Tag Archives: stress

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

Motivational Music

11 Feb

Everyone has a favorite song.  Something for pick-me-ups, or something to relate to when sad.  Lyrics that they love to belt out.   Do people have a song that just makes them inspired to be great?  Personally, I do.

Right now, I’m feeling miserable. I’m stressed to all get out, on the verge of tears even, and with the stuffiest nose and sorest throat I’ve had in many months now.  I had to wake up at 6am (normal for me is 9 or 10 – boohoo) to finish career research papers I’ve had weeks to do which will decide my continuation in the McNair Scholars Program.  Another boo to me!

But when I hear Beethoven’s 9th Symphony the world seems a little better.  Its a story.  A getting going, a grand adventure, some loss and losing of the way, but in the end triumphant.  I can make an argument with myself that the 2nd Movement (Scherzo) is my favorite, but it really is the context of the other movements that make it.

If you got a lot of time, listen to the whole symphony.  If not, take a taste of this below. (And as a note, this isn’t the complete 2nd Movement.)

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.

Short summary of the rest of the week…

22 Jan

Car broke down.  Got it towed.  Missed classes because walking 3 miles in -2F didn’t sound so safe to my health. Especially when I don’t know where my ear covers are and my coat doesn’t close.  I also missed my McNair seminar because of the situation, but I have plans to get caught up on that.  And, I’m getting a new (for me) car tomorrow, courtesy of SO’s parents and my dad.  It is quite exciting.  My dad is coming to do a minor fix on the old car that I was driving while bringing the new one, then taking that one home. 

I’ve been busy doing a lot of reading and playing with statistics and graphs for many of my classes.  I ordered two books on amazon, using gift cards I earned through things like internet surveys and Swagbucks.com.  The Early Mesoamerican Village by Kent Flannery and Ungendering Civilization by K. Anne Pyburn.  The first is for ARC 400, the latter for ANT 405.  Both seem pretty interesting, we’ll see.

I’m feeling… down.  In general, stress of everything and missing classes and bad things happening.  Plus SO not having a job at the moment.  Its all very tiresome to me.  I’ve lost myself in not doing schoolwork these past few days.  I need to make a list.  Lists make me feel better for some reason… just knowing exactly what to do and what needs to be done, then ordering it, and checking it off as they are accomplished.  In and of itself its stress relieving.  I’m going to go do that.

Go figure!

18 Jan

When you get more work done you feel less stressed! Go figure!   Well, sometimes I need to remind myself.   Doesn’t help that stress brings out my inability to concentrate without perfect quiet or music blaring in my ears to drown everything else out.  Significant Other has classes two nights a week, tonight and tomorrow night.  Good things that, place to myself and punk rock coming out the stereo at deafening volumes is only allowed when he’s away.

Yesterday, however, was a little more productive.  I got my weekly readings done for Anthro Theory and completed the weekly journal for that class.  I also got three of my five career/interest tests done for my McNair career seminars. Some results? Sure!

True Colors test had me rank categories of words from 1-4 to see what my personality type color is.  My color points:  Green 20; Gold 12; Blue 11; Orange 7.  Gold means something about being dependable, traditional, and organized, Blue is sympathetic and caring, and Orange is adventurous and courageous. (Why do I feel like this is Hogwarts Houses?)  They gave me a looooong printout for Green.

As a Green you may be the most reluctant of all the colors to do things in a traditional manner.  Greens tend to be natural leaders.

You may be an exceptionally deep thinker.  Other may use words about you such as intelligent, clever, or witty.

You respect competence and intellectual abilities both in yourself and in others.  You may want to understand and control the realities of life, and are on the lookout for new projects, new activities and new procedures.  You are usually the driving force behind any organization or activity in which you participate.

Having control can be very important to you, becuase it represents the power to aquire the multiple abilities on which you pride yourself.  You tend to feel best about yourself when you are solving problems and your ideas are recognized.  Many of you (Greens) become entrepreneurs and work for yourselves, because of your need for innovation and control.

You tend to have a very broad base of information and usually know something about a variety of topics or issues.  you are more likely to express a global perspective rather than a narrow one.  In most instances you are an objective thinker who needs to know the theory or the principle behind any concept and detest simplistic explanations.

You can suceed in a variety of occupations as long as the job does not involve too much humdrum routine.  You tend to lose interest once the work is no longer challenging.

As an employee, you may work against the system just for the joy of being one-up on the person in authority.  Guard against this tendency, because this can make for a very unpleasant work environment, and can lead to dismissal.  However, you can be a tremendous asset to any work environment that values your analytical, independent and ingenious nature.

On the list of occupations for that, anthropologist and archaeologist as well as a lot of other science-y jobs feature.

The other one I took, MicroSkills asked me about what work skills I valued the most and had me rank the top 5, middle 10, and last 20 (but leave out about 40 or so of the other skills that I didn’t value at all).  Ratings above 30 are good matches. My top one was 45 and that was production clerk.  FBI agent and Archivist tied at 43.  There’s a whole bunch more, but Archaeolgist (39) and Anthropologist (38) were on the list, so I’m feeling pretty okay with my choice of occupation thus far.  Something that I did find quite interesting was that I scored the same for Archaeologist as I did for Criminologist – which is a field that someone I know (who reads this blog) is interested in and we’re always commenting on how alike our personalities are. 🙂

The third one sent the results to the career counseling center, so I won’t know that until Friday.  And the two others I have to do are handwritten rankings of a list of skills and tasks that I was given that would satisfy me in doing.  I’m finding these things slightly tedious.  I know what I want to do as a career, I know my personality, and I know how well I’d fit into all of it.  I guess its just part of the whole, but by taking time out of day when I could be reading other assignments – or being in class, as these seminars cut into my schedule.

In turn for my getting a bunch of work done… I allowed myself to play some WoW today.  I didn’t really spend my time doing dailies or anything.  Instead, I found myself playing my Tauren Paladin for a little bit.  Oh I know how nerdy this must sound, but a lot of my friends play and its a good way to keep in touch, have some fun, and relax.  They don’t have 12 million players for nothing, you know.  Perhaps this tops off the nerdiness of the game, each race that you can play as has in most cases extensive backstories and origins — I love figuring out the real-life cultural inspiration for these in game races.  For instance, Orcs, my favorite race in the game, bear very close historical traits with some African slaves.  Their relatives back in their homeland as grasslands people who live in huts, they were slaves to both demons and humans at key points in their past.  But they also show some signs of being much like the warring states of fuedal Japan and samurai,  much of their driving force is about honor and loyalty to their clans.  Another, the Tauren, and Plains Indians through and through but I’ll spare the details.  I stayed away from the game for a while, then my SO finally got me to play it and after just a bit of the storyline and lore I was completely hooked.  So now, I’ve been playing for nearly 3 years and still paying $15 a month to do so.

In any case, I need to read one chapter in my Chemistry book still and about 10 more articles for this week and a couple from last week to still catch up on.  If I don’t update my blog every day, I hope that its understandable.

Until next time!

Preparation

9 Jan

So what I have been doing to prepare for classes starting tomorrow?

Normally, I would reset my sleep schedule to match my classes.  I tend to be a night owl, but because I rarely take night classes it just doesn’t work out.  Resetting usually involved staying up all night and allowing myself to go to bed when is appropriate or using some aid to go to sleep earlier.  I’m with someone now… who doesn’t like to sleep at all apparently yet sleeps in extremely late. (2pm now and I predict he’ll be in bed for another hour or so…)  And we have this thing about going to bed together.  And after all this time, I now find it quite hard to fall asleep without him – plus the bed is cold!

Luckily for me, my classes don’t start until 11am.  Mind, I’m used to waking up at noon-1pm now.  I’ll be a little tired tomorrow, but overall a little coffee will help me get through.  I’m also dieting to keep my energy up…

More on that diet.  First:  SparkPeople.com is an amazing site.  Now, not everything is accurate.  For example, it lists certain specifications for something like creamy peanut butter, while my particular brand has slightly more calories and protein but less fat.  It is a good way to see what you need to balance, and to be fair they give you a range of cals, carbs, fats, etc that you should be eating probably to correct for those variabilities.  If you are hardcore, you can enter the foods yourself so you know exactly whats what in your daily nutrition.    Second: I really want to be a healthy weight.  I want to be able to be active without needing a break or trailing far behind.  I want to be able to be in the field as long as my body lets me, because archaeology truly is my passion and motivating force for life.  And I want to look damn good in a wedding dress and not slow down a honeymoon in Belize.   Third:  I’m a snacker and a late-night muncher.  Especially when I am stressed, and ooh boy will I be stressed these next 8 months or so.  I want to gain some control over myself, like reaching for carrots instead of cookies, pita and hummus rather than chips.

In turn, this blog is directly related to knowing I’m going to be under lots of stress.  I can talk about these things and stay on track by putting these words out here.  And who knows, maybe I’ll connect with someone in a similar situation as me.  🙂