Late Saturday night I returned from a week+ vacation to Walt Disney World. I had planned very thoroughly to fit in all the rides and shows and parades and random street performers, and then my mom encountered a medical issue and plans flew out the window. We still had fun, we just didn’t get to do nearly as many of the fun things we expected to do.
Two days before vacation I had finally managed to get my follow-up appointment with the psychiatrist, and she prescribed Valium. I was very nervous about taking it, fearing that she’d think I was taking too much, even though in reality I kept it down to less than half of the amount I was allowed and haven’t touched it again since returning home. I really just needed help getting through all the crowds and stress of vacation.
My other stress was that I originally was scheduled to be taking a class right up to early August and we planned vacation in the short gap between the end of that class and the beginning of fall semester. It turned out I couldn’t take that class and had a couple of months off, but vacation was already scheduled and paid for. So I spent a lot of time receiving e-mails from professors about syllabi and Blackboard sites, and panicking that I couldn’t be at home preparing for the new semester to start.
On our way home we spent the night with my grandmother’s cousin and her husband and they were kind enough to let me print my syllabi and start writing assignments in my planner. I still have one class in which the syllabus is not available (the semester starts today!) and my planner is already crammed full and I don’t know where I’ll fit those assignments. I’m feeling very overwhelmed by the fact that I decided to enroll full-time this semester.
As we were riding in the car and I was trying to look at e-mails and Blackboard on my tiny little phone screen, I got very frustrated. There was a simple assignment that needed to be written in Microsoft Word and uploaded, and I could have done it in the car if I could just figure out how to actually edit a Word document on my phone. I also remembered that even as a part-time student I have struggled a lot with access to the computer. I’m at my best academically when I first get up in the morning, but that’s the same time that mom plops down in front of the computer and goofs around online for 2-3 hours straight. When I have to watch hours of video lectures and write on discussion boards and write papers for 12 credit hours of classes, there is no way this is going to work without me wanting to strangle her.
So I did the one thing I could do on my phone: read a bunch of articles and selected a convertible laptop/tablet. I had very quickly decided it would be some sort of Chromebook, and my criteria were that it needed both keyboard and touchscreen, needed to be as small and lightweight as possible, and needed to be capable of running Android apps. I found the Asus C100PA-DB02 Chromebook Flip. It opens as a laptop but can be bent all the way back to use in tablet mode, or left partially open in a couple of ways so that it will stand up. With a 10.1″ screen and weighing 2 lbs., it definitely meets my easy portability requirement. And this is one of the few Chromebooks that has access to Android apps built in without having to enter a special Developer mode.
Our mail was on hold during vacation and I’m supposed to go pick it up this morning. The Chromebook just arrived at the post office a couple of hours ago so it should be in the delivery that comes out around noon, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to snag it from the mailman when I pick up everything else. T-minus 65 minutes until the post office opens!