1/14/17 – Little Red Riding Hood

The first writing assignment for English Composition I was a fable narrative. I had to rewrite the second half of Little Red Riding Hood with an alternative ending. In my submission, in a twisted turn of events, Little Red Riding Hood cuts down the good-natured wolf with a hatchet in her grandmother’s kitchen.

The writing assignments seem like they’re going to be time consuming, so I plan to start another course while I work on them. Perhaps sociology or an area of study management course.

I haven’t had a day off from work in nearly a month – working three 6-day workweeks in a row. Hopefully I can get some credits tomorrow (Sunday) and things will calm back down at work to free up some more study time.

Persistence is the key to success, as they say.

 

1/13/17 – English Composition I, Study.com Scholarship

I started last night and got up again at 4:30 am to work on this one. I’ve got 10 quizzes down with 5 to go. Currently, I’m sitting on a 90.65% for the course. Most of the course so far is high school level grammar and punctuation with some verb tenses and homonyms. This is by far the easiest class I’ve taken yet, although there are more quizzes and more questions than most.

After the 5 quizzes, it also looks like I will need to submit some writing samples as well. I hope to finish the class today or tomorrow, at the latest.

Yesterday, I found a link to Get Free Access to Study.com’s College Accelerator Sponsored by Guardian. 

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If selected, I’ll get a free personal finance course as well as 6 free classes. It sounds like it can take 7-10 days to hear if you’re selected. If you’re not selected, you don’t get notified. I signed up, which included writing a brief description of why I should be selected and how I would use the knowledge. Fingers crossed. I guess we’ll see in a week or two.

1/12/17 – Straighterline & English Composition I

After a very busy Tuesday & Wednesday, I’m back in the saddle working on my General Education credits. I’ve read lots of different opinions about where to go to get composition and public speaking credits, but I’m really enjoying the format with Straighterline. I figured if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so I signed up for English Composition I.

I didn’t automatically download the ebook this time. I figured if I end up struggling with the content I can always go back and download it later.

Tomorrow: How I faired on English Composition I and twelve potential free credits from a new source.

 

1/11/17 – Library & Free Audiobooks

I love to read. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. I usually read 20-30 books a year. Recently, a friend pointed out that our local library allows you to listen to Audiobooks using an app on your phone.

I hadn’t used my library card in almost a decade, so I had to get a new one. It proved to be super easy. I just walked into a local branch on my lunch break and had a new card in my hands in about 5 minutes.

With my new library card I downloaded the Hoopla app to my phone and started browsing for books.

The first book I decided to listen to was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I’ve read tons of business and inspirational books before, but somehow missed this one along the way.

Using the audiobook, I’m able to listen to the book while I’m getting ready in the morning, on my way to and from work, while I’m doing household chores, and on my lunch break. In other words, learning something during times when I might otherwise be listening to music or worse the TV.

In the past, I’ve used Audible.com which is a great service, but why pay for something if you can get it for free.

Using the audiobook format, I can easily put away a 400-500 page book in about a week. You’d be amazed at how much you can learn and, more importantly, how much your perspective can be changed listening to Audiobooks while you’re doing things around the house or driving.

1/10/17 – Happy Birthday to Me

Good morning. Today’s my birthday and I started it by getting up at 4:25am to take the final for American Government before work. I got a 90% on the final and 89.5% on the course as a whole.

I’ll probably take the rest of the day off from studying/exams, but who knows I might try to sneak a little bit in.

That’s 23 credits if you count Beginning Algebra, 20 without, and a fair chunk of TEEX 101 done in 10 days. I know I won’t be able to keep up this pace through all 120 credits, but I’m glad to get off to a fast start.

1/9/17 – Straighterline – Intro to Religion

The UCard continues to pay off. I saved another $8.75 on ProctorU scheduling my Intro to Religion final exam with only 50 minutes notice.

I passed the final exam with a 92% giving me a 94% for the entire class.

My first impression of Straighterline was very good compared to Saylor. I like the format, the ebook, and breezed through Intro to Religion (in fairness, this is a topic I know a lot about already).

I signed up for American Government and found another coupon code, albeit a smaller one. $158.56 for the class and ebook for this one. (Not complaining – probably cheaper than even the textbook for a brick and mortar college, also it includes the cost of proctoring the final exam).

More on that and continued progress on TEEX tomorrow.

1/8/17 – Straighterline and more TEEX

There are so. many. questions. in the TEEX cybersecurity modules. Can’t complain too much though because it will be 6 free credits. As of right now, I’ve got 2 down and 4 to go.

I took a break from TEEX and signed up for my first Straighterline course – Intoduction to Religions.

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The cost should have been a $99 monthly fee plus $49 for the course plus $87.71 for the ebook, but I used a $50 internet coupon to pay $185.71 for everything.

The format is the best I’ve seen yet. I’m breezing through the content and although I’m not timing myself, I bet I will complete the whole course in around 3-4 hours.

Tomorrow – Intro to Religion Final Exam.

On a side note – If I cancel my Saylor subscription can I still transfer my credits later without any hassle? Does anyone know?

 

1/7/17 – TEEX Cybersecurity 101

Knocking out some more free credits… TEEX Cybersecurity 101. Each module has a pretest, the material and a post test. 

So far, I’ve been able to skip the pretest, skim the material and pass the post test. I’ve scored anywhere from 71% and 94% and haven’t failed one yet. If I get enough time tomorrow, I’ll try to polish off one of 101 and maybe even 201. 

101, 201, 301 combine for 6 college credits for free. Then on to Straighterline… More tomorrow. 

1/6/17 – ALEKS Intro to Stats FAIL

I studied and studied and took my time and still only managed a 51% on the ALEKS Statistics Assessment. I think at this point I need to pass on this one and come back to it or look to get my stats credits somewhere else. It seems like Saylor will keep asking you the same type of question over and over even if you clearly don’t understand that specific concept. At 51%, my assessment didn’t even ask me questions on over a quarter of the pie. The nature of the test seems harder than it needs to be and not something you would experience in a real classroom setting.

I did some more research and it sounds like a mix of Straighterline and CLEPs will be next in line for me.

I’ve started making a spreadsheet of all the credits I need and where they could/should come from. The weather this weekend is looking like snow with a side of snow, so hopefully I can knock out 6-9 credits by Sunday to be somewhere around 20-23 after my first week. Wish me luck!

 

1/5/17 – Intro to Statistics

Riding a wave of confidence I decided to go straight into Introduction to Statistics on ALEKS without studying to round out my math credits. I’ve never taken a statistics course. The initial assessment felt so easy and I felt like I crushed it.

I scored a 27% percent. Sounds like I’ll need to do some extensive studying and take another crack at it.

Also, I started Introduction to Financial Accounting at Saylor. I took the practice exam and scored a 58%. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the course material for the Saylor courses is very scattered and too exhaustive.

I hear people like Straighterline, CLEP and DSSTs better. I’m more interested in getting my degree quickly than for a rock-bottom price, so I may consider switching where I’m getting the credits from. Anyone have any first-hand advice on this?