Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Think I'm Making The Move

To wordpress that is. Or at least I'm going to give it a try... So my blog is now found here...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hard Work DOES Pay Off...

This has been the hardest year of my life to date. School is becoming increasingly more difficult with the pressures it brings and work is always a complicated finessing of different personalities. BUT there is a glimpse of sunight! I knew that a paper I wrote had been accepted competitively at The Eastern Communication Association's annual conference. Today it feels official since I now have a date and time. I'll be trecking down to Baltimore in April to present my paper entitled "An Exploration of Why People Participate in Second Life Social Support Groups". (You can download the program...I'm on page 17)!

Truthfully I'm overwhelmed and overtired which results in a deadly combination of inappropriate emotions... but it feels like all the hours and all the sacrifices I've made to get here are all worth it. It still doesn't seem perfect and I will always feel like I should be spending more time on school work and with friends and family. But I've decided to take the advice my rhetoric professor gave our class in regards to feeling like we should be online discussing and commenting on our ning site all the time ... I have to make decisions on what time each thing in my life deserves and realize that I will probably feel like I'm not giving enough time to anything. Unfortunately I think she's right. I'd like to think that someday I'll feel as though things are in balance but it just isn't looking like that will happen in the near future. Maybe never.

But today I'm going to let that all go and revel in the fact that I have a date and time! And that I got an email from my Mom telling me that she and my father are proud of me :) A girl can't hear that enough....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Thank You World For Your Concern

I have to admit that I think I can do it all and do it well. My founding principal is that anything is possible as long as you try hard enough. So, that being said it is upsetting that it appears that people question my ability to do it! I'll admit, full time work and grad school is hard. I miss doing things with friends and spend not nearly enough time watching tv and relaxing, but the hard work is worth it. I love school and I like doing the reading and writing that it requires. I think I'm good at it. But as is the case with most things in my life, I tend to go overboard. I'm not content with just getting my degree...I need to have an A average. I need to publish, go to conferences and graduate in the shortest time possible, at least in my mind.

Clearly this would put stress in anyone's life, especially for someone with a hard core type A personality. And it appears that others are noticing that I may be under a little bit of pressure right now. I've gotten the are you okay? You're quiet and not acting like yourself. To which I answer, I'm fine...just got a lot going on that's all. Unfortunately that wasn't sufficient for some people. They decided that my weight is now a problem. Apparently in their eyes I don't weigh enough. Now, I'll admit I'm not a stress eater. If I were then I'd be the girl reading journal articles while the forklift came to get me out of my house. Instead, I tend to not want to eat if I've got a lot on my mind. This inevitably leads to weight loss. I probably went down 2 sizes over the summer and quite frankly I didn't think it was even noticeable to the outside world. But apparently it is. As of now I've had not one, but two coworkers comment on my weight. No one would bother me if I put on a few pounds....but loose some and your fair game.

Perhaps others wouldn't be bothered by this. I'm within my BMI range, albeit on the low side. I'm a healthy person. What is most upsetting is not that they think my body isn't's that it implies that I'm unable to handle what I'm doing. People suggest that I cut back on classes saying "what's one more semester". Well, one more semester is significant in my eyes and will not be happening. Perhaps for someone not as type A as myself, this would just roll off their back. Perhaps I need to be more that way, but if I were then the motivation to get me through school could perhaps fade as well. Maybe lack of sleep is making this all the more upsetting. Maybe a good night sleep would make the world seem so much more in line and everything would be perfect. But I'll never know because until August, a good night sleep is simply unobtainable.

In the meantime, maybe all concerned individuals will join togather and invite Jeff VanVonderen over so they can tell me how my problems have influenced their lives in the following ways.....

Now that I would take an afternoon off from studying for!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

And So It Begins Again...

The week began with my first rhetorical theory class. Since I'm taking the class online through another school there is the obligatory difficulties that go along with it. Case in point I signed up late because of a clerical error on my part. Signing up late then means that there is a hold on your account since you didn't pay for the class until you are officially a non degree student there. Then once you pay the hold still stays. So by the time I officially was signed up it was the friday before the class started. Being slightly type A I then worry that I'm going to be behind because I haven't done any reading (since I just joined the class and although classes hadn't officially started there typically there is "pre"reading to do). I email the professor who luckily informs me that the syllabus will be emailed on the first day of class. I sit on monday morning waiting for my email and nothing comes....I then get an email on Tuesday from said professor alerting me to the fact that I have an email account through the school and that is the one she is using. Sadly when you sign up for classes or as a nondegree student, noone ever tells you these things. Now I'm a day behind. That night I proceed to set up all the accounts I need for the class (Ning, blog, twitter, wiki etc.) and start reading. Little did I know just how much work this one class was going to be. Journal articles to be read and written about in blog posts (2-3 blog posts a week) a wiki with terms to be updated and tweets to be sent out. Then add in I believe 3 projects for the semester? I'm still lost on that one. But the class will complete my rhetorical theory requirement and is in my domain of interest (computer mediated communication) and will actually coexist nicely with the other CMC course that I'm taking this semester (which can I say also seems like a whole lot of work).

Perhaps this would have all seemed more doable had I not had a looming manuscript deadline. Suggested rewrites had been made however there is always something to be done which means extensive time spent thinking about and writing about social support groups in Second Life. Don't get me wrong, I love my manuscript and I think the rewrites made it considerably better, however the amount of work that has been done on it is daunting. Luckily the manuscript went out the door Wednesday and is officially off my desk until I have to most likely rewrite portions again when it comes back from review.

Sure the manuscipt is off my desk but that opens up my time for thesis writing (although a more appropriate term may be sucks up my time). In less than a month I need to have a thesis perspectus written in a finalized form. This will be approximately 50 pages. At this point 50 pages isn't a big kicker for me. I've written 30 for classes before and in some classes probably close to 60, so its not the lenght that is worrysome, its the fact that although I have done some research in the area of my thesis, what I have done is slightly different enough that it isn't useable. This means more research and more article reading for me at a time when I really have no time. I'm not sure how it is going to get done, all I can say is that I've managed to do everything I set out to do in the past so fingers crossed that the trend will keep.

Last semester I worried that I wouldn't be able to do it all. My classes were difficult and required a lot and I had hoped this semester would be easier. Unfortunately that isn't the case. School is hard and its stressful and I don't think it is imaginable until you actually go through it. The stress is compounded with a full time job with a 3 hour a day total commute. Sometimes it all just doesn't seem feasible. And it seems that when stress hits people find ways to add to it. But I'm learning that you can't control what other people do or say. All I can do is not let them derail me from my goal. I will graduate in May (well I'll walk in May and complete my thesis in August).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Should it Stay or Should it Go Now?

This blog has been around for quite some time now as with most things in life, a change may be due. Yes it's seen some good times, but it may be time to move it to wordpress where it can live with ABIEM and my school blog....

Tough decision...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Canyoning, Whales, Fish and Tubes!

The last four days have been quite is a rundown of our adventures....

Canyoning=AWESOME! There are only good things to say about it...except for maybe the blister I got, which is actually quite painful. The two guides we had were very patient and definitely inspired confidence. We repelled down waterfalls and jumped in pools of water and the views were gorgeous!!

Whale Watch = tons of fun! I really wanted to go on a whale watch. At one time we went every year in Bar Harbor, but we haven't done that in years, even though we always say we want to. We only went 3 miles of the coast and saw a pod of 7 sperm whales and tons of dolphins...It was amazing and so worth the trip!

Thursday I had my shining moment, scuba diving. I freaked out when we initially went down, in fact I just got my head underwater before I came up, so we went to a more shallow area and I went in just fine and spent the whole 45 minutes underwater. Matt had a more difficult time adjusting to the change in pressure and spent a good portion of the time at the surface. Underwater was amazing though. The deepest we could go was 30 feet and it was incredible. There was so much to see!

Yesterday we went river tubing which was quite frankly my least favorite thing to do. The river was too low and the tubes had no padding on the bottom of them so my tailbone hit every rock there was...and let me tell you there are plenty of LARGE rocks in the river. It was actually pretty scary since they just put you in a tube and let you go. I ended up holding on to Matt's tube and we went down together. I wouldn't do it again, but I can say I did it right?!