Tag Archives: Academia

…But It Beats Working.

31 May

School is hell, but it beats working.

Oh Matt Groening, truer words have never been spoken.

I find myself in this kind of weird half-state a lot of times. Like, sometimes I really give a sh!t, and am scared sh!tless and dreading that whatever is taught in the next class period is something that I won’t understand.

Then I alternate between that and not really giving a sh!t, thinking “Oh well, if I don’t get it, then I’ll pass it next semester.”

Also, I freak out and write good papers two hours before they’re due…but some other times, I can’t be bothered, even though I know I really should be busting my butt on something.

Seriously, I don’t know where this range of emotions is coming from. I clearly need to work on this. Here’s a list:

  • Time management: Clearly, I have little to none in this arena of time management. I have come from a work environment that was working in a constant state of being reactionary. Which means I am still used to doing everything last minute, as I was given no real lead-time. Now that I have all this lead time, I really don’t know what to do with it.
  • Discipline: I sometimes succumb to having no discipline in my life. It’s literally been nearly a decade since I was a student last, and I have no disciplinary infrastructure, where I come home, do my homework, and go play. I need to self-enforce the idea of get up in the am, grab coffee and breakfast, hit the gym, shower, do some reading+homework, go home, make dinner, sleep. It is so hard, because when it comes down to it, I really just want to sleep in–and I end up kicking myself when it ends up being 5pm and I have read 4 pages out of this humongous chapter.
  • Quality(?): This is something I need to work with my classmates on, using them as a standard/reference, because oftentimes, I am finding that I have no idea what my profs expect from me. I’m feeling like, “Thanks for your übergeneric, seriously vague description in the syllabus of what you want from this paper, but what the heck is it that you really want?!”

The hilarious thing is, despite the fact that I feel like I’m internally struggling with all these huge “problems”, I have been asked several times during the trimester already, “Hey, what do we have due in this class today?” That just cracks me up, because I was the student in elementary school through to undergrad asking my classmates, “Do we have anything due in __?!”

I guess the fact that I am paranoid and overcompensating for my nervousness of being a student again makes me “appear” to be in charge. Ha!

Advertisements

A Slightly Irrational, Very Fundamental Shift.

20 May

For the 6 months after being laid off, all I wanted, and rather badly, was a job.

I wanted a job so I could feel stable again. So I could have health insurance. So I could put more money away in my CD. So I could fly to NYC or SF to visit friends, or just plain go shopping.

But aside from the emotional implications of having a job, which mainly meant gaining stability back, what we were talking about was the money. I wanted a job for the money. Because money meant that I could do things, pay for things I wanted, but maybe didn’t necessarily need.

But ever since the week of May 4th–the week I became a grad student again–it’s not the money that I want. The stability that I need to function, I will lean on my family for.

Now, all that I want, that I desire, and obsess over, is a grade.

Yes friends, now, all that I want is a C or better in my Quantitative Analysis course. That’s all I want. (I got my Organizational Behavior class covered, yo, it’s like a given that I’ll get an A in that class. I love it too much to get anything close to a B.)

Isn’t it funny how life changes overnight? Now, I couldn’t really give a shit about money, or getting a job.

Funnily enough, despite the fact that I stopped applying for jobs about a month ago, last week I got called back for a job interview, for a job I’d actually be pretty damned good at doing. But walking out of that 4-person panel interview, suddenly I got a bit disgusted.

Two of the four panel members were kind of rude and stiff. (Later, a fellow classmate of mine told me that she had a similar experience interviewing for the current job she has, totally rude people, and that she thought she didn’t get it.) All I could think as I went back to my car was,

“How could these people be so rude! As if that job was as important as my Quant grade?!! Don’t these people get what’s truly at stake?!”

[I know it was totally irrational, but that’s why this is being written on my blog, and not anywhere else.] The point is, I just realised my brain made a fundamental shift–I didn’t want to deal with their emotional bullshit, because it only served to aggravate me when I had “bigger” things on my mind than their interdepartmental shite.

This blog entry is written neither to illustrate how stressed out I am, nor to illustrate how irrational I’m becoming. Au contraire, I’m almost being an anthropologist examining the innards of my own brain, a brain that is slowly taking on a cultural shift that I myself am almost not in charge of. It again illustrates how being laid off was a mixed blessing, because at the age of 28, I feel I’d much rather be concerned with my Quant grade, than some arbitrary job that will probably end up being a dead end.

Regarding the job, now I wonder what I would do if I were offered the position. Six months ago, I would have jumped on it. Now, I’m not so sure.

And if Murphy’s Law has any say in it, just you watch, I’ll be offered this job.

It Takes Time To Get Back Into It.

14 May

Cornelius is a trusted friend of mine who has finished his master’s degree. He is old hat at the academic experience now, and I am just about falling apart at the beginning of mine. Tonight the subject is about our respective degrees, and then this exchange occurs:

LoveMeDeux: Ooh what a relief! I only need to read 4 pages! Why am I so disorganized?
Cornelius: lol LoveMeDeux, LoveMeDeux.
LoveMeDeux: What?
Cornelius: It takes time to get back into it.
LoveMeDeux: I thought I needed to read the whoooolllle chapter. But it’s only 4 pages.
Cornelius: Remember you’ve been out of school for awhile.
LoveMeDeux: Okay, 8 pages. But better than like 30! Eeeh LoveMeDeux is exciteds!
Cornelius: Oh boy.

Yeah, oh boy is right. I wonder what Cornelius thinks of me, flailing around in the deep blue MBA sea, barely treading the choppy waters all around? In my mind, Cornelius is hanging out, drifting along in his inner tube, RayBan Wayfarers planted on his face, daiquiri with umbrella in hand.

The only hope is that one day, I will get my own inner tube, and my own set of Wayfarers. I’ll order a strawberry daiquiri.

Nice To Meet You. Stressbucket*, Class of 2011.

13 May

I have always been a bucket of stress*.

Our buckets of stress are always a little bit full in our lives. Unless you live in a monastery in the hills of Tibet, surrounded by monks enveloping you in their peaceful ways, you are going to have some stress in your life as a given. Whether it’s a phone bill, or the threat of getting laid off, a family who is ill, or a broken-down car. I get it.

And for me, stress is at a constant, medium-level in my bucket. I know that it is just an aspect of my personality, and I know that I probably run best at this stressed out level. It’s as if I feel the pressure factor makes me propel myself forward. If I go to the gym, or relax and go see a film, or do something fun with friends, a small release valve appears and lets a little bit of stress go at a time.

Yesterday, however, something happened that has made my stressbucket overfloweth.

I started off my Tuesday with a great day at traffic court–haha, I know, traffic court?! Basically, I had a hold on my driver’s license due to lack of proof of insurance, and though the accusing police officer showed, both he himself and the bailiff dismissed it due to my valid proof of insurance and the extenuating circumstances.

But yesterday evening, I attended my second math class, more specifically Quantitative Analysis for Business. I knew that as a liberal arts major, the math involved in getting an MBA degree was going to be nasty, but I was not expecting to feel nauseous.

Yes, indeed. I felt like I was going to vomit.

I could see it happening.

Sitting there, in class, I felt the urge wash over me and I mentally mapped out how quickly I could do it if I had to make a dash for the ladies’ room.

At breaktime, a classmate wanted to talk to me about the assignment due in the Organizational Behaviour class that we were also taking together, and I know I made no sense in our conversation. I just kind of zoned out on the poor guy, and I feel badly. (And dangit, he is very cute, too. You know that something is very very wrong with LoveMeDeux when her mojo is impaired..!) I felt horrible. So this morning, I decided to speak with my academic advisor.

“Listen, I have had students who couldn’t even understand how to log into WaveNet (our online one-stop shop for students) take and pass this class.”

This made me feel better, but not that much better. I’m certain I’m an average student, but I don’t feel great knowing that there are those who are slightly lower than me who passed by the skin of their teeth. I mean, feck! I want to do well in this class, not just barely eke out a pass. Next person I called was my professor himself, who said:

“I have had Theatre Arts majors who haven’t taken math since high school pass this class. And the tests aren’t even worth that much in my class!”

That made me feel a little better. At least this prof is willing to work with me. And yes, I know it’s possible for me to take and pass this class with an okay grade. But sitting in that class last night, while freaking out, I actually pinged like crazy between the thoughts of,

“What if I belong in a J.D. program instead of an MBA?” to
“Is it too late to save face and drop this entire MBA program?” to
No, I’m sure I can get through this!”

I settled on the last one because I am not a fecking quitter. I AM NOT! But how does one get away from the pure anxiety and manic feeling associated with stressbucket mode to be able to relax and get through situations like this?

Oh wow, if I had the answer to that, I’d be the Dalai Lama’s BFF.

But I think that that will be the true lesson in my MBA experience. Not how to manage a underperforming department or provide brilliant leadership in a major Fortune 500 company. Not how to take game theory and apply it to forecast financial returns. Not any of that.

No. For me, it will be how to manage the stress, how to manage the anxiety and battle through it to get to my diploma at the other end of the tunnel. But I want tell you:

I held it, I did. I pressed down the overwhelming physical urge–but as soon as I made it to the parking garage after class last night, and as soon as I managed to lock myself safely away in my car–I threw up.

________________
*I prefer saying “Stressbucket” as opposed to “Stressball”, because “Stressbucket” is more accurate terminology.

That Gossip Mill, The MBA.

3 May

Tomorrow I go back to school for the first time in 7 years. Tonight I spoke with a friend who is finishing his MBA this month about going back to school, and all the wonderful things that go along with it.

So naturally, the subject turns to sex and all the gossip surrounding that environment.

Cornelius: So what plans are afoot for this week?
LoveMeDeux: Well. Tomorrow I have to go to school to register for parking and talk to the counselor.
Cornelius: 🙂 Should prove fun.
LoveMeDeux: Yes and meet some students, I guess…this is insane–
Cornelius: What is?
LoveMeDeux: But i’m like, “What if the other kids don’t like me?” LMAO!!!
Cornelius: …. Wear the suit.

For some reason, Cornelius thinks this one suit I wear, a totally conservative business suit, makes me look hot. Whatever. It’s like Pollyanna in the business world, which means, it’s a white button-down cuffed shirt, and a black suit. Boring.

LoveMeDeux: LOL! I’m not looking to get laid. I’m looking to make friends
Cornelius: LOL! Do both!
LoveMeDeux: DUDE!
Cornelius: Dude!
LoveMeDeux: Was it not you who told me to never fcuk one of my fellow classmates?!
Cornelius: Yeah, but it’s a part time program. So it’s ok.
LoveMeDeux: OMG, no it’s so not ok!
Cornelius: And why is that?
LoveMeDeux: I don’t want to be that girl. Btw haha! I’m supposed to be cloistered with all my classmates next weekend.
Cornelius: LOL – You mean the “rite of passage” for a Pepperdine MBA?
LoveMeDeux: It’s an organizational behavior class, all weekend from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon
Cornelius: Oh baby!
LoveMeDeux: LMAO! I am so positive that someone gets laid on this weekend retreat.
Cornelius: Can’t be me. I’m not going to the Pepperdine weekend retreat.
LoveMeDeux: Yeah I know! LOL! but i’m just saying. 17 people, one hotel, forced to interact with each other–come onnn.
Cornelius: yeah yeah cum on.
LoveMeDeux: Ha! my friend Daz, also a Pepperdine grad, just came by for dinner/ I wanted to ask him more about his retreat. “Who got laid on your retreat?” but my folks were here. Ha!
Cornelius: Sorry LoveMeDeux – your curiosity will have to wait for a week. 😀
LoveMeDeux: Haha! 😀 I’m so excited but I’m scared too, all of the above. Haven’t been this excited to go to school since Fall 1998.
Cornelius: LOL I was still a minor then.
LoveMeDeux: Oh shiz! 16, right?
Cornelius: Yup, and only about 5’2 then
LoveMeDeux: Ahhh if we hooked up I would have been a felon. Awwww!
Cornelius: Hahaha it wouldnt have happened :-/
LoveMeDeux: OMG you’re so funny.
Cornelius: Just being honest.
LoveMeDeux: It’s just funny thinking of us as 16 and 18. I mean seriously, I totally look up to you now, as you finish up your MBA.
Cornelius: LOL no its not funny! :-p
LoveMeDeux: Why not?
Cornelius: How so?
LoveMeDeux: Because, I would have been a “college girl” and you were a “high school boy”.
Cornelius: ooOooo LOL!
LoveMeDeux: That’s both hilarious and adorable at the same time. 🙂

So I guess grad students aren’t all that different from undergrad kids, who aren’t different from high schoolers who aren’t that different from elementary school students. The gossip mill is the very same, and so, as it were, is the mental age associated. Ha!

Done & DONE.

30 Apr

Someone Make Me A Vomit Emoticon.

20 Apr

Because I am doing a statistics course online to prepare for an MBA program and was thus being quiet and not writing back readily in the chat window:

Elliot: Somebody is having fun with statistics
Janet: 😥 There isn’t a vomit emoticon.