Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ, Part 3

You've got your books, supplies, links and everything you need to study so now it's time to get down to it. You'll need to create an action plan for yourself every week and stick to it in order to stay on top of everything and adequately prepare for your exam.

This was my action plan:

  1. READ the NCIDQ book
  2. Make note cards
  3. Take note of things that I didn't understand
  4. Organize
  5. Study with friends

I can't stress enough reading. Read the study book! Read topics it brings up that you don't remember in other books or on some of those sources from last week. In making note cards I was a bit obsessive, I wrote everything down. I basically turned the book into note card form. It was perhaps a bit excessive but in the end it paid off for me. You'll need to decide what is best for you. Do you want it all in note card form or do you want to just write the items you struggle with? Either way you choose, stick to it! Don't get lazy.

 I'll say that last one again, don't get lazy! Studying for the Q requires perseverance and dedication. Prepare yourself now to say no to events. Make a plan now to choose what you will and won't attend and adjust your study plan accordingly. You do need off days to break and recoup but you will have to narrow down the fun events you might normally have on your agenda.

I wished I'd really worked on organizing everything earlier in my study process. Get yourself a binder and create some tabs for different areas of the test, or the individual tests. As with the note cards and reading, stick to your organization plan too, you'll be glad you did.

Studying with friends or other professionals gives you time to talk out loud about subjects you couldn't remember that perhaps others remember better, review the tougher details and find camaraderie. Having someone to encourage you and battle through the study process with you is vital. Plan to meet at least once a week even if it just over your lunch hour. Something is better than nothing.

Got questions? Submit them here anonymously! 

How to Pass the NCIDQ previous posts:

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Love Story: Zig Zag

If you're new around here you can catch up here.

guys, please tell me we look like kids here and I do actually look somewhat older... 

The days before the trip I went into studio project stress mode. I was in studio as much as possible to try and accomplish as much as possible before the trip. I was stressed to the point of tears and was having a hard time letting go. I was excited to go on the trip, but the work I was leaving behind was tearing my scheduler-planner problems apart.

And then Kevin came. He brought dinner from Applebee's and prayed with me right there in the computer lab. Slowly, slowly I let go and finally started to really get excited for the spring break trip with the BSU.

The BSU spring break trip promised a week away from school, out in God's beautiful creation in Colorado for some time in the Word, and time with friends. I craved the time with my friends and Kevin, that along with the excitement of a day of skiing drove me to accept the trip, instead of flying to Florida. 

Our days were jam packed with Bible studies which were great but mentally exhausting. One afternoon Kevin pulled me away from my friends and put out blanket on the grassy hill down the way from the cabin we all stayed in. We lied there side by side, holding hands, giggling and reflecting on all we had learned. I was loving learning from an older couple there and hearing how the Lord would speak to them individually about things they would do together in marriage. We were only a few months into dating but the sessions with that couple encouraged my heart about the marriage I may one day enter. Lying there on the hillside chatting, smiling and enjoying time together, I wished we could just stay in that moment.

But the week continued and brought more fun and adventures to us. We rock climbed to caves, took trails to waterfalls, went on many walks, I made my first March Madness picks, and we went skiing. I had been anxiously looking forward to skiing with Kevin since the day I signed up for the trip. I loved skiing but I was terrified to "teach" Kevin to ski. My previous time skiing several years back with a friend was less than grace-filled. 

We got up earlier than most everyone else and ate some breakfast bars in the bus on the way to the ski slopes. I kept my gaze staring at the stunning scenery as I considered my action plan for teaching Kevin to ski. He had gone to the back of the bus with the excuse of an unhappy tummy. Several minutes went by, then half an hour, he still wasn't back. A friend turned to ask me if Kevin was okay. I wasn't sure I mumbled back. Suddenly realizing something was wrong. I sent him a text message to check in on him. Nerves, the drive, something was making his tummy upset and he couldn't calm it down. I wanted to help him but we were stuck on this bus for at least another hour and I had nothing but motrin in my bag.

The moment we got out of the bus I went to the ski lodge on hunt for some tummy meds. Kevin sat a bench taking deep breaths and bundling up for the slopes. I swallowed up the pills and we sat there for a moment to let him get his bearing straight. I looked at him, helpless, he looked back at me with determination in his eyes, well let's go! We got our gear and got in line for our first ride on a ski lift together, Kevin putting his tummy troubles to the side so we could enjoy this adventure together.

I wasn't the perfect teacher, and he almost gave up half way down run one. His tall person skiis kept criss-crossing on him as he made his turns and in frustration he threw his poles out and snapped. I'd not witnessed Kevin really mad before and froze in the moment. I skipped back and forth to reacting frustrated with his attitude and choosing to respond with patience. Leaning into God's strength I chose patience, and encouraged Kevin to keep giving it another try. We slowly made it down our first run, zigging and zagging across the mountain side. 

By the end of the day we had made several runs and Kevin came to love the sport almost as much as I did. Apart from him trying to be a tough kid and following me down a blue, crashing and twisting his knee up a bit, and me neglecting to re-apply sunscreen to my face, we made it out alive and happy.

The rest of the trip was a blast, despite my clown face, and we rode home breaking the rules by falling asleep next to each other on the bus ride. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ: Part 2

Passing the NCIDQ is a huge accomplishment and you will get there! Keep up your confidence because it is vital to your study days.

Another vital ingredient to passing is knowing your resources. I mentioned before that you are going to want the study book and practice exams but there is more out there to help you, not a lot of it is free, but there is some.

You have enough to read with all your studying material so I'm going to make my post on sharing these other sources with you quick and to the point. Today's I'm sharing websites out there that might help you out. Review them with care and compare any information you read with information from the NCIDQ website specifically. And always, fee free to ask me questions!

So with that, the links:








http://www.schiffhardin.com/design-build/lecture-notes/architecture-544---spring-2012  ( DOWNLOAD these and listen while you work or do dishes or whatever...great talks to help you with the IDPX! )

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekend in Review

It seemed like a while back everyone in the blog world reviewed their weekend in pictures on Mondays. Looks like that trend has cut back a bit. I know my blog sure hasn't done that in a while, mostly because I've not really blogged on Sundays lately. Well football is back now meaning that my one on one time with Kevin has decreased some on Sundays. So while he's watching his favorite games, I'm blogging away at the computer, and we all say welcome fall.

This weekend was sweet and special. Saturday morning I awoke to Kevin beside me. A simple luxury for us. Kevin normally works Saturdays so this was a rare treat that we both cherished. Kevin showered and proceeded to make us breakfast, a rare treat for me since I'm the general breakfast maker. I wish I could put into words the way Saturday morning felt. Special, sweet, precious, heart warming, joyful....those are just a few of them that come to mind.

It was wonderful and yet my heart hurt a bit. I might sound like a whiny baby here since many of you are away from your husbands on weekends or possibly longer for all kinds of reasons, but this is the way I feel. I hurt because I was loving Saturday morning so deeply and it made me realize how I don't get this every weekend. It made me realize what I'm missing every weekend but not having Saturdays with him.

His schedule normally works out just fine for us. I miss him every Saturday for sure but I've learned to use that time to hang out with girlfriends, work on craft projects, or clean house like a crazy woman. I've almost always found a way to fill my Saturdays but I'd choose to have Kevin home over all those things, even though most of them are wonderful things.

And I that's where that little rant will end,  guess.

Kevin didn't let me play pity party for long on Saturday and sweetly made me forget about my woes and enjoy the time with him. And I did just that. I fully enjoyed Saturday with him. We ate a yummy breakfast together, worked on some small projects together, watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 days together, watched some football, walked campus and met up with StudentLife friends/bosses, and watched the Sooners put another victory in the books at home with our Paisles, homemade pizza and cupcakes.

Paisley ADORED the attention and loved getting to run around campus. In her words,  I love being on mom and dad's college campus.

 Paisley is a model dog...

 The beautiful stadium from far off

 My College of Architecture in the background

 One of the favorited views of the University, seen better in our anniversary pictures

 the iconic big red backdrop will one day soon go away as the stadium project will completely change the face of this side of the stadium
 no matter who we play each week, you'll always hear; "texas sucks!"
 Just a little dance session on the intersection of Lindsey and Jenkins

Sunday, we got up and showered to make our way to church, but we lost track of time once we started looking at plane tickets to go home to Florida for Christmas and before we knew it we were late to leaving for church. So we did church online from our living room. And it was one of my most favorite church services from home ever. I loved our church from home this weekend. It was so special and just filled my heart.

We did buy plane tickets for Christmas. Fact, if you're going anywhere at Christmas by plane you should shop and buy in JUNE, yes JUNE! Thankfully, we found some that were half the price we anticipated, a huge relief. Now we are just praying Kevin gets off the days we now have tickets to be gone for.

We enjoyed leftovers for lunch and then football came on. GO COWBOYS! Kevin let us watch Girl Meets World over half-time, I don't care what anyone says that show is cute even if it is incredibly cheesy...I mean if you loved Boy Meets World (and by loved I mean obsessed) then you'll like Girl Meets World just fine. And now, I'm here blogging, in my robe which I've had on since my shower this morning. Sundays are good, are they not?

The rest of our Sunday has some little projects in it and dinner with a couple who has agreed to be our mentors (insert excitedness here) and then possibly a grocery run.

Living just a simple life here, nothing incredibly exciting or noteworthy but it all makes my heart swell with gratefulness and my mouth turns into a smile. Life is a sweet and special momentary gift the Lord has given us.

What did your weekend look like?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Love Story: Sharing Our Stories

If you're new around here you can catch up here.
On the drive back to Norman, Kevin asked me about my interview and questions they had asked of me. I shared with him the several generic questions, most of which he knew answers to so I didn't give my response. Eventually, I told him they asked about my my story, my testimony. I was about to go onto the next question when he asked me to share that with him. I was stunned.
After a year and half of knowing one another and approximately three months of dating and we hadn't shared our stories with one another. In some ways he knew a good deal of it, just not in the way of how I share it. It stunned me that we hadn't shared our stories yet, and it stunned me that he wanted to know it. I wasn't sure M and I had ever shared our stories in quite this way before either. In the, you don't know me, here's my heart and what the Lord has done in me, way.

So I did. And then he did too. And our hearts grew even closer.
(read mine here)

Valentine's Day arrived and I had a date. An-in-person-take-me-out date on Valentine's Day. A first in my life. My first Valentine's date with a guy was with M and while it was sweet, it was still done through computer screens. This year, I had an actual date night out. 
I was going through all the usual fussy girl things, rummaging through my closet for what to wear, scrambling to turn on the curling iron and check with my roommates on jewelry and shoes. Kevin had planned a nicer dinner for us at Olive Garden, and together we planned to go see Valentine's Day afterwards with one of my best friends and her current guy. 
He arrived with a single rose in hand. He gave it to me with a sweet letter and explained that for every Valentine's day we spend together I would receive another rose, and expressed that one day he hoped he would be giving me a dozen. My heart fluttered. It was a sweet idea but more than that, he knew he wanted to spend several more Valentine's days together. It was overwhelming, exciting, and terrifying.
He whisked me away from the apartment and drove us to the town's Olive Garden which was busy busy busy. We finally got a seat and joked about the other couples in the room with us. Glancing around we picked out couples who'd been together a while, those who were newly dating and then the awkward ones too. Then we wondered what others thought about us. Could they pick out that this was our first Valentine's date? We giggled as we considered the idea.
Meeting up at the movies with good friends was the perfect way to make our first Valentine's date fun and pressure free. The movie was hilarious and we loved sharing it with friends. First Valentine's date in the books.

Of one thing I was consistently sure of, I wasn't getting tired of Kevin. It seemed in my past that inevitably I would get tired of people. I loved going to camp, but after a constant day and night week with those friends I would need a break from them. I think the same happened with roommates even now in college and we would give each other that time apart we needed. But with Kevin, I wasn't getting tired of being around him. He wasn't annoying me. I didn't need a break from him. Quite the opposite, I wanted more time with him.
And more of him was exactly what I was getting. We spent as much time together as possible. If I was on a project and he was busy, he still found a way to come and surprise me where I was. My schedule was full of balancing projects and portfolio work but Kevin was always finding a way to make me feel cared for. We learned to savor all the little moments in between my hectic interior design project schedule. A silly, sweet picture accompanied most of those moments. We didn't want to forget a thing.

Our spring was wonderfully filled with Friday date nights, and Sunday reading nights, with a good dose of school mixed in there. As February came to an end we eagerly anticipated a whole week together with no school to interfere. Our first trip together would be the BSU spring break trip and it was just days away now.

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