Posts Tagged ‘course work’

Buried Alive

August 29, 2019

This is it folks.

You may not see or hear from me in weeks.

In fact.

I am already askance at myself for not throwing myself headlong into some reading, writing, researching, or the other.

Why, I’m writing my blog when there is a shit ton, a fuck ton, a whole lot of things to do this semester.

I knew that at my intensive, when just after two days of one class I realized that class alone was going to be a full time job.

Then.

Add in two more classes.

One is “light,” like I only have to read five books.

But the other is fairly substantial and I am thinking about using the work in progress project to write a potential publishable paper.

I get ahead of myself, but it was suggested that I might want to do that by a fellow who’s on the three year course track.

He listened to my project and was like, “you should publish that,” then told me how to do it, then approached my professor and told him what we had discussed and the professor liked it!

Holy fuck.

Anyway.

One day back from the intensive and I haven’t done a lot, although I have done plenty.

Since I have been back I have had supervision, seen 7 clients, worked a nanny shift, went grocery shopping, did laundry, and food prepped for the week.

That in and of itself is full time work.

Then, today at work, while the little guy napped (why oh why have his naps grown shorter!?) I plugged in all the due dates and assignments and readings that I needed to do over the semester into my Google calendar.

My calendar looks crazy.

It looks like every spare minute has been accounted for until mid December when the semester ends.

I sense the days are going to fly by because they will all be so very full with the work that I have to do.

I have a lot to do.

This is by far the heaviest work load.

And.

In a sense the most clear cut.

I figured out who I want to be my chair for my PhD dissertation committee and I also asked said person, or at least gave him the heads up.

It will still have to go through the channels and what not, but I know who I want and I believe he wants to work with me.

Plus.

I asked another person to be on my committee and she said yes.

So, that’s positive.

Granted, I can’t actually assign anyone to my committee without my chair’s approval.

So first the chair.

That will officially happen in November.

But I interviewed with three professors at the intensive and with each one I talk substantively about what I am doing and what my inquiry is and how I want to pursue the work.

Two of the professors I talked to for an hour.

One professor I only got to catch for ten minutes between classes, but she was ecstatic with my idea and really impressed with how I’m going about it.

She recommended that I sit in on a former TA’s dissertation defense, which I did and she was the person I asked to be my second committee member.

The professor also suggested I take her elective in Spring, which I had already written down to take!

So my courses are lined up.

I will get through this semester and I’m going to light it on fire.

I’m going to bring it.

The fact that I am going down two days of nannying a week for me is even a bigger deal now.

I need that time.

I also want to have incoming therapy clients fill up those spots, but every spare minute is going to be used.

I had clients cancel for this Friday, not all, but two, Labor Day weekend travel plans, and I immediately blocked the time off to do homework.

I will always, always, always, be carrying my laptop with me so that I can take whatever time I get whenever I get it, to be online, posting discussion posts.

I will always have one, if not two or even three books with me so that I have something I am consistently reading.

This is the semester to get my literature together.

For my Ecology of Ideas class I have to submit a literature journal with 250-300 pieces of literature–dissertations, studies, books, articles, etc.

I don’t have to read them through, but I will need to be consistently searching for materials as well as consistently skimming and scanning and adding them to my annotated bibliography and my journal.

There is so much to do.

It’s exciting too.

I’m not going to lie.

I can really see it coming together and I plan on submitting my proposal next fall instead of waiting for the fall semester to work on the proposal, I am going to do it over the summer.

I am going to dig in next summer and get it done, it will literally save me a year of tuition and waiting for approval.

A friend of mine who TA’s for some of the courses did that this intensive.

She did all her course work in two years, like I am in the middle of doing, took the summer to work on her proposal and the second day of the intensive, the first day of classes, she defended her proposal and got it approved.

Which means she moves right into her dissertation.

I’m all for it.

I made a pact with a friend of mine in the cohort and that’s what we’re going to do.

It will knock out time and a lot of tuition.

Fuck my student loans are big.

But you know.

I am so fucking worth it.

And so is my idea.

I can’t wait to show it to the world.

Until then though.

You will not see a lot of me this semester.

I literally am going to be buried under books.

I might come up for a breather around Thanksgiving.

But for now.

Well.

See ya.

I got shit to read.

So much.

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Back In The Groove

February 21, 2018

Second day back to work.

Second day with clients.

A day of therapy.

A day of supervision.

I’m beginning to feel more grounded and returned than I was yesterday.

Hell.

Definitely more so than Sunday.

Sunday my flight out from D.C. was delayed so I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that I had told myself I was going to do.

In the end I am hella grateful that the flight was delayed.

I was able to spend a few more hours with my best friend and that time was invaluable to me.

I had such a fantastic time I cannot even begin to enumerate it here.

It was also a lovely weekend away from social media and perhaps the first time that I also stayed completely off my blog.

I was happy to do so.

I was happy to be present and connected and aware of all the things happening for me.

I was horrified to get back to social media and see a school shooting and that a person in my recovery community had overdosed and died.

I was like.

Fuck.

Is it worth it to even bother with Facecrack?

I do like Instagram, I won’t lie, I like photographs and I find it really compelling to see different places that I want to go and travel too as well as appreciating images from my friends lives.

I have a private Instagram account, so I’m not overly inundated with crap, but Facebook has really not been a platform that I have enjoyed in some time.

I don’t post much to it and I don’t like to spend too much time on it.

I check in with it, mostly I feel to stay connected to my cohort at school, we have a group and there is often things that get posted there that are relevant to my school program.

Hell.

That was how I found out about the graduation application and processing fee.

I was able to deal with it a full three weeks prior to some members in my cohort who didn’t know that there was an application, let a lone a fee, for graduation.

I received the last bit of the application paperwork that needed to be filled out today.

I sent in the survey that the school requires as a sort of exit from the program and sent it in.

One more thing down.

And speaking of school.

This is it.

I have to get my PhD application together by the end of this week.

I just took a look at my syllabi for the next weekend of classes and saw that I have a modicum of breathing space.

I don’t have to devote any time to homework for school this weekend, I’m ahead of my reading and my assignments that are due aren’t due until March 10th.

Which means that I have the weekend of March 3rd and 4th to work on them.

Which means that this weekend, which is what I had pretty much planned on doing anyway, is clear to work on my PhD application.

I don’t think it will take too much time, but I do want to put in a nice effort on it.

And I still have a full weekend anyway.

I’ll be back in my group supervision on Saturday, and my Thursday and Friday are both full of clients.

I saw a new client tonight and I have another new client on Friday.

I’m back to eight clients a week.

I also will be meeting with my ladies on Sunday that I normally work with and my person up in the Castro before my new commitment on Sunday at 7:30p.m.

I want to do yoga, it’s been two weeks without, and I desperately need a manicure.

I have a busy weekend.

I have a busy week, it’s just Tuesday and it’s already been busy.

But.

It hasn’t been horrendous.

It was a gentler easing back into my routine than I could have asked for.

Today I had therapy, such a good session, and after I got out of the session, I received a text from the mom that my little lady charge was sick and they had a pediatrician appointment.

It happened to be just blocks from where I was and the mom asked that I meet them at the doctor’s office.

I had enough time between my therapy session ending and having to meet the mom that I was able to pop into the Whole Foods in Noe Valley and get groceries for the week.

A huge time coup for me.

Then I met the mom and the baby was asleep and I got to take him and stroll down 24th street and go to Martha’s Bros Coffee and the bench outside the cafe opened as I walked out with my coffee and I got to sit in the sun and drink coffee and soak up some heat.

It’s been cold, cold, cold in the city.

And to sit, granted wrapped up in my hoodie, jean jacket, scarf, and half-gloves, in the sun as it warmed up the front of the cafe, was glorious.

My job can be really stressful juggling three kids, house work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, and such, but it can also have these absolutely wonderful pockets of time that pop out of nowhere, when I need some time, a reprieve, a gentle break in routine.

And I find myself being able to be still.

To be able to reflect.

It is a gift.

I spent a lot of time thinking about my time in D.C. and how very grateful I was to get to go.

To see the things I saw.

To have the experiences I had.

Glorious.

The company, the environment, the quality of the time.

Exquisite.

And so very much-needed.

It was a sorrow to part.

I won’t lie.

It hurt to say goodbye after such a grand time and I felt desolate coming back to San Francisco, which is not an experience I have much had.

Usually I find myself happy to come home.

And I am happy to be home, but I already miss my friend.

Hell.

I missed my friend before I had even gotten to the boarding area of my flight back.

In a way I was also grateful for that.

It showed me just how much the time had meant to me.

A lot.

So much.

So very much.

I can get lonely in my routine and my comings and goings and doings and I had such splendid time with my friend that I found myself facing some loneliness coming home that I don’t usually acknowledge.

Thankful for it too, that realization, and those emotions tied to it.

I have such a rich emotional life.

I am aware.

I am alive.

I am loved.

I love.

Simple.

Although not always easy.

A blessing always, though.

Always.

A gift.

This exquisite life.

This grand love.

The.

Greatest.

Gift.

Too Much

August 8, 2015

It’s just too much.

Fuck.

I just opened another attachment for school.

Who do these people think they are?

At 4:45p.m. on a Friday I receive an e-mail from one of the professor’s for the retreat saying how he expects everyone will have read all the materials for the first day of class on Monday and oh yeah, by the way, he’s updated the syllabus with additional readings and another book.

Which needs to be read by the start of class.

Fuck you man.

I mean.

It’s Friday, the retreat starts in two days, you want me to go out and get another book and have that read in addition to the reader and the book I already have for the class.

Are you smoking crack?

And then.

A breath.

Some perspective.

I’m not going to have the reading finished.

I’m just not.

I will have a lot of it done.

I will have more done than some of the folks in my cohort, who apparently have been having a challenging time getting the course readers.

Yo.

Walk, drive, MUNI your ass down to Copy Central at Mission and 2nd and get a nice fat, heavy surprise.

It’ll cost about $208 and weigh in around 32 lbs.

Happy retreat!

Who’s idea is it to call this a retreat?

Fuck.

I opened another attachment that was sent around 5 p.m.

Apparently all bases better get covered since it starts in less 48 hours, this one with more pertinent information about arriving and protocol for the facility and the likes.

Oh.

And hey, there’s the schedule for the week.

Oh my God.

Oh my God.

Fuck.

(This blog should not be further read by any one easily offended by profanity)

Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

The check in for the retreat is between 3pm and 4pm on Sunday.

Then there’s 4 hours, no wait, I just checked, 5 hours of meetings.

Ack.

So much for relaxing into the environment or doing any last-minute reading for the week.

I will squeak it in somewhere I promise.

Then the real deal starts Monday, as I said, retreat my ass, this is not a retreat, its graduate school boot camp.

I feel like I’ll be doing mental push ups until I puke up my hastily eaten organic locally sourced breakfast.

Classes start every day of the retreat at 9:15 a.m. and they end?

When.

What?

Did I see that, let me check again.

Oh.

FUCK ME.

At 9:15 p.m.

Every day.

EVERY DAY.

I know, I’m hollering at you, I’m sorry, I’m fucking freaking out.

“They do this to you,” my person said to me last night as we sat and talked about what graduate school first semester was going to be like, “they do it to everyone, they don’t actually expect that you are going to be able to read all the assigned readings, you’ll learn what’s important, you’ll learn to skim, you’ll pick it up.”

I guess.

All I’m picking up right now is my heart off the floor.

I was excited this morning.

Then the excitement faded.

Then, and this may be the first time I have said it, I said out loud, “what was I thinking?”

Meaning.

Really?

Graduate school, what was I thinking.

Hey listen I heard Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are expecting their first baby and um, I’m a hella good nanny, and I live in San Francisco and hey, want to hire a fabulous nanny?

I come with great references.

I really wanted to crawl into my shell today, retreat back into the world of nannying and just be a person amongst little people.

Le sigh.

I know that’s not the solution.

I know it’s not.

I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.

I know it.

But man, I have to say it, I’m scared.

I’m not out of my league, I know I can do this, it’s just, well, it’s a lot and I knew it was going to be a lot, but wow, it’s a lot.

Then.

I ran into two pivotal people in my life tonight.

Two people who meant so much to me about 10 1/2 years ago.

One a woman who approached me in the basement of a church on 18th and Dolores (now intriguingly enough the new Children’s Day School middle school annex, where my little guys will eventually end up as they are both currently enrolled in pre-school and kindergarten) and asked me how I was doing and when I said I was fine and burst into tears she took me out to coffee at Dolores Park Cafe and changed my life forever.

She looked amazing.

It’s been almost eight years since I have seen her.

It was a total surprise and I whipped off the sweatshirt that was on the chair next to me and offered it to her.

My heart just over full with gratitude and joy to see her, hug her, smile into her eyes.

Then.

A man came in, homeless, after the cup of coffee, the sweeties on the counter, but he stayed and he spoke up and holy shit.

I knew him too.

He did not look good.

He looked like rough trade.

And my heart broke open listening to him.

I had met him that my second day going back to that same church basement, scared to walk through the door, he welcomed me, showed me a place at the table, showed me the ropes, became my friend.

And was in utter awe of the man.

And.

Not to put too fine a point on it, I had a flaming hard crush on him.

“Whatever gets you to go,” she would tell me, “one day you’ll look back and be amazed at who you used to find attractive.”

Oh man, was she right.

Without wanting to, I spoke up, I had to.

I shared.

I shared my solution and my gratitude and about starting graduate school on Monday, even if I don’t have all the stuff read and I feel utterly unprepared for this next step, I know I can and I will show up.

The man cam up to me after and said congratulations.

I said, “it’s really good to see you, I’m glad you stayed.”

“You don’t remember me do you?” I asked, trying to not let the tears well up in front of him, oh my poor sweet friend.

“I do, I do remember you, you look amazing, you’ve changed so much, I well, you know, Sarah and I we got kind of crazy, then got it back together and moved to Seattle and things were really good (SARAH! ¬†Fuck I forgot about you too, my friend, I hope you are better off love, wherever you are, however you are, you have my love) and then, well, people started dying and I started using again, and now, well, five days.”

I leaned up and hugged his gaunt frame, “stay, just stay.”

He crushed me in a hug then ran out the door.

He was gone by the time I hit the sidewalk.

It’s not too much what I have.

I am so fortunate and so fucking lucky.

Oops.

More of that profanity.

I may be overwhelmed sometimes, but I have been told and I completely believe it, that God does not give me more than I can handle.

It would appear that I can handle this then.

Grateful for the opportunity to feel overwhelmed.

Grateful for graduate school and a stranger who took me out to coffee ten and half years ago and changed the course of my life.

Forever.

So grateful.

I can’t even breathe.

Oh wait.

Yes.

There.

I can.

I will.

I am.


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