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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.

 

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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.


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