Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Back to School and a Knitting Retreat

I am in my third week back to school and up to my eyeballs in homework and studies. These are the three books I am using for school this semester and what I am hauling around and have my nose buried in. My classes are:
  • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • Project Management Software
  • Windows Operating Systems Fundamentals
  • It Career Success Skills and Strategies

The Powerpoint class is by an instructor I have had many times and I am finding the content interesting. Last semester I had to give several presentations and I used Google for presentations - partly because it was easy and partly because I didn't have a good understanding of how to use Powerpoint. So it's nice to get familiar with Powerpoint.

The Project Management class is an online class and I am finding that interesting as well. I had never used Project management software and never thought much about project management before this course, and now that I am studying it I find it really interesting and feel that I will learn much that I can apply to my future careers and to my personal life as well. One of the people in my class is going to plan her sister's wedding as her final project - which I think is really cool!

The Windows Operating Systems Fundamentals class is a challenge. I have to work with a Virtual machine and install servers and operating systems in a virtual enterprise environment. It's interesting but I find it really challenging. I am learning a lot!

And the IT Career Success and Skills class I find a bit frustrating. We didn't meet for the first class and I had to miss the second class - so I am feeling a bit lost and frustrated with that class at the moment. BUT, I think this class may be instrumental in getting myself into a new career. I suspect I will have a kick-ass resume and a better idea of how to market myself after this class. So I have high hopes!

In between all of this I have managed to sneak in something really exciting. I went on my very first Yarn Retreat! The retreat was hosted by Sun Valley Fibers (who make nummy yarn!) and it was called Sun Valley Fibers January Thaw 2014. It was held in a hotel in a tiny town in Wisconsin called Barneveld and it was a big adventure for me!

Sadly, these are the only two pictures I took. My hotel room and the view out of the room.

As you can see, a huge bed which I happily plopped onto at the end of the night and collapsed after a long day of meeting awesome new people and knitting like mad. 

The view out the window gives you an idea of how cold out it was. It was bitter and I actually went home a day early to avoid driving home in nasty snow and wind. So very glad I did that! It got pretty bad and it was about a six hour drive one way. I can't imagine driving that in bad weather.

I enjoyed the retreat on several levels. I learned a lot about myself. I suffer from social anxiety and my first night was a little rocky as I was pretty overwhelmed. Around 100 people attended (or more?) and when I walked in it was a wall of noise and activity and I felt like a sad little wall flower. After a call home (not an easy feat as my cell only had Emergency service and the hotel struggled to connect my room with long distance) where my hubby talked me down, I was able to grab my knitting bag and head down to hang out with the other knitters. It didn't take long before someone joined me and that helped calm me down too. After talking to this kind knitter for a few minutes I found out it was Megan from the Stockinette Zombies Podcast! I don't watch podcasts, (is it a vlogcast if it's video?) but I will surely be checking it out now that I met Megan.

Soon I was meeting more knitters and chatting about projects and fibers and admiring projects. It was a pretty rocky start but it didn't take long before I felt comfortable and was happily drinking cup after cup of coffee and knitting away with my fellow knitters. I met some really great people and I enjoyed talking to them so much! It made me really happy that I pushed myself out of my nest and took a chance on doing something that was pretty far out of my comfort zone. And of course, I got some amazing yarn and now have a bunch more friends on Ravelry.

So that is what I have been up to lately. School, Knitting retreat, and trying to survive a January in Minnesota!


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