Balancing Commitments

This week I was extremely busy. I might have taken on much more than I can balance. I academically assist with the baseball players at Pitt. I have been doing it now for a year. I enjoy helping them with academic coaching, tutoring, and some administrative tasks. I helped my supervisor conduct grade check-ins. I told him I would try to meet with as many of the guys that I could. I only needed to meet with them for 20-mins to go over their grades, and enter them into a spreadsheet. I think we are going to do this a couple times a semester. I think the next time would be after midterm grades are submitted. On top of the 20-minute grade check-ins, I was academic coaching them, and tutoring them.
                There were some times throughout the week, where I would be behind in getting in touch with them, but they were accommodating and willing to give me 20-mins of their time. I scheduled my last grade check-in in the evening on Thursday. I was planning to submit what I had to my supervisor on Friday. 
                Also, I admittedly did not really put that much energy into the 2-3-page reflection that I had to write for class next Wednesday. I needed to make sure I could still get my homework done, and help the baseball players as well. I am perhaps maybe being a bit too hard on myself, but I could have done a better job at balancing my commitments this week, but it was almost the weekend and I am determined to make some time for myself this weekend.

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.

 

Summer Course Meeting & Goofy Golfing

This morning, we had the summer course schedulers meeting. I was still trying to consume some caffeine. During the meeting, we figured out who is going to teach what, and what classes we are going to offer. It was the easiest meeting thus far!

After the meeting ended, the work day seemed like it took forever to end. When I met up with Drew to catch the bus, he seemed a little tired. I wasn’t sure if we should go Haunted Mini Golf or not. Yesterday, he had that big Demo and it really took a lot out of him. I know he was stressed about it and he was working so hard.

When we got back to Moon, we hung out for a bit, then got ready to go to Hopewell. We go Haunted Mini Golfing at the Windmill every year. Each year, I get my annual Michael Myers picture. All the horror movie figures are hand painted onto the fence that surrounds the mini golf grounds. Well this year, they must have put Michael together unevenly he as lopsided, but I still got my Michael picture.

When we were on the last 6 holes, they finally turned on the spooky music, and a guy with a chainsaw was walking around revving up the chainsaw. Drew and I joked that times must be tough here at the Windmill this year. In the past, we would tie this event in with an Aliquippa weekend. I would drive down, and then we would go mini golfing, then to the Cafe with his parents for dinner, then go back and spend the night at this parents house. This year it is a little different, we are still meeting his parents for dinner at the Cafe, but they don’t life in Alquippa anymore.

After goofy golfing, (Andrew won by 2) we must up with his parents at the Cafe. I had a pretty busy week, so I was going to treat myself to a couple pumpkin beers with the brown sugar rim on the glass. I knew Andrew had a rough week, but he had to drive.  We always have a good time there at the cafe. I talked to the owner for a bit about my birthday party. He said, he would reserve a table for me that night and that we would be taken care of. When we got home, I was a bit woozy from the beer and couldn’t wait to go to bed.

First Day at Heinz Chapel

So, I am finally laying down, and I have the chance to write something. I am not sure how I feel about how today went. So, it being my first day, there is so much to learn, but I was excited to be back to work at a University again, especially since it is Pitt.

However, out of habit and a fear of being late, I show up a half hour early. After I got coffee with Drew, I was still early. I stood outside and ate my hard boiled egg, and waited around for a familiar face from my interview to approach me. I face-timed my mom. She was excited for me. I showed her the building from the outside and how close it was to the cathedral. She was happy!

When Wendy approached the chapel, she saw me standing outside. She said wow you are early. I said “Yes, I am typically either right on time, or running a few minutes late. You never know with the buses.”

When she unlocked the door, we went inside and she immediately turned on the lights, and then she said I could put my lunch in the fridge that was located in the book closet, then we walked around how the chapel gets unlocked. We put out the open sign, to let people know we are open.

Then Sharon walked into the chapel. I was to shadow her all day today. We shook hands, and then we went down to Wendy’s office and she handed me a set of keys. Then, I went back upstairs, and sat with Sharon. She seemed kind of distant and cold.  I was waiting for her to tell me what the day-to-day is like, and she said “I don’t know what to tell you, so just read over your stuff. You are like the 10th one I have seen here, every time I turn my back we have someone new.” I didn’t say anything I just picked up my stuff and started reading. I didn’t really say anything to her.

Eventually Sharon was called down to Wendy’s office and it seemed like she was there for a while, so I just read the information and hoped no one came in that needed anything or had any questions because I wouldn’t have the answers.

Then we went over, my schedule for June. She told me this Saturday, I am to shadow Frank and not open my mouth for anything, unless it is to ask a question. I am going to learn so much from her.

When I left her office, I went up to the office Frank wasn’t there, so I just sat down and read over somethings, and Frank approached me and sat down next to me. We talked about the history of the chapel, the high points to it, when giving tours, and how he was the Heinz family archivist and historian. I was interested in the history of the building. People came in and out of the chapel as we talked. I was kind of amazed how many people came in off the streets to see this place. I listened in on one of his tours. It was pretty cool how much he knew and he gave a great tour, so informative.

When it was 10 minutes to 5pm, we started to close up, and Drew came over to see me and the chapel. When he came into the chapel, I introduced him to my co-workers.

In the evening, I went to dinner with my mom and then we went shopping.