Sunday

This morning I got up at 8:30am, got showered, and ready to go to Barre class at my instructor’s dance studio in Ambridge. We were to be there at 9:30am. When I arrived it was 9:15am, I sat in the car out front of the studio. 9:15am turned into 9:45am, and still, she wasn’t there. I just decided to head back home. I was bummed. I was looking forward to going to barre.
When I arrived back home, I got changed and kissed Drew. He was going to the gym, and I didn’t feel like working out if it wasn’t going to be barre class. I went to my parents to see my dogs.
When I arrived at my parents, I brushed Paris and Louie’s teeth. Then we got ready to go to breakfast. We went to Hanlon’s Cafe. For some reason, I was so hungry. I ordered the Handful; 2 pancakes, eggs, and hash browns.  I ate most of it. My parents and I sat around and drank a few more cups of coffee before it was time to go back home.
When we arrived back home, I kissed my dogs and got my keys. I said, goodbye to my parents and then I got in the car and drove home. I thought Drew was going to be there when I arrived home, but he wasn’t. He was still at the gym. I got changed again, and put another load of wash in the washer, and watched another episode of the Handmaid’s Tale.
When Drew came home, we kissed and brought up the towels that were in the dryer. I fell asleep on the couch, while he watched hockey. I was in and out of sleep. When I woke up from my nap, I checked my phone and I received an e-mail from my professor, the one who teaches Research Methodology. In the e-mail. she said that she is going to record my grade as a B. I saw that and was so happy. I told Drew about my grade and he was so proud of me. I was so satisfied with my first semester of grad school.
When I woke up, we made dinner. It was another night of fish, but it was so yummy. Drew finds all these different flavors. We are on a fish kick. After dinner, we watched Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. We didn’t get to finish the episode during the week. We got too tired. There was another episode on after this, but we were getting sleepy, so we called it quits after we finished the first episode.

Restful Weekend

This morning, I stayed back, while Drew went to the Chiropractor. I watched the Handmaid’s Tale. Season 2 started this past week. I am hoping it is going to be a good season. I got up and got ready for Drew to come home. When he got back, we were going to go to Eat n Park for breakfast, and then to Beaver Valley to see about my ring.

When we arrived at Eat n’ Park, we ate breakfast. He had an omelette and I had a breakfast sandwich. I only ate half of it, and took the other half with us. After we left Eat n Park, we made our way to Beaver Valley Mall. I was excited to hear about my grandma’s wedding ring. I wasn’t sure what the jeweler was going to say about it.
When we arrived at the mall, we typically would walk in through Macy’s, but Macy’s is closed, along with mostly everything else in that mall. It is sad. I don’t see it lasting much longer. When we walked into King’s Jewelry, Mike was happy to see us. We talked about new things in life, before getting down to jewelry.
After I gave him my grandma’s ring, he told me that it is definitely platinum, it doesn’t need to be mounted, and is in good shape for how old it is. He sized my finger. We asked how much it would cost to get it sized? He said, for a normal couple $100.00, but for you guys, 83.00. I said, “okay, well we are going to have to wait until we get back from England.” I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to pay for this now, and Drew agreed. Mike and a few of his co-workers talked to us about England, and asked us about our trip. Meanwhile, my rings were being soaked in the cleaner. They were so dirty.
When we finally left the jewelry store, and I had my rings back on my finger. We went to Bath and Body works and I got some soaps and scent things for my house. Drew was going to the gym and do some grocery shopping. I was going to go home and do some cleaning and organizing, as well as some laundry. It feels weird not to have homework to do.
When we arrived at home, Drew got the bin of summer and warmer weather clothes from the garage, and I started to put away some of the thick sweaters. I am always early to get this done, but it supposed to get warmer soon, and I want to be ready, and I know I am not going to be wearing some of this stuff anymore, due to the weather getting warmer, so lets just get it put away, before it is more to do later.
When Drew came back from the gym, and the grocery store. We made fish for dinner. It was nice to have a nice cooked meal. Tonight, we watched the Office and relaxed. It was a nice day.

Last Day of Grad School for the Semester

This morning, I woke up ready for whatever was going to go down. Today is the last day of the Spring semester. My first semester of grad school is behind me.  I am so glad that it is over. It was a rough and rude awakening into academia again. I haven’t really studied the trends in Education since my associate’s degree. I received my associates in Teacher Education. My bachelor of arts is in English Studies. I didn’t want to continue on with Education anymore, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach, but if I did want to, all I would have to do is get certified and take the Praxis I and II.  Now I am back to studying education. Well not just education in general, but higher education.
When I arrived at my building, I printed out my article for my oral presentation. I had to give a 10-min talk on campus shootings. We signed up for our topics on the first day of class and lucky me. I get to present on the last day of class. Way to end the class on a good note, talking about campus shootings. Luckily, I did most of my presentation earlier in the semester, but I still had some loose ends to tie up, which I did last night. I wasn’t sure about it.
When it was time to go up to class, I had a thought going up the escalators. My first semester of grad school is almost over. I was losing steam, but I wanted to finish strong, as strong as I could. I was ready, but I thought I hoped I savored it enough and really it took it in enough. When I arrived at the classroom, there was a group of people talking about the final exam review, and asking if  I completed it. Yes, I did. We had a review today.
The review session wasn’t bad. I knew more than I thought. She said the review session and the power points should be able to get us through the exam. I am a horrible test taker, so any advice is welcomed advice. For the review session, we went around the room and we each answered a question. The professor elaborated where she needed to, and if she didn’t she just let us continue on. Our answers were from the powerpoint, its not like we pulled this information from our heads. We are able to use our notes on the final, and the internet, so we will see.
After the review, we had the Higher Education Administration class, I turned in my second paper.  I was over it. In class, we had an activity in groups to discuss the readings and the podcast that we had to do for today. I just laughed. There is no way I read with all that was due today. It was not happening. We talked about the disadvantages of low SES students in higher education, and what can be done to help them.
When we arrived back to the classroom, and there was candy at every seat. Max treated us to candy for our last night of classes. After the candy, and discussion of what we discussed with our groups, it was time to prepare for my oral presentation. There were three of us presenting tonight. I only thought here goes nothing. The guy before me talked about campus carry, and what states/universities have that policy where professors, staff, and students, can open carry.  Then, it was my turn, I got up and got up in front of the classroom and gave my presentation. I read from the script that I had prepared. I didn’t memorize, didn’t have time, and part of me didn’t care.
After my presentation, he said goodbye to us and how he had a great time this semester and looks forward to seeing us again in the fall. I was out of there quicker, than a bat out of hell. I went downstairs to the parking garage and waited for Drew to come to get me. When he arrived,  I got in the car, kissed him, and he asked about my last night of class. he said that he was proud of me. All that stood in my way is the final on Wednesday for methodology.

Nails & Mother-in-Law’s Birthday

This morning, I got up at 10am, got a shower, and had some coffee. I made us pancakes for breakfast, and I watched some episodes of Reign. I am almost finished with Season 4. I will miss this show. Drew got ready to go to the gym, and I got ready to go to my parents in Crafton.
When I arrived at my parents, I noticed there was an unfamiliar car parked next to my dad. I wondered who is here, and they didn’t tell me that anyone was coming. When I walked inside my parent’s house, my dogs greeted me at the door. I bent down to pet them. I walked past them and into the living room. I was curious to see who was there.
When I entered the living room, I looked over to the couch and saw my cousin Bing. I thought oh great, he is going to sing, or he has already sung. It is coming. I kissed my parents, and then sat down on the floor and listened to the older generation talk. This is pretty much my life. I was an only child, so I heard lots of adult talk and Bing didn’t really seem too interested in talking to me, just parents, so I picked up one of my dogs and just snuggled one of them on my lap.
All of a sudden, Bing burst out into song. I looked down at Louie, my dog, who was laying in my lap. His head was turning to the side, and wondering what is all that noise. I tried to keep from laughing. I knew it was only a matter of time. I texted Drew. I said, Bing is here, and he is singing. Drew said, Of course. I had to hold back some laughter. Now you may think I am mean, but it is like the Johnny Angel and the Halos type music. If you aren’t from Pittsburgh and don’t know who Johnny Angel and the Halos are, then think of it as old jazz music, or like “old-timey” 50s music. Not something that I listen to really.
Around 15 mins to 2pm, I kissed my parents and my dog’s goodbye. I had a nail appointment to attend. I drove to the nail salon, and Leanne packed up her nail stuff so we could go to her house. She had enough of the salon and was getting annoyed with the people there. On the way to Leanne’s, my car notified me that there was low tire pressure in the front right wheel.
When we arrived at Leanne and Dan’s, we went inside and she got to work on my nails. Dan came home with Maci, who I was so happy to see! She gave a hug and a kiss. I love her. Dan is a mechanic and has done work for us before on my old car. He put air in my tire and told me that after I drive it, the sensor should go off and I should be good. He handed me a beer, a miller 64. I couldn’t turn it down.

After my nails were done, I drove home to Moon. I had to meet Drew at the house, we were going to get in his car and go to Beaver Valley Mall, so the jeweler could look at my grandma’s ring. It is too small and is going to need more platinum added to it. The ring is starting to get thin. it is 81 years old. I love it! I feel so honored to have it. I wear it pretty much every day.

On my way to Moon, the tire pressure notification was still on and I was really losing air rapidly. When I got home, I kissed Drew, changed, and then we were out the door. We decided last minute to take my car to NTB. We took separate cars. He drove mine and I drove his car.

We took his car to the mall, to look at the luggage for our trip. We needed one more suitcase, he and I both. We needed a bigger one. We found a 30″ at JCPenney’s and it was on sale. We both got one, and then we got the call from NTB. They said I had a small hole the size of a pin. They were able to patch it up until I would need a new tire. I was happy it was fixable, that costs $30.00.
After the mall, we drove to NTB, since they were going to close at 7pm. We picked up my car and took it back home. We then got in his car and went to the store to get a card and a gift card. We were going to meet his parents and his brother at the cafe, in Aliquippa. Well when we arrived, it turns out that Tommy wasn’t there only his mom and dad, which was okay. We talked about everything vegetarianism, LGBT, my ring, my parents, our England trip, their Arizona trip, grandma and we gave them their birthday cards. Andrew’s dad’s birthday was last month. I had grilled cheese with tomato and fries for dinner, and Drew had a burger.
After dinner, they picked up something to take home to Tommy. They kissed us goodbye and then they left. I was tired and ready to go home. I had enough for the day. I really did. I was over it. I got my corrections from my tutor via e-mail. Tomorrow is going to be a long day of homework.

Workshop With Nicollete

This morning, I had a workshop to attend with Nicolette. It was one of the Professional Development workshops. We walked to Craig Hall together and talked about everything that is going on in our lives.

When we arrived at the workshop, we sat next to each other at a table. I said, “Memories. This is where we first met.” She laughed and I did too. We looked through the power point and saw some snapshots of random pictures at the table. A woman sat down next to me. Her name was Emily. She was the admin in CSSD, where Andrew works. 🙂 She and I said, hi to each other.

The first assignment of the workshop was to pick a picture from the table, hold it up for our table members to see and tell a little bit about ourselves, and why we chose this picture. I held up the picture of the Vegas strip. I introduced myself and then said, “I chose this picture because Andrew and I are going to do some traveling next month to Europe, but Britney Spears just finished her Vegas residency, and this is a picture of the Vegas strip.” They all laughed. I am so obsessed with Britney.

The point of that exercise is that people are going to associate you with the picture you chose. I am perfectly fine with being associated with Britney Spears, this doesn’t bother me at all.

At one point in the workshop, The presenter said, it is important to not lose your personality for a position in a company. You don’t want to have to compromise, who you are. I can’t remember the exact wording, but I thought about my bubbly personality. Could I be more professional? Yes, everyone can be. However, my bubbly personality is part of who I am. It is not a bad thing, it is just who I am. In the beginning, I was constantly told to be less bubbly, and more professional. I don’t think bubbly is not professional. Perhaps, I just need to be more professional, but that doesn’t mean losing myself, and my personality. Maybe carving it? But, I have been more successful as of late with professionalism, but this is my first real position at the University of Pittsburgh. However, the presenter did make me think about things.

After the presentation, the professor caught me in the hallway waiting for Nicollette. She said she didn’t mean to call me out in the presentation. (I talked to her during the break about my personality). I said, “no, you didn’t.” She said, ”That is a shame though that you feel as though you can’t always be yourself. Do you think that maybe you need to look elsewhere, so you are more fulfilled.”  I said, “see that is the thing. I chose this position, because the other offer I had at Alumni Hall, is something I didn’t think I was ready for, and this position was going to give me a way into the University and be more my speed for now. Maybe I should have taken a risk, but would it have worked out? I don’t know.” I also told her that I am about the brand of the University of Pittsburgh. If you were to take the department I work in and put it in a different University, it would still run the same with a different brand. She nodded her head in agreement I told her that when it comes time for me to look elsewhere and apply for a different position in the University would she look at my cover letter? She said, she would definitely give me some feedback and things to consider.

When Nicollette and I walked out of the building, and back to our office. We talked about what the woman said, and I told Nicollette my thoughts and she agreed with me. It was just a matter of waiting for something to open up and then taking advantage of it, and see what happens. For now, I have a job and I am making money, and I refuse to lose my personality.

After the workshop, I met with Melanie about things coming up. It was a quick short meeting. I had to meet Suzanne and Nancy today to go over the schedule and probably cancel some classes. I knew it was going to be a long meeting. I got prepared as best as I could because I just found out about it.  We met in the chair’s office, and the meeting took until 3:30pm. It was a long meeting. I have some things to do in order to change the schedule, but Nancy said we will go over it tomorrow. I am not going to cancel classes yet, not until it is official. We are waiting to gauge the interest of some of our fellows first. After the meeting, I went back to my office and waited for 4:30pm to arrive so I could go home. I decided to not go to barre today. I just wanted to hang out.

Monday

This morning, I had a meeting with Phyllis. We went over everything that was coming up. I really didn’t have too much to discuss with her. We chatted about life and my review coming up. It was pretty easy. I was not looking forward to going to class tonight. Overall the day went well, I had a lot to accomplish and get finished. I succeeded with my work day, but then there was night class.

When I left the office, I went up to the classroom, which is only and escalator away. In my first class, we had a guest speaker teach us Qualitative Methods. I am not going to lie, I feel like I am good on qualitative methods. It was referenced so many times throughout the course, why do we need a whole day devoted to it?

After the first class, I went downstairs and got a bagel. I know I shouldn’t, but I was so hungry and I already had anything to hold me over for the long day. When I went back upstairs, people from my second class started pouring in and taking their seats. We had a guest speaker in this class as well. She was the VP of students in student affairs.

After she left, we had 2 people giving oral presentations. One did really well, the other kind of glossed over her topic and didn’t do so well. I felt bad for her, but it also petrified me. I have to do that this weekend. Mine is mostly finished, but I feel like there is still some more work I need to do. I give my presentation on Monday. The same day we turn in our second paper.

After class ended, I went downstairs to meet Drew. He was in the parking garage. When  I walked out into the parking garage he greeted me. My day was finally over. We had to stop and get gas, then it was home to bed!

Writing All Day

This morning I woke up, I felt so much better. I was no longer hung over and disgusting. I got dressed, and made some coffee. Then, I went upstairs and started on my second paper. I had no clue. I started to talk more about the institution, then I just dove into it head first. I was on a move, but then I realized I forgot somethings in my office, in a drunken haze, and hurry to get out of the office. I forgot to grab the materials for my paper.
When Drew got out of the shower, he offered to drive down to Oakland with me. On the way we stopped at Dunkin and got coffee. When we arrived to Oakland, parked, and entered my building. I unlocked the door to Sociology department, and it was pitch black. I used my phone as a flash light to find my way to my office. I unlocked the door, grabbed my things and then we left. I was going to be back there sooner, than I liked to think.
When we arrived back home, I finished my paper with 2 pages and a source left to go. I am so ready to just be done. I like it, but damn I am glad it’s almost over, the semester that is.
After I finished my paper for the night, we ate dinner, and I was able to relax with Drew until it was time to go to bed. I had a long day tomorrow. I was hoping to feel more confident about this paper eventually.

Lisa and Greg’s Wedding

This morning, I got up and got a shower, got dressed, and went to TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I needed to find shoes for this wedding today. I found a cute pair of light pink heels. They are Jessica Simpson brand, and they were only $30.00, sold. I bought them, and then went home to get ready for the wedding. Drew was home from the chiropractor by the time I got home. I told him he didn’t have to go to the ceremony, but he had to go to the reception. He said, deal. He was tired and worn out from last night and taking care of me. When I went upstairs, I got dressed for the wedding, and went to my parents to spend some time with them and see my dogs. I laid on the couch until it was time to go to the ceremony.

When we arrived at the church, it was nice to be in the same church where I got married. The ceremony was nice. The bride looked beautiful. I really hope they make it considering their history.

After the ceremony, we all went out front and blew bubbles for the bride and groom. At one point, Lisa’s veil was caught on the front steps, and it was pulling her back. her bridesmaids stepped to help. Celeste said, “oh it’s the veil, I made you wear.” Greg said, “See Celeste this the last time you are going to tell us to do something. We are going to tell you no.” Celeste looks back at me and my mom and then says to Greg, “You got that wrong!” My mom and I laughed.

After the ceremony, I went back to my parents, and I passed out on the couch. Drew was standing over me and woke me up. I didn’t even hear him come in. I sat up and looked around. I was so hung over, but feeling better. he and I left in my car to go to the cocktail hour. It was from 5pm-6pm. My parents were going to meet us there.
When we arrived at the cocktail hour, I introduced him to some people I know. There was a lot of cheek kissing and handshaking. I decided to have one beer for the sake of the cocktail hour. I was feeling so much better, but I was excited to go home and go to bed. I kept on noticing a familiar woman. She looked like the mother of a kid I went to grade school with. She and I kept making eye contact. Our tables were close to each other. She approached me and said, I thought that was you! She gave me a hug. I sad, “I thought the same thing!” She laughed. She said, “Oh my God, wait until Larry sees you. He is going to die.” I haven’t seen Larry since I was 14.
As dinner got underway, we ate our salad and mingled with people at our table. I turned to look behind me and I saw Larry sitting there with a boy. I smiled at him and waved. he smiled and waved. I got up and went over to the table. I hugged him and he hugged me back. His mom took a picture of us. She said, I know I have a picture of you two when you were little somewhere. You two will have to get together. I smiled and we both agreed. We were going to catch up after we ate. It is so weird how people come in and out of your life when you least expect it.

When we left the wedding, it was around 10pm. We were ready to go home. When we got home, we immediately went to bed.

Happy Hour

In the afternoon, a student stopped by my office and asked if Nancy was around? I said, yeah she is right next door. He went into her office and asked her if he could use one of our classrooms in the summer. He was from Poli Sci and needed a classroom to use. Nancy asked me to confirm if there were any classes there in the summer? I said, no we just booked up WWPH 2200. She said, would you mind taking him down and showing him the room, and seeing if it is something he would be interested in. I said, not at all. I shut my door and walked with him down to the hallway.

On the way to the classroom him, I asked him why he needed a room? he told me he needed it for a study he was conducting for three weeks in the summer, and how he is from Poli Sci, as he was talking, I noticed he had an accent. I asked him, where he was from? He said, France. I said, Awesome! I love France!  He said, Have you been? I said, no I am going there in May with my husband. We are combining France and England. I love French culture. He said, when did you fall in love with France? ugh, his accent and the way he worded that question. I was weak in the knees. I know I am married, but a girl can still get weak in the knees. I said, “Well I think I first fell in love with France, when I started studying the language and that was my freshman year of high school. He didn’t really say much. I opened the door to the room and we walked inside, he flipped on the lights and looked around. He said, “Yea, this would be perfect.”

When we walked out of the room, I told him how I named my dogs Paris and Louie, and he said, Americans and their dogs. I was instantly deflated. I didn’t know what more to say. I love my dogs. When we got back to my office, I gave him my card and told him to e-mail me the details of his room reservation and off he went.

After work today, I had to stay and help with the Comprehensive Examination Event. I help Nancy set up throughout the day. Around 5pm, she left to go home. I stayed behind and helped to clean up. I felt bad. I stuck her with clean up after the Capstone event. I was having one of those days, where nothing was going to be said right to me.

Towards the end of the event, I started cleaning up and putting things away. I wanted to get out of there, but I had to wait until everyone was finished. When I was washing dishes and putting away the snacks, my husband, Mark (professor), and another professor were standing in the kitchen talking to me. I told Mark about the French guy that I met, a real authentic French man. Andrew and mark teased me about the cute French guy. Mark said I thought you liked England? and English culture. I said, “oh don’t make me choose. I can’t choose. A girl can’t choose.” They all laughed, including my husband.

After I was finished, I locked up the department, finally done for the day. Mark, went out for drinks with Andrew and me to make sure we had everything good to go for our trip. We wanted to go somewhere we could sit outside, the only place we found was this bar called Garage door. I had never been there before, but it was jam-packed for the pen’s game. We walked to the back area, where there was a pool table and a few small TVs. Mark got us two pitchers of beer. We talked about the department, England, life, and human experience.

After we finished the two pitchers, we got another two pitchers. The beer was the Brackenridge Ale. It was a dark ale. Ugh, I should have stopped right there.
When we left, it was almost midnight. I had to stop at Posvar and get somethings from my office to write my paper over the weekend. I was dreading this paper. When we left, we said goodbye to Mark, and then it was home. When we got home, I got sick and threw up a few times. I shouldn’t drink again, ever. It was going to be along day tomorrow. I had a wedding to go to.

Workshop & Barre Class

This afternoon I had a work shop in Craig hall. I am working towards the admin professional’s certificate. The weather was nice outside, so I was anxious to get out for a bit and walk around. I listened to some music on my way to the workshop and I was kind of in my head a little bit today.

When I arrived to the workshop, I set my things down a table in front, and the workshop was about Time Management. I feel as though this workshop will confirm that I am on the right track. I do have good time management skills, but there is always more to learn.

At one point, she let us take a break, get some water, and use the restroom. The presenter and I talked about the certificate and I told her I was close to completing it. I asked her what the capstone portion was like. She said, oh it’s easy. We just invite you back, and we have a conversation about the things you learned, and then you receive your certificate. It is nothing intense. I said, oh okay. I was glad to hear that I didn’t have to write a paper or anything.

After the workshop was over, I walked back to Posvar and managed to escape the rain. I enjoy the walk from Craig to Posvar. It is nice to clear my head some. I don’t mind walking by myself either. Some people here like to walk in herds, not I. I don’t mind the alone time.

When I finally arrived to barre class, it had already started, so I grabbed my materials, and mouthed, “Sorry” to the instructor. She smiled and I set up and got right into it. Some positions felt easier to do, others still felt hard to do. I am getting there. I will miss barre this Sunday due to having to write my paper.  I will plan to go next Sunday, assuming my school work is done. There will be plenty of time for barre after my school work is done.  After class, I told the instructor I would have to miss barre on Sunday, due to school work and she laughed and said, “I remember those days.” I laughed. I told her I would see her next Wednesday.

When I went back to my house, I got a shower and laid on the couch, I was so tired. Drew was due home tonight. His flight was going to be delayed. He wouldn’t get home until 12am. I went upstairs to lay down, but I left the living room light on. I planned to get up and greet him at the door, when he arrived.
Around 12:15am he came home, I was so happy to see him. I got up and went downstairs to greet him at the door. I opened it for him, as he lugged his suitcase into the house. We hugged and kissed. I did miss him so much. I was glad to have him back, but there was definitely going to be an adjustment period for him. There was a time change in Oregon, 2 1/2 hours behind us. He opened his suitcase and gave me the gifts he bought me. We have an inside joke about beavers, so he bought me a beaver since Oregon State University is home of the Beavers. He also bought me a teddy bear dressed like an Oregon State cheerleader. He is so thoughtful. I am glad he is finally home, safe and sound