took this class early on in the MPA program and well due to a variety of circumstances (all of which will sound like excuses so I’m not going to bother) I failed it. That’s not good in grad school by the way. So not only was it a class I was scared I couldn’t pass, but I had to take it as a replacement grade too. No pressure.

So this semester found me taking what I believe to be the two most difficult classes in the program at the same time as well as having two kids (I had them during the fall semester but they were a lot less work then) and having an extra busy spring on the work front. Hang on rollercoaster here we go.

Fastforward to the end of the semester and here is what we end up with. In my HR Admin class (the one with all the reading) I ended up with a B for the semester which is a little bit amazing because two of his final exam questions were the most complicated, not well written, couldn’t be more different than the study guide, I don’t know what he wants in the way of an answer things I have ever seen. So I survived that one. Now for Dread Pirate Math Class…I got online the other day to check my grades and I will be danged if I didn’t mess around and end up getting an A for the entire semester in that class. Seriously, I mean did you even read that? AN A I was shocked, shocked I say. So this semester while having a stressful run-up to the end indeed ended on a very satisfying note.

One last thing. I sat down the other day to start attempting to figure out how much longer I would be doing this whole school thing. Turns out that I only have THREE classes left until I am completely, for real, Mary Quality, DONE!! I am doing an indpendent study this summer and then two classes in the fall and then December graduation. That was a VERY pleasant surprise when I figured that out, as I was sure I had probably 5-6 more classes left.

Thank you for reading this far (if you actually made it). I now return you to my normal non-sensical ramblings about things like babies, beer, and backporches.

3204_515614942714_135302925_30670549_7749827_n(I mean really it doesn’t get any better)





Where I Be At

2 05 2009

So I have noticed that many of us in the blogdom have been absent or sparse in our posts lately and I think that aside from that fact that some of us are finishing Law School, finishing Seminary, going to Africa, living in Seattle, and incubating babies (that link was supposed to be for his Mrs. but her blog seems to have disappeared), I also just think that Spring time is a bad time for blogging. We are all enjoying being outside more and doing things more because we aren’t cooped up in the cold of winter. I for one have been trying to finish up my most challenging semester of Grad School yet and I am glad to say I’m almost there. I’ve got one more final to take on Tuesday evening and then it is going to be SUMMER sans classes for this guy! I am SO ready for that break.

Last night was the first night of 10 in a row that I was not gone from home. Between school, school projects, and my biggest work youth event of the year I have been a ghost in this joint. It was VERY nice to be home and just not do anything. Today I was off work using a “comp day” from working last weekend and took the girls to the babysitter so I could enact “Operation Backporch Revitalization”. With the help of THIS GUY I was able to do some much needed sprucing up and removal of junk and get it into prime spring shape (in fact I am blogging from said porch right now). Below are a couple of pics of before and after.

Before:

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After:

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So that’s what I did today. I plan to spend a LOT of time this weekend on that very porch there. Tomorrow the plan is to load up the girls and go to the zoo for a while that should be fun times. Speaking of the girls, yes we still have them and YES they are growing like crazy mad fastness. Check out this pic below and I will see you all again on this blog very soon.

Babies:

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