keep on keepin on

You would think with arefoum being down I would get more work done.  All that time spent reading post-exam thoughts, and reviewing vignettes, and generally lurking on PPP/SPD/CDS forums  (“I passed and so can you!” comments are fun) would go to working on my structures notes.   Yes, you would think that… and you would be wrong.

“Hmmm…I wonder if it’s working now?”  *refresh*  “Nope.”
*10 minutes later*
“Hmm… how about now?”  

I’ve spent a good chunk of time wondering when, or if, the forum will come back.  As of this posting it still hasn’t, but it’s my naive hope that it will spring back to life sometime during the work week.  And if it doesn’t, well, then I suppose we’ll all get through it.   Between Kaplan, ArchiFlash, old textbooks, and Google,  I think I’m in pretty good shape for materials, and in my last post a few people had some awesome workarounds.  Regarding thread posts, JD said:  “Google-search a question (for example: are forum CDs vignette overlap dimensions), within the google results page, click on google’s chache. Access to the google cache varies per browser, but this will display most of the thread, minus images.”

AREweanArchitectyet (another awesome ARE blog you should read, btw) found an old backup of the FTP files from ARE3.1 days.  Contracts are out of date, and the old 3.1 exam structure is used, but it’s still useful to have!   Here’s the link for your use!  I’m seriously relieved to have heard about this one…I really do rely on the FTP info when I’m getting started on an exam.

you can go ahead and guess which half of my weekend was more exciting.

I cranked through a good chunk of Kaplan over the weekend.  I didn’t meet my goal of finishing it, however.  I have two more chapters to get through: Wind, and Notable Buildings & Engineers.  If I can tear myself away from Antiques Roadshow (guilty pleasure) or, God forbid, actually get it done before its on, then I will still be in good shape at the end of tonight.  I’m excited to start working through the Kaplan Q&A book, words I never thought I would type, but my next priority will be finishing my study guide.   Now that I have a basic understanding of everything I think/hope the guide will go together much faster.  That being said, it’s still going to take some serious time, coffee, and ice cream.  I hear Ben & Jerry’s is a good study aid.

So far the exam content is all making sense.  I’m not sure how many of the random equations that Kaplan mentions (eg: calculating shear in a notched beam) I will have, or choose, to memorize, but my general feeling right now is that if it’s explained in the book, I should damn well know how to do it on the exam.  I took the quizzes at the end of each chapter and scored a 70% or better pretty consistently. Recalling and solving equations is still giving me some trouble, but  I seem to remember that being an issue in school as well.   At least I know where my weaknesses are.

My goal is to finish my study guide by the end of the holiday weekend. I don’t know if that’s insane or not.   I do know, however, that it’s probably sad that I’m excited to have next Monday off from work because it will give me 8 more hours of “good” brain time (I study/work better in the mornings/afternoons than in the evenings).   It’s going to be a busy week for extra curricular activities.  The Timbers take on Valencia FC in a friendly on Wednesday evening and we have our first Cascadia Cup match against Vancouver on Saturday.  After finally getting a win yesterday versus Chicago,  I’m psyched for both.   And speaking of psyched, Nate has a gallery show opening on June 1 for a photography project he’s been working on, and I get to help him out on that a bit as he prepares.

Given all this neat stuff going on, I need to buckle down and work hard in the moments I have free.  It’s certainly doable with a bit of willpower.  I think step number one will be blocking areforum so I don’t keep refreshing the page again and again…. *click* Nope.  Still nothing.

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11 thoughts on “keep on keepin on

  1. carlos says:

    Thanks for the info. we need something while the site is down.

  2. Carli says:

    I look forward to your entries every morning! Thank you for motivating me and keeping me focused! And PS your study guides are really amazing, so well formatted and easy to understand. I am taking SPD and PPP in 4 weeks! Very excited to get the ball rolling already. Good luck this weekend 😉

  3. Jennifer says:

    Jenny – I ran across your blog yesterday and find it truly inspiring! I’ve thought about doing something like this for awhile. Thanks for your insight and awesome notes/ study guides. The ARE test taking world needs more like you. I’ve been testing since 2009 and have taken all exams….hopefully, the nightmare will end this August when I take Structures for the fourth time (yes, you heard me!) PPP and CDS round two are both next month. Keep up the good work and if you need any insight on the other exams, let me know.

    • jennypdx says:

      Hey Jennifer – thanks for reading and for your nice message. I really do appreciate hearing from people who stumble across the blog! 🙂 You have my deepest sympathy, I can’t imagine four rounds of structures!! Best of luck on that, and PPP/CDS. I’ll keep you in mind as I prepare for the rest of my exams. If you ever decide to start a blog of your own, let me know!

  4. Rick says:

    Good luck on the structural exam. That one I passed first time. Just got my PPP notification and it was F. My rolling clock runs out next month. 😦 Thursday I’m scheduled for SPD and no forum for feedback :(.

  5. Anjana says:

    I have been using the Google cache and came here to make sure you knew about the cached pages. Glad that you did. I seem to be getting by with checking only once or twice a day on AREForum and using the cache inbetween. I’ve taken CDS and PPP at this point. I really hope I pass the PPP because I don’t think I can do any better the next time around than I did this time. Anyway, now I’m thinking I’ll do SPD, and then do SD as a follow up. I would imagine that there are some benefits to combining those two. Then I plan to take BDCS, because I read (cached page) that there may be some overlap between SPD and BDCS. Then SS (again read that BDCS overlaps SS), and the BS last, since it doesn’t seem to overlap much of anything.

    What’s your rationale for going from SPD to SS ? I ask because your notes are so amazing, I’ll be glad to follow your lead where it makes sense.

    I’m excited to step up the pace now that I’m back in the study groove. And like you, I’m actually looking forward to the sense of accomplishment from getting through the Kaplan material so I can go on to other sources. I took PPP just yesterday, and rather than feeling like I need a break, I’m rearing to get into SPD already… that’s a good sign I hope!

    • jennypdx says:

      Glad to hear you’re in the study groove and ready to jump into SPD. Keeping the faith and confidence in yourself up between exams is such an important part of the process.

      My jump from SPD to SS was based on exam order strategy rather than content. Structures is one of the most challenging subjects for me, so I wanted to take in the middle of my sequence rather than at the end. If I fail, I can use the 6 month waiting period to focus on SD, BDCS, and BS and not lose much time sitting around (although right now that sounds pretty nice!). It’s totally a personal decision, so if you think you’ll do better moving from SPD to SD, then by all means go for it! Let me know how it goes!!

      • Anjana says:

        Hmm, that’s a great strategy for me to ponder. I guess I’ll think more about it when I’m done with SPD. I’ve just mapped myself a 3 week process, with the Multiple Choice & Theory the first week, Vignette videos and the 1st Vignette the 2nd week, and then the 2nd vignette during the last week. Let’s see if I can keep up. I’m not scheduling it until I get through the Vignette videos.

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