Sophomoric mistakes and attitude adjustments

By Amy Nielsen

In the continuing saga of my quest to pass organic chemistry, this time with feeling - the second time around, I made my first of what I am sure will be many incredibly sophomoric mistakes. I got cheeky with my professor and he docked me points from an easy A for it.


Time is not your enemy

By Amy Nielsen

There are 22 years between when I earned my Bachelor’s degree and when I made my decision to get a Master’s degree. In that time, a whole lot of life happened, including a career in the field I graduated into, two kids, and a stint as a Navy spouse.


Searching for Scholarships?

Don’t let the howling winter weather fool you, spring is right around the corner. And that means scholarship deadlines are nearly due.

There are thousands of scholarship opportunities for students of every age, race, location and academic discipline. Some are even have very specific requirements that include heritage, club membership or even hobbies meaning that the pool of applicants is tiny and your chance of winning is high.

But first, you have to find those scholarships and apply for them.


Chemistry, Round Two

By Amy Nielsen

My spring term starts on Sunday - back to the grind, churning onward on the educational treadmill of my Master’s program.

As we are stuck inside today with the giant snowstorm roaring outside I decided to take the time to prepare my folders and brain for the coming onslaught of knowledge.


Redefining Failure – Grad School Style

By Amy Nielsen

Failure: /noun/ 1) lack of success, 2) the omission of expected or required action. (Google Dictionary)

So I did it.

Completed my first term as a Master’s candidate and, I failed a class. I failed organic chemistry. I was barely failing for the first third of the term. Then, miraculously, I was passing after I got really lucky on a quiz and scored high enough to just pop over the passing threshold. I gained confidence and kept up the miniscule margin of positive points I accumulated, until the final exam. Which, I flat out bombed.


On-campus, online and traveling between the two

By Amy Nielsen

I travel for three reasons - for a purpose, with purpose, or without a care.

I have been travelling internationally since I was small. I consider myself a third culture kid. My mother is the one who taught me about the three kinds of travels, though we never talked about it as such. We travelled together with the rest of our immediate family, she went away on her own for business for many weeks at a time – beginning when I was in grade school, and then there were the trips we took alone together – some of my most favorite memories.


Memory Lane in a little black book

By Amy Nielsen

I have the little black book that I started in culinary school. Get your head out of the gutter. It is my master recipe book. It’s a black heavy cardboard spiral bound thing, four inches by six inches with thick textured paper inside – like those sketch books angst-ridden teens carry around. This one has graph paper inside it and a sticker of the conch republic on the cover. That alone should tell you something about me.


Understanding your learning style smooths the road to success

By Amy Nielsen

I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak this past week at a very small theater in our rural community. Hearing her speak has been on my bucket list since I first read one of her books in the mid-nineties in college. Reading her words was the first time I understood that people are allowed to think differently. I grew up thinking differently.


What Have I Done?

By Amy Nielsen

It is time to register for my second term of classes for my Masters degree already. I am a bit at a loss as to how I got here this fast. I feel like I just started this whirlwind journey last week.

On the student-run Facebook pages discussions are flying about which teacher is best, online vs on campus options, and how to tweak the plan of study to make the program all you need and want it to be. 


Midterm Thoughts

By Amy Nielsen

It’s midterm. I’m stuffed full to the brim of new materials and I need a break. One of my classes is done for the term, it only ran half the time but with double the work. It was one of those classes that makes you stop and rethink everything you thought you wanted to do with your career. It almost makes me wish it were continuing for the rest of the term – almost.

I thought I would just go on to a bigger fish pond once I moved up to graduate school. I had no idea the new pond came with grander and more dangerous weeds and some really big barracuda.

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