Monthly Archives: January 2010

learnin’

Today I met with my committee chair to discuss exam bibliographies. I was warned that putting together the bibliographies was harder than it seemed. Now I understand that warning. I have three subject areas (Composition Theory, Contemporary Rhetorical Theory, and Rhetoric and Pedagogy of Class (although this is not yet set in stone)) and lots of articles and books I want to read. The problem is that these articles and books don’t always fit neatly in to my three subject areas. There is a lot of overlap. I’m sure I’ll get it categorized to my liking soon enough though.
The process is thrilling. If all goes well, I will be ABD this time next year. That means this summer is going to be full of scheduled reading, annotated bibliographies and notes, and millions of cups of tea (and all of the peeing that goes with that). Also, I am starting to get ideas about my dissertation, something I haven’t worried myself with too much. I figure that after my exams I’ll have a stronger sense of what direction I want to go with all of this. So for now, I’ll just be reading.

Advertisements

And now it’s snowing here tonight and I’m tired and I’ve relapsed a bit…on everything.
The good news is that I’ve been cracked out productive for the past few days. I’m hoping to ride this wave until I’m caught up with my reading.

We are taking a break. I love us on a break. We visit like civil humans. There is comfortable distance. I get warm fuzzies when I see him. Today we took the dog on a walk (which was planned before the break), I was bundled, my hair covered, large black glasses, and clutching my hood at the throat to keep it from blowing back. He said I looked like Mae West. I could see that. The day was gorgeous. This 50 degree weather has fooled the early stuff into blooming, but winter will probably come back and kill it all off. The sun felt so good on my skin. Days like these in January are so appreciated, even if they’re terrible for the snow pack.
I’ve been exercising again. I mean more than just yoga. Feeling slightly sore and healthier all ready.
I ate an enormous cheeseburger today. I couldn’t help myself. It was not that great, but filling.
I’ve been researching a move and researching a dog. I should probably have a baby instead, but in the meantime I feel like a dog is more likely. I wonder what would be a good match for me…
Anyway, that’s all. It was a good day. A bright sunny day. My legs feels smooth and my hair feels clean. What more could a girl ask for?

Last night I went out with some people from the cohort. I go to these things sometimes because I want to get to know them better. But, it’s hard going out with people you don’t know very well. In a large group no less. So, that was just okay. Then I walked back to the bf’s house and someone was parked behind my car. Well, parked in the middle of the driveway, sort of sideways, so that nobody could escape. I waited a few hours. Hung out. Assumed the car would be gone very soon, but it wasn’t. So, after a series of phones calls and miraculously waking what I assume was someone who had passed out for the night, and getting him to walk 45 minutes across town so that we could get out of the driveway, I went home. It was a very late night.
Why didn’t you just stay the night, you ask? Well, I had it in my mind that I HAD to go home to wash my face and get in my pjs. I had it in mind that I was not going to let a drunk have control over me. And, I had a little meltdown about how lame it all was. I thought I was over that particular sensitivity, but it became so clear last night. I am so not over it. Probably never will be, and therefore must try to move out of this apartment, where I am surrounded by drunk students who get stupid sloppy and scream outside my window and cheer and have long conversations in the parking lot at 3am. I have to get out of here.

I always promised myself that when I got really, really serious about getting a dog, I would just have a baby instead, since babies are less work, more rewarding, and, with any luck they grow up to be a friend.
Lately, I’ve been going through one of those phases where I really want a dog. I mean, I’d like to start easy with a cat, but I’m allergic to cats. So, dog it is. Having grown up with dogs, I know what I’m getting myself into…probably more so than most people who get dogs. Still, it is at least a decade long commitment. I dread the early mornings that most, and the fact that you never really know what you’re going to get. While I like dog obedience, I only have so much patience.
Ok, I’m going to get back to checking petfinder now.
And seriously, I’d have a baby if that was at all feasible at this time. Trust me.

the beginning of the end

Today is the first day of my last semester of coursework. I can’t wait to be finished with the coursework part. I actually don’t mind coursework and think I would prefer two more years of this instead of exams and a dissertation. Unfortunately, that’s not an option. I remember my first semester teaching after I graduated from the MA program. It felt so good to focus on teaching. It felt even better to be free of the stress that comes with coursework. I love in-class discussions. I do not love writing long academic papers. Although I have gotten better at it.
I am glad that I have another year before I’ll go on the job market. Things are so bleak out there. I am confident in my ability as a teacher. I’d hire me. I am not so confident in my ability to publish academic work, which is, evidently, one of the only ways to get hired for a full-time position.
I’ve also been anxious for a change of p(l)ace lately. Over the din of the drunken college students and the annoying new upstairs neighbors, I can still, just barely, hear the coyotes some nights. This is a comforting sound. It’s reminds me of home and puts me right to sleep. I think it might be time for a move. My lease is up in the spring. I am always keeping an eye on rentals. Nothing ever looks any better than where I live now, but maybe something perfect and affordable for me will come along. I’d like to spend my next two years in a place where it is quiet at night.

I should have gotten up early and showered. Now I can’t shower (and I desperately want to!) I don’t have water for tea or cooking or getting myself presentable. I can’t even flush the toilet. All of this on my first full day back, when I just wanted to lounge around and enjoy myself.

Blah. I’m back. It’s nice to be home so I don’t have to worry about the drive, or the roads. I don’t have to worry about my plants needing water, or pipes bursting. Still, I miss being home with my family. I miss the little dog, and of course I miss the sheep. I miss the heat from the wood stove and having people to cook for. How can I have more of that here in my own life so to speak? Unfortunately, I can’t seem to figure it out. All I see is the solitude, the laptop, the piles of textbooks to read, the coursework, the exams, and long dissertations to write. Blah.
I had to keep in mind that I always suffer from burnout this time of year. Things usually start getting better in the spring. And after a long summer break, I’ll be ready to go again in the fall. This is just the worst time for me as an academic.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Started a PhD.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t have an strong resolutions last year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Several peole I know, but no close friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, my uncle.

5. What countries did you visit?

None, I think. That’s the kind of thing that could slip my mind, though.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

More contentedness in love.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

My birthday. I was alone. (And I cried).

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Completing a year of the PhD

9. What was your biggest failure?

Wasting time.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had more “procedures” than usual this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Good dinners. Last year and the next few will *not* be about buying things.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The boyfriend’s behavior.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The boyfriend’s behavior.

14. Where did most of your money go?

To food, definitely to food. Also, there was a spendy car repair and yoga trainings (but I got reimbursed for a lot of the yoga stuff).

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Yoga.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Poker Face, Lady Gaga

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? same

thinner or fatter? same

richer or poorer? same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercising. Making friends.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Fooling around on the internet.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family in Oregon. It was a good one.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

I grew to love the boyfriend more.

23. How many one-night stands?

None. That’s not my style.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

_It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia_.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No one comes to mind.

26. What was the best book you read?

I reread _Women as Lovers_ and that was the best, I think.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I wasn’t in to music this year, a fact that is faintly sad, just like memories of my life in SLC are faintly sad, but none of that will change for another few years.

28. What did you want and get?

A relationship.

29. What did you want and NOT get?

Somebody I *knew* I would spend the rest of my life with.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Mostly I’m thankful for the comedies that were just okay. They helped with the whole schools thing. I didn’t watch anything besides blockbusters (like music, this is not something I’ll be able to pursue for the next few years). So, I cheated and looked them up. Here are the movies that stood out to me: Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, WALL-E, and He’s Just Not That into You.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Plans fell through, so I went to the store to make myself dinner (something to do, some way to stay busy). On my way to the store, I saw a blind man struggling at an intersection and cried for the rest of the night. The boyfriend asked me out the next day. You could say I was in a vulnerable place…

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More friends and a better relationship.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Big t-shirts. For some reason they’ve come back into my life with a vengence. It’s weird, I normally only wear fitted t-shirts, but since moving the Pullman, the big ones feel so right.

34. What kept you sane?

Nothing. I would say that my sanity has been a lot more fragile since 2009.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Probably…Brad Pitt.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Electing Barak Obama.

37. Who did you miss?

My family and friends.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Randy.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:

I might not be the marrying kind.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“My poker face, my my my my poker face…”