Monday, June 09, 2008

Alright, I've been away for a little over two months and some of you (if anyone still reads this) are probably wondering what happened. The short of it is that graduate school took over my life once again. I know, I know: "Does he ever stop talking about graduate school?" and "Oh, it's always about how challenging graduate school is," and "You would think that either graduate school killed him. . .or he offed himself."

For the foremost item, I must apologize. I honestly dislike talking about graduate school so much because I know that when people talk about the same subject over and over again it becomes annoying. Therefore, part of the reason why I didn't write on here was because my blog was starting to become a "venting board" of sorts. Sure, it helped me relax through cathartic release, but it was probably boring and/or annoying to read. Not that that is bad, but, in truth, this blog was never intended to be a venting board. So, if you've been turned off by that, I am sorry. I am going to try my best to mix it up more with random thoughts and decrease the graduate school drama. This isn't Greek, after all!

For the second comment, I must extend my apologizes. Although, I must also qualify this by stating that graduate school has been exceptionally challenging for me because I've never had to take on and balance so much in my life. At the end of this year, though, I have learned that I am capable of doing all of the things that are required of me. I primarily thank "The Now Habit" by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. for this refreshing outlook. Still, as I said above, I will try not to detail the convoluted nature of my life in graduate school because, while some stories are interesting (and merit posting and discussion), a lot of them don't. Therefore, the intricate nature of my life as a graduate student need not be so exposed.

Finally, for the last comment, it is obvious graduate school has not killed me nor have I offed myself (although, due to my dark and often morbid sense of humor, I have joked about this). In truth, graduate school has not only helped me grow, but allowed me to truly question if what I am doing is what I want to do. Each day is a test, and each semester is a trial. Yet, at the end of it all, I am able to count my accomplishments and learn from my mistakes. It is this perspective, as well as the support of great friends, faculty members, and family, that has allowed me to solidify my resolve to become and educator. I know I will continue to question this, to continue to struggle with my decisions, but I will always affirm my decisions and continue forward. Graduate school certainly will not be the death of me; rather, it will be the transformation of who I am into who I am capable of being. So, please, quit keeping bets!

Now that that's settled, I'd like to list a few things I have accomplished, enjoyed, or partook in the last two months or so:

  • Niel Fiore, Ph.D. and author of "The Now Habit," changed my life! I feel revivified and ready to take on the next year.
  • I ran my first 5K in May and did well for timing. I ran the race in 24:37!
  • I survived my first year of graduate school and, therefore, I am half a Master of Communication (Ok, not really, but I like to think so)!
  • My advisor/chair has helped me figured out where I want to go for graduate school and is pushing me to crystalize my conference paper.
  • I visited with my best friends in Southern Idaho, met up with my awesome cousin, and went to a Margot & The Nuclear So and So's concert in Salt Lake City. The concert rocked, although the venue wasn't particularly amazing.
  • I found a new band I highly enjoy: Cameron McGill. Check him out, he's going to be big one day.
  • I drove 1,700 miles in a week (and, contrary to some unnamed individuals' opinions, I did not speed that bad [Also, who has a better driving record? That's what I thought!]).
  • My aunt, uncle, and cousins were fun to hang out with, even though the weather sucked.
  • My family in Colorado survived the tornados of doom!
  • I began studying for the GRE. . .again (even though I don't really need to).
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 (NWN2) took over my life for three days. I became a level 9 warrior with an awesome party that has yet to fight orcs. Yes, geekiness I am proud of! Haha!
  • I am training for a 10K in July and a half marathon in October!
  • I am still searching for a part-time/temporary job for the summer.

That has been my life in short. Since I do not have a job yet, my days are filled with running, reading, writing, studying, light cooking, and the occasional video game (when warranted). In truth, running has been the key to the balance in my life. I run to know that I can go that extra mile, literally, and to remind myself that I am strong, capable, and fallible, yet constantly improving. It has been the key to the balance and peace I have seen in the last month and a half. Although it was somewhat difficult to manage and grasp at first (in terms of scheduling time for recreation OVER my studies), I have become more comfortable and dependent on it. It keeps me focused, relaxed, and striving for more. With any luck, I'll become an elite athlete. . .at least, my cousin and I like to joke about that!

As I seek employment this summer, I keep pushing myself on every front I am capable of handling. Whether I am running, working on my paper or thesis, (hopefully) working, or playing that video game on the side, I am staying strong. Although I do not have full control, I am capable of doing enough with what I have and that is all I need.


Bree said...

Welcome back!

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