Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 8: Feb 18th-24th: Yosemite!

Still no word back on any of my practicum applications. I turned them in over a week early, they weren't actually due until the really today is the first "business day" after the due date. Should be hopefully getting some interviews within the next few weeks. I'm just being impatient, weird right? ')

My 5 things:

1. I had J do an interval training cardio workout with me. He'd playfully mocked me before about doing youtube video workouts, which I admit seem a bit silly. I wanted him to join in with me so that a) we'd keep up on our exercise throughout the week and b) because I really need more cardio in my workout if I'm actually going to see results (and what I mean by that is: J is already showing improvements and I am not...which is frustrating). Also, I felt a little better when J remarked about how difficult the video was (since I have had trouble completing it in the past).

2. This past week I put it some extra hours in the library and at home to finish up work for a class in order to avoid having to attend the weekly TA sessions that require me to leave class early and often arrive to research group late on Wednesdays. Not to mention the time sitting in traffic, the extra miles and gas on my car. I managed to get all my work turned in and now I no longer have to worry about it, which is such a relief!

3. I only meet with my research group every other week because I have class at that time the other weeks so I am only getting feedback every few weeks on my dissertation which, as evidenced by previous meetings, can blow up in my pretty little face. I decided this last week, since I wasn't meeting with my group & adviser, that i should email him with some of my questions and concerns. This benefits me in a number of ways. First off, that way I'm not wasting another week going in the wrong direction (if my direction is not right), it also shows my adviser that I'm putting in extra time and effort (not just throwing together an update once every 2 weeks), and it allows me to get feedback about what I am doing (which he's usually much nicer via email anyway!).

4. I put in some extra time during the week on class assignments/dissertation research because there was talk of a possible outing with J over the weekend and I wanted to make sure I didn't fall behind in assignments. Also, I know that This upcoming weekend I'll be taking a quick trip home, so I will have less time then as well.

5. J and I took a spontaneous trip to Yosemite National Park over the weekend. Our 2 year anniversary is this upcoming Tuesday (2/26), a day where I am up at 4am and don't return home until 9pm and J will be at the woodshop for most the day. So we decided a weekend getaway was in order to celebrate. We left Saturday morning, stayed the night, and then headed back Sunday afternoon.
J on the edge...I didn't get that close 

It was absolutely beautiful there. Neither of us had been and it was about a 200 mile drive from where we live. We booked a hotel the night before and packed up and left Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the hotel chosen was a bust.... but all the amazing views, wildlife, and nature made up for that.
Yosemite Falls
A lot of the hiking trails were actually closed, which was kind of a bummer. We didn't realize how cold it was and how much snow would be there. Lesson learned on that one (we didn't do much research, obviously). It was still beautiful, regardless of the limited access. You couldn't do all that you wanted to in that short of a trip anyway. Since we'd never been, it was all new scenery to us and at least now we're more familiar with the layout of everything and can do research on different hikes we saw to decide what we should conquer on our next visit. We purchased the year pass, so we will have to go back anyway :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 7: Feb 11th-17th

My 5 things:
1. I rearranged my schedule so that I could attend a Forensic Speaker event on campus on Wednesday. It was focused on juvenile forensics and the supervisor of one of the practicum sites I'm applying to was one of the speakers for the event. I made sure to go, to be engaged, and after the talk was over I went up to the speaker, introduced myself and asked him a question pertaining to my dissertation. I did this in hopes of making a good impression, as well as hopefully being memorable, despite my through-the-roof-social anxiety, shaking limbs, and beat red face and neck, I think I accomplished that.

2. Practicum applications are due February 22nd. I decided to beat the rush and avoid last minute surprises by turning in my applications over a week early. (Although, just today, while looking over my writing sample I noticed some errors. Oops.)

3. I scheduled a meeting with one of my dissertation committee members to discuss my dissertation topic and some possible solutions to potential problems. This wasn't necessary, as I've already discussed this some with my dissertation chair, but I figure it can't hurt to have extra communication with my committee member, plus it will be something to report during my research group update about my dissertation, which makes me look good :)

4. Saturday night we went out for my friend Liz's birthday. She is once of my favorite people I've met through graduate school and have known since the beginning of my program. We went to dinner and then out for drinks and pool after and met up with a group of people. It was good to see my friends outside of class and to be able to do something all together that is not school related.

5. Sunday J and I spent the day on the couch having a movie marathon. We watched a number of movies with Julia Roberts, my favorite <3. Perfect way to spend the end of the long, productive week.

Something I've noticed: When the majority of my 5 things involve beneficial things that are school/career related, I tend to be in a better mood. I'm not sure if that is a coincidence or if by bettering myself occupationally and scholastically I feel better about myself overall because graduate school is such a big, important aspect of my life.
 Interesting correlation, although I'm not sure on the causation of it all.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 6: Feb. 4th-10th.. Mid Quarter crisis

MIDTERMS!!! Oy! I'm about ready to crumble into pieces. Just completed week 5 of the quarter, which means we're half way through and midterms are due this week. Oh and so are practicum applications, and my dissertation update, and we have house guests, and I'm fighting off sickness.
Of course it couldn't be spread out or anything, right? Because that's not how life works.
I feel like I'm losing my marbles a bit, which I suppose I can't remember the last time I actually felt like I had my marbles, or had a handle on anything at all.
It's been a tough week to come up with 5 things that I was able to do that were enjoyable or beneficial, but really this is the time I need them the most.

My 5 things:

1. In the midst of running errands to the post office and the bank, J and I stumbled upon a gathering of food carts over in Alameda. We decided to partake in the excitement and check it out. There was live music, sunshine, and delicious food and even splurged to try their ginger lemonade, and may I just say: YUM!!. I thought it was a good idea to take a seat and enjoy as apposed to getting the food and taking it or eating it in the car. It was awesome to be outside, enjoying good food, good company, and a good atmosphere. We've become such homebodys, it was nice to be out and about for a moment.

2. We've had house guests which is fun and stressful all at the same time. We went on Friday over to SF and then came back this way in the evening. It was one of our guest's birthday so we went out in Alameda for drinks to celebrate. Again, just being out and doing something out of the ordinary for me is a nice change of pace.

3. I made little Valentine's Day treat bags for my goddaughters and niece and nephew. I know how much I love getting things in the mail, and it's been a tradition really since I moved away to send little goodies. I mailed those out this weekend to ensure their arrival by Valentine's Day. I miss those little ones so much, and it pains me to know I'm missing out on some of the most precious times with them during these years. I know sending them little presents and candy doesn't make up for that, but hopefully it shows them that I'm thinking of them and that they are loved.

4.  So due to some misfortune, my canceled flight back funds that I thought I'd be using for Vegas, expire March 9th. I decided, after much debate, that I would take a trip home the first weekend of March. It will be a short trip, only Saturday-Monday but I think some quality time with my family will do me quite well. I booked that trip last Friday and instantly my mood elevated, just with the thought of getting to see my family, and knowing I'm not losing out on $100 helps too ;)

5. I listened to NPR for the first time in my life (willingly anyway). I put it on during my long commute and took a listen. This is a huge thing for me, as I used to despise talk radio. I'm still getting used to it, and obviously there are times when the content just isn't doing it for me, but it is a nice change from music, and it also allows me to get a little glimpse into what is going on in the world, and in elements of life other than just graduate school. I liked it, I think I'll do it more often.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 5: Jan 28th- Feb 3rd..and Peru!

My 5 things:

1. I set up an optional practicum advising meeting to discuss my application materials and site lists. It wasn't required to meet with anyone this year, but I decided that since I know I really want a Forensic site for my next practicum, and since I'm lacking experience in that department, I thought it best to meet with the professor who is in charge of that and see what feedback I could get from her. Turns out: it was really helpful and she gave me a lot of awesome feedback about my cover letters and how to present myself better on paper.

2. I attended this year's BAPIC practicum fair. That is where most of the practicum sites come and are available for you to meet with various people (directors, current practicum students, etc), ask questions and gather information. The majority of my classmates (3rd years) did not seem to be in attendance from what I could tell. Since most the people I knew weren't going, it wasn't required, and I loathe social situations where you have to talk to a bunch of total strangers and feel like you're being put on the spot: there was a large part of me that did not want to go. Despite my anxiety, I was able to talk with 4 sites and I feel like with at least 2 of them, I made a fairly good impression.

3. J and I went on a hike yesterday in Berkeley. Every time we go, we talk about how enjoyable it is and how we really should go more, and then we just don't get around to it.
Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley, CA
  Thankfully I was able to rally J yesterday and get him out the door and hiking. I'd really like to do something active outside at least once a week (on the weekend) and so far we've been able to accomplish that with out bike ride last weekend and this hike on Sunday.

4. I watched a fair amount of "Say Yes to the Dress"  lately after working for hours at my computer or reading articles for my dissertation. I don't know what it is about that show, but I absolutely love it. I've never been a girl to imagine my wedding dress or picture what I'd wear, so it's not about that for me. I'm not sure what it is. Even now, after having see almost all seasons, I still don't find myself daydreaming about my dream wedding dress, even with all the ones I've seen.  Guilty pleasure.... who knows.

5. We watched the Superbowl yesterday. Neither J nor myself are avid football fans nor do we catch many (if any) of the games during the regular season. The Superbowl, however; is well, the Superbowl!  It has little to do with the actual game or the teams playing and has much more to do with the commercials, the socializing, the food, the togetherness, the beer, and the fun. We had an invite to a place in SF with some people we know. I was hesitant for a number of reasons (being in SF during the Superbowl when the 49er's are playing, having to driver there, having to pay tolls, trying to find parking, and having to spend money) so when the invite came from J's boss who lives in Oakland and to join them at their apartment I decided that was a much  better plan. So we spent the day over there, pigging out on ribs, chips, salad and beer and it was delightful. I enjoyed the game, the commercials were amusing, and the company was lovely. After the game we stayed and had a fire going out back. They are pretty wonderful people too, which helps when spending that much time with someone.

In other news, I just found out this morning that my poster has been accepted to the World Congress of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies conference being held in Peru in July!
I do not get to attend because I'll be going to APA in Hawaii to present another one of my posters (and because airfare to Peru is like....$1300!! Yikes!) BUT my name as lead author and my work will be there. So I get to add that to the list:
This year:
February: My name (and work as a co-author) will be in Singapore
July: My name (and work as lead author) will be in Peru
August: Me, my name, and my work as lead author will all be in Hawaii

So in terms of research: I'd say I'm not doing too shabby :)