Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ravens and Writing Desks (Poe Wrote on Both)

It is already a new year in Germany (the place that my internal clock is still accustomed to). I figured it would be a good time to review the past year. I can use many words to describe the past year: remarkable, awesome, amazing, full, stressful, crazy, cool, fun-filled, bursting, insane, incredible, and now over.

In the past year I have visited 8 states and 5 countries. I added 9 new stamps to my NPS passport. My sister got married (woo!) and both my brother and dad served in combat zones. My mom got a crazy and awesome haircut (provided by hers truly). I crawled through tropical caves in Peleliu and conquered the wild cave tour at Mammoth Cave. I witnessed the most awesome Killers concert. Ever. I worked through tornado recovery and rebuilding. I changed my hair color only four times (5 if you count the hot pink I dyed my roots this evening). I presented a paper at George Wright (and am looking forward to presenting a paper at NCPH in March). I got to visit my aunt and uncle and cousin in Seattle. And my mom in Germany. I also got to go back to NOLA with my best friend. I delivered hundreds of talks at Stones River National Battlefield and saw the Junior Ranger program I helped design go to print. I discovered the answer to a riddle that has puzzled me for years. I helped Post-It Note two friends' cars. I saw my favorite restaurant close (tear). I met several new friends over the course of the year. I finished my graduate coursework and passed my comprehensive exams. I flew over both the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. I live with no regrets. And can now continue to look forward to 2010 without any.

Friday, December 4, 2009

choo choo

My roommate brought home stacks of paper today- paper printed with several copies of her thesis. She has some spiral bound and a small box ready to be hard-bound. Lucky. Seeing her all of her hard work stacked neatly in white reams of paper encouraged me. "I want that!" I think, I know.

So I got on a writing kick. I revised my chapter-serving-as-my-research-project. She's a beaut. I am very proud of it and started reading source material that will be included in my first chapter. I want to outline! I want to brainstorm! I want this done! I want a pretty, black, hard-bound thesis with gold, embossed letters as a title.

While I was goofing off (and by goofing off, I mean working on my thesis), I was avoiding studying for my comprehensive exams. Blah. I am taking those on Tuesday. I should be counting down the hours by now, right? Like a kid counting down the hours until Santa comes? But instead of stirring excitement, realizing how many hours are left between now and then will only spur a neurotic episode (and I'm trying to avoid those). I just have to be like the little train that could: I think I can I think I can I think I can. So I can eventually say: I thought I could I thought I could I thought I could, holding my degree in hand with the biggest smile on my face and a few tears in my eyes.

P.S. I have had four donuts and a hot dog to eat today. Plus a cup of coffee. And lotsa water. Thanks, Grad School. You've expanded my mind AND my waistline.


So I have found a new way to procrastinate. Flockdraw!

Up to ten people can "collaborate" on the same board, drawing, painting, writing, etc. So go ahead, friends! Create!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

That that does not kill me...

Quick! While I am still in this frame of mind! I received feedback from my thesis advisor regarding an outline. There is hope! Overall, her feedback was positive.

Time is slipping away faster than I had planned. I am struggling to stay afloat here.

I am still freaking out, but it is currently a hurried, spastic type of freak out that makes me work harder. Kind of like the Kanye song (and a theme of my dad... the saying, not the song): That that that that that that don't kill me can only make me stronger.

I only have to make it to the 12th and I will be home free. Then I can sleep until the 16th. Then I will be on a plane going far, far away from this craziness.

the past is such a curious creature (that's why I look to the future)

I am feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work I must do in the next 11 days. I am also too tired to freak out about anything. My studying ebbs and flows; sometimes I feel confident and other times I feel completely ill-prepared. My written portion of the exam is a week from tomorrow (well, technically a week from today, considering the time).

I also have to revise my final paper and submit it, study, create an application packet for an award through NCPH and apply for the poster session, study, make DVDs of some sessions I filmed earlier this semester, study, work, study, pack, and, um, study some more. I would like to also make some Christmas cookies and mail some Christmas cards and crochet another pair of mittens and maybe sleep a little. Those are all just dreams.

My consolation prize: I get to see Germany two weeks from Thursday! And while I am sad that I won't get to see my dad while I am there (he will be in Afghanistan) I do get to see my mom! And hang out with some pretty awesome people for two weeks. And not have to think a bit. Maybe then I can crochet a pair of mittens. And sleep.

Ah, sleep.