Think solutions, not problems.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I have this really obnoxious saying lately. "Think solutions, not problems!" Isn't that annoying? I use it all the time. It is good advice but I feel like a tool everytime I say it. I need it today because I'm getting all frustrated working in eCampus where I'm in charge of a project in 8 sections of an online class. I'm in charge because I'm the one who brought up all the issues students were having. This is why people end up being all apathetic and unhelpful at work, because sometimes you're just asking for more work when you say something.

But more work is a good thing. I want to be valuable.

So anyway, solutions, not problems. The grading a nightmare because the data collection we're doing (in the form of a project that has to be graded) is in 8 sections and 4 different groups (i.e., there are 2 sections each doing 4 different projects). Some people came to campus, some people did stuff online, some people submitted assignments correctly, some people emailed them, some people only completed part of the project so we're stuck with the issue of whether we should award partial credit.

There are no solutions to this one...I just need to get through this semester and spend a lot of time over the break doing better. I know for sure it's my responsibility next semester so I can plan it from the beginning. I can't wait til the grades are in and final so I can start thinking about next semester. I guess my solution is to keep trudging through.

Our other big problem right now is this house. They're putting a passenger train in our backyard. We went to a meeting about it last night at city hall. It's going to be a nightmare. Our intersection will be a railroad crossing, we'll have a train coming by a couple times an hour. They'll have to widen the street next to our house. They're already widening Swisher to 6 lanes with a new toll bridge over Lake Lewisville. One man said it well last night when he pointed out, "It will be just like living in Carrollton!" They tell us they aren't taking any of our backyard, but their math doesn't add up based on our property lines and the location of the railway. They want to tell us it isn't going to effect our ability to sell this house with a train in the backyard. Yeah right!

They showed a before and after picture of a house with "sound mitigation improvements". All I could tell was in the "after" picture, they had bars on their front door. Yay! We'll need bars on our door! (Poorly thought out demonstration on their part...) We don't get a sound wall so people will see right into our backyard from the train. I grew up close to a railroad, so I know we'll get used to the sounds and stuff. Everytime alcohol sales come to vote in my hometown, Edgewood, I think of Terrell. I think Edgewood will look like Terrell if we start selling alcohol. This feels the same to me. I've really grown to love where we live. It has a country feel to it but we're still close to Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and UNT. I hate thinking about it becoming like Carrollton. Not that there is anything wrong with Carrollton. It's just not Corinth.

We've looked at houses about 3 times before, everytime this train issue comes up. This time I think we're serious. It's coming and this place isn't going to be the same thing we picked 4 years ago. So we've been talking about our options. We could move to the west side of 35, but we'd still have the 6 lane Swisher Rd to deal with (it's 2 lanes right now). We could move north of Denton to the Sanger area, but I can't help but feel a little cynical like, "How long before they 'urbanize' that, too?" Surely we'd have a little more time in Sanger.

There's always Edgewood! Someone shoot me NOW...

We don't do homeowners associations, which also limits our options a bit (I think Tom loves old, ahem "classic" cars too much for a homeowners association). We could go west - maybe we should check out the area on 35 between Denton and Fort Worth. Heck, I talked to Tom about us just finding a place IN Denton. I think some of the neighborhoods north of University are decent and inexpensive.

The other issue is with the economy. We're lucky to be in a situation where we could buy a house while we wait to sell this one (or rent it). But the foreclosures make it really tempting to want to buy quickly. It feels like there is some added pressure to make a decision soon. If we wait 6-12 months, will home prices have gone up so much that we'll wish we had made our move now when we could've gotten a bargain?

Ugh, I don't have a solution for this one either. It's just one big fat problem. There are so many factors to consider and there is no way we can be sure we're making the right choice.


Lady Blachly said...

Good grief, what a mess. Damn the train. Is it for commuters or is it real live Amtrak or what? I loved the Dart Rail but surely b/c I didn't have to deal with what you are. Makes me mad for you.

As much as you don't don't want to hear this, I like your saying! ;) It's true, not problems!!

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