Monday, March 22, 2010

Gotta love it!

Most PhD students who are at the end of their course work, have their research design, measurement tools, analysis plan, etc already figured out. I have bounced around for 3 years, partly due to the fact that my area of research is basically not anything that any professor is doing at this university. There are professors that are doing little bits of what I am doing, but nobody is really looking at what I am looking at. Plus, I had the worst advisor ever and chose to simply ignore it until this last term, when I realized that it was doing me more of a disservice. So I am playing catch up, as in.....HURRY UP, catch up. My advisor is the dean of the graduate studies at the School of nursing and, well, pretty damn incredible and he realizes that I don't have funding for this dissertation, so it really means that I need to get through this as quickly as I possibly can.

All of that to say......I found LOTS of great stuff today that should help move this all along much smoother. So much to do, I so have to focus and do this. How wonderful would it be to really be able to do this like I really want to do it? To really contribute NEW knowledge to how we care for the dying in our country? Damn, it would be very cool.

Ok....back to reading.....Just had to write this all down!! :)

Starting a new week!

I am sitting here in my robe with my hair wet and I need to catch the bus in 50 minutes. This will be quick. (that is what she said....HA HAHAHAHA, gotta love the office). I can't believe that the term is nearly over! Holy cow! There is tons to accomplish still and I really am just going day by day. This weekend was light on homework compared to what I will face over the next few weeks. Although much of my "class" reading will be gone, so that will help. I seriously am looking to make it through in tact. i think that I can. Having a job will help. I don't see my first pay check until April 2nd, so I still have to take the bus and other unfortunate things that come with not having any money. Although taking the bus at least gets me some major walking time in. I really don't have a lot to say, I just needed to write a little this morning. At some point here, there are some real issues that I need to address and journal about.......until then, I think I will just be putting up short little diddies........hoping if you are reading this that you are having a wonderful life and enjoying all your moments.......Peace!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

As predicted!

So, I am working, actually LONG hours and finishing the school term (my last of official course work) AND......I am getting MORE done than I was before. I am always more productive when I have more on my plate. I am pleased with this! I am trying to NOT think of how close I am to finishing this term! I am really excited, after three years of course work, to know that this is the last of it, is amazing and makes the light at the end of the tunnel that much brighter! The end of course work means that I will have completed ALL of the classes (with the exception of one) that I need to meet the requirements for my PhD degree. The "one" is a data analysis class that I will take according to the type of analysis that I will be doing for my dissertation. Each term that I am doing my dissertation I am allowed one free class, so I probably will be taking one a term for the next year or so, but not 3-4 classes a term! Just thought I should explain that a bit, so when I talk about any classes coming up, you will understand!

Ok, time to get off here and get reading!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Certainly we knew that starting a job before the term was over would mean a juggling gig for me and that is exactly what I am getting! The danger here is that I KNOW what I am doing at my job, it feels like going home in a way, at school, every day I am confronted with things that I don't know, so we know which is most comfortable for me at this point (the job). I can't be too comfortable though, I must press through and finish this term proudly! I can't tell you though, just how happy I will be to be finished attending classes and sitting through hours of discussion and lectures that half the time I could care less about. (at least it is only half the time, it could be worse!) I just need to put the time in and get it done! By the end of this term I should at least have the outline of my dissertation proposal and the introduction written. Not a bad way to go into preliminary exams. I could easily have my proposal for my dissertation written and defended by the end of the year with my dissertation defended within one year of that. Unless I have to do data collection, then it may take me a little longer, but I hope to be able to do secondary analysis! (meaning that there should be a data base out there that is already collected that would have the variables that I need and I can do analysis on that.

I reminded a friend yesterday who is in the program with me, "if getting a PhD was easy, everyone would have one" true.....non of this is suppose to be easy and it will be all worth it in the end! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How Lame.....

I am feeling pretty lame today. I had 4 days to accomplish a few things and I wasted much of that time. Yes I did get some things done, but there remains much to do. I probably shouldn't be so hard on myself, afterall, I will be paying for it over the next 6 weeks. Today I do hope to at least finish the paper that is due on Friday and prepare my readings for the week. I also need to run to the store, which I really don't want to do, but it would be better than Dave going when he gets out of work. We are on a limited budget until Friday and he usually finds deals that are too good to pass up and buys more than he should (which is a very good thing) but when it comes to we ONLY need these few things, it is better for me to go to the store! I have been doing to jewelry making and made a new necklace for my new job, however it needs just a bit of work, so I wanted to get that done today as well. Well, here I go again, putting my to do list on my blog. Meh.

After this first week on the job, I should have an idea of what my life will really be like for the next 6 weeks. I have an idea, but until I actually experience it, I really won't be able to plan my time. That may be why I haven't been able to focus on getting other things done. Or that could simply be an easy excuse so that I don't have to say that I am lazy! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It is written in stone (at least for the next 2 months), Catie has a job!!!!! I am beyond excited! I was very impressed with the place, the VP and quality manager's were super cool. I am contingent just to get them ready for a Joint Commission Survey. However! The VP is a HUGE palliative care buff and was ultra excited about my CV and research and really wants to start a palliative care program at this agency, thus, really wants to KEEP me.....he he. Ohhhhh, the thought of seeing people outside of school thrills me. The thought of having a desk again and working....ahhhhhh......more importantly the thought of having a regular can't imagine until you have lived for 3 years on almost nothing! I am going to be beyond busy for the next 6 weeks, but I can handle it! I start next Tuesday! That gives me from now until then to get a few things off my plate (school wise) but first.....I think I need to go through my closet and be sure that I have clothes to wear! After 3 years of jeans and Michigan hoodies, I actually get to wear grown up clothes! Oh the joy!

Early to rise

My plan was to sleep in a bit and skip class so I can prepare for my meeting with the CEO and VP at what will be my new job. My legs didn't cooperate with that idea. I do have many things to get done today, so it is probably a blessing in disguise. I can work on a number of things that I didn't get finished yesterday when my brains were scrambled and then, as I had planned, have a little extra time to prepare for my "job" meeting. Mapquest suggest that it takes 45 minutes to drive there. Since it includes two major highways that service the Detroit area and are known for heavy traffic, I think I will plan extra time to be sure that I can locate where I am to get myself to. This of course means that I will likely arrive early, thus, I will bring lots of reading material with me! I have never had to drive 45 miles to work before, so this should prove to be interesting. Living in a Metro area it is very common to drive these lengths to get to work. Dave only has to drive a mile to get to work, THAT is what I am used to! At least it is only part time and only for a couple of months. Hopefully after that I will be able to find something more long term that is closer to Ann Arbor.

I won't breathe easy until I have some signed contract in my hand and all is said and done that I truly have this job. But when that happens, I will be so relieved to have some income coming in that will allow me to pay my bills on time for the next couple of months. The stress that it will relieve is going to be monumental!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Scrambled Brains

Ok, so tomorrow I drive to Oak Park to get this new temporary job thing set. It is a homecare and hospice that needs assistance with getting ready for Joint Commission. It is only for a couple of months and the drive is a 45 minute drive (if the traffic isn't bad) BUT, it brings in money NOW and gets me past course work, which seems to be an issue with anyone wanting to hire me for a full time gig at the moment. It will look great on my CV, however my time is going to be sucked dry between the job and school. I am actually more productive when I am busy, so it may be a good thing.

Today I am all over the place, like a pig running around the barnyard. I can't get my mind to stay on one thing. I started working on a paper that is due on the 19th. I know what to say, I just can't seem to get it organized in my head to put it on paper. I did complete a form that is due in class on Thursday that outlines my research proposal. Although, I have no idea if it really is going to be my research or not. I still need to complete a work project for the Dean (which is a huge pain in the ass, but needs to be done) and I have tons of reading to do. I also should re-read a paper I wrote that is due on Thursday to be sure that my grammar and such is correct. So as I fumble around all of these tasks, I keep getting out my beading project and I can't even get anywhere with that, I keep undoing everything that I add to the focal piece (a cabochon that I beaded around and it looks wonderful!) However all of the other techniques that i need to do to complete the piece, I am not proficient at........soooooo........ack.....I am lost.

Maybe I should just lay on the sofa and watch TV.....God knows I won't be doing that for the next 2 months! The good news though, I should be able to buy my car when the lease is up next month (now that I have a job (albeit temporary) AND, I will be able to pay my bills on time.......that will be a huge relief.

So that is my story today, my brains are scrambled and I am at a loss on how to unscramble them. TV, here I come!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Let the games begin!

The good news is, I don't feel like I could cry at the drop of a hat! Yesterday that wasn't the case! The bad news is, it is 5:30 am and I am awake to start the day. Monday's are my long day. I have a class at 8:30am and another at 3pm. Typically I take the bus in and go someplace to study in between the classes. Today, I may drive in for the morning class, return home to gather the laundry and go to the laundromat, then drive in for my 3pm class. Parking won't be outrageous if I do that, I can avoid the bus this one time, I won't have to pack a lunch, AND I will have clean underwear for tomorrow! Seems like a good plan now, but then it is early enough that my brain could be still waking up! :)

I started a new Cabochon last night. I want to practice beading around a few before I start on Chrystal's wedding jewelry. I have done it before, however, I really want her wedding jewelry to be perfect. The first piece I made was a barrette, which is filled with mistakes and will probably be torn apart. The new one that I am working on is MUCH improved and will probably turn into a necklace for myself! :) If I can't make beads, at least I can be creative and make beautiful things with beads! Although after visiting Mari and making beads, I know that in my heart that I am a glass artist and will at some future date have a studio again where I can make them!

As I stated at the beginning, my crying, or deep feeling of sadness seems to have dissipated, however I still feel this odd sense, almost like somehow I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know that getting my degree was not the wrong decision for me and finishing it is most certainly the correct decision for me. It may be possible that I am simply feeling the uneasiness of finishing this term and all that remains to be accomplished before the end of the term. That seems to make the most sense, especially since this is my last term of course work.

Ok, enough blabbing on, I need to get this day started!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ok, that didn't work!

I just keep crying! ACK! I think that I didn't realize how much I miss my kids. So I am really grateful that I was able to see Chrystal and spend good quality time with her.

I am working on these papers and I am nearly finished with one of them. So I am being productive too. I had called Chrystal to "make sure that she made it home safely" I got her voice mail and as soon as I heard her voice it made me cry, so I left a short message (tearful) and had to hang up before I started blubbering away. She returned my call which of course made me cry. She said she was feeling the same things I was and was real sad last night. How lucky am I to have children who love me like that and that I love so fully. It really is a good thing!

Ok, so now I should get back to this paper and finish it up!


My heart is so sad! I didn't expect to feel so sad after visiting with my daughter! I would think that I would feel energized and happy after having such a wonderful visit. Be full of gratitude that I had such a wonderful chance to visit with her. (All of which I do) but I also feel such an empty place in my heart, like a big hole!!

Today I have to get 2 papers written and a bunch of reading done. The rest of the week will be playing catch up on everything else I didn't do over spring break!

So much more to say here, I think I will cry if I write it and I don't have time to cry right now.......(very backwards way to think, as it would probably take less time to just write it out, be with it, cry and move on....... I think it is an excuse to not be with it and feel it (just being honest here).

Friday, March 05, 2010

Chrystal Coming to visit her momma today!

It is the end of my spring break. I haven't gotten enough done, but I will get some done today and on Sunday though. Chrystal (my one and only daughter and eldest of my 3 children) is coming to visit me today and tomorrow. It will be a "girlie" time as we are planning her wedding. She is getting married in July (in Vegas) which makes the planning a little easier and a little more difficult. This weekend though we are looking at paper for her invitations and beads and designs for her jewelry (which I am making for her). I am really excited to spend time with her. We have always been close and I miss seeing her daily since my move to Ann Arbor 3 years ago. I don't regret moving, it was time to let the birdies out of the nest, only the birdies wouldn't leave the nest (ha ha) so momma birdie is the one that left. I think in some ways it was good for them, in other ways, it may have had some negative affects on them. We always hope that we did a perfect job as a parent. I am sure that I made mistakes, after all, I am human! I just hope that whatever mistakes that I made they are able to overcome them and forgive me. The defining moment in a persons life often happens when they are very small, even a preverbal stage, sometimes it is difficult to identify what that defining moment may have been. I wonder sometimes as I look at my now adult children, what their defining moment was. Three children who are all completely different, all very special in their own way and loved unconditionally by me, and I wonder if there was something that I did that created that defining moment for them. Chrystal is so much like me and we can talk about anything and everything. I am looking forward to that today, but until she arrives, I need to get some homework done! (That may at least help me pass the time as I wait for her to arrive!!)

I have so much to say, so much to journal here, it will have to wait a bit longer though!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I'm back!

It has been quite some time since I posted here! School has kept me busy, I will be finished with my course work at the end of April! Yay me! I then have preliminary exams (written and oral) which I should have completed by the end of the year and then, just my dissertation! (oh is that all???) Trust me after 3 years of course work, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyway, I have been keeping up with my facebook, however it doesn't allow me to "journal" as I have done here in the past. So I am reviving this blog for that opportunity to share my thoughts. I doubt any of my followers still check this out, thus, I may have a private little spot to write down my thoughts and on the off chance anyone else reads this, that is cool too!