29 December 2008


I finally got up the courage to look at my grade report from this past semester. Now, when you are at my stage in grad school, grades really don't matter. I mean, you should always get A's and B's in grad school, but it's not as important as it was in undergrad or even when I got my master's. I was not in a hurry to look. I had 6 credits this semester, so only two letters. I know that this semester I did not do my best. I had bit off more than I could chew with everything I was working on. I knew that I did not turn in my best work. This is what makes me sad. For the first time in my graduate career, I feel like I turned in a piece of work that was two steps above garbage. I hate this feeling. I know that there was nothing that I could have done by the end of the semester other than turn in my rough draft. Needless to say, I was not very happy with one of my grades. Hopefully this is the kick in the pants I need to finish the second half of this school year. On the other hand I am dealing with crossing between two disciplines that have very different research paradigms that can conflict and leave me feeling like the student in the cartoon below:

23 December 2008

Merry Christmas from PhD Comics

This just made me smile and I thought I would share it with all of you. As the Christmas season begins, and the parties and gatherings commence, so do my favorite questions: "So how much longer until you graduate?" "What do you actually do?" and "What's your dissertation on?" While most people are just trying to be polite, it is frustrating to come up with an answer that is one sentence or less to not have to explain graduate school to someone who never went to college. Any hints?

14 December 2008

It's Over

Well my semester is over, and I am sitting here waiting for one of the schools that I work for to fix their email system so I can access late student work, grade it, and recalculate a few students' grades. Overall this semester should not have been anything too different from last year. I mean last year I had one less job, but one more class, plus I got married during the middle of one of the semesters. Yet this fall I just seemed to slack off more, rather than focusing more. It makes me scared for what the next few years hold. I have to take stock in the fact that I have completed 24 doctoral credits, have six more waiting for me this spring, leaving me with 15-18 left of course work to go, ever! After that I have my doctoral qualifying exams and dissertation to complete which equal another 12-15 credits. All total I need 60 credits to graduate, and I am still on schedule to graduate in May of 2012. I know my ticker on the bottom of the page is not correct, but the site did not have enough digit spaces to put in 2012 as a year. To give you all a treat, here is the conclusion to my 25 pager:

"While some of these activities, such as the shorted lived John Muir Club, were representative of the time, yearbook, newspaper, and sports are staples of the traditional American high school experience. These were all fully represented at GTTHS, in a time when not all of these activities were available even to other high school girls within the same city. Milwaukee Girls’ Trade and Technical High School, because of its nature as an all girls’ school, was able to more quickly respond to the needs of its students. Rather than be an institution of repression, the development of clubs and other activities was progressive in responding to the needs of its students. These activities, though an extension of the curriculum and social life of the women, were vital to the development of the future wives, mothers, and employees that were enrolled."

I know that you were hanging with baited breath to figure out what I had found this semester.

01 December 2008

2 Weeks and Counting...

With two weeks left in the semester here is a list of things to be done by December 12th:

  • 10 page paper on the AAGPBL - due Friday December 5th at noon. (I have 4 pages typed so far.)

  • 25 page paper on GTTHS's extracurricular activities - defended December 4th, submitted December 11th. (I have 7 pages so far.)

  • 5 page take home final exam - due Friday December 12th at 3:30.

  • Grade 21 final unit lesson plans by December 12th, they are due Sunday December 7th.

  • Finish grading 15 2 page papers by tomorrow.

  • Grade 33 3-5 page essays, ASAP.

  • Grade 33 writing portfolios by Friday December 12th.

  • Select three portfolios to share with writing faculty: one A portfolio, one C portfolio, and one failing portfolio.

  • Submit all of the above grades for the lesson plans and portfolios.

  • Type up 20 pages of hand written notes and submit to my cooperating professor, then begin hunting through the microfilm for stories about the school board I have been researching for him.

This is all in the next two weeks. I am already tired just writing it out.

On a more positive note I found a cartoon that best describes one of my positions here at the university.