Monday, May 11, 2009

Sleeping with Bread... and Academia

I had a big plan last November that I would work with a Herculean effort and graduate this month. Well, in early March I spent a few days in New York with some friends. When I came home, instead of feeling refreshed and ready for a big push, I cried. I was just too tired, too overwhelmed, too everything. I knew that if I didn't make the decision to postpone the project, the decision would be made for me.

So, I am in my last week of this semester and things are looking good:

I finished up all the requirements for my internship. I spent the semester interning in a preparation-for-college-reading class. It was fun, enlightening, and it provided an opportunity for me to learn so much about what it takes to teach college reading.

I got caught up on my papers and other requirements for my remediation of reading difficulties class. I've been tutoring two developmental readers. Developmental reader is college lingo for students reading below a college level. They are also sometimes referred to as at-risk or underprepared students. I've spent hours with two wonderful students and I hope that my working with them has better prepared them to succeed in college.

My computer ate a paper a few weeks ago. The computer ATE my paper. I know, I know, these 'incidents' are usually the result of user error. However, the date on the document that was supposed to be my paper, and instead was just the references, read TWO DAYS before the date I last worked on it. How did that happen? ANYWAY... I finally rewrote the paper. My professor is very particular about some things--like not using the word 'amount' unless you are referring to a number of something and making sure there is a comma after the first author in an APA reference list. However, she is very relaxed with due dates. And I've needed to take advantage of that.

BUT, I am in the last week of my semester and there are still some mountains to climb.

Paul had to leave on a business trip yesterday. Yes, THAT yesterday--Mother's Day. He's out of town until Saturday. Nice.

I have the BIGGEST paper of the semester and the possibly the most difficult paper I've had to write to date DUE THIS WEEK. Oy. Give me strength. I have to synthesize the research on nine studies. Ugh. It is HARD. I keep looking at this stack of studies and then getting on the computer to Twitter and play POP Answers on Facebook. I DID type up the reference list and cover page. (Don't laugh. I know how completely ridiculous that is!)

I know I can do this paper. I just can't do it QUICKLY. Each article has to be read and fully comprehended, as my professor would say. I have to suss out the pertinent details about the research questions, method, and findings. Then. THEN!!! Then, I have to lovingly shape all this information into a coherent synthesis. This takes time, people.

Ugh... again.

There are a few minor assignments, two more tutoring sessions, finalize a tutoring log, yada, yada, yada. All easily doable--and then one final. It won't be easy because I will be expected to actually understand EVERYTHING about qualitative and quantitative studies, how to create them, what threatens their validity, etc.

And then THE ANGELS WILL SING. I will be finished for the semester. I am SO looking forward to this:

Oh, and I don't want to forget these guys. I want to spend time with these guys:

Don't forget to check out what others are sharing over at the Sleeping with Bread blog.


Anonymous said...

It is hard, but you CAN do it. You are capable! That's a big gift. And then I hope you have a fantabulous summer.

Mel said...

OHmygoodness....thank you for a lenient (of sorts) prof! Yikes. I'm so glad it ain't me!

((((((( you ))))))))

ALMOST there... Summer will happen.

dianne said...

I have a huge respect for anyone going back to school. Congrats and hope you enjoy lots of good bread through the final days of this semester!

ashley said...

I wouldn't laugh at your writing process. Sometimes getting something accomplished helps to kick start the rest of the writing. I totally include the cover page and acknowledgments in my "pages written to-date" for my thesis. Not that there's some magical necessary # of pages, but it helps me gauge my progress.
May God grant you the strength, focus, and perseverance you need to complete your courses.

Pamela said...

Goodness! You are one busy woman! Kudos to you for accomplishing so much!

I have a little something for you over at my blog. When you can take a breather, I hope you'll stop by and pick it up. Cheers!

poppy fields said...

That all sounds so hard,
bon courage!