I received an email today from the people who run the Student Scholarship Expo at my university.  They want my research highlighted–featured!–in the abstract book.  I submit a blurb about my research, along with my abstract, and they take lots of photos of me for some reason.

They also sent that same email to my mentor, Dr. S.  His response to me?  “Looks like you’re on your way to stardom!  Congrats!”

Thank you, Dr. S.


Pressure

20Mar10

I’ve been in full-blown panic mode for about two months now.  I have frequent stomach- and head-aches.  I can’t sleep well.  Thinking of leaving the house makes my head pound and my stomach turn.  I cry for no reason.  I act irritably towards almost everyone.  It feels like I have all but shut down completely…

I have been rejected from four of five doctorate programs.  I am in danger of losing my job.  My parents are being overly critical.  I am waiting on two masters programs and I’m starting to apply to jobs.  Just thinking about this nonsense makes my throat tighten up.

This growing up shit is hard.


My father visited this weekend and it was a generally nice visit.  I replaced some badly needed items and am happily sitting in a new pair of jeans as we speak.  Dad spent most of the weekend telling me that he was proud of me for varying my foods, for being an adult and making my own choices, and that I should be happy.

I got an email from my father this morning about my weight–essentially, he was telling me that I was fat.

Yes, Dad, I am a size 14 jean.  My little sister is maybe half that size.  Stop comparing me to her.

He used to shake his head at me disapprovingly when I was in high school and had gone up another pants size.  I was a size 18-20 in my later years of high school.  Freshman year, I dropped four pants-sizes and he’s still not happy–I’m still not as small as my little sister.  Newsflash:  Even when I would accidentally starve myself freshman year by working myself to the bone, I never had the chance of getting as small as her.  We simply have different bone structures that make it impossible.  No matter how hard I work out, or how little I eat, I remain around a size 14.  On good days, I may be less.  On bad days, I may be more.

I know he’s just looking out for me, but it hurts.  He has no idea how much it hurts.  My self-esteem is particularly fragile now and that email did not help.


Sushi Time!

21Feb10

I don’t really like sushi, so I pouted a bit when Jon said we’d been invited out with our friends to a sushi restaurant.  At seeing the pout, he promised that if I didn’t find anything to eat, he would buy me McDonalds or Taco Bell after–I am so spoiled.

We met our friends at the restaurant and settled in to eat.  We ordered and waited.

Our waiter returned with the sushi and announced, “Sushi!  Yay!”

That made the entire dinner worth it.


For all the romantic partners I’ve had over the years, I’ve never had a “proper” Valentines Day.  (Parents acknowledging the holiday and those classroom parties where you exchange cards doesn’t count towards the definition of “proper”.)  Even if I’ve had a partner on that day, it’s never really been celebrated.

This year, I wanted it to be different.  I asked Jon if we were going to celebrate Valentines Day.  He was ambivalent, so I asked if we could.  After some talk, he agreed… as long as it wasn’t super expensive or fancy or anything like that.  He surprised me with the idea of going to the newly-opened Indian restaurant down the street.  I haven’t had Indian food in forever, so, of course, that was absolutely wonderful to hear!

Last night, Jon’s car broke down.  We left it in the parking lot at one of the best Chinese places in town and went home for the night.  Even if we didn’t need the car to get to our Valentines Day plans, it was still distressing that the car was broken down.  This afternoon, we got a friend to take us back.  After an hour or so, a trip to Walmart, and a box of chocolates (for me!), the car started!  It was fixed!  Yay!

We drove it back to the apartment and all piled into our friend’s car to go to Taco Bell.  We had delicious food and awesome conversation there and then went home.  Since then, there has been video games and TV and lots of fun.  I’m going to pick up the take-out from the Indian restaurant… because Jon has a surprise in store for me.

This has been the best “proper” Valentines Day ever.


On my birthday last year, my little sister bought me Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! (The full title is in fact necessary.) I was excited to receive the book because I adore zombie-anythings–movies, books, games… it’s all good. I didn’t have time to read it until Winter break of this school year.

I did not love the book. It might be because I had never read Pride and Prejudice, the original–not that I’m particularly inclined to go back and read the original after reading this. It was pretty boring. Even the zombie fighting scenes were boring. There was no detail to the action. Each action scene felt like it read like this:  And Elizabeth slaughtered the zombies and they were no more.  All of the action read that way, actually. It was based primarily on dialogue, which works for some people… but I’m not particularly enchanted by their society or their characters.  I did enjoy the artwork, but it was just not enough to hold my interest.

I did end up finishing the thing, but it was really only because I had absolutely nothing else to do.  I’m sure this book would be enjoyed more by people who enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and who also have a dark sense of humor.  I, apparently, only have a dark sense of humor.


I got my first rejection letter from a graduate program a short while ago.  I got over that rejection letter pretty quick, after an initial fit:  Jon offered me cookies.  I screamed that I didn’t deserve cookies.

Now, I’m just nervous for the rest of my schools.  I’m treating the silence as good news; I haven’t gotten notice that I’ve been tossed out at the first glance.  I discovered that one of my mentors, Dr. S, is friends with one of the professors I picked as a mentor at my number 1 program.  Dr. S was kind enough to email the other professor to talk me up.  Through that email, I discovered that they were going to be meeting that week to discuss the first round.  That was two weeks ago.  I haven’t gotten a rejection letter, so I’m going to assume I made it through the first round.

I’ve tried to remain realistic about my chances of getting into grad school… mostly because I don’t have much of a choice.  Last year, one of my brilliant classmates were rejected from all of the programs he applied to.  I have Dr. K over my shoulder, reminding me to apply to masters’ programs, just in case I don’t get into a doctorate program.  Because I’ve remained realistic, I have a series of back-up plans just in case I don’t get into any school.

Those back-up plans all involve me moving out of my mother’s house and back to Peoria.  I’ll be able to live with friends and get a second job.  I would love for that job to be in a tailor’s shop or a bridal shop, so I can continue to use my sewing skills.  This does not sit well with my mother.

She seems to have taken the idea of my back-up plans as a personal offense to her because she and my father paid for my bachelors.  She wants me to go out and do something with that degree.  With only a bachelors in psychology, I can’t do a whole lot… and what I can do, I don’t want to do.  I would much rather work in another field that I enjoy until I can get into school to get to where I actually want to be:  A research scientist.

She has argued with me about it more than once.  It continues to be more infurating.  I was this close to telling her to fuck off.  Instead, I abruptly cut off the conversation and hung up.

I have enough stress about this whole fiasco without her adding to it.  I’ve got a tenuous grasp on my self-worth.  My mantra has become:  I am still a worthwhile human being even if I don’t get into grad school the first time.  I have so many people rooting for my success that it feels like that if I don’t get into grad school, I’ll be letting all of them down, in addition to myself.  I do not also need a guilt trip about money.

I am working so damn hard to get into grad school.  Last semester, I barely had time to sleep.  This semester, I continue to take on new tasks to further build up my CV.

I am so scared.

I am also almost certain that I won’t get into any programs I applied for.

I do not need anyone else’s negativity, as my own mind and stress do a good enough job on their own.


I returned to Peoria on the 8th of January and have been slacking ever since.  (Well… only sort-of slacking.  I’ve worked double my time in a pay period so far at the seamstress position.)  I have been living at my boyfriend’s apartment and we’ve just been having a grand old time.  It would have been better if his roommate hadn’t been here, and it would be better now if his second roommate would just fall off a cliff, but I’m not really complaining.  They tend to leave me be, which is nice.

School started today, but because I only have Tuesday and Thursday classes, I moved my workday to Wednesday.  I want a four-day weekend and I’m going to have it.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be extremely busy.  I have Gothic Literature and Film at from 9 to 10:15am, Human Sexuality from 1:30 to 3pm, and then Black and White Photography from 6 to 8:45pm.   On Tuesdays only, I will be TA-ing for Dr. K’s Psychology of Addiction class from 4 to 5:50pm.  Tomorrow, I have a meeting with Dr. M’s child development lab at Noon and a Psi Chi meeting at 8pm.  It’s thrilling to be busy again… as long as I’m not as busy as last semester.

If everything goes according to plan, I get to have a four day weekend.  I love the idea of having them, but they will probably be full of my applying to more graduate programs and completing school tasks.

I missed you, school.


Goodbye 2009

31Dec09

I’m not particularly heartbroken that the year is ending, as 2009 was something of a clusterfuck in as many ways as possible.  I’m not saying that this was the worst possible year ever, because lots of amazing things happened to me this year, but I am so beyond exhausted from everything.

Relationships

At the end of 2008, I was getting out of an unhealthy relationship and easing my way into a healthy one.  In the beginning of 2009, I dealt with more unhealthy relationships that either worked themselves out or I cut them out.  In the latter half of 2009, that healthy relationship I’d been cultivating actually… got better.  I started hanging out with the psychology club a lot more and we’ve grown into really good friends.  We’ve spent so much time hanging out and working together.

School

In the beginning of 2009, I had a great semester.  This last semester, in the latter half, was pretty damn miserable.  I took on too many classes and too many responsibilities.  However, that mess gave me some amazing chances.  I continued my awesomely fun research into psychopathy, and I’ll be presenting that research at two conferences in 2010!

I’m going to be graduating in May and that thought scares me more than everything.  I’ll be leaving everything and everyone I’ve come to know and love.  At the same time, I know I’ll be able to grow and continue on.  The future is exciting, even if it is scary.

Resolutions

So, that brings us to what almost every single post today has been about.  I very rarely keep my resolutions.  I can’t think of one that I kept from last year.  This year, I’m hoping to keep my resolutions… maybe by not making so many.

  1. Take more pictures.  I used to be really big into photography, and I used to be really good.  I don’t think I’ve taken a serious picture in several years.  I have a great camera and I never use it–mostly because it’s so damn big and my laptop is already attached to my back.  I’ll have to figure out a way around that.  I’ve already found one way:  I’m taking a black and white photography class this next semester.
  2. Get into grad school.
  3. Comment on more blogs.
  4. Figure out what to do with my hair on a daily basis.  I’ve been growing my hair out and it’s to my collarbone now.  I’m going to grow it a couple more inches, hopefully, so I’ve got a bit of time to figure out my ultimate style.  Until then, though, I need something.  Mom bought me a straightener/curling iron for Christmas, so I’ll practice more with that.
  5. Start exercising again.  I’ll definitely have time this upcoming semester, seeing as I only have three classes I’m taking on a regular basis.  My ultimate goal is one that’s difficult to measure:  I want to get comfortable enough to wear a bikini by graduation.  I think it’s doable.

I have about two and a half hours until 2010.  For the people that have already reached it, I hope you’re already enjoying the new year.  For those who have yet to get there, enjoy the last of 2009.  For me, even though it generally sucked, I wouldn’t think of trading it for the world.

Hello 2010.


Jersey Boys

28Dec09

I went to Chicago to see Jersey Boys last night.  By halftime, I had no idea how I felt about the show.  At the end, I finally decided that I would be remiss to say that I didn’t like the show, because the music was fantastic.  I grew up with oldies music and I love The Four Seasons.  I know the point of the play was for the music, but I felt that the play was completely tacked on.  I think I would have enjoyed watching a documentary about the band more.

However, the actors had amazing voices.  Frankie Valli had one special voice, and the actor did an exceptional job portraying it.  He even did a really good job growing Valli up–the play started around the time he was 16.  The actor grew up his voice throughout the course of the play.  It was an impressive feat.




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