19 September 2015

My age is showing

Because I love this song.....
Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it's been.

What a long, strange trip it's been.

I was sitting at work the other day chatting with my friend who is still at the other school - that hellhole. She was telling me about things that had happened there and I am able to see the future because I know how the crazy lady at the helm works. One thing that happened that is so typical of that place is a parent yelled at my friend for writing his son up. The parent happens to be a coach and over there coaches are gods and can do no wrong. So naturally they think they can get away with that type of behavior because they can. This caused me to think about the place I'm at now. I am so happy there. I like the other teachers a lot. I truly love the students and I think they like me. I have become the room where students hang out in before and after school. I'm not sure how that happened, but it did. But I am truly happy there. I have a good friend, a BFF, who I get along with really well and we laugh a lot. I find I'm not looking at job postings every single day. In fact, I never look at job postings. I used to tell myself that I was looking because I needed more money, but that was a lie. I was so miserable, I just wanted out of that hellhole. I had lost the real purpose of teaching. I had lost the fact that I was trying to touch the future. That I was trying to make a difference. I had completely lost that. That place became a job, a horrible job, that I just hated going to every day. I used to wake up every single morning and think 'I'm calling in sick today.' Every. Single. Day. At this school, I never think that. Never. I have to take off Monday because of my idiot neighbors and I hated doing it. I would much rather work. I like that place, I like the people, I like the kids, I just like it there.

At the old place, I make some really good friends. The faculty was really tight there and very friendly. I used to joke, that was because we all had a shared enemy. We needed to get close and close ranks against the crazy lady at the helm. Now that I'm gone, I realize how true that really was. At the new place, it took me a long time to make a friend. I was leary first off, because I didn't know who to trust - that was thinking left over from the old place. Also, we didn't have a common enemy so it wasn't necessary to form alliances so quickly. I have not met anyone at the new place that bitches constantly like some of the people at the old place. Teachers here truly like their job and the kids and the school. It is so nice to work at a normal place. It is not perfect, not by a long shot, but it is world's better than that other place.

I also, truly, honestly believe, that upon leaving that place you suffer a mild form of PTSD. Not comparing my experiences to veterans or someone who has been through some horrendous experience, but a really mild form. I lived the first 6 months at the new school in fear of screwing up. I did make a mistake and was completely panicked that I was going to get in trouble for it. Nothing happened. We fixed the mistake and moved on with our lives. It was amazing. I did not truly appreciate being treated like an adult and a professional until this year though. I don't get talked down to. People treat me like an adult. My opinions and ideas are valued and respected. It is such a change from the other place. And has resulted in a huge change in my attitude. For a long time I thought, what is the purpose of all this. I'm teaching these kids so they can go to college, get a job, and die. Now I see that I am making the world a better place a little bit at a time. I'm influencing young people, who will go on and do great things and influence other young people, and on and on.... I am touching the future. I am making a positive impact on the world. And I think that is the goal of everyone's life. First, do no harm.

Not sure where all this came from, but it has been rolling around in my head and needed to get out. I guess listening to my friend and how horrible it is over there and how miserable she is. I just want to say, get out. Get out now. She wants to wait for monetary reasons. I don't see the point of making yourself absolutely miserable over money. Yes, it will be hard, but it will work out someway.

In other areas of my life, things are moving forward though very slowly. The eating has not been great in that I'm just not eating enough. Yesterday I finally hit my protein and it was amazing. I have decided to start where I started back in May. I'm just going to log what I eat and try to hit the protein. Nothing else. That is the hardest for me and the one that makes the biggest difference. So I'll try that. Working out hasn't been so good either. I still have not made it to 24 hour fitness. And I ran on Monday morning but then did nothing the rest of the week. Not good. So I need to kick that part of my life into gear.

My dissertation is moving along however. I have been reading, reading, reading and it is doing some good. I feel the need to sit down and write some today to get things rolling. I still have a whole lot of reading to do, but I think I'm ready to start adding in the writing and start actually making progress.

Okay, right now I am starving and need to get some food. then I need to start working on the thesis, that is my goal today.

13 September 2015

So productive yesterday

When you are working on a dissertation, there are a lot of things you hear that make no sense in the beginning. One of those things is that you will know when you have done enough research because you will have saturated the topic. Up until yesterday, I did not know exactly what that meant. Now I do. Yesterday I went through every article I have ever encountered and cataloged them. Those that I think I will use in my dissertation, I printed out for further reading and annotating. Those that I did not think I would use were not printed. All of the articles were logged into a spreadsheet so that I have a list of every article I have. The ones I print out will get a detailed entry on the spreadsheet and the ones I didn't print have a brief synopsis. This way I have a record if a) I need to go back to them for some information or b) I need to check that I don't already have that study. I found a whole lot of duplicates, such a waste of time. What I discovered while doing this is that I found the same articles being quoted over and over. And I had all those articles. I have also discovered the leaders in this field as they have authored the most articles. So I am confident that I have completely saturated the literature to this point. I will need to continue to research to keep on top of any new developments, but I thinK I'm good for now.

So that took me all day, I went through 163 articles, but it was totally worth it. Today I'm going to start reading the ones I printed, annotating them and putting them into categories. Yesterday i stated that I would start writing today, and while that was my plan, I'm not sure it is feasible. I'm thinking I may just continue reading and annotating this week and then start writing next weekend. I know I can blast through a bunch of articles today, then if I do 4 or 5 every night I should be able to get through them all by next weekend. Then on Saturday I will sit down and write, write, write. I know myself and I will be able to write if I have all the info in my head.

I did take some time yesterday, because you can only read and categorize for so long without losing your eyes and your mind, and created an inspiration wall.

Up at the top is the type of RV I want to get. Then there is a map of Route 66 and pictures of places all along it. I was watching Hotel Impossible last week and he was traveling Route 66 in an RV and I said, 'that will be our first trip'. So I put that all up above my desk for a little inspiration. I want this and in order to get it I need to finish my dissertation. So this should inspire me to keep working when I don't want to. But I will keep working anyway, because it is not a matter of when I want to, it is a matter of just doing it. I do not care whether I feel like it or not, I am just going to do it every day. There are no options to this. I will be incredibly busy for the next few months and that is all there is to it. No more sitting around playing games for hours on end. No more watching TV all night long. Yes, I will have down time but it will be in short bursts and not all day long like before.

I also have the Phoenix class to teach. I'm still kind of torn on that one, but I'm going to give it a go and see how it is. I now have the class listed so I can start reviewing the materials and lessons so I know what is going on. I think it will be okay. I can work on Phoenix while I work on my dissertation. It will give me an excuse to sit in front of the computer for a few hours each night.

Okay, I was going to walk the dogs but it is raining. I think I'll go through a couple of articles instead.

Monsoon season has arrived

and we got our first rain yesterday. Actually, it's still raining a little this morning. It wasn't a lot of rain, but it was rain....