Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘Graduate school’

Back to School – Avoid Reality

One last back to school cartoon, an ode to grad school, if you will:

Good luck, students!


Back to School – PhD vs Marriage

Good luck on your way back to school, students! I thought I’d throw a comic out to everyone on their way to higher learning.

This fall for me is all about 2 things. 1) Weddings! (and all of the stuff that goes with them: bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinners. Note: for other people, I’m not getting married). 2) Sending in my PhD applications again. Woo! So I personally enjoy that this comic mixes the two!

Good luck, all!

Stupid Scale as Motivation

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of a “casual runner.” I go out when I have free time and when I’m feeling like spending some quality time outdoors without getting a sunburn.

And last summer when I was constantly busy with grad school’s night classes and my job and all of that other jazz, I still found plenty of time to run because it was some great time to just decompress. Flash forward to this summer… and I don’t have the same motivation… or even the drive to run. Instead, I have a lot of drive to cuddle with my wonderful boyfriend who didn’t get enough attention while I was focused on completing my thesis.

However, last Monday morning, I stepped on the scale and saw a number that I find completely unacceptable. When I was in my teens (and very, very skinny – naturally, thank you genetics! – because I certainly wasn’t working for thin back then) I would tell myself that if I hit certain numbers as an adult, I wouldn’t be ok with them and I would become a gym bunny. And you know what? My teenaged self was an idiot! Those numbers came and went and it was totally fine. But this new number, that was completely out of the scope of imagination for my teenaged self, it’s not totally fine!

I am not ok with calling myself a casual runner and still gaining weight. Uh-uh, no way! So it’s time to ditch the “casual!”

There’s my new motivation: a number I simply don’t like.

But I’m still really enjoying the cuddling with the boyfriend at night, so how am I balancing it? I’ve changed my schedule. Let’s be real, I will never, NEVER be a morning person. But I do have a (free) gym in my office building, and I’m taking more advantage of it: at lunch!

I mentioned recently that I’ve gotten into using an elliptical and it’s really great for an afternoon work out. I found it hard to run in the middle of the day because I think of running in terms of distance. It’s almost (mentally) painful to quit without giving it my all. But with the elliptical, I view it as time spent. It’s much easier to just head down to the gym for 30 minutes than 5 miles (I can’t run 5 miles in 30 minutes). Any day I don’t have meetings in the afternoon, you’ll find me in the gym for lunch! I’m simply loving it!

A change of perspective can really change a lot. I’ve spent the past 7 days straight working out in some form: either the arc trainer at work, the elliptical on the weekends at my factory style gym, or the occasional run along the Charles River near my house. I’m totally loving it! The next two days will be rest days because of afternoon meetings though. They have been earned though! I had hiccups earlier in the week that were literally painful because of sore chest, back, and stomach muscles!

And I’m not saying that I want to lose a ton of weight. I’m happy with losing 5 pounds. But what I’m really focused on is that I don’t want to think I’m living an active lifestyle while actually gaining weight.

Thank you, scale, for the refreshed drive!

I Am Struggling!

This was originally intended to be a blog about how I motivate myself (and as another outlet to use to motivate myself) while struggling with being super busy.

I graduated with my Masters degree in May. Which I talked about ad nausem. And since then, my busy-ness factor has severely dropped. When I was going to school, my coworkers (at my full-time, office job) would always ask why I was going to school. One can’t say “because I don’t want to be working here forever and I’m trying to educate myself into a position I can truly love.” So instead, I would say “I’m just trying to keep myself out of trouble.” In reality, I was keeping myself IN “trouble”. I wasn’t at home like a lump watching tv (which I am often wont to do) – I was out experiencing life.

I have also mentioned a ton of times that I believe that “an object in motion stays in motion” also applies to people. Well, my busy activities are dwindling and so is my running.

I keep finding reasons not to run:

  • My shoes make my legs hurt (I did buy new shoes which I promise to post about soon!)
  • I have poison ivy
  • I like seeing my wonderful boyfriend and he goes to bed soooo early! (I’m an evening runner because I’m not a morning person)
  • It looks like it might rain…
  • I don’t like my running path, I’m bored with it

And what the problem really is is that my motivation and reason for running has left. When I was busy, I liked running because it kept me feeling busy. Plus, it was some serious alone time with myself to sort out all of the stuff that was going on in my head (work, school, etc). Right now, my mind is feeling particularly without clutter. So I’m feeling more inclined to watch tv or read a book to entertain my calm mind.

I really need to find a new reason to get back out there… Or I need to find another hobby to replace grad school that stresses me out and makes me feel like I need some peaceful time to myself to sort my life out… hmmm….

Do you have any suggestions?

Master’s Degree, Earned!

Wow, it’s been a really long time since I’ve written a post (or even read posts from my favorite bloggers, but I’m starting to catch up)! I’m sorry for the long absence!

What did I do in that time? Well, I wrote, revised (4 times), and defended my Master’s Thesis! Whoa!

In reality, my Master’s Thesis was a project with a reflection paper. In the fall, I wrote a play with a community theater group (I led a bunch of creative sessions, took all of the work they created, and blended it into a cohesive script). It was a great time and I would do it again in a heartbeat. So the thesis project was actually directing (and further editing) that script (the play also went up this weekend, talk about exhausting). I wanted to do a project because I felt like that’s the type of thing at which I excel. I can do research and formulate a creative paper, but that’s not my strong suit. Meeting with people and creating something theatrical is what makes me happier. Ironically, I want to teach dramatic literature.

My cast, taking a bow

Also ironic: my final reflection paper (including two appendices – the first draft of the script and the production draft of the script) ended up being 104 pages… what was I saying about not wanting to write a paper?

This past month was ROUGH! To relate it to running terms, I feel like the first year and a half of the program was similar to a few 5ks at a 12 minute pace. This last month was like a marathon at a full-out, sub 6 minute, sprint. It’s not entirely true though, that’s just a symptom of a faulty memory. If I really think about, last semester was brutal and I was stressed all the time. The first half of this semester was no cake-walk either and I was always nervous about falling behind on work.

In early March, my wonderful boyfriend was asking about planning a graduation party. At the time, I really felt as though I didn’t deserve a party. I felt like I really hadn’t done anything special that was worth celebrating. Yes, I was about to finish my Master’s program, but I had really enjoyed the time I spent in most of the classes. Most of it (especially to a faulty memory) was fun! I’ve changed my opinion on that in the last few weeks though. I have worked my butt off! I really do feel as though I have earned something. Although, now I really just want to take a nap! 

Typically in this blog I try to talk about motivation. So what motivated me through this sprint? If I didn’t get my thesis in on time, I would have had to pay $900 for a continuing ed credit over the summer. I’ve already paid over $40,000 for this program and I certainly wasn’t going to finance nearly 1k additional on my own. I was going to finish on time come hell or high water! Luckily for me, my thesis committee is AWESOME and they would edit and return my drafts so quickly and they would even send them back on weekends. They were so good to me! If you haven’t read about my love for one of my professors, you can check that out here.

Going for the thesis defense was so intimidating! The only person I’ve ever talked to about a thesis defense was my best friend who got her PhD in Math. She had to do a whole Powerpoint presentation and everything! I was so nervous!

Luckily for me, though, I had the most amazing thesis committee in world. As soon as I sat down, my committee chair basically said: “We’re not going to be mean to you. It was our job to prepare you to this point, so if we pick you apart, all we’re doing is pointing out how poorly we did our job.” She rocks! They asked me a few follow-up questions to my paper, we talked about ideas and advice if I were to do this again, we talked about my stumbling blocks and how they would have dealt with them, and when it was all over, they gave me a cupcake! I think that’s a good sign. Plus, it’s a sign that I had a really awesome committee!

Not the actual cupcake, but similar...

I’m so thrilled to be done!

But then there is the question: now what? I like to stay busy… so I guess there is a lot of running in my future!

Sunday Morning Snark – Focus

I’ve written 40% of my graduate thesis, but I feel like this:

If you’re looking for something fun to distract you, may I suggest the web comic Angry Little Girls? It’s where I found this cute cartoon.

Good luck if you’re trying to have an industrious Sunday!

Oppressive Theater

It has been a really rough week for me. I’m used to being busy and being stressed and all of that, but I had a bit of a mental break that I wasn’t expecting to need!

One of my classes this semester is primarily text-based and therefore means a lot of homework. We read about 4 plays per week which severely limits my reading for enjoyment. Typically, I find reading plays enjoyable though! However, I realized last night that we haven’t read a single comedy. In fact, most of it has been really dark. I’ve read a play where a mother kills her son as legitimately the “humane option,” I’ve read lots of plays where women kill themselves… or others…, plays about war, plays about how God doesn’t love us anymore, etc. Really chipper stuff.

Last night’s class was regarding Revolutionary Theatre. We read Dutchman and The Slave by LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, which had to do with fighting racism in the 1960s… but like literally fighting racism, as in: let’s start a race war! And Information for Foreigners by Griselda Gambaro which was about Argentina’s “Dirty War” where literally thousands of people just went missing and disappeared off the face of the planet forever. And we read a theory book by Augusto Boal entitled Theatre of the Oppressed. See what I mean about chipper?

Last night, I stayed up until 2 am because I couldn’t stop myself from watching Being Elmo, a documentary (on Netflix instant streaming, in case you need the same pick me up) about Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo.

I’m about a minute too old to have watched Elmo on Sesame Street; he wasn’t a character when Sesame Street was teaching me the alphabet and how to count to 10. But I still love me some Jim Henson… so I gave the documentary a try. It got me, hook, line, and sinker. I couldn’t stop watching. I really needed it! Kevin Clash is an adorably sweet man.

And I realized, a nice break from oppressive theater is a fuzzy, red monster!

And now I’m off to read about drug dealers and taking advantage of women’s bodies… woo!

But let me leave you with a more positive parting thought, one of my favorite sentiments from Jim Henson:

How important are the visual arts in our society? I feel strongly that the visual arts are of vast and incalculable importance. Of course I could be prejudiced. I am a visual art.
~ Kermit the Frog

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