Busy Day

Today, I drove to the bus stop by myself. Drew was off work today and had a dentist appointment to attend. When I got on the bus, I sat in the back where the engine is. I like the heat on my bum. I wore a dress today, because of the Ph.D commencement ceremony.  I had to dress up a bit. I  will have to dress up tomorrow too for the little commencement we are throwing our department.
When I arrived in Oakland, I went to Starbucks and got a venti, iced caramel macchiato. I should have had a hot drink, instead, but it was still so yummy. I was so cold walking to my building. I have an addiction to Starbucks. When I arrived to my building, I was on the phone with my mom for our usual morning talk. Sometimes it is okay, sometimes it is not. It just depends on the day.
When I arrived to my office, for some reason I could not remember the code to get into the department. Ugh, what is wrong with me? When I walked into my office, I got off the phone with my mom and sat down to start some requests and answer some e-mails. I was going to leave at 20 mins to 4pm today for the commencement and I wanted to get somethings done.
At lunch, I sat in the kitchen with Nancy, Kim, and Linda. We had a lot of laughs and good conversation. When I got my back to my desk, I did some more requests and answered a few e-mails. I am getting ready to close up shop for the day, and head to the Pete.
When we arrived at the Pete, Brian and I checked in and picked up our name tags. Then we went to dinner. On our way to dinner, we passed through one of the rooms that had monitors up on the wall, showing the different basketball players. I was in awe. There was this one hallway, where there were images of the great players in action on the court along the wall.

On the other side of the hallway was the training equipment, and rehab room where the players can train, or get worked on. It was so cool to see. We finally made our way up to the club level where dinner was. All the food looked so good. When we sat down at a table, Patrick from another office joined our table. He volunteers  every year, but he works with the Masters degree candidates and they are in a different part of the Pete.
At dinner, I got an e-mail from Max, my professor for Higher Education Administration. He said, the paper, participation, and overall grade is posted up on course web. I immediately logged on and saw that I received an A on the paper, an A on participation, and an A in the overall class. I was so happy and so relieved. One more class to go, and she was going to be able to work with me if  I didn’t do well on the final. She knows I am not a good test taker, but I have received As on the homework assignments, 100% on the paper, but I am just terrible at tests. I am hoping for a B, but I wouldn’t mind an A. I cannot get a C. A C is failing in grad school, unfortunately.

Around a quarter to 4pm, we went upstairs and reported to our posts. We met with Stacy, who gave us our sign in sheet and a clip board. Then we made our way over to our stations where Arts and Sciences were. We started checking in people, who arrived and helped them find their seats. I ran into some people from the music department. We chatted for a bit, it was good to see them. I tried to help someone with their tassel, a faculty member in Music was struggling with his tassel it was falling apart. The music librarian stepped into help and he said, “This is a tough one Angels.”  We all laughed.  Then I asked, “Can I be Cameron Diaz?” He started laughing so hard. He said, “I was thinking of the original.” I said, “Oh.” It was hilarious. Eventually the faculty member had to get a new tassel before the ceremony began.
At one point, I was talking to Brian and I looked over and there was my friend Mike from Athletics. I nodded to him and he approached me. He said, “How is it going?” I said, “it is going well, you?” He said, “Well we were having some building troubles but we are good now. The building was on lock down. They weren’t letting anyone in, but it is all good now.” I said, “Oh wow, that is crazy.” He told me to text him when I was done. I told him I definitely would. He was going to give me a tour. I was so excited a tour of the Pete!

After we got everyone lined up, and down the steps to the basketball court where the ceremony was going to be held. I stepped out of the rope, and next to me was Jason, from special events. He and I worked on a couple of events together, but then lost touch. We shook hands, and I said, I feel like we lost touch there for a while. He said, “Yea, I am sorry about that. I have been so busy.” I said, I understand, it happens. I tried to call your office, when I volunteered for this opportunity, but I figured you were busy. He said, “Yea, I am sorry. I didn’t return your call.” Then he got pulled away. I feel like it was weird after the frontiers conference. I didn’t really get asked to volunteer. I mean maybe I am reading into things, but I am trying to carve way into events, and or athletics, and I hope I didn’t do anything wrong. I wanted to ask someone about it.
When I left the room where I saw Jason, I went in an elevator back up to the Lawn Level where my purse was, which was under a table. I went to go find Mike first to let him know that I  was done. When I walked down the long hallway, I noticed there was a sign that said, “Athletics Department.” I walked through that door way and started roaming around looking for his office. I didn’t know what number his office was, or where to even find him. I did stumble upon  athletic director. Her office is so huge. It was so cool to be in this building.
After I exited that area, I went to another area, and I saw the tutoring rooms where the athletes recive special one on one instruction, and where they can take tests. I figured I was close, since he does something with advising. Eventually, I found his office. It was a corner office, no window, but it was much bigger than mine. I knocked on his door and he looked up. He said, “Are you done?” I said, “Yes, I am, but my purse is back towards the check in table.” He walked me back to the check in table, and I was able to retrieve my purse. I talked to Stacy the events director and she shook my hand. She said, “I kinda want to hug you.” I said, “awe of course.” We hugged and I hugged the other director that I worked with before on the frontier’s conference. I told Stacy my concerns and she said, that I shouldn’t think anything of it and that I didn’t do anything wrong and she will talk to Jason and keep her eyes out for me in the events department. I was glad to hear it. She asked me, if I was going to come on Sunday? I said, “I can if you want me to.”
Honestly, I didn’t want to work the undergraduate commencement, but this could be good for me to do so, so I figured I would just offer. It would be good for me to do, if they needed me. When I parted from them, Mike took me a full tour of the Pete. It was so cool to see. I was in awe. I went to go meet Drew. He was going to pick me up and take me home. I had so much to tell him about the Pete and my tour. He was going to be so jealous. When I got into the car with Drew, he congratulated me on my “A” grade  that I received in Higher Education Administration, and kissed me. He was so proud of me, and it felt so good. When we arrived home, I got a shower and sat down to watch the Penguins and Capitals game. We were obviously cheering for the Penguins. I painted my nails and toes. They needed to last me one more week, and then I was going to get them done again. I am so thankful for everything today.

Not a Good Day

This morning, I could tell that there was something on the horizon. I  didn’t know what, but I didn’t have a good feeling. I just felt so in my head with school and work. Yesterday, I had a one-on-one with my supervisor about things I need to work on, and about my review. It went okay, it’s things that I need to put in motion, when I am given the opportunity to do so, and things I can work on, it is all fixable. I plan to do all of these things. I just am trying to live up to everyone’s expectations in my work life, and the expectations I have set for myself, and then the professors expectations. I was just so in my head today.

Today, I was going to leave early to take my final for methodology. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, because I am a terrible test taker, and I didn’t do too well on the midterm.
Around 12:40pm Brian came by to meet me. We had to head over to the Petersen to get our assignments. We were volunteering to be line marshals for the Ph.D commencement ceremony. I really want to get involved with Special Events, and or Athletics. I hope to eventually one day be in a position in one of those two departments.
When we arrived at the Loading Dock, we met with a woman from special events, I can’t remember her name, but we met before. She and I worked for the Frontier’s conference last year, or two years ago now. She remembered me, which was nice. She walked us up to the food court level, and told us our responsibilities. The graduates will be sitting in this area, and explained to us our duties. Nothing too major.
After we left the Pete, I went to the parking garage, and got into my car and drove home. Once I got home, I grabbed a beer, and made something to eat. I was a little hungry. Then I set up my computer and Andrew’s computer, so I could take the final on one, and research on the other. The final wasn’t too bad, I feel like I knew more, than I did on the midterm, but still I never know. There were a few I wasn’t too sure about and couldn’t find the answer in my notes, this always happens. I clicked submit and it only took me an hour or so.
Afterwards, I went to RMU and it felt good to drive on campus and be in familiar area. I really needed to be where things were familiar. I remember when this was my biggest hurdle in life. Things are harder; my job, grad school, and sometimes my marriage, but RMU is home. It is where it all started. It still has the same magical feeling to me, as it did, when I first arrived. I met my best friend here, Anthony. I grew so much here, academically, mentally, and emotionally.
When I got home, Drew was home. We greeted each other and he asked how many final went? I told him how I felt and how I wasn’t sure, but it felt like I knew more than I did on the midterm. I got ready to go to ballet barre class. I was going to be late, but at least it was something.
When i arrived, I missed some warm ups, so I just dove right into it. She changed up the routine a little, and I wasn’t quite getting the move that she was doing, so she came over and stood in front of me, so I could see and started do the move, so I could do it properly. I have never had to have that type of instruction. I know she was doing her job, so I fluffed it off, but I was so annoyed. I am good at this, usually, but just not today for some reason.
After barre was over, my butt and legs were swore so I know I definitely go something out of it, even though I was late to class. Chris, the instructor asked me if I went on my trip yet? I told her no, not until May 23-June 1st. She is supposed to train me, when we get back. I told her I was in grad school and it was preventing me from attending  class with finals, and papers, but it is over for the summer and I am hers. She said sounds good. I told her I would see her Sunday in Ambridge for barre class. She said, see you then kiddo.
When I left the gym, I went home, preheated the oven, and then got a shower. When I got out of the shower, I got dressed, and then went downstairs, put some fish in the oven, and made a protein shake. I was so over this day. I sat on the couch and turned on Reign. I wanted to finish the last few episodes. This was the least season. I am going to miss it. I love period dramas.
When Drew came home, he put the fish away, and then made me a lunch for tomorrow. He came into the living room and watched Reign with me. After Reign was over, he and I talked about my feelings and was there for me 100% and so supportive. He tells me I am hard on myself. I think I am too. I can’t help it. I don’t know how to not be. Afterwards, I went upstairs, brushed my teeth, and went to bed. It was going to be a long day tomorrow.

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.