Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back to it!

I got a job placement (just to follow up on the last post)... It was the one I wanted.  Not only was my need met, but my want was met as well.  Phew!

I was waiting on a reimbursement check to start my next class, but I figured I would outline it anyway, because that is the first step to starting any course at this University.  I have to outline it, choose when to have discussions, and make sure it can all be done in 16 weeks.  In the first course, this was pretty much done for me. 

As I was typing out all of the readings, I realized that my first course was NOT hazing.  It was easy.  The reading was minimal compared to this.  Maybe I just don't understand how to lay it all out, but whoa.  The amount of reading is insane!  Not complaining, just a teensy bit shocked!  After spending over 2 hours outlining the first section of the course (a month's worth of reading), I thought perhaps I was making more work of it than was meant to me.  I stopped there and e-mailed my mentor (the Dean, conveniently) to be sure I was doing it right.  I'll wait to hear back before I keep at that outline. 

This feels like the real jumping off point for me.  If I can get through this class, I will be confident in my ability to endure the journey.  With the new job, I don't know what to expect in any realm.  My hope is that since I will have fewer students, I should have less grading and be able to devote the time I used to devote to grading to this.  However, the learning curve will be steep in the fall.  Perhaps I can push and get most of this class done in the summer... I don't know... But there will be more posts as it all unfolds.

I find this themed blog to be slightly boring.  Sorry... but this is life as a doctoral student.

In other news, my summer vacation is starting off nicely.  I'm LOVING being home with my kids, and swimming in the pool every day.  This summer, my little cherubs seem to genuinely like each other, which is a massive first in our book!  My son will be 4 in 2 weeks, and my daughter is 2 1/2.  They got off to a rocky start (I knew I was up the proverbial creek when my son asked me to put his sister, then a newborn, outside... in the blizzard of 2009... and 2010.  APPARENTLY she cried too much for his liking... he does not remember his own crying...).  When my daughter's first reaction to a possible conflict with her brother is to take whatever she has in her hands and clock him over the head (or between the eyes if she's feeling feisty), my hopes for their friendship diminish.  But these past 2 weeks of summer have proven to me that they do indeed love one another, and are starting to figure out how to play together.  I am so excited.  They are also HUGE fans of me right now, which never hurts!!

At 12:28 a.m., I know I will be getting up with them (and the sun) before I know it. Goodnight!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Goodbye, Cliches!

I'm in an interesting situation with my job.  Everything is okay, it's just that because of hiring and contract rules, when a school has to "downsize" (aka, population decreases thereby causing staffing needs to decrease) the most recently hired gets the boot.  Luckily, in my case, "the boot" just means I get reassigned to another school somewhere in the county, teaching something.  Presently, I still do not know where I will be assigned.  You can imagine (I would think), that after a while this uncertainty leaves me stressed.  I have good days and bad ones.  Since I don't know where I am going, I don't feel like there's any finality or closure to the situation, which can eat away at me. Especially considering for 2 months I've known I have to transfer, and for 2 months I have heard no news in regards to my new placement. And, the last week of school is coming up, and I'm really sad to leave.  I love my school & my wonderful friends there.

In any case, during this time of uncertainty, I've heard every consolation in the book.  Everything from maybe the new job will be better, to it is all about how I handle it, even to the good old everything happens for a reason.  And you know what?  That's all accurate in my book.  I am blessed to have a job.  I know this, and I thank God for this.  But at some point, the cliches can turn to guilt trips for me, for my lack of thankfulness for the blessings that I do have. 

So, coming to the point of this post (which is way too wordy... are you still reading?)... I heard an interview with Jason Mraz on the radio in regards to his song "I Won't Give Up."  You can read about it/watch it here:  Essentially he said he wrote it at a time in his life where was really bummed out.  And he got choked up and said, "I hate it when I am bummed out, because everything I've ever needed I've gotten..."  And he goes on to talk about a relationship that he chose not to give up on.  After hearing this, and mulling it over a bit, I though, "Dang, Jason! You just took this girl to CHURCH!"  But in all righteous honesty, I too have been given everything I ever needed.  I don't always get what I want, but I cannot look back on my life and think of a need that wasn't met.  As a child, I needed the chance to explore many activities (helloooo attention deficit), and my parents provided that, knowing full well some of these things I'd abandon as fast as I started (tennis, lacrosse), and some would become major sanity savers (skating, music, theatre).  As a teen in a high school (full of kids I did not go to middle school with), I needed friends.  I found a group of girlfriends, God bless them, who were amazing.  We gave each other flowers on valentines day because none of us had boyfriends, we drank Starbucks as soon as we could drive there, and we made sure none of us ever had to sit alone at lunch.  I had to wait for these friends, because nothing happens right away, but eventually (before I lost my mind, and before the end of 9th grade) that need was met.  Not in my time, but met nonetheless.  I needed a stable family.  In the mix of the fun we put in dysfunctional, that need was also met, thanks to good honest communication, and a strong shot of reality--mixed with laugh-till-you-pee humor.  In college, I needed a good therapist.  My parents found me one and funded that as well.  When I finished college, I needed a job. I got hired where I student taught.  Again, it took time (I was a little worried when August 1st rolled around, but the job happened).  I stopped working (first baby) right before the economy went to heck, causing husband's job to bring in about $400 under what we needed to live monthly.  Our family helped us, and I got a job within a couple of months.  Not because I wanted to return to work, but because I needed to (which turned out to be a blessing anyway... yes, cliche I know).  There are so many things in my life I have needed, and all of these things have been given to me.  And when I heard Jason Mraz saying that very thing, my first thought was, "psht.  privilege."  But then I thought it over more and realized he didn't say he got what he wanted.  He said his needs were met. 

I am so grateful to be able to come to that realization.  I feel like it throws all the cliches away and just gets real.  I also know that to some, this is a soap boxy, my-life-is-so-perfect-I-am-so-blessed" kind of post.  But truth be told, it was like a 2 by 4 whammed me in the nugget and said "GET OFF OF IT WOMAN!  Your needs will be met."  And they will.  Amen?