Archive for February, 2007

why am i flashing back to high school?

Posted in dissertation, School on February 28, 2007 by drbolte

so the prospectus (version 3.0–which elicited a “brava!” from my director) and the reading list have been sent, via email, to the rest of the committee.

and now i’m having a john hughes moment, where all of my horribly awkward high school moments are all converging in these moments (and who knows how long they’ll be) of horrible anticipation.  will they like it? will they throw up a giant red flag?  will they say i should have been talking to them long before this because my project is crap?

or will they really like it? and me?

argh.  horrible what we go through for three little letters after our names.  is it worth it?

heck yes.  but it still sucks quite a lot in the process.

in other news, my progress has been deeply stifled. i don’t know what happened. i think, when i got up monday and finished the draft for my meeting with my director and felt good about it, my mind translated that into “ooh. we’re done.”

we’re so far from done.

but my body and my brain aren’t really cooperating me on that front.  they think we don’t need to work hard because exams aren’t until after spring break–but, ironically, the deadline for all the work to be DONE is only two days later.  apparently committees need two weeks to read annotated bibliographies.  sheesh.  don’t they drop everything for me?

so, in the spirit of full disclosure, i’m exactly where i was on saturday night–five books and three articles to read.   but my prospectus is DONE until i hear back from the committee and so is my reading list.  i need to read about walking, literature, and english culture, but all i want to do is sleep.

ugh.  no sleep.  must. keep. working.

i’m seriously waiting for the miracle, but in order for the miracle to happen, i have to start moving.  so, i’m off to put one foot in front of the other, metaphorically.

ha.  funny. i’m reading about walking and my metaphor is about…

oh. never mind.

countdown update

Posted in blogging, Church, School on February 24, 2007 by drbolte

in the 36 hours since i last wrote,  i have read and summarized in annotated bibliography fashion 6 academic articles (about 15-20 pages each, some of which i had read before but read completely again) and 1 full-size book (also that i had read before).

i rock.

no, actually, the Lord’s tender mercies rock. i have no idea how i did that, except that it’s a miracle.

but my brain is now dead. i worship sundays for the rest that they give me and my noggin.

i meet with my director on monday at 3:30 to see if she thinks i’m ready (enough) at this point to schedule oral exams. i am hoping that, since by monday afternoon, i will have (maybe) written annotations for the 19 of my 27 works and will have a completely brilliant and revised (for the third time) prospectus, she’ll give me the go ahead.

i’m excited now. i’m excited to finish. it must be how runners feel on the last lap–that digging deep, that reaching down and findng out what you’re really made of.

apparently, i’m made of the ability to read and write. that’s okay by me.

i’m actually really excited.

but, as i mentioned, my brain is a little dead right now. i had thought that i would study until 12, when the Sabbath begins, but i don’t think that’s going to happen.

so, instead, i’ll clean. it’s better than wasting time, which is what i do when my brain is dead.

hooray for me! hooray for sunday with no work! hooray for the opportunity to read something NOT about british romanticism! hooray for naps for as long as i want!

sigh.

wish me luck? i dive back in monday at like 4:30 a.m.

thanks.

counting down every single day…

Posted in blogging, Church, Life, School on February 23, 2007 by drbolte

two weeks.

fourteen days.

three hundred and thirty six hours.

twenty thousand, one hundred and sixty minutes.

one million, two hundred and nine thousand, six hundred seconds.

and i have to make every one of them count.

i’ve got two weeks until the day i want to take my PhD qualifying exams. i’ve really got less than that to finish all of my secondary source reading–really, i’ve got just about 10 days to read ten articles and six books. then i have another four days to read all of the primary sources (many of which i’ve read before, so that doesn’t scare me much).

you’re probably shaking your head at me, thinking “carrie, it’s just not going to happen.”

but, strangely, i think it is. regardless of whether or not i get to actually take my oral exam on that friday two weeks from now, i’m pretty sure i will be done with the written component. i just have this feeling.

i was really worried about it, really concerned that i had irreparably messed up my timeline when i got sick. then i found this scripture in mosiah 4:27, about how a man should not run faster than he has strength. it gave me great comfort, in that moment, to realize that i would be doing myself no good if i was to force myself to work when i was sick, because i would never get any better. it also helped me to realize that resting, when your body forces you to, is not a weakness, but a strength. to pace oneself, i believe, is one of the greatest skills we can learn in this life.

so i took about a week off, got rid of the horrible flu/cold that i had, and now i feel better, ready to work hard again. and i have been. yesterday, despite feeling as though i had probably wasted too much time, i accomplished the goal that i had set for myself. i sent my director prospectus 2.0, which she liked, and i finished a book and an annotation for that book. it seems as if the Lord has blessed me to be able to accomplish all that i need to accomplish despite needing to take that week off. that’s what i mean by “i have this feeling.” i have this feeling that this experience will be a miracle like the loaves and the fishes–where there seems to be scarcity, there will be plenty. what seems impossible will actually be possible. where there is weakness, there will be strength. where exhaustion seems to thwart my progress, energy will be given.

i just know it. it’s strange, but it gives me a confidence that i don’t think i had before.

i am moving, as imperceptible as it may at times seem, towards this enormous goal that i have. i’m not sure why these exams loom so large for me, or why i have attached to them this symbolic significance. it’s as if, somehow, my accomplishment of these goals, my passing of these exams, will be the defining mandate on my intelligence, on my worth. it’s a dangerous thing. but i tend to do it with every long term project–i did it with the masters’ thesis, and when that when horribly awry, i freaked out, took a week or so to wallow, and then got back to it. and what happened?
i wrote a freaking awesome thesis.

so i don’t know why this would be any different. i don’t know why i think there might be a chance that i won’t pass. i don’t know why i’m afraid of it.

but i am.

and i think that’s why i’m so singlemindedly focused on getting it done. i’m so tired of it hanging over my head and of being afraid of it that now i am just moving stoically forward, putting one metaphorical foot in front of the other, and refusing to quit until it’s done. my director may delay me, she may say i’m not ready yet, she may ask me for additional revisions (as she did even with prospectus 2.0–after saying that it was MUCH better), she may say i need to scrap something and go back to the drawing board.

but i refuse to give up. i refuse to get discouraged. i refuse to let anything stop me from taking this exam.

it must happen.

and it must happen soon.

in the meantime, i’m planning out my life to the very last second. i actually just spent a half an hour doing that. i printed out a weekly calendar, and i have not a moment over the next seventy-two hours that is not accounted for, whether in transit or showering or reading or copying articles or going to the grocery store or even cleaning. those are my favorites. instead of putting in a big block of time to clean my house, i have scheduled in cleaning BURSTS! (and that’s how they’re written in…as BURSTS!) as study breaks. i’m excited about that, actually. i’ll get stuff done, and i won’t get overwhelmed by it.

i can do it.

but the countdown has already begun, and this entry has taken me fifteen of my precious minutes.

no more to spare!

in case this was unclear…

Posted in blogging, etcetera on February 17, 2007 by drbolte

i welcome readers.  welcome! my blog is my little piece of the world, the place where i get to express my thoughts freely.

you are welcome to disagree with me.  you are welcome to even express that via comments–kindly and constructively. i’ve had people call me nuts before, tell me i’m overreacting, etc.  that’s fine.

but don’t condescend to me. don’t act as if you’re somehow better than me.  don’t snark at the fact that i blog.  it’s just uninteresting and i don’t need anything else or anyone else riding my case.  real life is stressful enough.

so, if you’d like to stick around, brava.  welcome.  just know that this is my house, and common decency says that you ought to demonstrate some manners when you’re here.

to the vast majority of the regular readers that i have–thanks for being supportive and kind and great sounding boards.  don’t think that this is directed at you–it’s not.  just a time for me to be a little bit clear about what will and won’t happen on this blog.

happy sunday!

my sleep rebellion

Posted in etcetera on February 16, 2007 by drbolte

i would write about something meaningful, but i don’t want to. i’m rebelling against that, against the fact that i really should be reading or sleeping right now…

so more meaningless fluff. indulge if you so choose on your own blog.

A-ACT YOUR AGE:  not hardly.  i am told i don’t look a day over 23, and i think i probably act about 23–except when my wisdom and great advice kicks in.

B-BOYFRIEND:  nope.  i wish!  i really think i’m ready right now.

C-CHORE YOU HATE:  dishes.  i really, really hate them.  it’s frustrating to me how they never end.
D-DAD’S NAME:   does it matter?  donald.
E-ESSENTIAL MAKE UP/TOILETRY ITEM:  makeup?  foundation, i guess, although i think lip gloss makes everything else look better because i have a good mouth.  toiletry? i love vanilla-scented lotion. anyone who knows me knows that.

F-FAVE ACTOR/ACTRESS:  actress? i don’t really have one.  actor? jimmy stewart. easy.

G-GOLD OR SILVER:  silver. always.  when i get married, i want a white gold ring because i dislike gold that much. i just look better in silver.

H-HOMETOWN:  raleigh, nc by way of bakersfield and los angeles, ca

I-INSTRUMENTS YOU PLAY: used to be the flute.

J-JOB TITLE:   instructor/teaching assistant/tutor

K-KIDS:   nope. i’d like to have five, though–with at least three boys.  and i’d like the boys first.

L-LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: by myself, at least until fall.

M-MOM’S NAME: susan.  she’s my hero.

N-# OF PEOPLE YOU’VE SLEPT WITH: 0. i say it loud and proud.

O-OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAYS:  also 0.

P-PHOBIA:  escalators. frogs in my house.

Q-QUOTE YOU LIKE:   “be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

R-RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION:  lds.  i’m a mormon!

S-SIBLINGS: also 0.

T-TIME YOU WAKE UP: as late as possible.  it varies from day to day.

U – UNIQUE HABIT: hmm.  hard question.  i sort of have to put chapstick on before bed now.  is that unique?

V-VEGETABLE YOU REFUSE TO EAT: brussel sprouts.

W-WORST HABIT: procrastination.

X-X-RAYS YOU’VE HAD: dental (obviously).  hand.  knee. lungs (multiple times).  back, i think.  shoulders, maybe?

Y-YUMMY FOOD YOU MAKE:   bread.  i make good bread. i bake very well.

Z-ZODIAC SIGN:  libra.

enough of this ridiculousness.  i’m going to bed.

fragile

Posted in Life, The Single Life on February 15, 2007 by drbolte

so i’ve been sick all week.

i mean, really, really sick.   lay on the couch and moan sick. i think i covered this in my previous entry, so i’ll leave that alone.

but it’s been really, really interesting to me to realize how really fragile i can get.  i think i put off this aura of  impenetrability, of superwoman toughness–or so i’ve been told–but if anybody really knew how fragile i can get, how easy it is at certain times to really crack me, they’d be surprised.  i think, when i’m sick, it all just gets magnified–how much i love people, how much i depend on certain people, how hard it is for me to open up.

i sort of wish that people understood that more.  i think it would surprise some, but not others.

i also wish that i could force myself to be courageous enough to depend on more people more often.

maybe being sick is good for me every once in a while.

in other news…i am crazy obsessed with the new lost episodes. they make my brain hurt.  i love it.

and my love life is a great, vast desert.  which is okay, because i figure if someone like john the baptist was down with the desert, i can be too.

flatline

Posted in Church, Life, School on February 10, 2007 by drbolte

i’m brain dead.

i studied last night–read about 60 pages and took notes on them. i was feeling pretty good about myself, and really excited for the prospect of finishing the book today, the day i had set aside and dedicated as the day i would study all day.  the reading was going pretty quickly, i had found a comfortable spot on the couch with my legs thrown over the back of the couch that allowed space on my lap to both set the book and the notebook without having to defy gravity, and i was getting through the material well. i was understanding, making connections–it was a hopeful night.

towards the end of the night, i started sneezing and feeling yucky, but i thought it was some sort of strange allergy attack. i mean, i had been sick earlier in the week, but i had basically gotten rid of it.

or so i thought.

nope. one day of pizza and cinnamon rolls as my primary food groups and the cold is back, with a vengeance.

man.

i studied some this morning, but all i really want to do is lay on the couch and whine.  these are the days i miss my mom.

i kept thinking that maybe i would skip my training meeting tonight. it wasn’t a decision i had made, but just a thought. i mean, i feel puny.  it wouldn’t be a horrible thing.

but one word keeps coming to mind: consecration.  sometimes we have to consecrate our time and talents even when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable. sometimes we just have to suck it up and do stuff because we know that it’s right.

so i’m going.  and i’ll be glad about it. i don’t begrudge it.  i know that i’ll be blessed.

but i would really like my mind to start working.  i need to study. i keep trying to get things done, and it’s like everything is standing in the way.

i would also like to stop having the compelling urge to eat brownies when i know i ought to be eating apples.  it’s very annoying. like couldn’t it just be a LITTLE easier to make good choices?

just a little?