A PhD Obviously Doesn’t Guarentee Intelligence

Have I mentioned how much I really, really, really don’t like this professor?  Ugh, I could just scream.  I got my second paper back today.  I worked on this paper, man.  I really liked my argument.  I took my time and did a way better job on it than I did the first one for this class.  At least I didn’t write it in two days like has been my habit lately.  Anyway, she didn’t think I developed my argument at all.  She said it didn’t make sense and wasn’t supported well.  That’s just total crap, and I’m not just saying that.  It’s like she didn’t even read it.  At one point she refuted something I said.  It’s footnoted, lady!  Look it up.  I took that fact from the weekly reading assignments.  If she doesn’t believe it, don’t fault me.  Take it up with the historian who wrote it.  And the big thing she took off for was a thing I fixed according to her comments the time before.  She didn’t like how I led into quotes.  Although it’s correct according to the citation source the course provided me at the beginning, I did it her way.  Now she says I should have gone back and done it the way I had been doing it.  Aahh!  I want to pull my hair out.  I’ll write however she wants me to if only she knew what that was!  One of my biggest pet peeves is professors who can’t separate their personal preferences from what’s actually acceptable.  I don’t care if she doesn’t like full sentence quotes when she writes.  I’m still allowed to do it if I do it correctly.  And I did it once!  Just once!  Does that warrant the mini novel worth of comments she had to leave it about it?  I have no confidence in my final for this class now.  I don’t know how she even wants it, which I should have some clue by this point in the course.

This is not what I wanted to think about right before bed.  I’ve developed a cold I think, so that’s making me uncomfortable, and the internet connection at this “lovely” establishment is spotty.  Thank goodness it started working finally.  I couldn’t have waited until tomorrow to find out that little tidbit.

Mini Vacation

Yes, I know it has been quite a few days, but I’ve been busy.  Honest!

I had a paper due for class.  It’s one of the last assignments and it comes at a horribly busy time with everything else that I’m doing to wrap up.  It’s never fun.  I think I did well on it though.  Hopefully better than I did on the last one.  I should be finding out in a day or two, so we’ll see.

DH finished his training and had four days of leave.  He came out to visit last Friday, another reason I was feeling rushed about the paper.  I hardly do any work with him around, so I wanted to get as much done as possible beforehand.  We had a great weekend.  We went to a state park on Saturday that has a lots of trails along a major river.  I called DH a billy goat because I think he spent more time climbing the rocks over the river than he did on the main path.  It was (and still is) unseasonably hot, so that took a little wind out of our sails.

Sunday was Shakespeare’s birthday celebration!  It was really hot, so we didn’t stay the whole day, but it was really fun.  It’s at the Folger Shakespeare Library.  They have a fabulous reading room with the largest collection of original Shakespearean works and an elaborate stained glass window.  Gorgeous.  It’s only open to approved Ph.D. students for research except every year on Shakespeare’s birthday.  I’ve been dying to go but have never had the chance.  I made it this year.  There was a lot of stuff to do for kids–drawing, scavenger hunt (which I did even though I was a bit too old), quill making, paper pressing, costumes, skits, and medieval sword play.  Plus there was plays in the theater, the gardens to meander through, and the two reading rooms were open as well as the museum hall.  There was food and music and all the actors from the theater were wandering around in full costume all day.  There was even birthday cake!  It’s a shame it was so stinkin’ hot, but it was very cool even so.  I highly recommend it if you’re around next year on April 26.

DH had to report to his final training on today, Tuesday.  I planned a little mini vacation for myself.  I drove out to his reporting station with him and planned to stay the week.  I was going to piddle with homework while he was busy, and in the evenings we could explore the area.  I had made billeting reservations over a week ago because there’s a huge event in the local area, and I knew hotel rooms would be scarce.  We got here and his and my reservations had been canceled and his reporting time moved until the 14th of May.  I should know better.  I should expect this stuff.  I know that, but I was so upset.  It might have been the day and a half stuck in a car or the fact that pollen has exploded since the weather’s been so hot and my allergies have gone haywire.  The 14th is three weeks away.  That’s three extra weeks of leave where we could have stayed at my house instead of the flea bag motel they put us in because it’s the only thing under the government per diem rate.  That’s three weeks of restaurant meals.  It’s so frustrating.  It only takes a phone call, but the military seems to boycott those sorts of courtesies.  I swear, one day I will be in a place where things like that won’t sent me into instant fury.  It’s just that it’s Every.  Single.  Time.  I’m just glad we don’t have kids to be shuffling while all this is going on.

So here I sit, lached onto my Kleenex box for dear life.  I’m itchy and snotty because of these allergies, but I will enjoy my mini vacation.

If I expected these waves, I would have learned to surf

As you can tell I’m trying to post more often.  When I started this blog, this is more how I envisioned it going, only maybe with slightly more exciting commentary, but I underestimated how busy I was at the time.  Live and learn I guess.

Lately, probably for the last week or so, my emotions have been yo-yoing like crazy.  I’m not quite sure what’s up.  My increase in gym time has definitely reduced the extremes of my emotional changes.  I still fluctuate, but the peaks and valleys haven’t been as drastic.  In the past, the space and time between the spikes might have been high, but they weren’t close together, relatively speaking.  (Writing that gives me horrible flashbacks of middle school science class and learning about wavelengths.  Yikes!)  This past week they’ve been sudden and often, like several times a day.  I don’t know what my deal is.  It’s not fun at all.  Nothing changed in my routine to bring this on, but once it was here, my eating has gotten out of whack, my sleeping schedule is getting worse, and my motivation for even daily, petty things is erratic to say the least.  I’ve been bouncing between begging for help and ignoring all contact with people.  The emotional swings are exhausting.  Hopefully it levels out or I can get to the bottom of it soon.

Other than that, I don’t have much.  My class is in the last few weeks, so it’s work, work, work.  I bought some lingerie in anticipation of DH’s training break coming up.  It came in the mail this past weekend, but it’s too big.  Boo.  It’s hard to find that stuff for smaller people.  For some reason designers must think all women are built like Hef’s Girls Next Door–small everywhere but the boobulous region.  I was motivated to alter it this week in my free time, but now I’m not feeling it so much.  Maybe I’ll scrap the idea all together.  I think I’d be more disappointed in myself about not getting it done than DH would be.  Guys don’t really care about the frilly outer garments.  They’re all for the ladies to feel cute.  On second thought, maybe a mental vacation weekend where I feel pretty and special and loved is exactly what I need.

Added Thoughts

I got to thinking about my post from yesterday, about feeling like “a book that can’t be read.”  I guess it sort of applies to being a military spouse in the civilian world right now too.  Nobody really gets what I’m going through, and civilian view points especially are shaped to a large extent by the media.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but in a small way, who cares?  The media can say what they want about the war or the troops, but it doesn’t even begin to describe the mountains of gear that military families have to deal with in their homes, the day to day frustrations with being apart from loved ones, and dealing with the turtle-slow bureaucracy associated with every aspect of military life.  Long distance relationships are tough, and many days I just don’t feel understood no matter how sympathetic someone seems.  Ideally, I’d like to have my personal book reader home all the time, but at least on post I can have other military people who can translate my book instead.  Right now I don’t have either.

Obviously I’m still feeling crummy today even though the weather is gorgeous and I’ve been bustling around all day.  Poo.

“I Feel Like a Book that Can’t be Read”-Blow Away by Staind

Like I said before, DH and I are pretty into music without actually being musicians ourselves.  I really think people can really connect with music if it’s right for them.  Some of most amazing poets are really song writers, and they get overlooked because they set their words to music.  I say this because I’m having a crummy night tonight, and I’m turning to one of my favorite cds for comfort.

Blasting away on my ipod right now is Staind‘s cd, 14 Shades of Grey.  Aaron Lewis, the lead singer of Staind, is simply amazing.  He has a way of articulating my internal struggles in a way that I can’t imagine doing myself.  It makes sense to me, and I always wonder if people who have never gone through depression understand it better having really examined his lyrics.  His voice is a whole nother story.  It’s effortlessly full of emotion.

Staind is pretty serious rock music, borderline metal, but I think that’s pushing the definition some.  Please don’t misunderstand Staind to be some of these bands in the news that sound like they’re encouraging suicide and violence.  The lyrics are actually the exact opposite.  They stress that depression is incredibly hard but beatable, that addiction robs people of life without ever fixing the problem, and suicide is a personal failure that can be avoided.  In all the hard, edgy, loud music I hear hope.  I hear a fellow sufferer that was in so much pain that he tried many of the same solutions I have.  I hear the same failures that I have.  And I hear ownership, acceptance, and hope for an inner peace that is eventually possible.

All this is wrapped up and packaged in a format that helps me deal when I’m feeling bad.  I get the anger so I can internally range for awhile.  I get the pain and the desperation that makes me sink into a hole for awhile.  Then I get the smack in the face that says ‘if I give up it’s not because it was too hard but because I quit trying.’  I hear that I’m not alone and that there are people just like me silently struggling.  Personally, I think that’s one of the most important thing for people with depression to know and remember.  They are not alone.  Other people feel just as hopeless and scared and desperate and angry.  But when we can’t articulate that to others and we can’t understand when someone else attempts to reaffirm that, loneliness seems like the only conclusion.

Music helps me go through the range of emotions associated with depression without acting on them.  I don’t have to harm myself anymore.  I don’t have to contemplate suicide.  I don’t have to revert back to my safe, solitary mental cave.  I do like giving myself the time, whether it’s an hour or an afternoon, to let my soul cry though.  I think it’s important to give those feelings their space and recognize them.  It lets me think about if there’s a cause and what I can do about getting better.  In a way, too, it feels like grieving.  It feels like recognizing and remembering parts of me that are past.  I’ve found a way to put some parts of me on a box on a shelf.  They’re not gone forever, but I don’t need to carry them with me every day.  Most of them aren’t fond memories at all, but I still spent so much time with them and warped them into my safety net that putting distance between them and me was very hard.  Putting on my music and letting all that old stuff wash over me gives me some time where I don’t have to be strong.  I don’t have to resist every thought and impulse for that stuff to come back and become my priority again.  Now I’m strong enough to open the box for awhile and be able to put the lid back on when I choose.

Master’s thesis

Eek!  I just submitted my proposed topic for my Master’s thesis.  I’m so nervous.  Like more nervous than I was at my wedding.  It didn’t help that the guy in charge of it all sent out an email a few weeks ago saying that this was our “opus,” something that will follow us forever and speak for our education and academic abilities when we were unable to.  Uhh…no pressure though, right?

I’m going to be crushed if it’s rejected.  This was the best I could come up with, and I’m really getting excited about diving into it.  If I have to think of something else before the deadline in two weeks, I’m going to just cry.  I really shouldn’t have put all my hopes on this so soon, but I couldn’t help it.  I’m all fidgety right now.  I hope he gets back to me soon.  The suspense is killing me already!

Sigh…Over Too Soon

DH has come and gone already.  It was an extremely short weekend that attempted to recharge both our batteries.  I don’t know if we quite got there.  Just too much we wanted to do and not enough quiet time.  Easter dinner turned out great; the peach pie was my personal favorite, but it was all delicious.  I made sure to grab on of DH’s t-shirts.  It’s one of the best medicines for a lonely night.

I found it ironic that I’ve been tossing and turning most nights because the bed feels too empty, but once DH finally got here, I wasn’t used to such a blanket hog!  Ha ha ha, I grumbled both nights he was here.  I’m pretty sure if he stayed just one more night, I would have remembered our routine.  My body’s so confused!

DH has two weeks left of his current training.  He’s going to try and swing through afterward because he’s got three or four days off.  We tentatively planned on me going out with him for the second round of training for a week or so.  Long car drives are just better with two people.  I’m needing a change of scenery on top of it, and it might be a long summer apart if he can’t get leave.

I’m just bored.  I looked into volunteering today.  Many of the local places require several sessions of training and long time committments though.  Plus I have the the reaccuring transportation issue.  Sigh, if only this would go faster.

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