“Vaguebooking”-Beachmail style.

So I just got this email in my inbox. While it’s kinda cool, I have to question what it is really for. Is just to acknowledge my 4.0 GPA? It seems so vague. Even the title cracks me up. Did Dr. Hill forget my name. “Hey there….buddy, pal, you…. nope. Outstanding Kinesiology major it is. LOL.
 
Hi outstanding graduating Kinesiology major,
 
The purpose of this note is to inform you that you will be formally recognized and honored at the Department of Kinesiology Graduate Colloquium at the Point (in the Pyramid) on Thursday, May 2nd.  There will be an social hour with food and beverages from 6-7 PM with the awards program starting at 7PM. 
 
I sincerely hope you will be able to attend to receive your award.  Your award will be presented from a faculty member in your option area.
 
Please contact me if you have any questions.
 
Dr. Hill
 
 
 
Grant Hill, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Kinesiology
California State University, Long Beach 

Shit just got REAL!

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I came home from work tonight and had this waiting for me. It was a letter and a brochure outlining all the details of my graduation. I immediately started tearing up. What a journey this has been. I NEVER thought this was a possibility for me. But here I am, holding this in my hand. Now, granted, I still have to finish my Thesis, defend it, etc, but knowing I don’t have to drive to school twice a week a sit in classes, do papers, projects, powerpoints, evals, etc. It feels good. It’s humbling. I know it sounds cheesy, but I made my dream a reality.

Now, the only question left is …..what is next for me?

The Journey Ahead

I am rapidly approaching a time in my life where  some pretty important decisions have to be made. How do I know which choice  is the right one?

Have you ever seen the movie Castaway, with Tom Hanks? Here is a clip of the ending, and offers an insight to how I feel.  Start at about 1:20 seconds in…

In keeping with this theme, the poem by Robert Frost – “The Road Not Taken” is another way I feel.

From another perspective: 

Bottom line is the semester is over and I’m now running down the home stretch of this journey. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel – so to speak. With that glorious light comes fear. I’m scared. What road is “the right one”. So many choices ( and changes) are in front of me.

I love my comfortable life of my home life  with my hubby, my job, friends and school. I love the consistency, the routine, familiarity of it all. With graduation looming on the horizon I’m faced with the expectation from many people that now I must go off and put my “education to good use.” Furthermore, when school ends in May, my hubby and I can move out of the hellishly boring suburb we had to move into to be closer to school, and finally buy a place closer to Downtown San Diego. To add more pressure, S and I “pulled the goalie” last year, and I honestly thought I would either be pregnant or have a baby upon graduation. Doesn’t look like that is happening anytime soon, but who knows.

So I guess I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the impending changes and expectations that I will encounter within the next 6 months. No more school, look for a new job that my family finally approves of, buy a house and possibly have a kid or be knocked up. No pressure.  Did I mention that I need to finish my thesis my mid-March?

I know that change is a good thing, and I am trying to be positive about it, but I just hate the pressure of it all. What if I can’t find a job? What if I can’t get pregnant? What if my Thesis sucks and I don’t graduate. My head is full of questions, worries and what-if’s.

The stress gets to me sometimes, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, trying to enjoy every moment from now until the day I graduate and recognize that this is a special time in my life, one that I am going to look back on quite fondly and think of the good times, and not the bad stuff.  My yoga practice has helped with the stress. I guess bending myself into a pretzel and sweating like a pig is helpful for these things!

Its a Vent-i,please!

So we are almost halfway done with this semester and I can safely say this is one of the worst semesters I have ever had-EVER! The root of my dissatisfaction stems from my growing disillusionment of the “system”, and apathetic, incompetent professors that make up a component of that system.

First, there is my Tuesday night professor. Class is scheduled from 7-9:45 every night, and we are lucky if he lectures for longer than an hour, maybe 70 minutes.  Have you seen gas prices lately? Sorry, buddy, but I am not driving 90 minutes one way to listen for 60 minutes to info you will post on Beachboard anyway, and then drive home 90 minutes at $20/gallon. Secondly, the amount of money I shell out to pay for this class makes me bitter and wanting to complain to the department chair or dean at his blatant disregard of  our shoddy return of investment of time and money for this “superior’ educational experience.

Secondly, my Thursday night professor… oh brother. The class has collectively dubbed her the “Most Incompetent Woman in the World”. She arrives late, take 20 minutes to prepare for class, spends most of the time showing videos on Youtube, or has us break up into groups to discuss things like ” What is the difference between Kinesiotherapy and Physical Therapy?” Last week we wasted over an hour in the computer lab working on graphing on Excel. Really? I went to grad school for this? To add insult to injury, this is a combo Undergrad /Grad level class. So I know the price I paid for this class —-and the quality education I am getting is ONE simple article critique above the work the Undergrads are doing. So basically I paid over twice the money the Undergrads paid for the class, and they get to do the same work we do, minus one simple assignment. I get so frustrated at the level of quality instruction is relation to the money we pay. I understand this isn’t Harvard or Princeton, but for crying out loud, is it too much to expect that at a Graduate level, that I get a quality education, that professor are aware of this,that they come prepared and challenge us accordingly? My last semester was such a great experience, that my desire to be at school and be open minded this semester has been challenging.

The Daily 49er recently published this article and I agree with the main point, and have felt that way about high school, junior college and University professors alike. My hubby is a high school administrator and it kills me to see the thick folders of staff that have  numerous write-ups and cant be fired because the power the Unions wield. SICK! I wish there were more stringent evaluations and feedback to which the student body can have a stronger voice in which to keep a teacher or demand a better experience.

Speaking of evals, a topic of discussion in my Thursday night class is that students cant wait to write the professors evals in a few weeks.  I truly wish I could just set up an meeting and be very frank with her about how dissatisfied, frustrated and disappointed many classmates are about this class. Part of me thinks she deserves to know and part of me just thinks in the grand scheme of things, it wont do a damn bit of good. I just need to put my head down and get through this semester. Plus, you never know if then the Prof takes it out in your grade…. and my GPA is not worth risking.

I guess I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening. 8 weeks left, 8 weeks. I can do it!

“Summer Lovin’-Havin’ a Blast”

So can you believe that it’s  AUGUST!  Summer has-in typical fashion-flown by. I won’t bore you with the details of the first 8 weeks. (Hint-it pays the bills), BUT, these last two weeks my hubby and I went to Cancun for 2 weeks, and we have looked forward to the trip since school let out. So this post is just a few pics of our trip in a nutshell: Snorkeling with migrating whale sharks, swimming in fresh water, ancient cenotes (say-note-tayes) (this one was over million years old and over 150 deep), learning about Mayan culture and seeing the Chichan Itza ruins (one of the 7 wonders of the world), chillin in the pool at one of the all inclusive’s we stayed at, snorkeling with loggerhead turtles( he was huge!)

It was hard to come back to reality. Lets hope all this work in school rewards with a career that may allow for many more   trips to see my turtle again!

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day!!

Hats off to my amazing mom, my wonderful mother in law, and all the woman who help raise children!

March Madness

I recognize this is a little late, but hey, better late than never, right!!!!

Oh, James Naismith………sometimes I want to congratulate you on the invention on basketball. Other times, I could kill you for creating a game that steals the hearts and minds of so many during March. This year, you are in my favor, as both SDSU and CSULB were in the Sweet Sixteen. Sadly, they both lost in the first round and dashed my hopes of sporting glory.

Sitting in the Nugget Grill and watching the game ( and attempting to write a paper) will be a great memory. I snapped some pics with my camera phone of the crowds that day.

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CSULB had a bunch of local news outlets reporting from campus. It was cool to see the students on the news. The energy was infectious!  Big props for getting noticed and acknowledged for having the coolest uniforms in the NCAA, according to a ESPN sportswriter.

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Also, since I am a SDSU alumni, check out this SICK video by their student section and Tim Shelton….Shot at SDSU, if this doesn’t have you BELIEVING, nothing will. Aztecs 4 Life!