The Queen of Procrastination.

My sister, who is an excellent therapist, shared some tips about procrastination.  Though they were meant for the Teenager, who is currently struggling with time management, I can certainly benefit from most of these tips myself.

This quarter my plan to take a grueling 16-credit load went from 12 credits to just 8.  This was likely divine intervention because I’m finding half way through the session that 2 courses have given me enough to juggle.  I’m not sure if I’m just burned out or if the courses themselves are challenging (Advanced Metabolism: Carbohydrates & Fats and Health Policy).  In my dual masters program I’ve completed 50% more classes on the MPH side than the MS in Nutrition/Wellness side, and for good reason.  The science end of it is kicking my butt.  Not that policy and law is any less tedious, but it’s a different kind of challenge that entails the regurgitation of knowledge and then some.  If that makes any sense.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t me.  This is just some really difficult shit.

I was actually very disappointed when I realized I may be taking much longer to finish grad school than I had initially planned.  I contemplated dropping the Nutrition component which would have allowed me to graduate this spring, with the MPH internship pending for the summer.  However, in my undying search for the “why” behind everything related to health and fitness, I decided to stick to the dual masters.  On top of that, my Nutrition advisor recommended that I take my time so that I don’t become too overwhelmed.

Blah.

But she was right.  The first year of grad school was a whirlwind.  I need to take this all in so that I know I’m ready when this milestone is behind me.  Right now many things are up in the air, simply because there are so many options.  And that is a great thing.  I never thought in a million years I’d be contemplating a doctorate but that may very well be the next step.

We’ll see.  For now, it’s time to bury myself in academia once again.

Advertisements

As the second year begins.

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I started grad school.  Granted, during half of this first year, my other foot was still at the junior college completing prerequisites necessary for the second component of my dual masters program. Life during this time was so hectic that I think I successfully blocked it out of my mind.

Once the fog started to lift, I realized I had forgotten important appointments.  It had been 2 years since my kids last visited the dentist; this March will mark 2 years since my last ob/gyn checkup.  I was supposed to get a mammogram sometime as well, but I’m not even sure when.  The icing on the cake occurred while sitting in my Bioethics class and I received a panicked text message from my daughter that she couldn’t try out for the basketball team because her sports physical had expired.

But wait, didn’t we just do that?  They must be wrong.  They must have misplaced the most recent copy.  Or maybe she forgot to turn it in.

Right.

The irony is that one of my degrees is going to be in public health.  I should be on top of preventative health measures for those who are near and dear to me.  Grad school has made me a hopeless flake.   Not to mention more sedentary, with stiff hip flexors from sitting too long along and an annoying shoulder impingement from poor posture while typing endless papers and discussion posts.

While most people see the new year as a new beginning, I tend to view “the year” based on the school term.  Indeed 2015-2016  was great because I started a new chapter in my academic journey, though I wasn’t sure what direction I was going and the sheer amount of thinking rather than merely regurgitating knowledge was an adjustment, though a refreshing one.

I finally found my focus and this is what’s going to carry me through to the end of this leg of the journey.  Hopefully this newfound focus will trickle into the other aspects of my life which seem to run on autopilot, thankfully.

Although this short break between sessions has given me time to evaluate and improve, I have to remember:  No one was sick, injured, or felt deprived, as far I could tell.

We survived, and we’ll just keep going.

The Period of Unthinking.

In 2013 my return to college after a 19-year hiatus was full of wide-eyed curiosity and motivation.  I had no idea what to expect, but unlike the 17-year-old freshman of years past, I was excited to be back in the classroom and ready to take on the prerequisites for the doctor of physical therapy program.  With a bachelor’s degree in art, this meant a very long list of math and science courses, some of which were prerequisites for the prerequisites.  Needless to say, in Fall 2013 I felt like I would never get to the end of that list.

Yet nearly two years later, unbeknownst to me, I earned an associates degree in science, and with honors to boot.  The only class that gave me trouble was Physics, which is why I dread registering for my final prerequisite:  Physics II.  To be perfectly frank, I would rather gouge my left eye out with a safety pin than prolong the torture.  Physics was far more interesting than Chemistry, but it was a tremendous amount of work, eating up all my time and energy in the form of online homework for the previous chapter, online reading homework for the upcoming chapter, lab homework, weekly quizzes, and daily “clicker” questions.  I felt like I sucked so badly that I needed to take the class over again, but the professor thinks I should just move onto the next class and simply review Chapter 3.  Hurray, that sounds completely doable, not to mention I feel a little bit of redemption knowing the professor doesn’t think I’m a complete Physics imbecile.

But the problem is, I really don’t feel like doing it.

Alas, the burning desire to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy came and went, much like the equations for 2D kinematics going in one ear and out the other.

After finals, I felt as though I was suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress disorder related to academia.  I couldn’t relax and enjoy my much needed time off because I had this constant nagging feeling that I had something due at midnight.  Now that the break is half way over, I’ve eased into summer laziness, though most of this was imposed upon me in the form of metaxalone and tramadol, the lovely cocktail prescribed by the urgent care doc after my back injury.  Throw in a whole lot of boredom from the absence of children and a weeklong teaching hiatus, and I am now in a state of Unthinking.

Unthinking might just as well be the opposite of overthinking, in which I overwhelm myself with what I’m supposed to do next, clouded by all the what if’s, what not’s, and whatever’s.  Maybe I should complete the application for the DPT program, which is due in the fall.  Maybe I should register for Physics II, and unregister if I change my mind.  But when I really think about it, right now I really don’t have to do anything.

So maybe I should just vow to forget about school for a month.  Start taking photos again.  Go on a long walk.  Cook an elaborate meal or two.  Just unthink.  All this stuff will still be here when I return, and maybe in a month’s time, everything will be perceived with much more clarity, hopefully without metaxalone and tramadol.

Note to self:  The next time I find myself in urgent care with an injury, I need to ask the doc for something that doesn’t cause so much mental dullness.  Maybe he will just tell me to forget the drugs and drink more vodka.