Monday, January 10, 2005

Real Life

I feel horrible that I'm here, prepared to whine a little about my present life stressors. I just went to see if my free iPod is happening, too. Silly stuff in the face ot things. Because after the iPod click and before Blogger, I read some of one volunteer's experience in Phuket. Yes, the images are graphic, but some of the text is more graphic. It's unthinkable. I've not been talking too much about the tsunami, but I have my TiVo set to record shows with "tsunami" in the name, and some of them have been just fascinating, especially the two I've seen on Discovery Channels.

Anyway, I did still come here to talk about my life. It's my stress, and I'm trying not to compare it to other people's stress, because it still matters to me. In the last few days, I've been looking at a lot of schedules. Here's what I've decided...

My plan is to complete my dissertation very, very soon! My goal is to defend it before the end of Spring semester so that I can have my degree conferred before I finish my internship. That means that my last day of internship is also the day I will be completely done with my doctorate. Yay! But it's going to mean some MAD writing, which is going to be hard.

Today, I had my review with my primary supervisor. She said lots of great things about me, which was nice to hear. Her main critiques of me were my Time Management and the fact that I think too much! Yes, I think too much. Not a big surprise. These two go together. I tend to go into too much detail and do too much research when I'm writing reports. No question, and it's been a goal of mine to try and get reports out faster, and to generally be more efficient. Efficiency isn't always my strong suit. I'm more into being thorough, and there just isn't time for that. I'm not the best workhorse. I'm more of a... I don't know... I'm more into quality than speed when it comes to assessment. It sounds all good, but I need to learn the other way, too.

One thing that is very difficult for me regarding my major in the schools is that I don't have a computer at my desk. If I want to type at work, I either have to use a Windows 98 piece of shit out in the hallway, the laptop with a monitor that is sometimes located on the other side of the building (away from all my reference books and in a very noisy area), or I use the laptop that Aaron leant me. It's very portable, but it's very small, and it's no place to work for long periods. The other problem is how very distracting it is there. I'm in an open cubicle next to the conference room. People are always in there, people stop by to say hello. I need a door! I need a little quiet. Working in those kinds of conditions isn't at all easy for me. Oh I do try, but I need some focus when I write, and at my office, I don't get it. So far, I've done most of my writing at home, but I think she wants to lay eyes on me more. It's frustrating because I never get any writing done there. I either have to not live up to her lay-eyes-on-me expectation, or I have to be there and work WAY less efficiently. It's not good for poor little ADD me. Also, she's a luddite and just doesn't get why it would be hard for me to work in these conditions with this kind of crappy technology. (Speaking of luddites, I got a sample file from another person who works with me today that didn't have tabs in it! Even the centered title was moved to the middle with a series of spaces. UNREAL!)

So this is the plan. I defend the dissertation in May. I pass. Then my degree is conferred when my last requirement (the internship) is completed on August 19th. I know most people don't do this, but I've decided to attend the commencement ceremony in December instead of in May. I just don't want a big celebration when I'm not actually done. I'm allowed to "graduate" then, but I don't want that. My friends who went to graduation ceremonies when they weren't actually done were all cranky at their parties and kept saying, "I'm not really done." To add to that, I know my parents didn't get hotel reservations for May 2005 yet, and apparently, most of the hotels fill up a year in advance. December graduation will be more mellow, I think. And I'll actually have something to celebrate.


On a completely unrelated note, my attention was directed to a new Memphis site today. Very amusing in parts, and also very sad, especially this. I've seen those apartments. I think are the ones across the street from Westside High School.