Month: August 2009

What was I thinking?

Exactly, what was I thinking?

I had a late class tonight and I thought, in my infinite wisdom, to drink my very favorite soy milk latte. I love espresso and I make a small two serving pot and add the espresso to piping hot plain soy milk. I then add one packet of Splenda and BOOM! you’ve got yourself a soy milk latte. I’d drink regular skim milk if my belly wouldn’t blow up like a basket ball when I do. I love good ole fashioned cow milk, my belly–not so much.

This is what I drank as I drove to my class this evening. Yesterday I had a class at 4 and was totally crashing so I thought, I better drink some coffee tomorrow when I have class at 7. I didn’t take into account that I had a great workout around 3 and that my adrenaline was pumping.

I have to be up at 6 tomorrow morning to be dressed and ready for tomorrow, but I’m wide awake. I’ll probably post this and continue reading for class. Because this semester is a transitional one, I’m trying really hard to get ahead. I don’t want to be scrambling to get work done. As my family and boyfriend have reminded me, I don’t do well under stress.

Well, I think one chapter of reading will get me sleepy. Also, my lunch, breakfast, and coffee are ready to go for tomorrow morning. I hope this semester of preparing my lunch and outfits ahead of time prove to be good Mom training.

Good night all.

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Ready, we’re talking Spongebob ready!

Well, tomorrow I start teaching. I got all my teaching materials, and a super organized and detailed syllabus. I’m hoping to be basically teaching on auto-pilot. I know this is a dream but a girl can dream, right?

I’m super excited to get this semester going. This semester is the last of my coursework and the end of my rough draft of my thesis. I’m also hoping to lose some pounds that I’ve put on in the past two years. I”ll be attempting a new workout schedule as well as hardcore brown bagging lunch. Today I went to Target and bought those ice substitute packs, a lunch box and an aluminum water bottle. I also bought turkey meat and wraps. I’m ready!

While, I’ve always been a big brown bagger, I have had moments of weakness and have given in to some bad food choices. We have a Wendy’s on campus. How can one say to no to their Junior bacon cheeseburger? Or the Frosty? I will say, in general I do pick salad, but on a bad day, a Frosty is as good as a beer. MMMM Frosty. I digress.

I’m hoping that my really awesome four day weekend schedule that I have arranged for myself will also enable me to get some serious work done. I’m thinking I’m going to devote half of my Monday’s strictly to thesis work. Then as October progresses, I’ll devote half of Monday to my thesis, and about an hour to job hunting, and apartment hunting.

So, tomorrow I march onto campus READY! Ready, we’re talking Spongebob ready. I almost put another exclamation point at the end of that sentence and since I have Seinfeld on in the background I had second thoughts.

Wish me luck!

Bring it on, but be gentle

Today during orientation my classmates and I were talking about, “if I had one more week of vacation” and one of my friends said, “If had one more week I’d just squander it” and I replied with, “that’s exactly what I’d like to do, a week of doing nothing.” This summer has been a whirlwind of classes, teaching, and  writing. Unfortunately, I didn’t do as much writing as I planned, but I was very productive.

I noticed that while I was teaching and taking a class the second half of summer, my writing was totally put on the back burner and I now am really behind on my thesis. I know my thesis is mostly a matter of just sitting down and doing it, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to get my schedule in order.

During orientation as we were discussing our syllabi I realized how my “super teacher” attitude has been decimated. The past few semesters when I’ve had to design a course, I’ve always been super excited to pick the readings and write the assignments. That is one the best aspects of teaching, getting that fresh start every few months.

This fall, however, I find myself not really caring about the course I’m designing. I just want to fulfill the minimum requirements and be done by December, holding a rough draft of my novel ready for revision. Have I become a victim of the teaching assistant mentality? I know when I was in undergrad, I had teaching assistants who were clearly busy with their own work and put teaching on the back burner and  find myself doing it too.

Since I was kid I’ve always done everything at 110 percent and now I’m getting ready to start teaching and I know I just can’t give 110 percent and do my thesis well; and while I’m a student first, I don’t want to disservice my students by only having them do the bare minimum. I do think that I put too much of myself into my teaching and too little into my writing and it should be the other way around and maybe grad school is the place where I have to learn to balance my needs and wants with others. If that is the case, I say, “bring it on world” because I’ve always put everyone else first and I think it’s time for a little “me” time.

I would love some suggestions on how I can balance teaching, writing and being a student. Maybe I just need someone to tell me that it’s okay for my students to complete the bare minimum as long as we both do it at 110 percent. Motivation please….

And we’re back on track

Classes and teaching start next week and I have yet to design my course. Thank God for the weekend.

I’m also about to enter my last semester of course work and I’m concerned that my thesis is going to eat up a lot of my time. I’m ready though to get this degree finished with. I will still have one more semester for thesis hours, but I’ve decided to do them away from the university. My decision has been totally vadidated after spending the week with my other half. I’m really excited to be gearing up to move to the same zip code as him. We’ve been long distance for almost 3 and half years.

While I’m not refreshed, I’m still really excited to get started with school. Part of this is because I’m taking some great classes this Fall and I’m ready to dig into some new books and write my ass off.  The other part of me is excited because I just love being a student. Even though I bitch about how much work I have to do, I love a lot of it. I am not a fan of the stress.

I’m loading up on classes; I’m taking four, when the norm is three. I did this so that going away for my thesis hours would be possible. This Fall is going to be one of change. I’m going to be job hunting, thesis writing, and apartment hunting at the same time. I’m excited but not sure if I’m ready to work as hard as I’m going to have to.

The thing is, I either do the work or don’t graduate. I’ m ready to not be a student for a while; to start the next chapter of my life. Ben Folds has song called “Free Coffee” and there is a line in the song that says, “We all get new selves every seven years” and that is so true.  I’m going to be writing on this blog seeking motivation and probably doing a lot of procrastination.

You call this a vacation

Let me tell you about the “vacation” I’m about to go on. I was born in a very big city. The population of Italians in this city, like many large cities is huge. My family, as my boyfriend has often pointed out, is very critical.

Recently, lets say the past four years, I have changed physically. I was always the fat kid and when I went to college and got nice and thin. Well, the past year and half I’ve been packing on the pounds. It’s very frustrating because I’m in the best shape of my life. I eat healthier and exercise more than I ever have. So what’s with the weight gain? Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older. The thing is I’m still very young we’re talking still in my twenties. This isn’t the major issue.

My family, that I’m going to visit soon saw last saw me at my thinnest. They were very kind about how good I looked, but the thing is Italians, or maybe it’s just my family, are very straightforward. When my sister got too thin, they immediately insulted her telling her she was skinny and said some mean things to her. I’m not looking forward to hearing from my family that I’ve gotten fat. 

I’m not really fat, I’m average. Could I afford to lose some pounds? Absolutely. That doesn’t mean I want to hear my family tell me, “you’ve gained weight.”

While I know I shouldn’t care what people think (my boyfriend reminds me of this all the time) it’s family. I’m going to be at a big party, with a lot of them together. While I am absolutely a victim of the outfit crisis, I have been having one for at least a week over a party in two weeks, and will continue to have one. Do I wear a skirt and top, something I can use again when I’m teaching. What about a cute summer dress? What am I expected to wear? What’s too dressy? While I have a lot of fashion knowledge, I am not sure exactly what these people won’t freak out about.  I do know one thing, I will have a fabulous pair of shoes to wear.

Maybe I’m being  narcissistic. Have I succumbed to megalomania? Why do I care?

I have about two weeks to get to look a little bit better, even if I don’t lose a pound (and at the rate I’ve been going I won’t) at least I’ll be more confident which is sexy.

Still, I’m freaking out.

Since, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m on vacation I’m going to scavenge the malls, T. J. Maxx, Marshall’s and any other store that sells women’s clothing. Maybe I’ll hit up some vintage shops.

Vacation is not supposed to be stressful, but since I moved away from my hometown and have gotten away from the critical eyes of my family, going back there has become difficult. Since I am on vacation time, I’m planning on spending as little time with my family as possible. I’m going to gallivant in the beautiful city I’m from instead. I’ll probably enjoy some shopping since the fashion their is top notch.

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.

Oh Yes It’s Summertime!

Well guys, I’m done with all my work. My silly school work and my paper grading. I’ve even averaged out their grades, just waiting on some lazy bone students to hand in late work (don’t worry, I am really just checking my mailbox, if they dont’ have their late work in F F F) and then inputting the grades into the computer. I am stoked. It is finally summer for me.

While, it’s been a super busy summer, in the midst of it I’ve learned some valuable lessons.

1) I can focus, if I put my mind to it. For years, as a pre-med student it seemed I was unable to sit down and do work. Maybe that’s because I have a deep seeded hatred for chemistry. I learned this summer if I really want to get it done, chances are I can do it in one sitting.

2) The focus doesn’t come unless you’re work space is clean.

3) Even though you have a ton of work to do, reward yourself if you’ve gotten a lot done. Maybe go to the $1 movie box at the grocery store and take a good two hour break. You’ve earned it.  I have found that if I don’t get lazy every once in a while my brain is not as efficient and my work suffers because of it.

4) Your school work and work you WANT to do comes first. While I love my students to death ( I had a great group this summer session) my work comes before theirs. I know they want their grades as fast as I can produce them, but it’s important that I don’t neglect my work. After all I am student first, GTA second.

5) Organization is key. This final summer class I was taking, I was a bit lazy and didn’t get my binder organized and my shit together until the end. It wasn’t until the deadlines were listed in my planner and the dividers were labeled in my binder that I really was ready to focus. I noticed this also with my teaching stuff. I started off really organized, with “To be Graded” folders, “Graded” and “Teaching Materials” and because of this I managed to get my student’s stuff in order (Can you tell I’m so left brained?)

6) If an idea comes to you in the middle the night and you have to be up 7, who cares, write your idea down. I figure I’ll sleep when I’m dead (or on vacation, which is right now!). I can’t tell you how many great ideas I’ve had right before falling asleep that I have neglected to write down. Not any more. I don’t care if turning on the lamp is going to burn a whole in my eyeballs, it’s worth it.

7) It’s important to be social, even if you’re busy. I know when I don’t have human interaction I get a little nutty. Friends are a wonderful support to have, take advantage of the network you are a part of. Don’t, however, take advantage of your friends.

Well, that’s just some of what I’ve learned these past two months.

I think that’s enough Pollyanna for today.

I’ll be on vacation for two weeks, but I’ll definitely be posting while I’m away, especially since I have time to write now.