Exhausted

Last night, we decided to opt out of going to the gym, and just stay home. Yes, I probably should have gone to the gym and least got a little something in, because with working full-time, our schedules in the evenings, and grad school I do not attend the gym enough. I was feeling super hormonal. My period is supposed to start tomorrow, we’ll see. I am hoping it starts, just so I can get back to normal.
When we got home, I got a shower. I was not the least bit hungry. Nancy and I had Chinese for lunch all I had was a huge order of vegetable fried rice. I ate every bite and fully enjoyed myself.
When I got out of the shower, I put on a pair of Drew’s old sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt, socks, and laid down on the bed. I waited for him to get out of the shower, so we can go downstairs and watch the Pitt game. I was so lazy and so tired.
When we went downstairs,  we laid on the floor and I made it through the first half. The second half, I fell asleep. I slept through the whole second half. Drew made dinner and lunches for us for tomorrow. I didn’t even wake up.
When I did wake up, it was 9:30pm. I told Drew I was going to go up to go to bed. He laughed and said that he would see me up there. I went upstairs brushed my teeth, and laid down. Drew finally came to bed around 11pm. I was so tired. I don’t know why. It has been stressful at work, with all the changes in the schedule. I am trying to manage personalities in the mean time, and I am so nervous about this paper for grad school. I just needed to sleep and I feel like I could sleep more tomorrow. I will see what happens tomorrow.

First MidTerm of Grad School

Yesterday, I took my first midterm of my Grad School career. This is probably the only class where I will have a standardized test where there is multiple choice and an essay. The other classes, we will be responsible for writing papers, and graded on our analysis. The test that I took last night was open book, open notes, open homework, etc. We were not allowed to have any devices out that could connect to WiFi, etc. I went out at lunch to pick up a little pocket calculator. I felt good all day and was optimistic about this all day.
When I walked into the classroom, I got my notes out, and put my phone away. I took out two mechanical pencils, thinking it might be scan-tron, and blue book. I was ready, or so I thought.
When the TA arrived, she passed out the exam. She said, good luck to everyone, as she passed out the exam. I smiled and wrote my name at the top of the exam. I flipped open the first page, and there it was the first question. Which of these answers is a limitation of the Scientific Method? I reviewed the answers, but I thought wait a min. I know the limits, and none of these look like the correct answer. I referred to my notes. The limits that I have didn’t match up with any of the answer choices. Okay, so maybe this question isn’t ideal, just make a guess and move on. Well as I am sifting through the questions, they are all worded as so it is almost difficult to answer them, regarding our notes, power points, and even the book. I was over it. I tried my best.
When I got to the math section, I calculated the Z score, like I practiced on my homework, etc. I answered what I thought was correct. The last part of the test, was the essay questions.  I made sure I was thorough in explaining the pros and cons of Probability Sampling vs. Non Probability sampling. I made sure I over wrote things. I even had to squeeze to get room at the bottom. I figured more than enough is better, than not enough. I turned in the exam, and hoped for the best. The final is online, and not timed, so hopefully that will be better. I do well on the homework and moving forward there are still opportunities left to redeem myself, if I didn’t do well on the test. I am hoping for B or better in this class.
When I walked out of the class room, I saw Eric my friend from the second class. I sat next to him and another class mate in the hallway. He said, how was that class? I said, we just took a midterm. I feel like the questions were impossible to answer, even with our notes. When another girl approached us from my 1st class, who also took the midterm. She and I discussed the questions. I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. She said, now we have to get through this first paper for this class, which is our second class. I agreed with her. This paper was going to be a beast. I need a B in this class. It would be nice to get an A, but probably not going to happen. A B would be amazing!
When it was time for class to start, we took our seats and I always sit in the back left corner, I am in the same room for the first class and I just sit in the same seat, well every class this one guy, Tim sits next to me every week.  Tim, Eric, and myself were in a group for our presentations on an accreditation. Ever since that week, Eric and I have become friends, but Tim hangs around and sits next to me all the time. It is creeping me out a bit, so Eric told me to sit next to him this class. I put my stuff in the seat next to him and got ready for class to start. Tim looked around and saw me next to Eric. He looked semi offended. I know it’s petty.
Throughout class, Eric and I sitting next to each other was a huge mistake. We are like the mean girls of class. We cut up throughout the class. I think Max could tell we were chatting here and there. I am semi disappointed in myself, like this is grad school I should know better. I may not sit next to him next time. I paid attention in class for the most part. He went over the readings for the week, and asked us some probing questions to get us thinking more critically about the readings, and I participated when necessary so I was trying to show that I was on point. My brain was so over it from the midterm prior.
After the discussion, we had to partner up and work on a group discussion about a case study and talk about which of these models does this study closely identify with, who has the most power? and how change is enacted. Eric and I worked with Rachel another girl who was sitting close by us. We discussed a plan and the different models. I took notes, then we discussed it in class.
After the case study, we had three 10-min presentations to get through then it was Spring break. I was ready. However, I will be working on paper every chance I get. I am nervous about it, but it’s time to just get it done and see what happens. I give my oral presentation on April 23 and we have another paper due that same day, plus participation. I should make it out alive, we’ll see.

Chiro, Shopping, Church, Snow

This morning, we woke up around 7:30am and got ready to go to the chiropractor. We had to leave the house in an hour. Drew is not a morning person and was kind of out of it. I was ready to go and start the day. We are different in that respect. We took two separate cars to the Chiro, and after we got adjusted I was going to go to my parents and spend the day with them. I wasn’t sure what Drew was going to do.
When we arrived at the Chiro, we walked in with Dr. Bailey, who just arrived when we did. We talked about getting over the flu and he said, the flu can really damage your joints, so I know you are definitely out of alignment. I definitely was. I was not looking forward to his adjustment.
After we got adjusted we made our appointment for the same time, but two weeks from now. I was going to need it again I am sure. After we left, I kissed Drew goodbye and got in my car. I drove to my parents in Crafton. I couldn’t wait to see my dogs. When I arrived at my parents, I was able to snuggle my dogs and kiss them. I missed them so much. We hung out for a bit, then went to get breakfast at Hanlon’s.
When we arrived at Hanlon’s we ran into Helena and Vince, my cousins and Lisa and Jim; my mom’s friend’s daughter and husband. In two weeks, my mom and I are attending Lisa’s shower and I am not looking forward to it. Showers are boring when they are not your own. I hugged Helena and Vince. Then I hugged Lisa and Jim. Lisa and I talked about her shower and her wedding. She said that she is so excited. Jim asked me if I was excited about England? I said, yes, I am so excited! I have no clue where we are staying and what our itinerary is, but I am so excited to go and experience it. I asked Lisa, about her honeymoon and where they are going? She said, “We are going to Vegas. We don’t want to travel out of the country right now.” I laughed inside, and I tried to control my reaction. I said, “Oh okay, well to each their own.” Then she kind of dismissed me and said, “I will see you in a couple weeks.” I smiled and sat down in the booth with my parents.
When I sat in the booth, I rolled my eyes and my mom saw and mouthed, “What?” I said, “passive aggressive comments, like oh we don’t want to go to out of the country. it’s not a good idea now, so we are going to Vegas. knowing well enough I am getting ready to go to England. How socially awkward she is.” My mom thinks I am sensitive, but I am right. Something you shouldn’t say to someone, who is going out of town in two months. My mom sort of agrees after I explain it, but it wouldn’t be a shock if she disagreed.
After we finished at breakfast, we went home to get the dogs ready to go to the groomers. I sat in the backseat of the car with them on the way to the groomers. We dropped them off, and then went on our way to Robinson. We stopped at Dressbarn. I didn’t find anything, but my mom found jeans and a top. I was happy for her.
We went to the mall and stopped in at American Eagle and I tried on two pairs of High Rise jeans with the help of Kyle, our fabulous sales associate. He helped me with my jeans and I, in turn, started talking about my friend Anthony and how they should meet. Kyle has never heard of the Blue Moon in Lawrenceville, so I was glad to hear that he wasn’t tainted. Kyle is just like Anthony with his attitude and his sayings. I managed to get them to talk, via text. I added Kyle on Facebook and showed him pictures of Anthony and he thought he was cute.
When we left, Kyle and I messaged back and forth about Anthony and that if they wanted to hang out, then great and if not, then no pressure Kyle and I could still be friends. Kyle was cool with it and Anthony seemed cool with it too, so I helped them exchange numbers and it seems they texted all day and into the evening from what I heard.
After the mall, we went to the groomers to pick up the pups. They looked so good. I love how they look when they first come back from the groomers. I sat in the backseat with them on the way back to Crafton. The roads were starting to get sick and I wondered if I should just have my mom and dad drop me off at home. I wasn’t sure what the best thing to do was, but I needed to get on the road.
When we got back to my parents, I said goodbye to them and the dogs. I drove to Greentree and looked at the time I had 15 mins until 4pm. I thought well maybe I will go to 4pm mass. I drove to Saint Simon and Jude, parked, and got out of the car. I walked inside and took a seat at the third pew. I had such a spiritual experience here last year and I want to get back to that feeling make it last. I was so close with my faith last year and revisiting my faith as an adult has been so different.
When mass started, I stood up and noticed a particular priest was presiding the mass. I was a little excited for all the wrong reasons. He and I had a few moments of flirtation, last year while my dad was becoming a Catholic. He was easy on the eyes, but he was a priest and most importantly I am a married woman!
When he was up at the altar preparing the Eucharist, he noticed me and his eyes went up some in surprise, but he had to stay in the moment. It was nice to be acknowledged. After mass he said the sin bin is now open, I will be back in the confessional after mass today. I went to confession. I swear I did go for the right reasons. I was due. I went inside the confessional and knelt down at first, and he said: “Wow it is nice to see you again.” I said, “same here Father.” He said, “What are you sorry for?” I looked down and raised my eyebrows some if he only knew. I said, “Well I haven’t been able to attend church as much as I should be, and I am in grad school and that takes up a huge chunk of my time. He nodded his head and congratulated me in grad school. He encouraged me to make time for prayer and maybe write in a journal, how did Jesus love me today?

Throughout the confession, he provided me with guidance on homosexuality in the Catholic faith, because I told him about my friend Anthony that I am very close with, and he said that he wants me to make sure my friendships are not above my marriage, and that is my job to get my husband to heaven. I was floored and never thought of it like that. He asked me if I would want to share my experiences with newly engaged couples, who are looking to get married within the Catholic faith. I was excited and thought that I would definitely want to do that, but when am I going to have the time now?
After the confession, he gave me my penance, which was to go home and give my husband a big hug and tell him I love him. I was surprised. I typically have to say quite a few prayers for penance. He absolved me from my sins and told me to not be a stranger and how great it was to see me. I feel better so much better and so determined to be the best version of myself.
On the way home, I called Andrew and I told him about my day, and he had just woke up. He was not feeling well all day. I felt bad, but he really needed to just take the day. I asked him about what the priest said, about sharing our story of marriage, and giving advice.  He was excited about it, but asked me when we were going to have time for that? I agreed with him. It may not be something we can take on, until after grad school. He supports me being involved in my faith and for that I am glad.
When I got off the phone with him, I stopped at WalMart and got his shampoo, and a cute St. Patrick’s day skirt, that lights up and two hair bows for when we guest bartend at the Cafe on St. Patrick’s day. I need to amp up my gear for St. Patrick’s day. I already have wings and beads. Drew has a t-shirt and a bow tie. We should be good, but we will see. Then, I picked up Chinese food take out for us, and then it was finally homebound.
When I walked in the door, Drew walked over to me and gave me a big hug, and my penance was finished. I was so happy to see him. He looked like he was better, but I felt bad that he was out of it. We ate dinner, and he helped me bring stuff in the house. I got a shower, then we watched Smallville together. I am trying to get him into it. I think it is working. We have 10 seasons to watch. It was a long show!

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Today is Ash Wednesday and Valentine Day. It is a tough day because some Catholics give up Chocolate for Lent and today marks the beginning of Lent. I went to church with my supervisor at 12:00pm. We walked to St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oakland. They were going to have a full mass and ashes. I was glad to have someone to go with. At church, I thanked God for my gifts, my talents, abilities, and opportunities. I have so much to be grateful for. I thought about things I want to change within myself.
In the gospel today, the phrase about never letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing came up. I swear no matter how I try I don’t understand that phrase. I don’t talk to my hands, and I doubt the other knows what the other is doing. I know it is symbolic and not meant to be taken literally, but some things never change from when you are a child. You always read into things, and I guess I just never stopped taking things literally.
After church, we walked back to Posvar. Outside of the church, students had a cardboard cut out that said, “Take a Picture with your Ashes for AshTag Wednesday.” I wanted to do it, but Phyllis didn’t seem too receptive to it, so I didn’t. I think it’s cool that young people are trying to find ways to get involved and make the faith something fun and something they can believe in.

When I arrived back to Posvar, I was able to do a few requests, then I had to head to my OMET training in the Alumni Hall at 2pm. I was all over the place this week. The OMETs are going to be opted out differently this year. We have to use a new tool to do it, and the administrators who have a lot of classes like Biology are not liking this new tool, but it works for me in Sociology and in STATs. The spreadsheet model worked as well because we only have a few classes that do not get surveyed. I thought I could just have the hand out e-mailed to me and I would be good, but that is not how it works.
When I got back to my office, I did a few more requests before my meeting with Melanie. When Melanie came into my office, we talked about applicants and how this is the calm before the storm. I really was enjoying it, but I know it wasn’t going to last. I had to draft up a reject letter or find one on the Z drive, and send it to her for confirmation. All the things I could do. In the back of my mind, I was wondering where in the world are my flowers! Drew has been so good with sending me flowers on Valentine’s Day. Every job I have ever had (I realize how bad that sounds) he has always sent me flowers.

Well, my flowers came at exactly 4:45pm.

Grad Committee & Pitt Game

Grad Committee & Pitt Game

Today, I had my one-on-one with Phyllis. I didn’t really have anything for her, but I told her what I was working on, and my documentation. I told her about my one-on-one with Linda, and how she liked my documentation. We talked about self-appraisal reviews that are coming up. They are due in May, but to start thinking about how I am going to answer, some of the questions that are on the appraisal. I need to make a list of the workshops I attended, etc.
In the afternoon, I had my meeting with the Grad Committee. Sometimes they take forever in the meeting. I am to take notes and document the meeting. One of the items on the agenda was how to keep track of our alumni. I wanted to interject, but I didn’t know i was supposed to play the role of the silent observer, so I raised my hand formally and offered a suggestion to their alumni tracking issue. I proposed the use of the software Advance. I was already pretty lucky to have gained access to Cognos. Now didn’t have to fill out a data request form anymore and can generate the data ourselves. I explained what advance is, and how CMU and Pitt’s IA department use to keep track of alumni donations, and how we as a department can use it to track alumni, and eventually develop our alumni campaign if we are able to solicit for donations or not is another discussion. They all were really receptive to it, even the one I didn’t think would be, was and Melanie told me to look into it and get back to her. I was so excited and so ready to go on this project.
My experiences with talking to Alumni have been so positive, and so fun. I loved it when I used to call the alumni at RMU. Even though my main goal was to get a donation for the Presidents Fund for Engaged Learning, but still I was able to hear their stories and connect with them. I wanted this project. I wanted them to get Advance.
Another reason, I want to learn Advance, is because it is a widely known tool in Higher Education. If you know how to use it, you are more marketable within any University position, between that and Cognos. I am golden. I am sure there is more, but that is the only two I can think of now. I couldn’t wait to get started.
After the grad committee meeting, I went back to my desk and did some work before meeting with Ellen. Ellen is a grad student in the sociology department. We were going to go grab a beer at Fuel and Fuddle, then I had plans to go to the Pitt Game. After I locked up the office, Ellen and I walked over to Fuel and Fuddle and it was a bit packed at the bar, so we sat at a table. We chatted about the department, about sociology, about her dissertation. It is awkward to build a friendship from the start because you are so new, you almost don’t know what to talk about. I think we did a good job and avoided awkward silence. We shared a tomato and basil pizza. We both had one beer, then we went back to Posvar.
When we arrived back to Posvar, I had every intention of studying for my midterm until Drew was ready to go the game, but then I went to the Porch and had another beer with Mark. We talked about England and about the Sociology Department after a while Drew texted me and told me to meet him in Hogwarts (which is the first floor of the cathedral of learning).
When I finished my beer, Mark paid for it. I felt bad. I offered to, but he didn’t mind. I left to go meet Drew. Once I saw him I knew it was a long day for him. He has been so busy at work. We walked to the car so he could drop his things off at the car, then we took the shuttle to the Pete. I was excited for the game. This was probably going to be the last home basketball game we go to this season.
When we arrived to the Pete, we went up the escalator, and showed the guy our tickets, he read them, and said, “Wow lower right-hand corner. You must know someone.” I smiled and said, “yeah, I like to think I do. thank you.” I truly had no clue where our tickets were. I think Drew had a good idea but wasn’t sure. We walked down the walkway to our section. We then had to go down some stairs. The attendant looked at our tickets and said, all the way down on the right-hand side. We walked down the stairs, and I looked back at Drew. his face was all lit up like a child. It was so cute. We walked down the stairs, we were practically on the court. The players were right in front of us, and the faculty suite was right next to us on our left-hand side.

This was going to be a once in a lifetime experience probably to sit this close. We saw the one professor that I work within the faculty suite. We said hi to him and his wife. I introduced Drew to Mike, my contact in athletics, who got us such great seats! I was hoping for a Pitt win.

I really wanted them to win. The first half they looked so good and they were on point. However, things turned around in the second half, and the Pitt Panthers fell to Boston College. They play again on Saturday against FSU. The best we can hope for is a win, but no one is really optimistic about the Panthers. It is sad to see, but I still consider myself a Panther fan. Throughout the game, Mike came to talk to us. He brought us goodies. He gave Drew and me t-shirts. I was touched and so grateful.

Monroeville

Today we had to go to Monroeville to see my cousins. This was supposed to be our Christmas celebration. Drew and I spent Christmas Eve alone this year and Christmas Day with our families, at his parents. Our traditions have changed a bit, so we don’t get to see my cousins on Christmas Day anymore. It is different, but it is what it is.
When it comes to going to Monroeville, the drive out there is semi-long for Drew and I living in Moon Township, so that is annoying, it is not such a nice area, and it’s a huge chunk of time spent out there when we visit my cousins. It’s not that I don’t like seeing them. I would prefer to see them at my parents or have them come to my house, but Katie is getting older and it is harder for her to get around anymore. I get it.
On the other hand, Drew hates going to Monroeville. He would much rather not go, but he attends because it is important to me. When we arrived, my parents were already there. We walked in, and Angie immediately wrapped her arms around me and hugged me. I smiled and said, “hey.” I hugged Angie. I did notice that she is dressing differently these days. She is less girly and more tomboyish, and almost like a boy. Her hair is cut short, and she wears jeans and flannel along with a knitted hat. I don’t know why. She looked so cute when she was dressed all girly. What happened? Angie had a friend over Asia. We met her before. She said some really disturbing things about her home life, the last time I met her, and I was shocked at what I was hearing.

Well, Dorcas, went to get the pizza. Drew and my dad went into the living room and my dad was watching basketball. Angie and her friend were running around, laughing and screaming.

Finally, Dorcas arrived with pizza. She said they didn’t have it ready when she arrived she had to wait for it. At one point Mackenzie, came downstairs to grace us with her presence. She was in bed sleeping! How could you sleep through this? Plus two dogs are jumping around.  It was madness. We ate pizza and I was just trying to be surface level with Angie. I didn’t want her hanging on me. I wanted her to know that I was not having it anymore, so I kind of ignored her a bit, and only talked to her, when she addressed me. I was not in a good mood.

After we ate, I noticed that Angie and her little friend were in the living room, so I went into the living room see them. I didn’t want to be mean to her. I just don’t want to be hung all over. I don’t want her thinking that is okay. I sat on the couch with her and she came over to talk to me.
When we finally left, I talked to Drew about it and he was like I think you handled that well and you are going to be a great mom. I said, don’t ask me how I did it. I was floored, but then again, I did kind of call this years ago. . When we got back to Moon, we did some grocery shopping, then it was home to relax with what was left of our evening.

Cognos

This morning, I had a busy day ahead of me, and we decided to drive in so I could get there a few minutes earlier. I ended up being a little late walking into my office. Thankfully no one noticed. I was hoping for a better day today.
Yesterday afternoon, I got an e-mail from Rooms and Scheduling because they didn’t have enough rooms to accommodate our Tuesday and Thursday class schedule. I was upset, because Nancy isn’t here to help me figure out these changes, and I haven’t been trained really how to build the schedule, so I went where I thought I would find the answers. I still had some things to iron out.
Around 10 am, I had to attend training for Cognos, a new tool the grad admins are going to utilize for pulling data regarding student information, scheduling, enrollments, etc. It is the same tool Drew uses, but he has different access and uses it for different things. The man who hosted the training is someone I met previously through Drew his name is Chris. He recognized me. It was cool that I pretty much knew the person training us, because of my husband. I felt popular for a split second.
After training, I went back to my office and met with Suzanne (the chair) regarding the schedule. We were able to figure out things for now. We still have some more details to attend to, but it was intense for a minute. I was thankful that I got everything straight when I spoke to Rooms and Scheduling and forwarded the changes onto them. It will be so interesting to see the proofs.
After the meeting with Suzanne, the afternoon flew by. I was doing last minute things until Mark and I left to go to the Porch. We were going to meet Drew there to discuss our England trip. Once we got to the Porch, Mark and I sat at the bar and waited for Drew. We ordered a couple beers, and then Drew arrived shortly after. We moved to a table and discussed England, Academics, Philosophy, Sociology, England politics, etc. Everything nothing was off limits.
When we left, it was around 9:30pm. Drew and I stopped off at Wendy’s on the way home. We didn’t eat at the Porch. Mark wasn’t ordering any food, so we didn’t want to eat in front of him, and talk. It just was weird. I decided to call my mother-in-law. I wanted to get an update on Grandma. She had some internal bleeding and had to be rushed back into the OR. She is now resting in ICU, but I am just wondering when is enough, enough for this poor woman.