Before Class

I have some time to kill before class. Sure, I could be working on my summaries that are due on the 10th. I would rather blog instead. I had an okay day today. It wasn’t as insane as it was on Monday. I don’t know what it was like here yesterday, but Nancy held down the fort by herself, and she survived. I was able to get some things done today, that I had been wanting to do for so long.

At lunch around 1pm. I hate my salad in the kitchen. It was too hot to go outside, and eat. I wanted to just stay inside. I am ready for fall and a little colder weather. I didn’t take a full hour. I just went back to my office and got some things done.

Now, I am sitting outside of Einstein’s and a friend spotted me. I might get interrupted, but I will have more after class. I have high hopes for this one, but we will see.

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.

Christmas Break

I had a really good winter break. However, there were times where I was so excited to go back to work. I just like to be busy, and have a routine. I do better when I know where I am expected to go and what I am expected to. Most of the time, when I was home, and let’s say Andrew was at the gym. I went for a little, but when I came home, I took down all of the Christmas decorations and packed them away. I was over it. I am in a hurry to put it up and in a hurry to take it down. I was also PMSing that day, but still.
When Andrew came home, I had the tree in a box by the door for him to take down to the garage. Our stockings, the decorations, all of it was packed up in bins and put by the door to go to the garage. I was so over it. Drew walked in the house and said, “Wow Bub you were busy.” I said, that I felt like I really needed a project. He said, “it definitely looks like it.” The house was clean, the carpet was vacuumed. I know he said he would help, but I wanted to get it done.
Sometimes having all that time off reminded me of being unemployed, and having those feelings of silly boredom and uncertainty. I am so glad I have a job to go back to. Once I get back I just have to focus on shining. My provisional is up on January 17th. I know what I needed to do. I am just ready to do it.
Over break, we went to the movie theater to see Star Wars. It was cute, but man was it long. It was like 2-3 hours long. I am short, so those movie theater seats aren’t all that comfortable for me. The theater was packed. It made Andrew happy to go see it, so I am glad we got to go together.
Also, we spent some of my Christmas bonus. I bought some new makeup from Chanel. I may go back for the moisturizer soon. I still have a nice chunk of money left over.  I bought a Kate Spade laptop sleeve for my MacBook Pro. It is rose gold and has glitter on it. I have an obsession with Kate Spade.
Another noteworthy thing that happened is my period started on time, which was amazing. I love it when it starts on time, but it has been accompanied by low back pains, and it is really concerning me. It felt like a tightly balled up feeling in my lower back. I never had lower back pain before, even when it came to a period. Only the last couple of cycles.
So most of the Friday before New Years, I was in some sort of pain, but I still carried on with our plans to go to the mall, then to dinner with my parents at TGI Friday’s. I soldiered on. After we left the restaurant, we went to Walmart, then home for the evening.

Emotions are High

Today, we had a slow start to the day. We got ready went to the gym, and I really wasn’t feeling it today, but I did some cardio and a little strength training. Then went back on the treadmill. I was going to leave, but I did 20 more mins. My friend Erin got on the treadmill next to me. I wanted to hang out and talk to her for a bit.  I told her about the barre class on Friday morning. She wants to go with me, and then get coffee after. I was happy that she wanted to go with me. It is always cool to have a friend to go to classes like that with.
After I got off the treadmill, I went home and got a shower, and made some lunch. I put in a load of laundry. I checked on the dinner that was cooking in the Crockpot. Then I decided to look at my work e-mail. I saw that one of my professors, for one of my grad school classes e-mailed us a syllabus and said that the course should be up on course web sometime this week, so we can see the readings and assignments that are due. I had a harsh reality check. I looked at the text books that they are offering there are 5 of them. I instantly started to get so nervous. I saw that I only had two things due for our first class, which I was happy about.
When Drew got home with the groceries, I helped him put everything away. I told him about my syllabus and how it was sent today via e-mail. I told him that I was so nervous. He said, “Awwe you are going to do so well baby.” I said, “Thank you, but I am nervous.” He was there for me and we talked it out, but I just had so much on my mind.
After dinner, I read through my textbook list. Drew asked me if I wanted to order them now? I said, “Please if that would be okay?” He said, “Definitely baby, you can start reading, while you are off and get a head start. I am so thankful for him. I really am. I don’t know what I would do without him.
After I ordered the textbooks, we went to go visit Grandma. When we arrived at the rehab facility, it reminded me of where my mom’s, mom was when she was in a nursing home. There were older people roaming the hallways in their wheel chairs, older people in bed, asleep, or up watching television. It was depressing. I hate it that his grandma is in a place like this.
When we walked past this older woman, she was in a wheel chair, and had a hospital gown on, and no blanket covering her. She was saying, “Help me. Get me out of here. I want to go home” (We found out later she has Alzheimer’s). It was so sad. When we arrived, to  Grandma’s room, we walked in and she was up eating dinner in bed.  She looked okay, but not herself. I felt so terrible for her. Andrew’s mom was due to arrive shortly.
When my mother-in-law came in, she brought us some cheese from Thanksgiving, that we had given to her. We told her she could keep the extra, but she didn’t realize that and packed them up for us, and put some ice in a zip-lock bag and sealed it, so it will stay cold. I thought that was weird but whatever.
After we visited with Grandma for about an hour so, it was time to go home and get ready for a new week.  I still had some things to do around the house. It was a short week, but still had to be at work.

Grad School Orientation

After work on Thursday, I had my Orientation for Grad School. Thankfully the Orientation took place in the same building, as my office. I was a little nervous, but mostly excited. I was anxious to hear how the program works, and meet the other members of my cohort, as well as my professors.
When I arrived up to the 5th floor, I knew the room number, but the way the building is laid out. There are so many corner hallways and then one hallway leads to another hallway. It is confusing. I just followed the room numbers, which I guess is what anyone else would normally do.
Once I found the conference room, I took a seat at the table. On the table, were two sheet of papers. One sheet of paper was a powerpoint presentation, and the other was a plan of study. Once everyone arrived, the orientation got underway.  Dr. S was one of the professors, as well as Dr. F, and I can’t remember the other professor’s last name, but her name was Linda. Most of us in the cohort, already worked at Pitt, and were planning to attend school part-time. There was one woman, who did not work at Pitt, and was unemployed outside of the home, and was going to attend classes part-time, while she looked for a job. She received her undergrad from Penn State, already someone that I know I won’t like (just kidding).
Dr. S congratulated us on our acceptance, and then explained how the program is designed, and how important it is to stick to the course plan, and is there to help us along the way. He gave us the days and times of our first two classes next semester. My first class will take place on Monday from 7:15pm-9:15pm. The second class will take place on Thursdays at 4:30pm-7:15pm. I originally thought I would have two classes back to back on Monday, but I think the times have changed. I am happier with not having classes back to back, but regardless I will have a long week, and a lot of work ahead of me.
At one point, in the Orientation, someone asked how we will be graded? And they said, through papers, reports, discussion board posts, and participation. I immediately got so nervous. Most of you, you have visited my blog, know I am a decent writer, or at least like my writing, or my content, because you follow me right? ;p However, if you couldn’t already tell, I have a punctuation problem. Truthfully, I do not know most of the rules behind punctuation. I write like I speak. I love to write. I think I am a good writer, and I have good ideas, but at the same time this whole punctuation thing really throws me for a loop, sometimes. (I am even thinking did I get my punctuation and grammar right, as I write this? lol)
At the end of the orientation, we were able to branch off and meet with our advisors. This man named, Mike, who is my in my cohort. He and I share the same advisor. Our advisor is Dr. F. Dr. F, Mike, and myself took a seat in the lobby at a random set of chairs and a table. She asked us about our background, and when it was my turn. I told her how nervous I am about the writing part. I told her that I believe I am good writer, but the punctuation and the grammatical errors are challenging for me, and therefore take away from my content. She encouraged me to visit the writing center. The people at the writing center are there to help you fix those errors, and to help you learn from them, or you can pay an editor, but you won’t gain anything. I agreed. If I am going to do this, then I should learn from my errors. Also, I thought how am I going to find time to go to this writing center, work, and attend grad school, as well as be a wife, and a mom one day!? I know I am getting ahead of myself.
When I left Orientation, I went to meet Drew. He was on the second floor of my building, by my office entry waiting for me. Thankfully, I work in the same building as my grad classes. When I saw him, I just looked at him and I mean really looked at him. He was going to be there for me every step of the way. I knew right then in that second, that I could do this. Even though I had thoughts, as to how. I still knew that I could do this. I wanted to.
When he saw me, he gave me a hug, and asked me how it went? I said, good and smiled. They told us we are going to be graded on our papers, reports, and discussion board posts. There really isn’t an exam. He said, “Well that’s good babe. You love to write.” He is right. I do love to write, so I said, “Yes, I love to write, but I am terrible at knowing the rules behind punctuation, and I just am so nervous that my writing won’t be good enough, and how am I going to have time to visit the writing center?” He said, “Baby, you will do what you have to do. I am here to support you every step of the way. ” I smiled. One thing about me is I will freak out over every detail right away. I am all about the moment, and the second guessing, and the questioning of myself, but somehow in the end it always seems to work out. I do know this will be hard work, time consuming, but at the end of the day, I know I will find time to do what it takes.
When we left Oakland, we drove back to Moon, and stopped at Primanti’s, we sat the bar had a beer, cheese fries, and sandwiches. We met a guy at the bar, who was in the Marines. He is out of the Marines now, 53 years old. We thanked him for his service and bought him a beer. He asked Drew, if he was still in school? I laughed. Drew always asks me if he is getting old, or if he has grays, and this man assumed he was younger than he is. I thought it was cute. Drew told him, that he isn’t in school anymore and works at Pitt. The guy asked what he did? Then he asked me and I told him what I do at Pitt, and how we are celebrating my Grad School Orientation was tonight. He congratulated me. We talked about his time overseas, and the state of the world today.
When we left Primanti’s, we went home and went to bed. We both had to get up for work in the morning, but I was thankful for tonight, but nervous for the work ahead.

 

Dermatologist and the “C” Word

Today, I had my first ever Dermatology appointment at 8am. My mom was going with me. I dropped my car off at my parent’s house. Then we got in her car, we stopped for coffee on the way to Wexford. I was so nervous. I didn’t want to have skin cancer. My mind was racing.

When we got to the Dermatologist, they took me right back. His resident doctor was the frist in the room and she examined my face with a light. Then Dr. English came in and he examined me with the light and wanted to take a biopsy today, but he is pretty sure it is cancer. He has seen enough of these to know. He explained how important it is to wear sunscreen from now on, and especially since I am so young to possibly have cancer!

When I heard the “C” word, I freaked out inside. It was like someone punched me in the gut. I vowed to myself, no more tanning beds, and vowed to put on sunscreen when I go to the wave pool. They said I would know the results in about a week, but I had to wear a Band-aid until I got my stitches out. This was going to be an extremely long week!

After my dermatology appointment, mama and I had some retail therapy at Kohl’s and went to lunch, and then it was time for me to go back to my parent’s house and get ready for my interview with Bradford Schools, which I wasn’t even sure I wanted the position. I just needed something to hold me over in the interim.

When I got to Bradford Schools, I sat in the lobby. There was a woman sitting on the other side, and she had the same public speaker handout I had. Perhaps she was my competition. Then a man walked in wearing a business suit, and took the same handout,  that I had as well. I thought great more competition, and here I am with a bandaid on my face.

Nikki, the hiring manager escorted all of us to this classroom, where she went over the details of the position, and said that we cannot create our own schedule, she hands us a schedule. We tell her how many days we can work. They told us on the phone that we could create our own schedule, which was partly the reason why we all wanted the job. There were many inconsistencies in her explanation that day, compared to what they had said to us previously, on the phone.

One by one, we were pulled away separately to sell ourselves and for her to evaluate us. I was last. When it came time for my turn, I told her upfront about my biopsy, and she felt so bad for me. At the end of our conversation, she handed me a script and asked me to memorize it the best that I can and what time would I be available to come in on Thursday to audition? I thought Thursday, like Thursday! That is a day away! I said morning, preferably. She said, “9:30am?” I said, works for me. What did I get myself into?

When I left the building,  I went outside, and sat down outside of Buckheads and started reciting and memorizing my speech. My mom came to pick me up, and asked how it went? I told her and she said, Yea I don’t think you want that. Well until Pitt calls what am I to do? She said, I agree, but this job isn’t for you. Well that maybe true, but I need to do something until Pitt calls.

 

Father’s Day 2016

Father’s Day 2016

img_2788.jpgToday, was Father’s Day. We planned to take my dad to lunch at Primanti’s. Dads ate free! As you can see I was so burned.

After lunch, we went to Aliquippa to see his dad. Tommy was there and was hungover. When he left, we went shooting at a gun range in Marshall Township. I have not been shooting since I was 17. I was nervous. Walking up to the range, and hearing all the gunfire. It is unnerving. His dad made a comment saying, “I feel like I am back home in Aliquippa.” Yes, it was a little funny, but I cannot help but think about how the people in Paris felt, or the people in Orlando; hearing all the gunfire. I do not know it was unnerving. I think I hit the target!