Category Archives: Study

What I learned in 2017 from The Teaching Company’s Great Courses

As I’ve said before, I have a 22-40 minute morning commute to work (the longer time often due to absolutely no reason at all except … drivers.)gettyimages-55743523_1472835076262_5913880_ver1-0

I used to listen to NPR, then classical music, but after stepping up my audio learning in 2016, last year I continued listening to lectures from The Teaching Company. Quite a few of them, as it has turned out: Continue reading

What I learned this year from The Teaching Company’s Great Courses

I have a 22-40 minute morning commute to work, the longer time often due to absolutely no reason at all except … drivers.gettyimages-55743523_1472835076262_5913880_ver1-0

I used to listen to NPR, then classical music, but this past summer I started listening again to lectures from The Teaching Company. Quite a few of them, as it has turned out: Continue reading

PE Preps…the saga continues

Short note today.  Studying is progressing well, but I need to step it up.  Only 75 study days left as of tomorrow.

I found a blog ( of a woman who started it while on her third go around (she did pass that time) and she had some good insights as well as a host of problems she worked out and posted.  Her afternoon specialty was structural, which is not my choice, but as they taught us in the many several leadership classes in the Navy – “using all available resources…”

I also found that Texas A&M (my Master’s degree alma mater) Civil Engineering Department posted a set of videos to help prepare.  They are dated (have to be from around 2001 or earlier) as the exam format has changed twice since they recorded them, but the material covered is still germane. Site here for anyone interested:(  I haven’t watched more than a minute or two, just to check them out, but I will later as I work through more problems.

And problems I am working!  I stopped the (re)learning and switched to working problems.  That from a tip on the first blog site – she, while admittedly on her third trip to the dance, realized that she was “wasting” her time studying since she had to go to the books to look up how to solve the problems anyway.  I still think I need to absorb more of the material from classes I never took, but her approach makes sense to me.  So, I’ve adapted.

Even though there is only about six minutes to solve a problem on the exam, I’m taking as long as I need right now, because I’m indexing the solution resources, the equations needed, constants used, cross-referencing everything so that when I come across something similar on the actual exam, I’ll be able to (hopefully) solve it more quickly.  I plan to run through all the five specializations and then run through them again.  And again.  My primary focus will be water resources and environmental for my afternoon depth exam, so I’ll be working a lot of those problems.

Only 75 days.  It’s a long time.

Or not.  Regardless, I will pass it the first time.  (Because I don’t relish doing this all over again!)

PE Preps – Part the Third and a third

I have learned that my explanation about the pencil vs pen issue and potential cheating was not as clear as I thought when I drafted it late last night.


  • Test takers cannot bring pens, pencils, sharpies, highlighters, crayons, pieces of coal into the test center. Only reference books, and bound notes (bound can mean hole-punched and put in a 3-ring binder, but not a glued pad of paper – interesting that distinction)
  • The test agency provides mechanical pencils only for the test takers.
  • Test takers can only write in the provided test booklet
  • Any pencil writing NOT in the test book will be assumed to have been written AFTER starting the test, thus compromising the security of the test because it could mean that the test taker was writing down test questions to pass on to the next test taker

So, to prevent mistaken perceptions on the part of the proctor, I need to highlight over the pencil marks I’ve made (to prove that they are pre-existing), and either write everything else in pen, or photocopy the pages, AND,

don’t write in anything but the test booklet AND put the pencil down when looking in the reference material I brought in (that’s going to take training, because it’s inefficient.)


Oh, and I have 99 days left to study as of tomorrow. Yay.