Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This semester is out of control!!

First of all, we have this flu situation. I feel like I'm tiptoeing around landmines. I know so many people who have had some kind of flu. I have been feeling great, but what am I going to do if I get knocked out for a week? It will be terrible! I feel for everyone who's been dealing with it. Two babies in my family and my uncle have H1N1, and I am a bit worried about them. :-( They're in the "at risk" groups for either type of flu. Odds are in their favor, but still, our good friend Murphy's Law seems to have a hold of 2009.

I'm taking 2 independent study classes and 2 difficult psychology classes this semester. The 2 psych classes are kicking my butt! Well, let me explain...

We went to Sharkathon last weekend. Left early Thursday, got back late Sunday. This is not the first mid-semester weekend trip I've gone on, but it's the first one that got me so behind. I do NOT have 4 days to give up. In fact, I've learned that I do not have 1 day to give up!

But it truly was a wonderful 4 days - I read 3 non-textbooks, and enjoyed wonderful weather and lots of wildlife. Here are some pics.

Our camp. Note the two tent-cots on the left, John's and Clint's. Cool huh??

Sunrises and sunsets were a treat the whole weekend. (Sunset here)

I have never seen prettier dunes, or whatever they're called.

Sunrise. It was so cool seeing that deer hanging out in the surf. He was right in front of our camp! When I got closer, I realized he was badly injured. I felt guilty for taking pictures, then I had this whole scenario playing out in my head where this poor deer had been traveling miles up the beach, stopping at every campsite along the way, waiting for someone to help him. I was so sad. :-( Then I thought, even if I could call the national park office (no cell signal), what would they do? We are all too eager to keep ourselves alive, and here I am trying to help this deer avoid the inevitability of the circle of life. Once I made peace with the fact that the deer succumbs to the coyote, by design, I started feeling better and just wished the deer a peaceful death. I'm glad he went back to the other side of the sand dunes though - I don't think I could've beared to see him lie down. I know it's kind of depressing, and if I were a different sort of person, I might have just left it at, "Look! Deer in the surf! SWEET!!" That would be a disservice to you, "deer" readers.

More wildlife. Clint in the sunrise.

So, that's just a few, but the rest are here if you're interested:

Then, I got back and had to take an exam on Tuesday. PRETTY sure that's a C. It was in psychophysiology, and I barely studied for it because of the trip. And thus began the downward spiral. I can't be flying by the seat of my pants in these classes!

We had a grant due Thursday, which I worked a little bit on, mostly on the reference list (a worthy contribution). I really hope it gets funded because it's a cool project, definitely worthwhile. It addresses science education for students with special needs.

But where I seriously messed up this semester is in my grading job. I am in a graduate class this time, where I've been grading in undergraduate classes before. IT IS SO MUCH MORE WORK. And that's one thing if I'd been prepared for it, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. It's 27 students who submit 20ish assignments each 4 times in the semester. That. is. a. lot. If I spend 2 minutes on each one, it's about 18-20 hours. Well, I will NOT put that off this time. I finished grading the first batch yesterday, and the next batch is due Saturday. I am not complaining - I am so grateful to have the extra job, but I will have to manage my time better.

We had a presentation at the Council for Learning Disabilities conference on Saturday. I thought it went really well. I was having an "on" day. Here we are looking all professional. I miss Rebekah (to my left). She took a teaching job at Aledo ISD while she finishes her dissertation. Her proposal is Monday, and I'm excited to go check it out. Getting to see all the dissertation steps along the way will be interesting.

Then I worked on grading all day Sunday.

After being asked if I was pregnant about a month ago, we have decided to start the South Beach diet again. We started last Wednesday or Thursday - can't remember. I really do love this diet. I spent some time Sunday doing some menu planning, and with that investment of time, it will be pretty easy to stick to the diet.

This week, I'm getting ready for another difficult exam on Thursday, then I need to finish compiling the materials for my grad school application. My personal statement needs to be pruned to 2 pages, I need to write a critical response to an article, and I need to pick out some "scholarly writing" samples. My letters of recommendation are in, so that's all that's left. I need to finish that this weekend, along with grading that 2nd batch of assignments.

And then, it's a mad dash to the NAGC conference in November. I need to analyze this semester's data, and I need to get my presentation ready before the 23rd (when they want it uploaded to their system). This is a big one, and since the project is sort of "mine", at least more than other things I work on, it is me on the line!

I foresee a window of calm coming in November, and I am seriously looking forward to it!


The O'Brien Family said...

I love all the academia! Sounds like good, altough stressful, times! You go girl! You can pull it ALL off!

Lady Blachly said...

Wow, you always have so much going on. And important sounding stuff too. Like, not just "homework" but work involving analyzing data and conferences. Keep on keeping on, sista!

Lady Blachly said...

Oh and those sunrises were killer. That deer picture (although sad) was really great.

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