Tag Archives: goals

Monday is Coming! Monday is Coming!

5 May

Posted to Freecycle to find business casual women’s clothing? Check.
Set aside money for a new haircut and style? Check.
Been studying way too much over a semester break to prepare? Check.

Yup!  McNair Kick-Off Luncheon coming up on Monday.  Pictures will be taken for the journal and added to the university website.  As a woman in this society, it is my obligation to look my best and nothing like I would any other day (ie make-up, fancier clothing, hair done up, etc).  It’s what we do. 

But before you point your finger and laugh at my pain…  Check out this menu:

Sandwich Buffet-
      Deli Sliced Turkey and Provolone on Hearty Wheat Bread
      Roast Beef and Cheddar with bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on 
         Toasted 12 Grain Bread     
     Balsamic Marinated Vegetable Wrap with Feta Cheese 
         and Mixed Greens
 
Greek Penne Salad tossed with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Onions, Peppers, Fresh baby Spinach, Feta Cheese and Black Olives

Red Skinned Potato Salad with Egg, Celery, and Spanish Onion in a Seasoned Mayonnaise Dressing

Cookies, Potato Chips, and Condiments

Lost in Translation

27 Feb

I know I have a few readers, my site stats say so.  My readers are probably just my friends, but you’re all lurking!

And after a long-winded phone call the other night with a close friend, I realized that most of you unless trained in archaeology have no idea what I’m talking about with most of the terms I use.  This is something I really don’t want.  I want to be able to communicate with academics and people so far from the discipline that they don’t even know what a projectile point is, much less a Gainey point made of Upper Mercer chert found in association with a netsinker (of which is not possible, for those who -don’t- know,  aka all of you most likely).

So I need you guys to tell me what’s up and where I’m losing you.  I need to know where I’m being too wordy or not explaining enough.

Honestly, writing for grants and such is a big part of my future both in grad school and my professional life.  I’ll need money that comes from grant providers who many have next to no experience dealing with my field or specializations and I need to be able to communicate to them what I want to do and why it is important. 

Will you all help me out?  Maybe go back to a post or a few which you didn’t really understand and tell me, or keep me on my toes in the future.  You’ll be helping me out gratuitously. 🙂

Along the lines of possible

13 Feb

Thursday night I started to get sick. Not so unusal for me really. I have a tendency to be sick a lot, poor health, weak body. It doesn’t mean I don’t try, though. If anything, my weaknesses in this area are my reason for overcompensation in other areas. I’m stubborn to a fault.

I had bronchitis during my field school, I couldn’t breath yet there I was to shovel and sift. Jan drove me home and yelled at me to not come in until I was better.

“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”  ~Thomas Carlyle

So, back to the beginning. When I found myself still feeling pretty sick Friday morning, no biggy. Sure it felt a bit worse than normal but that means that it would pass faster. I went to class, could barely think much less concentrate on others’ words, and got through half of the day. And I gave in finally, called for a ride and promptly fell over.

Moral of the story is, that there is such thing as pushing oneself too much. I had planned over Friday night and Saturday to write three papers and study for my Chemistry exam all for Monday. I planned to get caught up on my readings. Instead, I couldn’t get out of bed until this afternoon. My fever averaged 101^F, but peaked at 103^F and I had minor dehydration.

I was planning on spending today work free, using today to celebrate my SO’s birthday and Valentine’s day with him all in one. Instead I’m stuck working because I pushed my body too hard once again.

But so far two of my three papers are done and its only 7:30. I’ve studies some chemistry and I’ve started the third paper. I’ll get it all done tonight, I’m positive, but Valentine’s Day and his birthday celebrations won’t be happening fully until next weekend.

There are three things to take from this:

  1. Don’t push yourself forward so hard that you end up falling behind.   As the Great Aesop said, “Slow and steady wins the race.”  And if that means taking a day off to let yourself recover so that you can continue being 100%, awesome.  Also, not waiting until the last second to get everything that needs to be done over with.
  2. Always make a Plan B.  You can’t be overly disappointed, sad, hopeless, etc when something doesn’t work out becuase there’s always another way.
  3. It really is possible to do anything.  Yeah, half the time I spent in delirium from a fever, the other half crying because I couldn’t concentrate on writing and I thought “Well, there goes my grade. I’ll never get this done!”  But here I am (okay writing a blog post instead of…) doing the work and having most of it done.  All I had to do was keep my calm and just do it.

Perfectionism, the source of all (my) evil!

7 Feb

As part of the McNair Scholars career seminar at Grand Valley, we were to read a short article on procrastination.  I found it really to be quite a good blog posting on the issue and can be found here.  And as I won’t be talking much about it since I feel that that covers it, I implore you to read it.

Perfectionism doesn’t only lead to procrastination however… It can lead to so many more terrible things.  Pessimism, depression, academic nihilism, self-destruction, lethargy among many others. And when they’re all mixed together, it makes for some bitter soup.

For me, these are especially true.  Let me tell you a little story.

Not all that long ago, and for the better part of my life I sought to be acknowledged for the intelligence that I possess — I felt that it’s what made me stand out.  I didn’t get good grades, mostly due to that nasty thing called perfectionism.  I procrastinated, I didn’t get work done.  Work I did do, I didn’t turn in because it wasn’t good enough and I thought I’d be judged.  My grades started their gradual downfall during 6th grade for me.  I didn’t even care that I got a detention for every 2nd assignment I didn’t turn in.  But then I started hearing “I’m disappointed in you” and “I know you’re smarter than these grades” and “Why can’t you do better?” at the parent-teacher conference (on both sides).  Thus began my fears that I would never be good enough to please those that I sought the praise and acknowledgement from.

And I didn’t do the work except which interested me.  So, I got A’s in a few classes per semester in Jr. High and High School… and that pulled me along.  There was a school I had really wanted to go to for college — because all along this I still valued knowledge as the most important trait one could have — but my high school grades were nowhere near good enough for Grand Valley.  I pulled up my GPA just a little and managed to send out some applications to other places.

And I got accepted to Wayne State.  But the classes didn’t interest me or they were too hard.  I withdrew from all but on by the end of the semester and managed a C in that last one.  Then I didn’t both signing up for the classes for the next semester.  I went to community college.  And it was easy, and I took classes that interested me and got As.  I worked at a couple and were surprised that I could do well.  After a couple of years dilly dallying with nothing to really show for it except some new random knowledge about all sorts of things, I finally got enough credits and a high enough GPA to apply as a transfer student to Grand Valley.

There I was… first year transfer.  Shy, roommate from a foreign country who liked to hang out with other SE Asians, and without my family or friends that I had been hanging out with for the past four years. Alone. Depressed.  The worst depression that I had felt since a little stint I had in a hospital.  I would like to blame outside sources of turmoil for my failings there, but it really was me and my attitudes that caused it.

Then, I missed a few days of classes because I didn’t want to leave my room, much less my bed. I fell behind.  I couldn’t find the will in me to catch up, but I talked to people and I tried.  I was given a second chance and I made the effort to make up past work.  But then time came again when I just didn’t want to get out of bed again… different this time.  I just couldn’t see how I could possibly get an A now, and for me an A was all that mattered.

Over Winter break between semesters, I got some supporting words.  I was told that hey, if Grand Valley didn’t work out I could always try for Oakland University which would be closer to everyone.  I contemplated it for a bit.

I can’t remember if it was over time or right away I realized my splitting path.  I also remembered one of my favorite poems — Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It’s always held some significance for me.  Being independent, creative, a treader of new or less travelled paths.  I take that to heart.   In this moment that I’ve been describing however… it was clear that one was the easier of the two to navigate, safer.  I could stay with one of my parents, be close to home, attempt to get the degree from somewhere else where it was just easier to do.

But no, I told myself, slapped myself really.  No.  This is the school you have been wanting to go to since you were 15.  This is the school that you dreamed about.  This is what you want.  You will always wonder what could have been. You will always wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t given up.  You will never ever be satisfied with yourself if you take that safer path.  This would be something that you’d regret for the rest of your life.

So prove yourself, I yelled at me. Prove that you’re worth something.  And who gives a damn if others will never give you their approval. Just freaking do it!

And I did. Two years after that first semester, I’m taking my last make-up class finally.  I learned that I do have what it takes to be an archaeologist (but that’s another story all together — maybe next time).  I learned that I can.  I can.  From a first semester with two W’s and two E’s -> two semesters later, Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor’s Society -> two years after that first semester, three A’s and an A- and the Dean’s List.

As cheesy as it may sound, I learned that anything is possible as long as the willpower and understanding that the path won’t be easy. 

And maybe a little more importantly,  a ‘B’ is good enough.