Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thinking of Making Some Changes

Okay, I had a minor breakdown, but now I'm back on track. I still have the same issues that I had previously, and they probably aren't going to go away, but I think that my Rhetorical Theory class may have had something to do with my anxiousness. Lets face it, I'm someone who likes structure. I like having things clearly written and directions and plans in place. Rhetorical Theory was the exact opposite of that. Our syllabus was off, directions weren't clear...overall it is a major disaster for me personally and I'm not sad that I dropped the class.


I am back on my kick of getting school done in 2 years. I know, this will take a SUBSTANTIAL amount of work on my part. It won't be easy. It will involve working on my thesis over the summer and also taking 2 classes a semester, and most likely defending my thesis in August as opposed to May. But I think that I'm okay with that.

Also thinking that I'm going to change from a Communication major to a Mass Communication major. I liked my mass comm classes from my undergrad and I think that I'll be able to mold it to whatever I want it to be. At this point I actually am in an okay place to make that change, so I won't loose anything because of it.

My only fear of a mass comm degree will lock me more into the media jobs which don't always pay wonderfully, but if I stay with communication then I may be stuck as well because the first thing to get dropped is the education/organizational communication employees.

So, is it better to go with something you know that you will like (Mass Comm) even though there are no guarantees??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Are Relationships Doomed?

Today I'm coming back from my Intro to Grad School class. It is actually a class that I love because I'm with other first years students, so you get to meet people who are in a similar situation as yourself. At the end of class we always are asked what is going on this week and how we are feeling about things this week and how/if it differs from last week. One of the girls raises her hand and starts talking about the pressures of school and how it takes a WHOLE lot more time than she had imagined and how she is having far less time to do the outside things in life that she really loved, something that I very much can relate to.

So...our teacher gives the following answer...

Grad school takes a lot of time to do and there are a lot of sacrifices. Many people have relationship trouble during this time and it is very normal for people to have strains on friendships and partnerships during this period.

Then he says...

You will come out a different person than you went in.

My question...are all relationships doomed if you are spending a significant portion of your life in school or doing school related things? And if so, is it because you are spending so much time away from each other or is it because you change in a way that is incompatible with your partner?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Signs of a Nervous Breakdown??

Merriam Webster's Medical Dictionary defines a nervous breakdown as the following:

Main Entry: nervous breakdown
Function: noun
: an attack of mental or emotional disorder especially when of sufficient severity to require hospitalization

There is nothing in the definition about dreams. I've never been a big dreamer, but the last two days (when my stress has peaked) my dreaming has become vivid.

Wednesday night dream....

Frankie (who I work with) was living at my house too...and she was upstairs in the bathroom. I knew that there had been a serial killer out looking for me. I was upstairs as well and I walk down stairs and look at the front door (when you are at the front door in my house you can see all the way up the stairs). I'm standing at the front door and it is slightly ajar. I yell up to Frankie to see if she left the door open. She comes to the top of the steps and says no. As she's saying no, I feel a pinch on my arm as I'm being stuck with a needle. Then I wake up. Wonder if its significant that Frankie works in the health office...

Thursday night dreams....

First dream. I'm back working in TV news again and I'm somewhere away from the station. For some reason I have to do the sports segment of the news. Someone there gives me a sheet of paper with things to read off of it, it isn't a script though. The same person also gives me a jar (one of the big tall plastic ones) and tells me that I need to read the story off of that as well. I am then immediately live on air. I read the first story and then am supposed to read off of the jar but I don't know what part of it to read, so I whisper to the person who gave me the jar asking what I need to read and there is dead air and some whispering. I then try to read everything and it leads to a bunch of ahh...umm's and then It's over.

Second dream. I'm at a beach somewhere out of the country (which should really be a plus!) and I'm in some sort of beach house. The beach house is just like a cement box with some small windows up high and a big sliding door on the front of the house looking at the beach. I'm there with a local kid. On the way in I'm told that this is a dangerous area and that there are gangs there. I still go and am in the house with the kid and a bunch of local gang members come by and are walking all around the house. They go away and I end up walking down to the beach. I see a local woman and her child and she tells me not to stay there because it is dangerous and they will kill me. I leave and walk back up to the beach house and am putting my things next to the door of the house. The gang members come back up and are knocking on the door of the house and looking in the glass sliding door. They start trying to break the glass and one of them opens the other door to the house. I grab the phone and dial 911 and tell them to take anything they want. They grab my laptop and I'm yelling at the police on the phone to come and help me. I tell them the area where I am and they say that it is a dangerous area and I should never have gone there...they say they are sending someone and then a gang member takes the phone out of my hand and I wake up.

Scary dreams.

While the dreams might not signal a nervous breakdown, they are definately indicative of stress and the lack of control I have over my situation.

I spoke with my advisor on wednesday who told me that it will be impossible for me to graduate in 2 years while going to school. In fact, he steared me away from taking 2 classes. Good news, bad news, I'm not sure. I had really wanted to graduate in 2 years. He told me that I'd be lucky to do it in 3 years while working full time. On the bright side, that takes some of the pressure off. He also told me that I was currently signed up for the 2 hardest classes in the program (why he would sign me up for those my first semester while he knew I was working full time I don't know.) This information, along with my lack of any time to do anything other than study, sleep and work, has lead me to the decision to drop one of my classes. I barely have the time to get the reading done, let alone a 20 page paper in that class, along with all the other papers I have in other classes. So, this will leave me with 1 three credit class and 1 one credit class. I'm now in the process of dropping the class.

Feeling kinda like a failure for having to drop though...

Oh and apologies to my teachers for not citing my source in APA format...

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's been a while...like 5 years!!

This is me in a former life. Yes, things do change very quickly!

Today marks the end of my first full week of school...a VERY exciting week for me. Even though I have only been in school one full week, it feels like I've been taking these classes for ages!

I know, its still very early, but so far I love everything about grad school. It is everything that my undergrad degree wasn't. The classes are small, try 15 people in a class tops! My classes are discussion and not just sitting and taking notes during a lecture. The people in my class do the homework and reading! Shocking!

Even more shocking is the fact that I am doing the reading and the homework, and going to class. For anyone who knows my undergraduate academic career, it is in stark contrast to my new graduate student mentality. I look forward to going to class. Really, I do. Rhetorical theory, I'm psyched to be there...seriously. Who thought that Plato would get me excited. I actually had a conversation with someone in my Research Meathods class about whether I considered myself a positivist...which I do. Instead of questions like, is Isis getting nixed on ANTM (America's Next Top Model), I see myself thinking things like, If Plato is so opposed to the body and wants to separate it from communication and the soul, how does he justify non verbal communication. Thinking these things is NOT normal. At least for me. But I guess it is just an example of how things are changing.

That's not to say that things are always Hunkey Dorey...I have a tremendous amount of homework to do...I'm looking at 500 pages of reading a week along with papers and postings and etc, etc. In addition, I am one of maybe 2 people in my classes that isn't a TA. Which I believe actually makes it easier for them. They aren't working full time jobs, let alone full time jobs an hour away. Add in the upwards of 20 or more hours of school work per week, and I've definately got my hands full. But my hands are full in a good way and I'm extremely thankful to have the oportunity to take the classes I'm taking. My next hurddle will be the GRE's and actually seeing if I will be accepted into the program as a matriculating student. Fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thinking of Myself as a Writer

I was all prepared today to talk about my day yesterday and how my classes went. They went well. But there was so much more than just sitting in a chair and listening to a lecture. The thing that really struck me the most was when our professor (and my interim adviser) told us that we need to change our perception of why we are in Grad School. We have to think of this as our time to work on our writing, because he said, we are all writers and just improving our craft. I have never considered myself a writer. I've always been defined by what I did for a living, and certainly writing in Grad School isn't paying my bills. Have I got it all wrong? Should we be defined by our passions and interests? Or should we be solely defined by what pays our bills?