Archive for the ‘California Institute of Integral Studies’ Category

The Good Enough

January 1, 2019

Paper.

I got a message yesterday as I was winding up the laundry and gathering it from the dryer at the mat up the way on Balboa.

It was a message from one of my professors.

I have already begun reading for the next semester, three of my text books have landed in my mail box, and I wasn’t really thinking anything about the message other than maybe he’d gotten my grade in early.

That was not the message.

No.

Fuck my life.

The message basically said it looks like the final paper you sent in was a draft and not the final copy and it is full of typos and ends abruptly and doesn’t answer the questions that I wanted answered and makes me wonder if you understood the scope of the material in the course.

Holy shit, what?!

I was flummoxed.

First, that I had sent in a draft?

I never do that.

I am scrupulous about doing a spell check and when he said “typos” I was really curious about what it could be.

I was also pressed for time as I was supposed to go meet up before doing the deal in the Castro and I had only so much time, not enough, surely to look up the paper and see what I had sent in and remedy it.

I scrambled my laundry home to my house, I had fifteen arguments in my head with my professor, I got upset with myself, I started thinking about the paper I had written and internally I knew, the prof was right on at least one point, I hadn’t really written a paper that was outlined in the directions.

I had deviated and written something that I wanted to.

My professor had also noted that though it was “fascinating” it didn’t address a lot of the topics that he wanted covered.

And that bit about me not understanding the scope of the material?

Well fuck off.

Did you not read all the freaking discussion posts I put up?

I mean.

Fuck.

I did substantial, 1,000 word plus discussion posts, on a weekly basis, two, three, four times a week.

I understood the scope of the fucking material.

I was mad.

I was also mad at myself.

How could I have sent in a draft?

What was I thinking?

I also had a vague recollection of actually being rather proud of the paper I had sent in, though no, it was not written in the way he wanted, it was well written and I felt that in my own way I had actually answered all the parameters of the paper.

I sent him a message and apologized for the paper, told him I had a standing appointment to meet up with my person and I had to do the deal after and then I’d get right home and get on figuring out what had happened.

I teared up a bit, I imagined I was going to have to do a load of work, my brain went right to the worst thing ever.

I was failing the class and what the fuck was I doing even bothering to try to get a PhD?

I was in over my head.

I was tired.

I didn’t want to re-write the paper, was I going to have to re-write it?

But I loved my paper, I really had liked it and I had spent more than one day on it.

Quite often I will write a paper in one shot and then edit it and send it out.

I did this one in two days, I felt like I should have been getting a pat on the back and a “how clever are you?” comment about my paper, not some insinuation that I didn’t understand the course work.

I was incensed and upset.

I cried big raccoon eyed tears when I made it to the Castro and basically wet down the table at Firewood Cafe with my weeping.

I couldn’t believe I had actually worn not just eyeliner, but also mascara and not the waterproof kind.

I looked a little beat up when I left.

I got down to it though with my person and came to the conclusion that.

1. The professor was right, I hadn’t written the paper the way he had assigned it.

2. I was being arrogant.

3. I didn’t have to get an “A” in the course.

4. All I had to do was pass the course.

5. I was fucking tired and overwhelmed and I didn’t have a whole lot in me.

So after a lot of getting humble and admitting that I may have turned in not the best paper I could, whilst also admitting that I was beating myself up a little too hard, I left the Castro, came home and looked up the paper.

OHMYFUCKINGGOD.

It was like the draft of the draft.

It was awful.

I don’t have a clue how that got past me.

All I could think was that I had updated my computer at one point and maybe that was it.

But it was true, the version I had sent to my professor was a hot mess, typos, misspellings, the last page was missing, the paper ended in a super abrupt way and I had also pasted the directions in the paper so that I could refer to it when I wanted to.

But you don’t send that in to the professor!

Ugh.

I spent some time trying to find the final draft and there wasn’t one saved on my computer.

So.

I made the decision to not re-write the whole thing, I still was holding onto the idea that I wasn’t that in the wrong with the content of the paper and he had said it was fascinating.

I cleaned it up, re-arranged a few pieces, wrote out the last page that had been missing and sent my professor an e-mail apologizing for the draft that had ended up in his e-mail.

I also defended what I wrote, but admitted that yes, he was right and I hadn’t done the paper by the guidelines he’d given.

I said if there was anything else I needed to do for the paper I would happily do it.

I sent it out and crashed out early, I was wiped out emotionally and mentally.

There was nothing in my e-mail when I woke up.

I spent much of the morning thinking that I might be spending my New Years Eve writing a ten page paper on a topic that I had basically shelved eleven days ago.

Then.

OH!

Sweet relief.

I got an e-mail this afternoon saying that he’d gotten the new copy, that he understood that it was a mistake getting the first one, that further, he understood why I had written the paper I had and that I didn’t have to do anything else, and happy new year.

HAPPYFUCKINGNEWYEAR!

Sweet Jesus.

What a freaking relief.

I don’t even care what the grade is that I get.

I am certain I will pass.

The paper was good enough.

And I can now say, with finality that this semester is over.

Which is good since I’m doing reading for the next one at this point.

Not tomorrow though.

Tomorrow is a holiday and I will treat it as such.

Grateful as all get out that I made it through this year.

It was one hell of a ride.

Seriously.

Advertisements

Ouch

December 2, 2018

My poor mouth hurts.

I am in a lot of pain, but I know, from last years experience, that it will get better.

I had to get another crown put in.

I cracked, yet again, another tooth.

This is tooth number two.

My dentist told me that I am grinding my teeth in my sleep.

Great.

I’m not stressed, really.

Bwahahahaha.

Sigh.

So, two weeks ago I got a temporary crown.  What had been an appointment for a teeth cleaning became a three-hour session in the chair.

And cost a fat $1475.

Then today, two weeks later, I got my new crown in and dropped another freaking $465 to get a mouth guard because my dental insurance doesn’t cover mouth guards.

But I tell you what.

When my dentist says I need a mouth guard or I run the risk of cracking more teeth and having to get more crowns, I’ll fucking pay it out-of-pocket.

Happy birthday!

Merry Christmas!

Yay.

Dental work.

Oh well.

At least I had the money in my account to just pay it out with cash and not freak out.

I wanted to sort of freak out, but I don’t have to.

I still have some student loan money left over to get through the rest of the semester and I will be alright.

I always am.

There was a time that dental work of this nature would have blown me out of the water, but I have a touch more experience with padding my bank account with my student loans.

I told a friend today what my student loans were at, around $104,000 and he blanched.  He’s also from country that doesn’t charge its citizens to go to school, so he’s not really accustomed to what it means to be an American with a great big heap of student loan debt.

I don’t care though.

My education is worth it and hey, I took out a big chunk to help with my move into my new place and I have no regrets about it.

I am interning at a non-profit and plan on working for them for the ten-year period that the federal government asks one to do if you want your student loans forgiven.

I can do that.

So it’s ok if I have them.

And yeah, they’ve helped with more than just paying tuition at my super expensive school.

I’m worth it and I still get to live in San Francisco.

So, there’s that.

I’m not on any pain killers for the tooth though and it feels big and hot and ouchy in my mouth.  If I remember correctly from last January it passed within a few days, the big pain by the next day, hopefully that will happen for me as well.

I expect that there will be some tenderness and hot cold sensitivity for a while, but it does pass too.

I will say I am not in the mood to do any homework and since my landlord is having a party I’m not really in the space to turn my attention and focus to homework.  I’m playing some pretty loud French music right now and trying to not think about my tooth.

I also did some apartment hunting on Craigslist.

I’m happy with my new place and not happy at the same time.

I had to move all of my things out of storage in the basement today, which I was not planning on having to do.  When I moved in the landlord offered me space in the basement to store stuff as my unit as no storage space, just a tiny closet that doesn’t fit all of my clothes, I got a big dresser and a rolling garment rack to deal with that.

But I don’t have anywhere to put my camping/Burning Man gear, nor the boxes of notebooks and text books I’m not currently using.  Fortunately my boss offered me space in her storage unit.  So tomorrow I get to get up way earlier than I was planning for on my one day off during the week to take my stuff across town to the Bayview to put in storage.

Two weeks ago I had asked my land lord that the basement be unlocked, I wanted to grab my Christmas ornaments a something to wear to the Burning Man ARTumnal event I went to a few weeks back.

It was at that time I was told that I was going to have to find another place to put my stuff as the landlord’s wife is pregnant and they are going to be renovating a room into a nursery and needing to store stuff in the basement.

FUCK.

I was floored.

I was also fucking pissed.  Where the hell was I going to put my stuff?

And.

I hate to be a bitch.

But fuck my life, I moved in here partially because I was assured it was a really quiet space that I was going to be able to study and not be disturbed and all was going to be chill.

A new-born living over my head is not a quiet living environment.

Now.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, I adore babies, for fuck’s sake, I’m a nanny.

AND.

I’m a nanny, I deal with crying baby at work all the time, I don’t want to come home to crying baby.

Ugh.

I might be making too much of it but that coupled with a few other things, like the unit is not nearly as sound proof as I was lead to believe and that the landlord and his wife have had two knock down screaming fights with each other where things were smashed and doors slammed since I’ve moved in that makes me think I will be looking for a new place to live when my lease is up.

I’m not going to break the lease, unless something extraordinary gets dropped in my lap, but I do think I may not be making this quite the permanent place I had thought.

And really, not that permanent either, I wasn’t planning on being here longer than my PhD program.

I sort of figured that I wanted to get settled in and cozy and then not have to think about moving until I was finished with my program and by that time I would be making good money with my private practice and could afford a one bedroom instead of a studio, or even, maybe start looking at what it would take to land a house.

I really do have the  dream of owning my own home one day in San Francisco, crazy as that may seem, I have my hopes and I have seen stranger things happen.

So.

Yeah.

A tooth ache and a loud party upstairs are not conducive to doing homework, but I thought, I can blog!

And there you have it.

I’m back to the blogging and my, it does feel fine and I just realized my tooth hasn’t hurt that much while I was writing.

Win/win.

And That’s About Enough

September 24, 2018

Fuck.

It’s been a long damn day of study.

I’m all done in.

I could use another two hours of work, but I can’t do it.

I have written two different reaction responses to material.

I finished a book.

I read another dense chapter in another.

I watched one video of an hour and a half and launched into another four-hour documentary.

The level of discourse is deep and I appreciate all that I am learning and I’m tired.

Pooped.

Done.

I also am getting settled into my life, my home, my new space.

I got furniture assembled today and organized.

I hired someone from Task Rabbit to do the work and honestly, I’m so happy I did.

The woman was really kind and quick and it took her, a skilled person, she’s got great reviews, three hours to put together the furniture I ordered.

I did not have three hours to spare today.

I should probably not be blogging, but you know, the blogging saves my fucking ass.

I need to get all the cobwebs out and I need to process and this is where I do it.

Oh, I know, you’ve had to have noticed, I’m not blogging as much or as regularly as I have in the past, but I am doing it when I need to.

It feels like a need.

Just like writing in the morning feeds me and helps me to get ready for my day, the blogging helps me filter through everything that happened and helps me to not ruminate too much on what the day has brought.

It brought laundry.

My first trip to a laundry mat in years.

Sigh.

I’m not going to lie, its not optimal.

I wish I could use the laundry that is here at the house, but I don’t have access to the garage.

On one hand its fabulous, I don’t have to go through the garage to get to my place anymore.

“I am so jealous of your space!” The woman who came over exclaimed looking at my place.

I had to say, it did look pretty spectacular today, the sun was shining in the windows, my God it gets such beautiful light, today was my first time being in the space most of the day, so I got to really see how much light came in.

So much.

I was reluctant to leave today.

But I knew I had to.

I had to do laundry and I did it and yeah, it wasn’t super fun and I feel like the laundry mat rips you the fuck off with the cost of drying and dryers that don’t really dry, but it is what it is and I did study the entire time I was there, which set the stage for the writing that I did for my classes today.

I still have to do a response in one of my classes, I did two out of three today, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do more.

I had to shut down the video I was watching, which I have watched before for my Freudian Analysis class three years ago.  I remember being fascinated by it when I watched it then, now I’m just tired from it, it’s a bit dark and like I mentioned, four hours long.

That’s a long time to watch anything about psychoanalysis and I’m a psychotherapist, it’s material I do enjoy, but it’s a heavy-handed version of Freudian analysis and I just got a bit worn down by it.

Anyway.

I am happy to say that as my home becomes more and more realized, that I am resourcing myself by being in the space.

It is warm and sweet and inviting.

It is also pretty and fun and colorful and it smells good.

I like the good smells I do.

I can look anywhere in the space and I will find something beautiful to rest my eyes upon.

I really like it and I like how unconsciously I have found things that fit together in interesting and arresting ways.

I don’t set out to create these patterns, but they are there when I step back and look, colors that blend with each other, complimentary shapes and pleasing ways of things coming together.

I will, as I have mentioned, post pictures soon, but it’s not quite fully realized, I still have to get my dresser and it will get set up next week, yeah, I re-hired the woman who helped out today, especially since next Sunday I will be deep in a ten page paper.

I can’t spare the three hours of assembly the product says it will take to assemble.

I mean.

It’s hella cute and had I the spare time I would totally do it, I have the tools I have put together plenty of things before, but this is an active act of self-care to delegate this out.

I have to focus on that paper and I have some ideas percolating, so hopefully it won’t break me.

It’s going to be a big week as I end my time with Liberation Institute and say goodbye to some clients and to the group I have been working with the last year and a half.

I also have to get the rest of my things together for Grateful Heart.

Like now.

I’ll be sitting with a friend from school to design my website on Wednesday and I will be getting a phone number and setting up a Square Reader.

I need to research that too, find out how long it will take for me to get the reader, etc.

Jesus.

I just did it.

Now my brain is officially fried.

I just set up and ordered my Square reader.

I will get it sent to me in the mail and hopefully it will arrive, it should, by the time I have my first client who will be using a credit card.

This is happening.

I think I have done just about all that I can today.

I have to call it a day.

Or a night.

I’m cooked.

Time to make a cup of tea and wind down, get some sleep and leap into what is going to be one hell of a busy week.

Seriously.

Bits And Pieces

September 7, 2018

I’m slowly working things out.

I’ve not altogether gotten a rhythm with my school stuff, but then again, hey, you know, it’s Thursday and the intensive ended on Tuesday and every day since, including Tuesday, I have read something for a class, highlighted something, watched a full length video of a Harvard professor on the nature of knowledge in the age of the internet, plotted my calendar, downloaded and though I have not figured it out completely, started using an app called Mendeley, which allows me to import a pdf file to their site, save it and highlight it, thus alleviating some of my anxiety about really liking to highlight what I read, but not having been able to when I read something online.

I was tipped off to the program by a woman in my cohort who is super into tech.

I am super into grateful right now.

The work load for school is heavy and I am seeing where I can be as creative as possible with my hours.

Even today, I read for 8 minutes before leaving the house to work.

I really haven’t worked any time into my morning routine for homework or the like, but I know from my Master’s degree work that any time I have to spare I can read a few pages.

I mean, I knocked out five pages and that’s five pages less of the thousands I am going to have to read this semester.

I just have to keep taking tiny bites when ever I can so that when I do have the time to devote to the work I am not overwhelmed by the enormity of it.

I also have some grace periods coming up that I had forgotten about, but was wonderfully reminded about at work today.

The mom is going out-of-town for ten days and the baby is going with her.

Which means I won’t have my usual morning nanny routine.

Add to that, the big kids are back in school next week.

Finally.

Tomorrow is their last day of summer vacation, so to celebrate we will be going back over to Marin for a day of swimming and sunshine in San Rafael.

I am definitely down for some sunshine.

Frankly I have been a bit bummed that the fog is still here.

I don’t recall it lasting into September before.

I want my god damn San Francisco summer.

September and October, at least until about mid October, are usually really nice and warm and sunny.

Not this year.

Not yet anyway.

So a day trip to Marin seems just the right way to end the week with the family.

And next week what with the kids back in school and mom traveling I won’t have any responsibilities at the house, as far as childcare, until I do school pick up at 3p.m.

I’m scheduled to come in at 11 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 10 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

First.

I won’t have to come in early at all next week.

Today, for instance I came in at 9:30a.m. to do the mom a favor.

I will have a straight across the board 11 a.m. start all next week.

Which means I could actually sneak in a half hour or so of extra reading in the mornings before work, note to self.

And since I won’t have childcare duties at the house I can also do work there.

Granted.

I will have responsibilities, I’m not just the nanny, I’m the household assistant and I’m often, four days out of the week on average, the dinner cook.

I will most likely be doing all the cooking for the family next week and lunch prep for the kids as well as any grocery shopping that needs to be done.

The mom is super proactive and there’s already deliveries from Good Eggs and Rainbow Foods and BiRite Market lined up.

I probably won’t have to do much grocery shopping, although I can, I have access to a credit card if I need to buy anything.

And there will be laundry and clean up.

I know what the house turns to when the mom is out-of-town.

So yeah, cleaning a bit more, but I should be able, from past experience, get it all done in the first hour to hour and a half that I am there.

Which means I should also be able to get in about and hour and a half to two hours every day reading.

I am really hoping I can knock some stuff out-of-the-way.  I’ll bring my readings, my laptop, and anything else that I need to get as far ahead as I can.  Any postings that I can do, I will do.

Plus, one of my classes has a lot of videos to watch–lectures mostly, but a few other things, that I could watch at work too.

I plan on getting as much out of that work week as I can.

I also have had a few client cancellations in the next two weeks, not a lot, but some hours have opened and I know what I will be doing with them.

I feel like this is how it will go for me.

I will have pockets of time open when I need them and I will be able to get the work done.

I am also starting to think about the Spring semester.

I am thinking that I am going to ask off from Fridays at work, starting in January.

I will make more money seeing clients on Fridays and if I don’t fill up my whole day with clients I will fill it up with studying.

I will of course need to make money, but I suspect that the money is really not going to be an issue, I’m being taken care of, I really am.

So what’s next is to nail down a place.

I saw a studio yesterday and it was no bueno, totally overpriced, and I was way underwhelmed, plus it was dark and didn’t get much light being an interior unit on the bottom of the house.

Saturday, after I go over to Berkeley and deal with some administrative work for my new internship I will come back to the city and hit a couple of open houses.

I have pretty much decided to get out of here as soon as possible.

I want quiet and low-key, I have too much on the line this first semester and I want to get out before the really big papers start looming.

I want to be in my own place and settled.

So I figure if either place looks good, both I can afford, and both have amenities I need, like laundry on site and um, hahaha, windows, I will make the offer to pay more than just the first months rent and damage.

I figure throw all of the buy out money to get into a place right at them.

Fuck mincing around.

So, fingers crossed, by this Saturday I have a place.

Yeah.

I’m juggling a lot.

But I feel like I can breathe today with the realization that it all works out.

It always has.

I am being carried.

I absolutely am.

I.

Am.

Graced.

Back Home

September 5, 2018

With a huge stack of books and notebooks and pages and pages and pages of syllabi.

Oh my God.

What have I fucking done?

I went from feeling pretty good about it all to feeling super overwhelmed after my last class.

The irony being that it was the class I figured I was going to enjoy the most.

Of course, with some perspective, I still think I am going to enjoy it the most, but I am awash in the anxiety of having to produce the work.

There is a lot of work.

Yesterday’s class blew me out of the water at the intensive.

I really liked the professor.

In fact, I am quite fond of him as he swooped in one morning seeing me sitting by myself at breakfast and made me join his table at the intensive.

We had a great talk.

He loves Paris.

I love Paris.

We are now friends.

Plus, he has had an extraordinary life, three marriages, multiple degrees, Harvard, Brown, CIIS, somewhere else I forget.

Of course he has a PhD as well.

And a lot of papers that he’s written and he seems to be the co-collaborator of the way the course work is designed.

First of all.

Let me say that I had some, well, not exactly contempt, but a little wiggle of worry that because my PhD is an “online” program, that it would not be academically rigorous.

Fuck my life.

Academic rigor galore.

In fact, as one second year told me, she thinks that we actually do more work than a traditional PhD program and I think she’s right.

Second.

I was in the dark a little about the length.

I had this idea that the program is only two years long.

The course work is only two years long.

Then there’s methodology, the comprehensive exams, research, the writing, the proposal and the defense of said proposal.

The course work will be four semesters.

Then I can expect at least another four more semesters of work to finish the dissertation.

Which means two more years.

And the professor made it very clear that the fastest anyone could possible do the whole shebang was 4.5 years.

What I heard from most of the people in the program was that if I did the course work and stayed the course with my research, readings, writing, methods, etc, that it would take in total about 5 years.

So.

It’s no different from any other doctoral program with the exception of the majority of the coursework is submitted online and that a large component of all my classes is to interact and engage with the learning community on-line.

There are 30 of us in the cohort split into two sections.

There are three classes.

Introduction to Transformative Society; Self, Society, and Transformation; and Creative Inquiry: Scholarship for the 21st Century.

I am the only student from San Francisco, though the school is located in San Francisco.

There were a lot of students from the East Coast, New York mainly, I think six of my fellows were from New York, one from up state New York.

One from London, a University Professor of Psychoanalytics and Psychodynamics.

One student from Hong Kong.

One student from Oakland.

Another from somewhere in the East Bay, a few from up North, somewhere in Canada, I totally forget now, another from D.C.

The woman from D.C. was also an MFT and teaches as well at university level, specifically Art Therapy and Play Therapy for adults, she was super sweet and insisted I call her if I have any questions about marketing or setting up my private practice internship.

Said internship that although I took materials with me to work on I did absolutely no work on at all, I was so immersed in the classroom experience and the work at the intensive.  And I read a lot while I was there on my breaks, as much as I could without totally isolating myself in my room.

Anyway, a lot of high-caliber, smart people.

Majority of them women, which was very, very cool.

Grateful to be part of some smart, intelligent, driven women.

Very grateful.

One of whom came up to me with a piece of paper today in a notebook that she was keeping to show to our future selves, our name with Dr. in front of it.

I was more than happy to write mine down.

Dr. Carmen Regina Martines.

Fuck that looks good.

And now I can stop giving myself grief that I maybe was in an “easy” PhD program because it was two years and online.

Silly rabbit.

It is not easy at all.

The great thing that I realized though, after having a bit of panic and overwhelm when I was in my Creative Inquiry class yesterday, is that the material is not beyond me.

I understand the concepts, they make sense.

Oh sure, a lot of the material is new to me, I haven’t studied these things before, but I have been reading academic papers and books now at a higher level of understanding for the last three years and the materials are not cowing me.

Nope.

Not at all.

That was a nice realization for me to make.

What was causing the panic was the number of deliverables that I must have for Creative Inquiry.

8 papers.

8!

And though some of them are short, I have a couple that are not, and two that are quite big.

Plus I have to get published.

Are you fucking kidding me.

I have to actually publish a review of a scholarly journal.

Holy shit.

Now.

I am excited.

But yesterday I was just overwhelmed.

What the fuck?  I remember thinking I have to get something published too as a requirement of the course, Jesus, plus, oh, great, thanks, I also found out that I have another book to read, in addition to the books already lined up for the course, I had to pick one of four others that were presented.

Let me say this.

I will not be going anywhere without carrying a book or an article to read.

That’s why I got overwhelmed, 8 papers for this class, three for Self and Society, and one big whopper for Intro to Transformative Studies.

Plus weekly discussions and comments and interactions with my cohort.

I worked a lot on my calendar yesterday and I’m not 100% certain, but it looks like I will have to read two to three books per week to get through all the material.

Well, not quite, more like 2.5 per week.

Plus the articles, many of them big, long, academic papers of over 30 pages, and every class has three or four of these a week.

So yeah.

The material doesn’t scare me, it’s just getting the time to do it.

I’m not sure what’s going to have to go out of my schedule, but somethings definitely are.

Maybe a few less blogs a week.

Maybe.

I’ll let you know.

For now, I’m just happy I’m home and all my stuff is put away and I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Very happy for that.

Very.

 

In The Right Place

September 3, 2018

And if there were any doubts about my PhD program, they were all erased today.

Replaced by a feeling of knowing, really knowing that I am in the right place, at the right time, in the right program, with a cohort of people who I am really beginning to like and  respect.

I had my second full day of classes and the class today really (and when I say class let me say that one class was six hours, with a meal break in between, these are not your standard “classes” that are 50 minutes long) brought it home for me.

The first part of the class was really a sort of getting to know you exercise that took a bit longer than I was ready for and made me squirm a little bit as some folks began to go over time, but it was a good way to hear more about the folks in my cohort, and that was nice.

But.

It was the next part of the class, when the professor introduced to us the realities of the work and how the course was set up, the readings, and what he hoped to accomplish that would allow us to do our dissertations and get through to the final doctoral degree.

He expressed what we were going to do and how we would get there and I could see al the ideas that have been percolating in my head start to coalesce.

I had gotten really good feedback from the Dean of the school when I interviewed with her, she had never heard of anyone covering the topic I want to do and that excited me.

But that was back in February, March?

Back when I was still in my Masters program.

And I still have had the idea, still have had the interest in pursuing it.

But here.

At the intensive, it suddenly felt alive and very, very real.

The course work is no fucking joke.

I am going to be reading until my eyes bleed.

However

The cool thing is that I won’t have to write as many papers as I did for my Masters program.

Of course, there will be the dissertation and God only knows how long that will end up being.

God willing it will become a book.

I mean.

I really could see the culmination of the effort not just netting me the PhD, but also getting to work on putting out a book.

I’m really excited about it and my fellows in the cohort have been asking me questions and really into my inquiry.

Makes me happy.

After we had our lunch break and came back to class for the second half of the six-hour class, I was ready to dive in.

I had a nice lunch break and had gone for a little walk to get some fresh air and a coffee and sat down at the beach for a little while, got some salt spray on my face and some sun and felt refreshed and ready to jump back into the material.

Material that I was excited by, work that I am looking forward to doing.

Oh.

I’m a touched overwhelmed too, won’t lie about that, the reading load is really quite heavy, but if I consistently read, every day, as much as I can, I will get through it.

And that the writing is far less substantive heartens me.

I will have to have a big online presence, which will be a little new for me, but I have done it before with a couple of my former classes, so it’s not a completely new experience, it will just have to be something that I am consistent with.

There is going to be a lot of me working on this for a long time.

I’m grateful though, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do the work and I’m grateful to be excited and I’m grateful for the talk I had with my professor after class ended.

I went up to him and thanked him for presenting the class how he did and I told him that he had assuaged the last tiny feelings of why wasn’t I just going for a PhD in Psychology versus doing a PhD in Transformative Studies.

He asked after my inquiry and I told him what I was thinking about and he got excited.

HE GOT EXCITED!

For a tenured core faculty professor who has published over 50 articles and written I don’t know how many books, but more than one, he published his first when he was just 30, and he speaks five fucking languages, for this professor to be excited by my idea was really such a great feeling.

I think I floated away from the classroom.

I mean.

I am tired.

It’s been a lot of showing up, being present, paying attention, taking copious notes, reading, although not as much as I did yesterday, I tried to connect more with the cohort today and hung out with my fellows and talk, but I still did read, and being out of my comfort zone, in a new environment, yeah.

Tired.

But good tired.

And tired happy.

Tired that there’s going to be so much.

But also tired with a purpose.

I have a purpose, there’s an end goal and the program is exquisitely designed to get me to that finishing point.

In fact.

As far as PhD programs go, they have one of the highest success rates of programs in the United States for actually getting PhD students all the way through the process to the doctoral degree.

Most programs see 30% drop out in the first year.

So seeing the mechanics of how it works and what I have to do to get there and how thoughtfully it was all laid out.

Well.

It made me smile.

It really did.

IMG_E4816

 

Whoa

September 2, 2018

Well.

I am fucking in it.

The work is on.

I sat through some really long classes today.

I did a lot, I mean, a lot of reading.

I just wrapped up my third academic paper of the evening and I am about done.

I was supposed to go dancing with a group of girls across the street from the hotel at some place called Nick’s but when I showed up, in my red lipstick, there was no one there.

And frankly.

Hanging out in a bar is not my scene.

Especially not alone.

I turned tail and headed back to my room.

I have a banana to nibble on after I finish my blog tonight and then maybe a little bit of a video to watch.

I’m going to do my best to get some sleep and get up early, take a shower before breakfast and get right back into another long day of classes.

I’m not quite through the midpoint of the intensive and it is for sure living up to the name.

I am, also, quietly proud of myself for showing up, for participating, for actually getting on top of a chair at one point to make a point, it was experiential, I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, and doing the deal.

It’s going to be a lot of work.

A lot.

But I am up for the challenge.

And I will do it in the two-year.

There is a three-year track, but honestly I don’t think it makes it any easier for the student, it just seems to prolong the inevitable work that must be done.

I will do the work.

It will be challenging, it looks to be a lot of reading for each course, tons really, but I feel like I have given myself a good jump on some of it by reading before the intensive, finishing two of the thirteen books that I will have to read and knocking out four articles thus far, plus an hour-long video.

I will keep up.

And I have an idea about what to write about for my first paper.

The first class that I have sat through seems to be well laid out and reasonable.

It will be challenging, but I can see clearly that the last three years and how I worked through the Master’s program will actually be a benefit to me.

I am fairly self-directed and do readings all the time, I write on my own all the time, the practice keeping my pen fresh and alive for me so that when I need to write the papers I can do so without a lot of effort.

I will have to get better acquainted with the universities library system at some point though, I can see that already.

I haven’t much used it, typically going to the books assigned in my classes to write my papers, but at a certain point I will be doing independent research and I will need to have a good working knowledge of the library system.

I have also to sign up for a session with a writing fellow at school.

Not necessarily because I have grammar or even style issues, but one of my classes makes it an assignment to get connected with a fellow and develop a collaborative relationship with said fellow in an effort to get a different perspective on my writing.

I am down with that.

I just need to double back on my syllabus and find out what day I can do that.

I will be juggling a lot of things as I move forward and I can see that I need to be clear in my intent and keep my head down for a while.

I will continue to the best of my ability to show up here at my blog, to show up at my notebook in the morning, to maintain my practices, even when I am tired.

I do know that I will be more flexible with myself than I was in the beginning of my Masters degree when I had to absolutely write every day no matter what, even when it meant getting less sleep.

I’m not so much open to that sacrifice any longer.

Although my sleep here has been a bit rougher than I would like.

I have dreamed the last two nights of my ex.

The first night was a nightmare of getting separated from him and lost and I woke up so shaken from the dream.

Last night was not a nightmare per se, but it was an insightful dream and my fears definitely crept in.

I did a little Jungian dream analysis of it when I a woke and then wrote down the dream later.

I found it helpful.

I have trepidations of sleep now though.

Although, yes, it does appear to be true, I have no roommate!

No one has shown up.

Every time I walk into the room to take a break between lectures or classes I half expect some strange woman to be unpacking and taking over the second bed, but here it is the third night of the intensive and no one is here but me.

It really has been a huge gift.

I can walk to the bathroom naked.

I don’t have to worry about someone else’s schedule.

I can listen to music, read, write, do what I need to do.

Gack out on Craigslist.

It’s not the best idea in the world, but I have been regularly checking the site.

I have e-mailed a few more places, but gotten no response, which may be indicative of the holiday weekend, or that the places have already been rented.

It’s September.

Holy shit.

Two months.

I have about 60 days to find a place.

I’m not worried yet, but I do find myself going on Craigslist more and more.

I made myself get off it earlier and turned my attention to reading through another paper instead.

Like I said, I am pretty good at being self-directed.

To which end I shall now direct myself to wrap this up and wind it down.

I have a full day tomorrow.

Nighty night.

Here All Week

August 31, 2018

Checked in, un packed and decently settled into my room at the Best Western Lighthouse in Pacifica.

So far the good news, aside from the fact that I was assigned a room that faces the ocean, I mean, I am literally right there, the sound of the waves is fantastic, is that my room-mate hasn’t shown up yet.

I wouldn’t mind enjoying the view by myself.

IMG_E4789

It’s a pretty nice view.

The hotel is not great shakes but being so close to Rockaway Beach is quite nice.

If I ever get the chance to walk down on the beach and not just sit through lectures and classes.

It’s a full tilt boogie kind of schedule.

Tonight was fairly easy, an orientation, lots of meeting the professors and administrative staff, getting to know a few of the students, there was a really sweet getting to know you sort of exercise that I made myself get into and that felt good, I connected with a couple of the second year students and it was nice to meet them.

I also talked to a woman who is volunteering over the weekend to help out with the intensive who just graduated in May from the PhD program and she did the two-year track, which is the one I am doing.

There is a three-year track as well, but I want to do it all in two years.

I want to be done with it in the next two years, five years of consecutive grad school is enough for me, I don’t need to add onto it.

Nor do I need to add onto my student loans either, they will be big enough by the time I am done with the program.

After the orientation we had dinner and I was happily surprised by the food, I was a little leery coming into the hotel, I didn’t think that it was going to be all that great, but the dinner was actually quite nice.

Although apparently gluten-free, which I specified for my diet while I was here, means vegetarian.

Not a real problem, but I did tell the kitchen I was not vegetarian, I could eat meat, so hopefully I will get some protein into my diet over the time I’m here.

I can always get out and implement too, although I would prefer not to, I’m paying for all of this, it comes out of my tuition bill.

I just also received an e-mail that my excess funds will be disbursed in three to four business days.

As tomorrow is Friday I won’t see how much I got back until next week, probably a couple of days after Labor Day.

But it’s good to know that there were excess funds.

I was hoping that would happen.

And fuck.

I just checked my student account.

It’s not as much as I thought it would be.

Sigh.

Oh well.

At least it covered all my tuition and my intensive costs.

I’ll be getting back a fat $300 after it’s all said and done.

I was hoping for a couple of thousand, but again, grateful, my tuition costs got covered.

Originally my financial aid package was shy about three thousand dollars and I had to take out another loan to be able to cover it all.

Very grateful I was able to get it covered and also, good to know that I won’t have anything really extra for house hunting.

Not that I’m too worried about that.

I will have enough.

And it seems that I will get through this program too.

It will be a lot of work, but I’m used to a lot of work and really, as I wrote last night, I wasn’t feeling too anxious about coming here.

Although I did feel some as I was driving down from the Outer Sunset.

But I’m not sure if it was anxiety about school or just about life in general.

So many transitions are happening for me right now.

I’m wrapping up my first internship at the end of September, I formally “resigned” today in an e-mail.

My group supervisor knew I was going, but no one outside of that group had been alerted.

I did my due diligence and I am glad for that as there are a few administrative things I will need to do.

And of course.

There are all the things I need to do for the upcoming internship.

I am still hoping that I can take advantage of some of the time here, when I’m not sure after having seen the schedule, for doing some of that work.

There is the housing transition happening.

The almighty not knowing where the heck I’m going to live.

I did get a response back on a studio in the Richmond, which isn’t my first choice, but the price, the windows, the hard wood floors, the full size kitchen, a bathtub, laundry on site, and the fact that I would actually have a parking spot in a garage (that I don’t have to pay extra for!  It comes with the studio), made me reach out.

I will hopefully get a viewing when I get back to San Francisco and it’s available now, so I could, it is foreseeable, be in a new place soon.

And then there’s just the transition of becoming single again, the loss of my love, the not knowing exactly how all that is going to fall out.

As I drove here from San Francisco I was met with this tremendous wall of fog.

Fog so thick and opaque that I literally could not see the ocean that was right alongside me as I drove.

I was driving into the unknown.

Literally and figuratively.

I don’t know how all these things are going to shake out.

I just know that they will, all this change is leading me somewhere and I don’t have to know where it is, I just have to take those tiny little actions right in front of me.

I just have to see the next curve in the road to turn the wheel.

And trust, that I will get there safely.

And all will be well.

It always is.


%d bloggers like this: