Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crack and Peel- Comps Saga Part 4

So I originally had this absolutely brilliant metaphor planned about how my emotional state was akin to a crack and peel mailing label....but I lost interest writing it halfway through. Let's just say that the month of March was awful....taking me on this emotional rollercoaster that I never ever ever ever ever wish to go on again.

In order to explain my craziness, I am going to lay it all out for you in cool, calm logic:

Weeks in order to complete the take home portion of comprehensive exam: 2
Days left in the exam period before I completely and totally freaked out: 4
Panic attacks on exam due date: 1
Crying fit on exam due date: 2
Days inbetween exam due date and oral defense of take-home: 3
Length of time that my oral defense was scheduled for: 30 minutes
Hours spent freaking out before oral defense: 3
Pre-oral defense panic attacks: 1
Times tearing up in the oral defense: 1
Hours spent after the oral exam crying and hyperventilating: 2
Hours spent studying for the lab exam: 4
Even though I memorized the formula for standard deviation, how many times was it in the lab exam: 0
Time spent of four hour exam period trying to figure out how to get the exam printing because the faculty neglected to let us know that we needed our student ID and money on our student ID in order to print: 30 minutes

Oral comps passed: 1
Lab comps passed: information still pending
Amount of money that I had to spend today on my cap and gown for graduation even though I am still not sure that I am going to graduate: $50

It feels really good to be finished with the exams. Apparently I have been walking around in a heavy fog for a couple of weeks...so I apologize to family and friends that I may have babbled at instead of having a legitimate conversation. I have no excuse.

I also have no excuse for the lack of housecleaning the past three weeks! I shall get that tackled today....although I suspect that I am the only one who notices the dust. But oh....to do chores and errands, and go out and see people and even to read a book without guilt that I should be studying instead...that, my friends, is completely priceless.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Rather Strange Day....

Why? Well for one, I went to the ENT today about my ear pain. I've been having this pain for a while and I was worried that it was effecting my hearing. My hearing is fine, in fact it is very very good. The ear pain is due to my clenching of my jaw.... I'm apparently given myself arthritis in my jaw, albeit temporary. The muscles that are spasming because of the teeth clenching stem up into the ear....causing the pain. It is also the cause of my perception of hearing loss in my left ear as the muscle that is effected is pulling the eardrum down a bit. The doctor was very helpful and answered all of my odd questions. Health tip......don't use q-tips to clean your ears. Apparently your ears have a natural self-cleaning system and using q-tips is the equilivent of wiping away your ear's natural immune system. So I am going to try to stop myself from using q-tips....especially because the doctor says that once I do that I'll be able to swim and not worry about ear pain. Of course.....I think that I am getting sorta annoyed that yet another doctor has told me that I need to de-stress....alright guys! I get the point!

The next strange thing that happened today is that I sorta got a promotion at the Center. One of our professors got a huge grant for a Turkish studies project, I know that he had been trying to get me as his assistant, and this morning I got an email from our soon-to-be new director appointing me as project assistant. This will move me to full time (I'm currently only 30 hours a week) and I am still to be in Outreach. Of course the salary increase won't happen until July and there are alot of details that will need to be worked out. I still have to work on part of the project now though.....but it is kinda flattering that I got this promotion. It will make the future of me in Outreach extra interesting.

And the final bit of strangeness....although it really isn't that strange, is that I am still working on my comps. In my appointment with Esther yesterday we talked about why I was freaking and alot of it has to do with my feelings of the exam being a bunch of busy work and that I'm not as empassioned about the subject as I used to be. I worked on them this afternoon in my office at work and made a huge amount of progress and when I am done with this post, I am going to work more on them. I've made a large pot of coffee and I am in a surprisingly good mood. Now I just need to take some anti-inflammatories for the spasming jaw and resulting ear pain and I'm golden!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Comps Saga- Part 3

Well its happened..... I had the freak out. The crying, shaking, completely and totally irrational kind of freak out.

I actually had a panic attack over comps during work. I haven't finished them, and I haven't written enough, but I also have time. They aren't due until Thursday at 5pm.....I have time....and I have to keep reminding myself that.

You would think that I would understand how I work best....and I wonder if it is really true that I work best late at night and under an impending deadline. Today, I was focusing on writing my comps from 12:30 pm onwards and I have very very little to show for it. It is like my brain melted and I must have stared at the screen for hours. Luckily Libby came over for a while to help me calm down. I also took a long hot bath and drank a very large glass of wine. The result is that I am much more calm, but still as mushy brained. I'm considering just turning in at 9:30 tonight, in the hopes that tomorrow I will feel better and will be able to think.

Here's hoping....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Comps Saga- Part 2

The official comprehensive exam study/write soundtrack has been chosen!

I decided that I needed something comfortable and familiar, and also something that I have no memories of Mr.3 with. And so I went with something that also had meaning for me.....the Moody Blues, my Dad's favorite band. So yeah...that's the latest update really..... work on my CBI questions went really well last night. Tonight I work on L2 Methodology questions.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Comps Saga- Sure to be Part 1 of Many

Tick, tock, tick, tock....the time is winding down to me finally finishing my masters degree. Last Friday I was sent the questions for the take-home part of my comprehensive exams. Three classes are being test via the take home (due Thursday the 26th), and three classes are being tested via a lab exam (March 31). There is supposed to be an oral defense of the exams, but I don't know when that is, sometime between turning the exams in and April 4th.

Of course finishing will be a relief, but I'm being hit with a HUGE load of emotional crap. And it isn't anxiety about the tests....actually I am pleasantly surprised with the fun challenge that the comps questions are presenting.....the problem is in reviewing the course work....because rather than paying attention in class and being a good student when I was in these classes two years ago, I was writing jail letters to my deadbeat ex-husband during the class or was freaking out over one lie or another that he had told me and was failing mid-terms.

Sunday night I couldn't put it off anymore and had to go searching for the last of my class notes. In the back corner of the nephi room are banker boxes filled with classnotes from me and Mr.3. About 1/5 of all the stuff I went through was mine....and I was torn between just throwing out everything that has his writing on it, or going through it all in detail to find all evidence of wrong-doing to hand over to the feds. There was so much waste...half used notebooks...mounds of printed papers. I still haven't purchased a new printer.....Mr.3 took the last two I bought with him and pawned them along the way. He was always printing things that he never needed...honestly, I know that he was studying terrorism, but is it nessacary to print out an Al-Qaida training manual translated into English? I don't think so. I also can't find a book that I need to study for the lab portion of my comps with....I'm pretty sure that Mr.3 sold it back at a textbook sale, which really annoys me.

Going through the boxes was hard and I guess that he was on my mind while I slept, as on Monday morning the house phone started to ring at 7:15am. I was wokened out of a dead sleep and ran to the phone expecting to hear his voice on the other end. Which freaked me out a bit. I do not want to hear his voice, but I spent so much of my life in the past 2-3 years waiting and hoping for him to call...that I guess in a time where sad rememberances are popping up all over the place that strange sub-conscious things would crop up too.

In any case, I just need to survive and do well this month and then I will be able to put alot of this behind me. Once I get word that I have passed my comps....and I WILL pass them...I am going to go through the storage boxes and throw out ALL of the school stuff I have, mine and Mr.3's.

I will get through this.

And now back to working on my comps question from my CBI class.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Quinoa Porridge...Makes Me Rub My Belly

What has Debbie been up to lately, you ask?


No, seriously.....I've been eating.

Been trying a new thing where I try a new food each week and at least one new recipe. Three weeks ago I tried Quinoa (pronouced "keen- waa") which is a grain. It's awesome when you cook it because as it is a seed it sprouts a little in the heat. And while I dislike the texture of oatmeal, I completely love quinoa porridge. I also tried to make vegatable sushi....which is alot harder than it sounds....I couldn't get the rolling right and then my knife wasn't sharp enough so it would sort of explode out when I cut it. I had a few that were rolled ok, but there was quite alot of sushi bits that looked like I crossed a finger-paint-happy-kindergardener with a sushi chef.

Week two of my experiment was acorn squash......tasty and pretty but a little on the sweet side.

Last week's new food was spaghetti squash. The receipe was awesome! I highly recommend it

Not sure what I am going to do for this week, it could be an artichoke....or something......I'm not sure if I am ready to try something like a parsnip or a turnip.......yet.