Confessions of a Class Junkie | The Nerd Nest

I take a lot of classes, and after the success of sharing my takes, I decided to make sharing a regular thing. It keeps me motivated!

Today I’m sharing my takes on three classes I’m taking and one I’m teaching right now:

Document College Coursework With a Timeline | The Nerd Nest, Inspired by Ali Edwards

Document College Coursework With a Timeline | The Nerd Nest, Inspired by Ali Edwards

Document College Coursework With a Timeline | The Nerd Nest, Inspired by Ali Edwards

First up, my take on the first week’s assignment for Ali Edward’s wonderful 4Expert class Hello Story. I used Ali’s Digital Timeline files to document all of the classes I took during my three years at Park University after transferring from community college. I included the course number, title of the class, number of credit hours, and the grade I received for the courses in each semester I attended. (Not going to lie: it hurts my nerdy feelings that the grades from my worst semester are highlighted in the close up.)

I’m planning on doing something similar for Jake’s courses, and then I’ll go further back and document the courses we took during our two years of community college. People ask us all of the time how we both got through college with a baby, but that part of the story–the college part– is hardly documented. I thought this course timeline was a good place to start: I can see how much I took on each semester and just reading the course titles brings up all sorts of memories. The only really important information missing here is how I took each class: most semesters were a mix of 8 week accelerated online classes, 16 week daytime courses, and 8 week accelerated night classes.

I saved my degree audit, so most of the information was on there, but then I found I was able to access a much more detailed unofficial transcript online. For the win!

I printed the coursework timeline onto vellum and laid it with an awesome 12×12 photo of Mackay Hall, the prettiest building on campus. (Printed by Persnickety.) I hand wrote the season and year of each semester and lined the top and bottom of the page with washi tape in my school’s colors.

Registration for this class closes today, April 9th.

*You might also like Strong Mamas, the layout I created for week one of this workshop last year. It tells the story of four generations of strong young mothers in my family.

Seed Packet Minibook with Journaling Cards | The Nerd Nest

Seed Packet Minibook with Journaling Cards | The Nerd Nest

Seed Packet Minibook with Journaling Cards | The Nerd Nest

I made this little seed packet minibook for Monica Bradford’s Scrapbook Outside the Pocket, which is now closed. This mini was for week 4 of the class, and I’m pretty sure that this is the only class other than #30Lists I’ve ever completed in real time! I know I’ll be able to go back for more takes on each of the 4 weeks of information, but for now I’m proud that I completed a project for every week of the class.

Instead of a mini book to use for memory keeping, I used journaling cards from a We R Memory Keepers pad (only available at Target) as a home for all of my seed packets. Some of the seeds aren’t ready to be planted yet, and other packets come with much more than I’m able to plant in a year. This little pocketed mini was super easy to make: I stapled 3×4 cards onto 4×6 cards, punched a hole in the upper left hand corner of all of the cards, and put a jump ring through. I love that this will keep me from losing all of my seeds! I can also use the cards to take notes on each of the varieties. Pretty cool!

Use Your Stash in Stashbusters Anonymous! | The Nerd Nest

Use Your Stash in Stashbusters Anonymous! | The Nerd Nest

Use Your Stash in Stashbusters Anonymous! | The Nerd Nest

Another class I’m re-taking this year is Stashbusters Anonymous, taught by Aly Dosdall. I’m pretty good about not buying a whole lot more than I can use (NOW, that is. Beginner Megan, not so much). However, that doesn’t mean I can’t benefit from a good stash busting. I love that this class encouraged me to use my scraps, embellishments that I use less often (like the ribbon on this page), and that it inspires me to work with older products I’ve been hoarding a little bit.

This workshop is a re-run, but there’s an all new blog in the class with, among other things, guest designers. I’m one of them! When I made my guest page I couldn’t help but keep going with an extra take. I used ribbon as journaling lines and used a lot of bright, fun colors to capture the personality of then-four year old Eliza. I had to have a few surgeries at the time, and she was asking a lot of questions (as Eliza does), so we ended up teaching her a bunch of stuff about anatomy. Pretty cute, and totally foreshadowing life now.

Funny story: when Jonas saw this picture, he wouldn’t believe that it wasn’t a picture of him. Jonas is pretty much a boy clone of Eliza.

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Last up, I’m currently teaching My Details with Kristin of rukristin. The class begins April 14, though there’s a pre-class full of great content now and a private Facebook that is pretty amazing. The conversations going on in the My Details community are super fun, and we just naturally pull stories from each other in conversation. I wanted to harness that awesome energy and use some of the stories I told in the Facebook group in my memory keeping. The first is a layout about being a crazy cat lady.

In 2010, I really wanted a second cat and Jake didn’t. By the end of negotiations, I got a kitten but he got an iPad and a deal that he’d never have to clean out the litter box (except in the event of pregnancy). That’s a super funny side of the story that didn’t get documented. I also need to write about where this little kitty, Ashes, came from and what happened to her.

The second project inspired by the My Details Facebook Group was a quick card to slip into project life about my celebrity crushes, because it was a fun conversation going on in the group. If you’re taking My Details, don’t forget that it all counts as memory keeping! Sometimes the easiest way to write about yourself is to tell stories to others: translate that into your favorite documentation medium!

I’d love to know what classes you’re taking or some of your past favorites!


Affiliate links used when possible. Using these links to buy anything, even items other than the linked items, helps to support the Nerd Nest.


Here’s the deal: because I have friends who teach things and because I teach at Big Picture Classes, I get to take classes for free sometimes. Not that I don’t ever pay for classes. One Little Word, for example, is something I’ll always shell out the dough for. But sometimes: free. So I end up taking more classes at once than I would if I were paying for them. I’d want to make sure I had time to do ALL of the projects in a given class vs. dipping in here and there if I were working within my crafting budget, so I’d probably limit myself to three or less at a time. But as it is, I don’t need to do that, so keep that in mind. I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to be taking a stressful amount of classes. Choose classes based on what you think will be the most inspiring or the best fit for you (and your budget).