The Ups and Downs of Higher Education

Today's post is off the topic of beer. It will focus instead on some new developments in my attempt to earn a college degree.

Yes, it's true. I ain't never got no college degree. Plenty of school, no degree. This is what happens when you study topics like fashion design and culinary arts. You realize midway through that you will never be the next Christian Dior or Thomas Keller (or Auguste Escoffier). And, because you don't want to be some cog in the machine of either industry, you stop these courses of study. And then decide years later that a nice, stable BA is the best option (especially since your employer will pay the lion's share of it). However, you are able to make a lovely dress and an amazing, interesting meal to eat it in.

Earlier in the year, I decided to take the Spring and Summer terms of school off. In order to buy a house and get settled. Now, my time is up, and I will be returning to the world of scholastic achievement this fall. I have my classes, and I finally requested an audit of my transferred credits, to take a good hard look at what I still need to take to finish up at PCC and move onto PSU.

The good news? PCC took 53.5 credits from my previous education. Sadly, they did not take any of my fashion design or culinary core classes. Apparently, the ability to properly convert a dart to gathers or make a perfect chicken veloute are not necessary to complete a degree in Business Administration. Who knew? Likely (I still need a degree audit to confirm) most of these credits will take place of elective and Arts & Letters credits.

The bad news? As I was registering for classes, I realized that my math placement test scores had expired. So,  I retook them. Did a little better than last time. Then, reviewed what math classes I need to take to finish up. Initially, 10 classes. Then, I recalculated.


7 freaking math classes. I am required to take 3 classes that have math 95 as a prerequisite, including Statistics. So, because I tested into math 60 (introductory algebra), I have to take math 61,62,63, 95, and the three post- 95 classes.


I love math, and will be taking a class every term. Maybe two per term, once I have completed the classes that have to be taken consecutively.

One more bit of good news? Student discounts! I renewed my PCC id this term, and was able to pick up a year-long Portland Art Museum Student Pass for $15 (the cost of one regular admission). I went this past Friday  to take in the Lachaise (never have I felt so wide of waist and narrow of hip) and Cyclepedia (Skipper looks kinda uncool now) exhibits. Plus, I found out the the Portland Symphony has student tickets for $10. Yay! Cheap culture! Now, I just need to find a ballet company with cheapo student tickets, because taking ballet classes (resuming September 19) is simply not enough.

Cheers, and have a genteel weekend!

I'm In, and So Excited!

Just yesterday I received the word that I was accepted into the Homebrewed By Design project. I am thrilled, and cannot wait to see my label!

Cheers, and enjoy the weekend!

Happy Mead Day (Part Two)!

Hate is a strong word, and I try to use it very sparingly.

That being said, I admit that I hate bottling. It is messy and boring. As I have told many customers at the shop, "if I have a thousand things that I want to get done in any given day, I add bottling to my To Do list for the day. Guaranteed that everything else on that list will be completed, simply to avoid bottling." I do not lie, I have employed this trick frequently, and it works every time. However, I NEED to bottle today. Why? Because I want to work on "The Pub Room".

The Pub Room, before shot

Clementine has a cute little dining area with a sliding glass door that leads to the full-length back deck. I have stored what used to be my spare counter space (a potting bench that is pub table height), chairs, the fridge that I will use for a kegerator, plus an extra freezer (more on that later on the What a Good Squirrel blog). I have named it "The Pub Room".

Currently, The Pub Room is stuffed with, well, stuff. Including two meads (Fig Vanilla and Lavender Gooseberry) and two long-agers (Flemish Red and Sour Rye Peach Ale) that need to be bottled. Today, I tackled the meads.

The Fig Vanilla, bottled

Now, that muck on the bottom of the carboy? This is bentonite clay, which clarifies meads (and wines) in a shockingly speedy manner.

Beers (needing priming sugar and a fresh yeast dose, thus requiring more time) will be bottled later in the week.

Other news?

On a slightly sad note, I gave notice at HBX yesterday. Much as I have enjoyed my "hobby job", the time required by home ownership, my career, and my impending return to scholastic pursuits simply do not allow it. I will miss the people (and the discount), but this is the best decision for now.

On a happy note, my hops are doing well and have started growing cones:

And lastly, my neighbor got a new puppy, Holly.

Is she not the most adorable little scamp?

Cheers, and have a lovely week!