School started again yesterday, which I am simultaneously excited about and dreading. I'm super excited about my social work classes. It's nice to be almost done with generals and actually working on something that's relevant to my degree. But I am dreading waking up every morning at 6:00 AM to get ready and drive to Twin Falls. I am not a morning person and I've been fortunate that my kids aren't, either. I can only think of three times where I've had to wake up before 8:00 in the past three years....wow. So that will be a challenge. I was so worried about missing my alarm the night before school that I woke up about a dozen times in the night just to check the time, so then I was exhausted all day. I almost fell asleep in my statistics class, which is probably not a good sign. I think I should try to catch a nap before that class or something, because that's going to be my worst class and I really need to pay attention. Anyways, I was pretty proud of myself because I actually woke up on time and wasn't scrambling around to get everything together last-minute. It helped that I'd gotten everything ready the night before and just took the girls to abuela's in their pajamas. I made it to class on time and everything. Now if I can just keep that up for four more months.
The social work classes should be good. One of them is an intro class, so we'll just talk about social work in general and different types of jobs and everything. That should be very enlightening. And then the other one is called "Human development and behavior," which I was kind of confused about at first. Apparently, it's just about studying development through the lifespan (like childhood development, adolescence, etc). The first half at least should be interesting. I want to work with kids and teens anyways, so that will be good. Not so sure about the second half (adulthood, old age), but I guess we'll see how it goes. The instructor is the same for both of those classes. She seems nice and reasonable as far as how grades and homework assignments work. There are a couple of girls I used to work with in those classes, too, so that will be good. One of them also has to drive from Burley and stay there until noon (my class gets out at 11:00) so we may end up carpooling.
The last two generals I have to take are this art history class online (to fulfill a humanities requirement) and statistics. The art history looks pretty similar to the jazz appreciation course I took last semester, and I understand more about art than I do about jazz so hopefully I won't have to BS my way through that one as much. It should be easy. Time-consuming, but easy. And then there's my statistics class. Oh my gosh. I'm scared. Seriously. I've even been entertaining the idea of just dropping the course, but if I do that, I'd have to take it at USU, and I have a feeling it would be harder there than it is here, so I should probably just stick it out. I just did my first homework assignment on the online math program thing, and missed about half the questions. In the freaking introduction chapter! It was just asking about populations and samples and I just....I can't wrap my head around it. It doesn't help that I haven't done math at all since high school. I'm probably going to have to start going to the math lab or something to get tutoring help. Or find someone good at math to come help me. Elissa (because I know you read my journals), you should move back to Idaho and help me with my homework so I can pass this class.
Anyways, before things get too crazy with school, I'm trying to finish rewriting my story so I can do one more quick pass over it and then send it off to beta-readers. So far, I'm happy with how it's going. I've made lots of big changes. Everyone's viewpoint except Jared's and Zira's got cut out. I'm not sure if I'll be able to continue that in the second book, but I do want to stick to just 3-4 viewpoints instead of having a few random chapters here from other viewpoints. So probably Jared, Zira, Revolver, and possibly Ryku or Aubreigh? I haven't decided yet. Anyways, having all those viewpoints always just felt weird, and I never felt like I was really pulling it off. Aubreigh and Seth got bigger roles in the new version of this book, which is working out surprisingly well and should make Seth's transition to book 2 make more sense. I never realized how much of a shallow, 1-dimensional character I made Aubreigh in the first book until I reread it and saw that she was just awful. Half the time I wanted to slap her. She's better now (but probably still needs work). And then I think I've managed to make it seem like Seth is more of the antagonist of the story than Ryku is (until much closer to the end, anyways). I'm really curious to see how someone responds to that--someone who hasn't already read the book and doesn't know anything about it. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. It was always my original intention to set him up as more of a father-figure to Zira--harsh and strict maybe, but a decent person. Somewhere along the way I got carried away with the whole "Ryku is evil" thing and I kind of wanted to get back to the original plan. And I was super excited to find out about some recent advancements in prosthetic limbs to kind of use as a springboard for Zira's leg, so now I feel like all of that is pretty scientifically and medically solid instead of just me spewing out random nonsense that I sort of made up on the fly. Hooray for productive research! And pinterest. Because surprisingly enough, it was pinterest that pointed me in the right direction with that one.
I've always sort of mentally divided the story into 3 parts, and I just finished rewriting part 2, so I've only got 1/3 left. I cut a LOT of stuff out of part 2. It was kind of devastating, but it definitely needed to be done. The word count has changed a lot. I think it was something like 63,000 before I started this rewrite. Then it jumped up to 73,000 before I got to part 2 (so yeah--I added and expanded on a lot of stuff), and now it's down to 69,000. It will probably go up again after I'm done with this last section, though. It's also been kind of interesting to look at how much the chapter number has increased. I had 23 chapters before, I think, and now I will probably end up with 30? We'll see, I guess. All I know is that part 3 is going to be about as much of a disaster to rewrite as part 1 was, so maybe expecting myself to be finished by the beginning of February is a little too ambitious. I'm going to try though!