Monday, January 24, 2011

Beginning to Feel Like Home

Wouldn't you know it. My last semester in the graduate program at the University of Idaho and it's just starting to feel like home. Well, that's not necessarily true. The program, in and of itself, has always been comfortable and seemed like a natural place for me to be. The English department is very similar to the department at BYU-I in that everyone is very helpful, knows the students (graduate and undergraduate alike), and no one is "uppity"...even though the department has some AMAZING authors! Just like the final couple of years of my undergraduate schooling, I seem to live in the English building. It helps that I have an office there, so oftentimes I go in early and stay late...all in the hopes of keeping up and getting ahead. Mostly it's the attempt at treading water that occurs.

Now that my living situation has improved six billion-fold, I really love to spend time at home. In fact, if I weren't so productive in my office (with a lot less distractions than home--believe it or not with people popping their heads in to say hi or grab a snack from the candy dish) I would stay at home in the coziness and calm of the house. But, in order to graduate this semester, I need to get on the ball and get going on my thesis!

Relatively speaking, I really think I lucked out on my classes this semester. No, none of them can be applied to my thesis (rats!), but the work load is doable and I only have classes on Tues, Wed, and Thurs. Yep, you heard right -- I have four day weekends...every week!

The combination of ease and naturalness both at school and at home reaffirms my belief that this is where I'm supposed to be right now and I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

-sigh- It's so nice when you feel that reassurance!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Start Your Engines!

I can't believe it. I honestly never thought I'd make it, but I have...and it's not over yet! I'm in my last semester of grad school and May is looming (so is my unwritten thesis, but you can't have everything).

School started this week and luckily I only have to be on campus Tues, Wed, and Thurs. Yep, I'm that lucky and, yep, I planned it that way. I just take/teach classes on Tues/Thurs and have office hours on Wednesday. That means I have automatic 4-day weekends and get to sleep in at least three days a week...because my first class doesn't start until 9:30 am.

My only problem? Well, I'm taking a class that I'm already regretting -- a class all about Toni Morrison and her writings. Honestly, it's not a genre I typically follow or types of books I purposefully seek out. I listened to "Paradise" on the drive home and was kinda "meh" about it. Needless to say, the moment I just THINK about doing the reading for the class I get tired and rack my brain for something, ANYthing else to do. Yeah, not the best indicator for the rest of the semester.

The thing about it is that I can't think of any other class that is offered that I'd like to take. There are no rhetoric classes (which is what my thesis is) being offered and everything else is kinda blah. The kicker is that I'll be writing two long papers, due at the end of the semester...about the same time I'm worrying about my thesis, defending, etc....and the two papers are throw-aways. I'll probably never look at them again.

-sigh- Unfortunately that's the adult world, where you don't get to do what you want, when you want, in the manner you want.

Wait... can someone remind me why I couldn't wait to grow up again.


Thought so.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Domesticated Me

For over a week I've been at my sister's house feeling like a lump on a log. Not that I've been that lazy, just outside of my normal surroundings and pretty much staying inside. One of the reasons is because it's so freaking cold in S.E. Idaho! Yes, I know I went to school here for three years...but I think a body purposefully forgets (or just wishfully hopes it never has to experience that environment again) until it's shocked into remembering. And no, I don't miss the feeling of frozen nose hairs the moment you step out-of-doors. 

Like I said, I haven't been lazy, this girl's been busy! Preparing lesson plans, assignment sheets, calendars, deadlines, etc. for the class I teach next semester; as well as writing abstracts and submitting papers to various conferences around the world -- yep, I said around the world! Unfortunately I didn't get into the one in Dublin, and I didn't really expect to, but a girl can dream! I also worked on getting research materials for my thesis from ($150 later and there's still a number of books I didn't purchase...but wanted to!) -- thank goodness for Inter-Library Loan.

All that mind sweat and I also cooked, did some light cleaning, and minor dog watching (watch her dogs sleep, eat, play, bark, follow me around like shadows, etc.), and I began to feel domesticated. Honestly, I loooooove to cook, but it's tough to do it for one person, so I enjoyed dusting off those muscles and trying to guess when she'd arrive so I could provide a hot meal for her upon her getting home after a long day (I failed more often than succeeded). I didn't clean too much, but fell back into the routine of cleaning the kitchen, since that was my unofficial "chore" when I lived with her.

All-in-all it's been a pretty relaxing and productive vacation, but I still feel like there's so much more I could have done to prepare for my last semester. Oh, well. What's done is done and now it's time for full speed ahead!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Time to Saddle Up!

This past week I've spent holed up at my sister's house in S.E. Idaho and --- I'm loving' it! No one knows I'm here...unless I want them to, so I've had no claims on my time. I've been staying up late (somehow I'm more productive at night than in the mornings -- that'd better change come school time!), sleeping in, and just "playing house" = cooking, cleaning, and being a "kept woman" (in the loosest definition of the word).

Watching Sage mellow and playing with my sister's dogs, that she used to dominate, cracks me up! At the drop of a hat Sage will instigate play time and loves to wrestle on the floor. This amazes me because ever since I moved to Moscow Sage has NEVER played with another dog. Why, I don't know, but she seems to feel in her element with my sister's dogs.

Pretty much it has been a lazy, but productive, break. I've completed assignment sheets, the first three weeks of lesson plans, and am working on finalizing my calendar for the rest of the semester. Now, if I can only be as successful writing my thesis. Yikes!