Aug. 26th, 2011 04:17 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
I have my thesis talk largely done, at least enough that I can start practicing it and see where it needs changes. But I've spent so much of this week doing stuff for the move, with Ben. In the next few days we have to:

1. Move our cats to a friend's house who will be taking care of them while their quarantine period finishes.
2. Move a lot of stuff to Lancaster in a rented truck to store at my in-laws'.
3. Supervise the movers who will take the rest of our stuff and put it in a box that will go on a boat.
4. Clean the whole house top to bottom and move out two days before my thesis defense.
5. Defend my thesis and fly to Ireland.

And, there is a hurricane coming! The center of Hurricane Irene is supposed to go over southern New Jersey, and the storm itself is very wide and will definitely be over Philadelphia, though how strong it will be at that point is hard to say. We've cleared out our basement and our house is pretty sheltered, but we'll see what happens. Our moving plans may get shuffled, a lot; this is very poor timing for us.


Aug. 15th, 2011 08:57 pm
clevermynnie: (al fresco)
My thesis is due in two days, Ben's defense is in two days, I leave for a family trip in three days, we have to pack up all our stuff in the next two weeks, I am on the verge of seeing everyone here for the last time... this is what it feels like inside my head.

clevermynnie: (al fresco)
Work has been really difficult for the last week and a half, but I think I'm through the worst of it now. And, trying to figure out what I can do to better manage my stress. Running helps but can only do so much, especially if I am obsessing over my stress during the run. Music helps, though my motivation for music plummets during serious stress or depression. I am thinking of doing more structured meditation, though I think I need to learn more about it. Sometimes it is really hard to step back, relax, and let go.

before the earth was round,
there was no end to things
no one tried to measure what they knew

everything was war
but everyone would love
and every contradiction was true
the sun worked twice as hard
the moon was twice as far
and the sky was still honestly blue
the sky was still honestly blue

but when the time came
everything spiraled in
and everyone forgot what they knew

war became a job
and love became a mystery
and heart and head were rent into two
fear and doubt began
and God threw up his hands
and the sky didn't know what to do
the sky didn't know what to do
clevermynnie: (Default)
After working long and weird hours for the last month in a massive push for data, I am really happy to be getting a break.

laser, originally uploaded by clevermynnie.

I think I might try to make this vacation a low or no-internet vacation. I totally don't feel like trying to stay caught up on everything. I just want to spend time outside, read a lot, eat tasty food, and not worry about things for a bit. So in case I don't get another chance to say it, have a great Christmas, everyone.

lab christmas, originally uploaded by clevermynnie.


May. 5th, 2009 05:09 pm
clevermynnie: (Default)
I was recently reading Every Other Thursday, an excellent book about female scientists and their strategies for success. One concept from it which resonated with me is the idea that nothing is enjoyable if you don't have adequate time for it. I think that has been a major sticking point in my life the last few months; I never seem to have enough time for anything, so I'm distracted and anxious even while doing things I should be enjoying.

It's hard to strike that balance, though. I pride myself in being the sort of person who gets as much out of life and time as possible; I manage to do so many sports and activities by being rigorous about scheduling. But what is the point of managing time so closely if I don't enjoy the things I am doing?

Now that I am out from under some of my recent stresses and deadlines, it seems like a great time to re-evaluate how I organize everything. But as always, I'm loath to give things up, which makes it hard to find more time to relax. Actually, the first thing I've thought of is trying to be more meditative when I am going between two activities, trying to make the transition calming rather than harried. That's a start, at least.
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
My work is hectic but I am productive. I'm feeling a bit more anxious though, I think as a result of the stress management appointment, because she raised some issues that I'm having a hard time dealing with. Great. It's very hard to be hyper-productive when you are having all these doubts about the stability of your job.

I have a ton of chores to do at home and then [livejournal.com profile] chih will be here after my raid! I think it has helped me a lot to have so many close friends visiting at once when I'm in a rough patch... yes it limits the hours I can work (which is maybe for the best) and it entails more organization, but I love seeing everyone that lives far away. Actually, I haven't seen Chih since my wedding. And we are going to NYC this weekend to be touristy, which I'm excited about. We are seeing a musical which I wasn't sure I'd get to do, and I need to make more plans but I think it should be a blast. I think it'll be nice to pick up and get away from household and work obligations, even just for a short time. It'll be easier not to feel guilty or overwhelmed... I hope.
clevermynnie: (I see beauty)
I just did something I've never done before, and I did it because Ben made me.

No, it wasn't that. That sounds fun, although I don't think we have enough chocolate sauce.

I went to a free stress management appointment from Penn health. I got good, actionable advice, and while I've been feeling overwhelmed by my work insanity plus my other commitments (sports, music, WoW), the person I saw told me not to drop those because I would be giving up parts of myself and I'd become even more unhappy. It sounded like a lot of the grad students she worked with never exercise, have no social time, and don't sleep, reasoning that they will do this until they graduate and then things will change. Well, at least I'm not there.

I feel stressed from having talked about everything, though. I have been more secretive than usual with all these issues because I can't find the time to write everything out, and because it sounds so not fun to hash through it all. I wish... I just spent about 30 seconds trying to think how to finish that sentence. I wish to walk home with Ben and hold his hand. :) It works out well if you wish for things you know you have.
clevermynnie: (Default)
After posting that article about running in cold weather, I was ready to get out and run yesterday morning. I put on my running stuff, fed the cats, grabbed a bit of cereal, and then... fell down almost the entire flight of stairs in my house. OW.

See, our stairs are several things: narrow, steep, and very slippery (especially during winter when I am unlikely to be around the house without socks or slippers or both). I am pretty careful going down because the idea of falling down such awful stairs into a wall at the bottom freaks me out, but I guess I wasn't that careful going up the stairs yesterday. One of my feet slipped out from under me, I pitched forward and then slid down all the stairs on my right leg. Of course, sliding down stairs is a relatively good way to fall down a lot of them, so nothing was broken though the leg I fell onto is really bruised, on my shin and my hip; yesterday morning it was hurting really actively if I sat in a chair or tried to walk around, which felt awful, but I took some ibuprofen and didn't go to work until the afternoon, and by then I was feeling better if not particularly good. Probably the least fun thing about it was that Ben is away on the conference, so it felt scary to be alone and in a lot of pain. Plus, if he had been here, he probably would have cleaned all the cereal off the stairs for me.

As I fell down the stairs I yelled something like, "Aaaaa, nooooo!", and shortly after I hit the bottom I heard a huge crash from the kitchen, where the cats had been eating; then Emmy tore out of there and ran past me into the living room. I figured I had probably startled them with my yelling and they knocked something down. While I was slowly sitting up and prodding myself to make sure nothing was broken, Blinn peeked out of the kitchen at me, looking really freaked out, and I called to him a couple times but he wouldn't come over. Well, once I managed to get up and go into the kitchen, I found that he was drenched in water and looked totally bedraggled, except for his tail which was giant and puffy because he was frightened. I was initially perplexed--how did he get that wet? the Brita pitcher is undisturbed and he can't turn on the faucet--and then I spotted a steamer, which had been on the stove with some water in it from the previous night, which was now upended with water all over the floor. I'm still not sure how he turned it over onto himself, but luckily he seemed to be mostly wet and uninjured. Honestly, that took my mind off the pain in my leg while I dried him off, and then I had to coax Emmy out from under the couch where she was also completely freaked out.

So yeah, after the ibuprofen I started feeling better, well enough to go in to campus for the first lecture of a class I am taking on modern optics. I did that, then spent some time working on our first homework assignment (it was not very hard, just a lot of math, but it's due at our second lecture! that's a bit mean). Then I came home at dinner to find that now my computer isn't booting properly... argh. I spent a lot of time working on that last night, with Ben's help over the phone; it seems likely that it's either my power supply or my OS hard disk, which to be fair is 8 years old and tiny. My computer hangs at "Verifying DMI pool data..." and when you go into the BIOS menu it actually doesn't see the OS HDD at all, just my files HDD. Argh. I have an account on Ben's computer, which I'm using because he's not here anyways, but his monitor takes 20 minutes to turn on (long story) and I'm also kind of sad because it doesn't have WoW on it. This may be the impetus I need to reinstall my OS on the bigger, newer drive I have and finally ditch the old one I've been using. And I should really get a power supply that's properly rated; I had a nice one but it died and we fished this one out of the basement.

Ok, I need to drag myself into the cold walk to work. There is some soldering and a vacuum system with my name on it.
clevermynnie: (wealthy young woman-about-town)
I saw another doctor today, the one I saw in September who referred me to physical therapy. She was really great and helpful, gave me a more specific physical therapy referral (she said I needed to have high-impact sports as an explicit goal this time) and sent me to orthotics to get a hinged neoprene brace, which I'm supposed to wear if I do soccer or skiing or tennis. Walking today is better than yesterday.

At this point I think I'm having my statistically terrible week. This morning when I came into my office, the computer tech had tried to update something and inadvertantly erased all my documents, including my student grades. Luckily most of them are backed up somewhere else and I'll just have to reinput a few things, but really this sort of thing just keeps happening. On the wallet front, I'm going to go try to get a new driver's license tomorrow morning, because tomorrow evening is department-funded drinking with prospectives and I really need to have ID by then.

Today is Ben's birthday, and ironically I couldn't get stuff to bake him a cake or anything because I have no way to pay for things now. :P But his mom sent him one, which was really nice of her! So it's good I wasn't planning to do that anyways. I do wish I could've done more little things for him, but Wednesdays are so hectic for me and things kept going wrong; I barely stayed on top of things today. I have such a high workload right now that I'm having a hard time wanting to do anything except things I can't do, like go running. Hopefully this is the last down period before the semester ends.

Trying to pick a research group has me doing all this soul-searching about why I'm in physics and what I want to do with my career. The real answer is that I have no idea, and I can't decide whether it's more important to have great peers or a great boss.
clevermynnie: (Default)
Today sucks because my wallet got stolen out of my office and the professor I want to work with was supposed to have a meeting with me but didn't show up.

OMFG, make a xerox of EVERYTHING in your wallet and put it in a safe place. I didn't know one of my debit card numbers and I didn't know my driver's license number (I just got it like a month ago!) and it really sucks.

Theft angers me, but especially out of a school. Did you know that when someone steals your wallet and wants to use your credit cards, frequently the first thing they do is buy a small amount of gas? This checks the card's validity in a place where there isn't a person to interact with and no camera is recording. My thief doing this is probably what caused my credit card company to call me and check up on me, because I didn't even notice my wallet was gone.

You know what's ironic? Until recently, I never carried a wallet and kept everything in my purse (which I didn't take with me to work or school). I would only carry around my driver's license and student ID. The result of this, though, was often that I forgot the card I needed or didn't have cash when an unexpected need for it came up. Ben convinced me to get a wallet. But unlike a guy, I don't want to always have it in my pants because of how women's pants fit. So it got stolen! I will think twice about where to keep things in the future.
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
I hurt my knee again.

There's an intramural soccer team composed entirely of physics graduate students that I joined, and they had a practice yesterday that I went to. I don't really play soccer much, but it sounded fun, and I'm in pretty good shape now from running, swimming, and yoga. So I went, and I wasn't great but I did pretty well. It helped a lot that I put so much effort into being able to run again (mainly because that was something I couldn't do for a long time after my knee injury, so that's something I focused on in physical therapy and am still doing). Anyways, we had been playing for a little over an hour, so my knee was probably somewhat tired, and I tried to save a goal and somehow put pressure on my knee funny and it gave out, made a little popping noise. I was really afraid I had pulled the ligament again, and also really embarassed because basically practice broke up after that. But I didn't put any weight on it for ten minutes or so, sat talking to a couple people, and then was able to get up and walk back to DRL. See, the fact that I could walk at all tells you that it isn't as bad as it was last year. Ben came and got me with the car, and once we got home I iced it and took some aspirin, which I still had from last year for keeping down inflammation.

I thought I'd be able to go on campus today for classes and a meeting I had, but when I got up this morning it hurt to put weight on it. It's not nearly as swollen as last time, but it is a little swollen. I've been keeping it elevated, icing, taking occasional aspirin... I guess this time I know what to do. My current prediction is that I should be ok to walk on it within a week, if not sooner, though it'll take awhile before I'll be ok running again.

What really pisses me off, though, is that after physical therapy I was supposed to be ok for anything. I asked my physical therapist about tennis, which has sudden starts and stops like soccer, and she said that would be fine with the therapy I'd been doing (assuming I kept doing it). I asked her about skiing before I went home and she said that would be fine, although when I got home and tried it my leg felt so weak I had to stop after two runs. It seems like anything I want to be able to do with my knee, I have to specifically train for. I trained for walking and running and weightlifting, but I didn't train for soccer so now I'm out for who knows how long. How do you even train for skiing? I am just mad because I don't want to keep having knee problems, I've done all the things that people told me to do, and I want to be active without worrying about my knee all the time.

I'll see how it is on Monday, and contact my physical therapist... I'll probably have to go back for a while. I hope that when the swelling goes down I don't have to redo a lot of what I did in the fall for physical therapy. It's really annoying and really scary not being able to walk, and not being able to count on your body.


Dec. 12th, 2005 10:25 am
clevermynnie: (Default)
Another fun part of testing standby for the GRE is that you don't have a registration number, which makes it much harder to access your test scores. So I'm on hold with ETS, listening to really shitty renditions of music which is occasionally identifiable as Christmas music. It's very static-y and the volume keeps going up and down. I've been on hold for about half an hour, so I guess the problem is that they don't have enough canned music to sustain everyone else on hold.

There are so many things to dislike about ETS, from the surliness of their customer service representatives to the way they write their tests to the fact that they hold a monopoly over many tests which are necessary to pursue various levels of education, and have decided to take as much money from you as they can because of it. But what it mostly comes down to for me is that I want to go to graduate school so badly, and I'm really afraid of not getting in. I don't feel panicked, but I do feel increasingly anxious, like my guts are being pulled and twisted and trampled on. I want this to be over.
clevermynnie: (Default)
All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph! Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh! A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless!

Throughout my experiences of grad school applications, I've fought against living in the future and thinking, 'I just have to get through this and then things will be better'. I've done okay at it. But I'm really feeling that now as I buckle down to study for my quantum final and finish my apps. My SOP, revised once again, is okay but now too long. I should start submitting applications tomorrow, though. And soon I should know my GRE score, for better or worse.

It's nice that I'm not as stressed as I was last year. Really nice. But it means that I can execute extreme acts of avoidance against what I want to do the least, like spending an entire day playing KOTOR2 instead of working on Saturday, and then doing all of my other work before getting down to my SOP today. Let me reassure you, KOTOR2 is still awesome. I wish I had the hours to finish it before I go on vacation.

Good luck on finals, those of you that have them.
clevermynnie: (see us waving)
My quantum final is in thirty minutes. My grade thus far is solid, if not quite as stellar as I wanted it to be. I feel very good about the material, but I also have the acute knowledge that it does not matter at all, to graduate schools, whether I know the material or not, just that I do well gradewise. I don't know that I've ever been so anxious about an exam, especially one I feel so solid on. But in two hours, when it's over, I'm going to really try to enjoy my vacation (some time in Mammoth, New Mexico, and the East Coast visiting my grandparents), and fall semester will be much more laid back.

Thank you to those of you who have supported me and suffered with me through this. I get the feeling sometimes that I'm not the same person I used to be, because my attitude now includes more frustration and anxiety than it ever used to. I have a hard time looking at things the same, because the stakes are so different. But I think it's more that all the parts of my personality that were really evident before all this graduate school bullshit happened, the parts with music and cooking and physics and happiness, are still there, and still do come out frequently. They're just more subdued, bullied into quiet by my pain, which is this stupid obnoxious thing that won't listen to any attempt I make to send it away. I do think it'll go away, though, and I keep working towards that, even when my apparent progress is minimal.

At least I feel good about quantum mechanics.


clevermynnie: (Default)

January 2017



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 07:45 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios