Posts Tagged ‘PhD track’

I Need Off Canvas

February 5, 2019

And its only just begun.

I made myself take a break today (I was at work and the baby took a long nap) after two solid hours of writing, engaging and interacting the three different classes I have on Canvas with CIIS.

Canvas is the tech platform the classes are set up on and why yes, not a single one of my professors uses it the same as the others.

Every single one of them does it slightly differently.

And once again I had the feeling of being on top of things to only realize that I hadn’t checked into one of my classes in a few days since I was so busy posting up to the other two.

Sure as shit.

I needed to post and post pretty immediately.

I wasn’t exactly annoyed, but I was tired and I don’t know that I put up the most relevant post, but what I came to understand from last semester is that it almost doesn’t matter.

I just have to constantly be posting something.

Either a substantive post on an assignment or reading, or responding to one of my classmates.

Pretty much every week I need to be in Canvas posting and replying.

I almost didn’t want to write my blog tonight, I just wanted to come home, warm up, eat a hot dinner and crawl into bed.

But if I’m not going to do school work, and I still might do a little more tonight, I am also not going to get into bed and watch hours of Netflix, as tempting as that may be.

I will watch some.

Just not a marathon.

I need to keep that and social media to a dull roar.

The blogging is going to be helter skelter.

I have no clue when I will have time, but I figure, it’s good to stay as close to it as I can.

It’s good for my brain to unload the day and it’s good for me to have something that is not academic writing.

Besides, I’ve said it many times.

The process of writing the blog really keeps me sharp for when I need to write papers.

And boy howdy, the papers are already coming.

I have two due by next Monday.

I also have a training for my internship in Berkeley on Sunday.

I will need to be careful with my time so that I can do all the things that need to be done and all my life stuff as well too.

When I go on trainings I’m gone for half the day, 45 minutes to get to Berkeley, three-hour long training, and then on average the traffic back has been an hour and a half.

By the time I get home I need to eat lunch, which is late as it’s around three p.m. and I need to go to the laundry mat.

I am still not happy about having to go to the laundry mat.

But I am making the best of it.

For instance, this Sunday while the majority of the country was watching the Super Bowl, I was doing laundry and read 46 pages of material in my Varieties of Scholarly Expression reader.

I also did a paper on Sunday as well.

First one of the semester.

And cooked and organized things and went birthday shopping for my oldest boy charge who turns nine tomorrow.

And.

Oh yes.

I took myself on an Artist Date to Cliff’s Variety in the Castro and I bought art supplies for my Arts and Creativity in Leadership class.

I had a lot of fun.

I probably also spent more than I needed to, but honestly, I really think I needed to do it.

It felt good to say yes to myself and to splurge a little.

I mean, it’s art supplies, not crack.

Although when I was checking out I couldn’t help but giggle at all the glittering supplies I had gotten.

Glitter glue.

Glitter markers.

Glitter colored pencils.

Glitter stickers.

Plus some fancy origami paper (I won’t be doing origami with it, I just liked the paper), watercolor markers, pastel markers, and tiny colorful clothes pin holders.

No idea what I’ll do with the latter, but they were so fucking cute I had to buy them.

It was a nice splurge.

I also yesterday, had a Zoom session with one of my TA’s.

This was good, clarifying, and really just sunk it home, I’m in a PhD program.

I really have a lot of work to do and keep doing.

This is a long haul program.

But.

I am hoping to follow my TA’s cue and do some work the summer after I finish my course work so that I can get a head start into that next semester of work where I will be independent.

She told me what she did and it was basically to not take the summer off and work on her proposal for her dissertation so that as soon as the first day of fall semester hit she turned it in to her dissertation chair and was off and running.

She will likely be done in three and a half years as opposed to four and a half.

I’m all for doing it that way.

Get it done.

I am excited, more and more, as the process becomes clearer to me.

Yes, so much work, but rather fascinating work and I’ll be writing about something I am very interested in.

So, yeah, Canvas.

I have gotten three notifications while I have been writing this blog that something new has been posted in my classes, so I will likely hit it up for a few more minutes before calling it a day.

It’s how I managed to get through last semester without falling behind.

The horror stories of people in my cohort who fell behind is enough to keep me active.

Or.

The people who just dropped out completely or disappeared.

I think we lost five people?

I don’t want to drop out and I do want to get my dissertation through, I want to have a PhD.

I want to be Dr. Carmen.

I really.

Really.

Really.

Do.

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Hello Again

August 15, 2016

My friend.

I have missed you.

I have missed my bed.

I have missed the smell of my home.

I have missed the fog.

Not really, but it certainly felt like I was being lovingly, if in a rather chilly, cold, wet way, embraced with wide open arms.

My heart blew open a little wider as I saw the Golden Gate Bridge after coming out the other side of the Robin Williams tunnel.

Which I had not been through since it had been re-named and it gave me a pang of sorrow still at the loss of the man to this community, here in the Bay and all over the world, I suppose, but especially here.

Then the sweep and the swoop of the Industrial Orange painted bridge and the wallops of fog blowing in.

I reached into my bag and pulled out my cardigan and glad was I that I had remembered to put it in with my bag before leaving the school retreat in Petaluma.

Which, fyi, is not a retreat.

I got a chuckle from a message I received while I was crossing over the bridge in regards to how was my weekend of getting seaweed wraps and mud baths.

Ha.

I repeat.

It’s not a fucking retreat people.

My friend who gave me a ride back from the “retreat” said, “I just tell people it’s an intensive,” he added, “retreat means spa time to every one.”

And granted.

This year was certainly easier than last year.

For a number of reasons.

Amongst which, probably the top was that I know my cohort and I’m close to them and I have some really awesome and amazing friends, two of whom I got to bunk with for the eight days and it was so nice, really, awesome, to get to spend the week with them.

To check in, to chat, to snuggle, to walk hand in hand with my girls.

It was fucking fabulous.

It was also really nice to get re-connected to a lot of the cohort and also to make new friends, strengthen bonds and deepen friendships that have begun to bloom.

I had some intense, amazing, awe inspiring, very eye opening experiences and I have now a stronger sense of what I want and what I need from the program and also for myself in general, from life, from my heart, and I feel an easiness and grace that I did not have quite so much before going into the retreat.

Er.

Intensive.

I mean.

Really.

9:15a.m. to 9:15p.m. every day.

Except today, we got out early at 4:15p.m.

Yes.

Of course I had breaks for meals and tea and wanders, short, but sweet through the garden and a couple of times in the hot tub.

Yeah.

There’s a great big hot tub there, I think the most crowded I saw it was about twenty people.

The effort for me, though, felt like a lot to get in and out and shower and dress and undress and sometimes, most times, I just skipped it.

But.

I did socialize more, I hung out more, I connected more with the cohort and I feel stronger for it, more supported.

I had some work stuff come up and I got to work through it and do some stuff for myself that I’m not sure I could have done on my own.

Sometimes I just need a friend to help me write an e-mail, or tell me it is not just ok, but really important to ask for what I need.

There will be some conversations with my bosses tomorrow.

It’s been a strain and I’m not really through it yet and honest to God, I’m too tired to think about it or do anything about it right now, but it basically comes down to proper compensation for the accommodations I am doing for the family.

In a nutshell, renting the car for the trip was a bit of a shit show despite the help I got in regards to getting the car rented.

It all worked out and I’ll be driving for the next two weeks an adorable light blue VW Beetle.

It is so stinking cute it’s sort of hard to even describe it.

The gentleman at the car rental place was so sweet with me and totally helped me out, I was having a bit of a melt down.  The original rental was through Enterprise, my boss had made the reservation.

But guess what?

They don’t take debit cards.

I was hyperventilating at the desk.

Tired.

I was so tired.

Gestalt’ed out from all the work at school and in class and all the processing, jesus fuck there’s a lot of fucking processing in this program.

Sometimes it took every bit of me to not shout, shut the fuck up!

Enough fucking processing people.

But.

I didn’t and I learned to soften and ease up and let go and work, I mean really work, on judgements and projections and all sorts of super psychological stuff.

Stuff.

Yeah.

Real technical I am.

I also laughed my ass off, slight aside, when I got home to find the book for the class that I was taking all this past week had finally showed up.

A day late, and a dollar short, as they say.

But I’ll be taking it to Glen Ellen in my spiffy little blue Bug, I still have to write a final paper for the class. ┬áThe other class I took the final exam in yesterday, Ethics, and I got 100%.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Back at the car rental desk and trying to not cry, I might have put my head down on the desk, or maybe I just thought about it, I asked, what other companies there were at SFO and if I could rent from and have them cancel the car I was supposed to take to Glenn Ellen.

There was such a place!

I dashed down to flights of stairs, bombed through the queue and got the sweetest guy, who was so accommodating and helpful and dropped a huge amount of money on my debit card to rent the car.

It was obscene.

I don’t want to think about it.

And.

Then I thought about how I get to learn to value myself more and my time more and how lucky am I that even before I am a therapist, even before I go for my PhD, because, oh yes, that is happening, more on that later, I get to learn how to set boundaries, ask for what I want and practice conflict and repair.

I have to ask for my time to be compensated.

I have to set some boundaries and what ever happens, no matter how uncomfortable, I just need to go for it, because I can’t handle the the transgressions on my time and energy any more.

Oh.

And yes, I’m in the market for a new job.

I think that it’s time to return to babies and families that work out of the house.

I need some simplicity and a returning to the land of baby sounds really delightful.

Big, fat, delicious baby naps.

So I can read, and start preparing for my next steps in my academic career.

Like, um, the PhD track I’m going to be on.

Yes, yes indeed.

Dr. Martines.

Has a mighty nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

I like it anyway.

And I’m happy.

Oh so happy.

To get to do all the things.

REALLY.

All the things.

 


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