grad school

Jan 31st

Welcome to the last day of the month of the new year!

What have you accomplished so far? What are you planning to do better? What hasn’t turned out like you expected?

As for me, I have officially begun the second semester of my first year of grad school and it has so far been rather uneventful. Sure, I have lots of things to read and I got to see my friends (although I sadly do not have any classes with many of them), but since I changed my courses to taking mostly online classes, I have more free time than I would like. Not that I’m complaining exactly, but I find it harder to concentrate with more open areas than I do with tight spaces of hours.

But that could just be the procrastination talking.

EXIF_JPEG_T422The first week of classes is behind me and I’m already looking ahead to all the projects I need to do and figuring out the best way to complete them. I have more time to do that now which is nice but it also means more hours stuck in my bedrooms, trying to avoid technology for fear that it will consume me and I won’t get the necessary work done.

But other than that, I’ve started working out on a more regular basis now that I have time to do that, and the alone time in the house to sweat in private. My energy is up, my sleep levels are good, and I’ve been able to invent new recipes to try out for lunches at work.

I also have a few books that I’ve managed to read so far and a couple of others that I am currently wading through. Lately, I think I’ve been reading too much heavy materials so I’m making the decision to switch to some lighter reading while I’m in classes. After all, my hours between homework are precious and books should be an escape, not a chore. Well, the ones I’m reading for pleasure at least.

Overall, it’s been a quiet, and slightly boring, first month, but things are about to pick up pace so I can really get back into the groove of schoolwork and planning out every minute of the day for maximum efficiency!

Okay, maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea.

An Extreme Tale

An Extreme Tale.

As much as I hate Dickens, I have to admit that this opening line pretty accurately describes my life at the moment.

“It was the best times, it was the worst of times.”

Let’s start with all the reasons it is the best of times:

  • I am officially less than 2 weeks away from (successfully) completing my first semester of grad school
  • I was granted two great groups for the projects I have to complete for class
  • I’m all done with homework for the semester
  • Christmas is in less than a month!! which means that everyone is in higher spirits and just generally being nicer than usual
  • Speaking of which, I already have most of my Christmas shopping done
  • I scored tickets for myself and my family to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s new show in 19 days
  • I was able to complete NaNoWriMo for the 2nd year in a row (while in grad school!)
  • I’m healthy compared to the other germ infested creatures that dwell on this campus
  • I get to see two of my best friends on the same day, 10 days from now

Now on to why it is the worst of times:

  • I am so homesick that I’m having trouble concentrating on my work here
  • On that note, I want all the snow that is currently residing at my parents’ house
  • It’s the end of the semester which means that I have lots to do in terms of final papers, etc., resulting in a higher stress level and quicker boiling point to my temper
  • I have been recently (and extremely) distracted, for multiple reasons, by the appearance of someone from my past
  • Winter boots are nearly impossible to find at this time of year and I need new ones

Overall, I’d have to say that I have more to be thankful for/happy about than things that are frustrating or stressing me out. But it’s still pretty split on best times and worst times.

NaNoWriMo

Winner-2014-Twitter-ProfileOkay, so I lied. I forgot one very important countdown that I was participating in and that is NaNoWriMo and I just now finished.

I am officially a NaNoWriMo winner for the second year in a row!

50,000 words in 30 days on top of all my schoolwork was not easy but my final word count is 50,114 according to NaNo. Now I get a tee shirt and a cute little picture to put on my social media profiles. I am so happy about this accomplishment.

Unfortunately, it also means that I have nothing further to distract me from the goal of a finalized rough draft tonight for a paper due on Wednesday. *sigh*

Back to school work, I go.

Official Countdown

‘Tis the season for counting the days. There are 26 of them until Christmas but that’s honestly not the most important one at the moment. Here’s what does count:

14 = the number of days until I will be in my home state again

2 = the number of presentations, papers, and finals exams (each) I have left to do

1 = the lightning talk I have to give on Wednesday for a class that I have come to seriously loathe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd of course I’m excited about Christmas, but I’m more excited to get home and see all the wonderful snow that will hopefully be there when I arrive. Although not having another ice storm this year would also be nice.

Oh, I almost forgot:

21 = the number of days until I see my first Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance!! I just bought the tickets today and I cannot wait to experience that.

One of the many things I am looking forward to doing next month. The others include making the famous Webber gingerbread house, picking out and decorating the Christmas tree, and wrapping presents. All while relaxing in a house that smells deliciously of wood smoke and enjoying some peace and quiet while everyone is at work but me 🙂 So I guess having a short vacation will also be something I will enjoy!