0 comments Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's insane to think that last year at this time I was anxiously awaiting to hear from all of the graduate programs I applied to back in the fall of 2008. In a weird way, when I look back, it feels incredibly close, yet distant; I remember my tension and uncertainty, but also the excitement. I would check the mail everyday, nervous that I might find that small envelope that closed one door with the simple words, "We're sorry to inform you..."

Yet, I was both talented and lucky enough to get accepted into all of the programs I applied to (well, I did get wait-listed at one, but that counts as more of an acceptance to me!). My scholarship and my belief in my work and abilities propelled me forward and I had confidence and faith in myself beyond measure. I believed that I belonged at the best of graduate schools and that I would shine anew, once more.

It must be obvious from previous entries how much my transition to North Carolina has shaken my confidence and faith.

In my transition, I have struggled and continue to struggle. I have had to confront my loneliness and recognize my independence. I have fought the monsters that plague my department and shielded myself from their insecurities and drama. I have questioned my presence in this place that I initially felt viscerally drawn toward. I have let the growing weight of my uncertainty stack upon me so much so that I have been forced to my knees, only to want a release from it all.

Despite all of my pain, though, I have not given up on myself; I have been blistered, but I am not broken. I refuse to give up out of uncertainty. I refuse to let any asshole tell me that I do not belong here or that I am not worthy enough. I refuse to believe that everything that I have done and all that I am is somehow incompatible with the future that I will decide. I am my transition. My future.

I will fight, and I will not do it alone. When pushed, I will push back with the force of others—with my family and friends who continue to support me, even when I lose sight of the horizon. When I am down, I will try to pick myself back up, and if I cannot, I will look for the trusted hand of a family member or a friend and I will move forward with their aid.

I am better because I believe and because I am blessed to have people who believe in me.

In the words of Dwayne from Little Miss Sunshine: "Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another. School, then college, then work... Fuck that. [...} You do what you love, and fuck the rest."

You do what you love, and fuck the rest.

Thank you, my friends.

0 comments Monday, January 18, 2010

As part of my motivational drive and as a means of keeping track of my progress, I've decided to start a side blog dedicated to documenting my runs, moods, mileage, successes and failures. Since I plan to run three full races this quarter, I know I will need to see my progress if I am going to feel like I am accomplishing anything. Plus, it will help me separate my running, a joyful activity in my daily life, from some of the mundane items that I blog about on here.

If you are interested in reading about my "running spirit," check out Rez Can Run.

0 comments Sunday, January 17, 2010

In keeping tabs on some of my New Year's resolutions and holding fast to the many good things I have in my life, I've decided to document crucial quarterly words that I foresee as countervailing forces to the hectic nature of my life as a graduate student. In short, the following items are things that I am doing, will continue to do, and hope to ultimately be better for upon completion.

Organized. In combating some of the hellaciousness of last semester, you might be surprised to know that I finally have a desk! Yes, I too find it hard to believe that I survived a whole semester of graduate school without one, but I did. Although others said it was impossible to write papers at the office with fellow colleagues running about and talking to everyone, I managed to do it! Of course, I was also resolute about finishing my papers and frequently pushed people away because they were disrupting my creative flow.

In staying organized, I also purchased two desk calendars (one for school and one for home) and an agenda. Since I have three graduate classes, a language class, multiple races, I need to keep composed and orderly or else I might lose it. This also means that I will have to be rigidly responsible with my time. That is, as much fun as it is to drink with my fellow peers, it is more important to be dedicated to my quarterly projects than fall behind for the sake of socializing all the time.

Disciplined. This semester I am also learning Czech. However, it has already started off difficult. When I signed up for the course I did not realize that there was a course to be taken before this one. (Apparently the holds that would exist as prerequisite blocks for taking the continuation course do not exist here.) Therefore, I have to learn the first three chapters of the Czech language book with strong volition and a few meetings with a tutor.

Although this is my family's "mother" language (from about 60 years ago), I am finding it hard to pick up because the lip and tongue positioning and inflections required are challenging. In particular, the "Č" and "Ř" are incredibly difficult to pronounce in certain words. I know I will get them down in due time, though.

Fitness. Recently, I started a membership with a local gym so I can work on becoming more fit and find time to get some lighter runs in as I continue to learn more about outside running trails. The gym I'm with is nice, but what is even better is that I got a trainer. Yes, I know that having a trainer is not cheap, but I only have my trainer for eight weeks. After that time I hope I will have learned some key excises so that I can continue to whip my ass into shape. In the meantime, though, it will be nice to have someone pushing me to do more and reminding me that I can become fit if I workout and eat right. Also, my first assessment begins tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be labeled a raging fatass! Can't wait for that! Hahah!

Running. Of course, if training at the gym isn't enough to keep me active, I have also registered for three races. On February 6th, I'll get back into the competitive racing spirit with a nice and mellow 5k. There will be some light hills during this run, but it should be manageable and enjoyable. A month later, I will complete my first half marathon at the Roanoke Rapids Canal run. I have to admit that I am extremely nervous about this run, especially since I will be doing the training all by myself; yet I am also excited to push myself to do this. Finally, after I complete my first half marathon, I will be racing in the Tar Heel 10 miler. This course will be particularly challenging because of all of the hills, but I am hopeful that my half marathon training will keep me in tune for this run that finishes right in Kenan Stadium!

Forecasting. Naturally, I am concerned about moving out of my current apartment, and my lease doesn't expire until July. However, I have wanted to move out of this apartment complex ever since the first month. It's not the worse complex in the area, rather it is that some of the community members are incredibly annoying (like my neighbors), the rent is too expensive for the location and the supposed benefits, and I am too far away from almost everyone and everything. Therefore, a colleague and I are planning on moving into an apartment in April/May to save money and, hopefully be closer to the campus.

In the meantime, I am also looking for a summer job that I can do in the area or with the park service. This is tricker, though, because I want to be within the area and, ideally, I would only like a part time job. If, however, I am strapped for cash, I will take on a full time job and rock my summer into the second year of my Ph.D. program. For now, though, I'm not thinking too hard about the summer or the job situation. I know it will sort itself out in time, and I know that I will be just fine, albeit a bit tore up from the high impact of this quarter of this year of my life.

Eh-o! Here's to the start of an incredible new year that will be my year!

0 comments Wednesday, January 06, 2010

It's official! My sister and I just ordered our tickets to check out Something Corporate in Cal-i-for-ni-a! I'm so excited and stoped for the concert and it is months away. Plus, it is one of the big things I am looking forward to about this year.

Yet, the funny thing about all of this is that nothing else is really planned out. Although we just dropped $110 combined, we have yet to figure out our flights, hotel, and, since I will be 25, my first ever car reservation. Still, in all of the uncertainty and impetuousness, I am thrilled! Traveling across the country, hanging out with my little sister, and rockin' a concert will be the pièce de résistance of this year. This is going to be quite an adventure and it has already begun. . .

So pull me under your weather patterns
Your cold fronts and the rain don't matter
Because a sun burns what I needed

0 comments Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Proud to be a member and an alumnus of Bronco Nation!


(And what a win it was!!)

0 comments Saturday, January 02, 2010

I have to admit that I am not too fond of New Year's resolutions. It has been my experience that most resolutions are broken or forgotten in the daily and weekly happenings of a year. Hence, I typically do not usually make resolutions.

Yet, this year, I feel that I can write a list of resolutions and then use this blog to keep tabs on them from time to time. Although some of these resolutions may be broken or forgotten as the year progresses, I figure that it is worth my time and efforts to have some annual goals to keep me motivated when the days run thin this year. Besides, who said having goals was a bad thing?

In thinking about what I want to be able to do by next year, I have taken inventory of the many situations I have encountered over the last year and have artfully attempted to detail a litany of practical intent. Although some of this items may not be completed at all or fully, I think the merits are in the effort. Without further ado:

    Resolutions for 2010
  1. Learn to be more forgiving of others.
  2. Be more honest in my thoughts and opinions and let others know how I feel.
  3. Run at least one half marathon by the end of the year.
  4. Become more fit, primarily with my upper body.
  5. Get six-pack abs!
  6. Learn two foreign languages. (I've selected Czech, which I will be taking courses in for the year, and French, which will be completed in part through RosettaStone and conversations with Hillary the French Master!.)
  7. Take more pictures and become a better photographer.
  8. Get a paper in the publication process.
  9. Get two papers to a conference (or two).
  10. Get rid of my credit card debt and keep the new balance below $500 thereafter.
  11. Begin saving up to $5000 for the day I leave North Carolina.

Not only do these resolutions run the gamut of my personal life, but I also think they provide for plenty of blog-worthy material. That is, hopefully I will quit blogging about my tumultuous times with fame monsters, unruly students, and other oddballs in my life! (One could only hope, right?) Furthermore, it is my hope that I will be able to keep track of my progress on each of these resolutions and continue to make good on as many of them as possible if I remind myself of my progress. In this sense, then, I hope that by giving life to these resolutions that they become just that--firm decisions for action.

Cheers to 2010! May it be a year of painful growth, joy, sadness, and resolve.