The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

It's all good

Posted by Seeking Solace |

With the semester almost over, I feel like I am in a good place. The Project from Hell is winding down nicely. My group presented our project the other day, and it was very well received. All that is left is to put the finishing touches on the group paper, which my co-editor and I are working on right now. Also, there is a short reflective piece that I must write about my group and self experience. I can crank that piece out in an afternoon. I am not taking classes this summer, mainly because there isn't anything being offered in my program. But, I do plan to do some reading and studying for quant methods, which I am taking in the fall.

I got good news from the RA doc this morning. All is well on that front. No inflammation markers or joint damage. She wants to decrease on of my meds, mainly because of the weight loss, but also because I've been doing so well. I think this will go better than the attempt by my primary doc to decrease my depression/anxiety meds. That started out OK, but ultimately failed.  We'll see how it goes with the RA meds. Any decrease in my walking pharmacy status is a good thing. The RA doc is still fine with my running. In fact, she is excited that I plan to run in the local arthritis walk.

Running is going well. Still keeping the weight off. Junior is happy. Husband is happy.

So, I'm good...for a change.

I am trying to embrace this feeling of "life is good" rather than looking for something to bad to happen. Live in the moment, if you will. This is hard for an eternal pessimist whose mantra is "yeah, but..

I'm trying. And that's the first step.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Slower than the speed of smell

Posted by Seeking Solace |

There are so many things that I love about living in Elsewhere. Great weather, proximity to the beach and the mountains, well-known colleges and universities, and lots of things to see, do, and eat. But after living here for almost 6 years, there is one thing that I cannot get used to.If you want something done or get a response about something, it happens at the speed of smell.

I suppose if you lived in Elsewhere all your life, you wouldn't notice it. In fact, if you traveled to other places in the US, you would probably wonder why people are in such a hurry. So, I get it...really I do. And, many experts and gurus have said that as a society, we should slow down. Sure, sure...

But, there times where things move so slowly here, that I swear a kite or a snail blew right past me.

All of this leads to my never-ending search for more work, either adjuncting or full-time.  I send stuff, get the customary "Do not reply to this email" message, and then I wait...

And, wait....and wait...
Oh, look! There's a kite flying by...

In my 20+ years of looking for a job, any job, I've never experienced such a long wait time for any job response. Even when I am able to speak with a live person for follow up, there is no sense of urgency to fill a position. What are they waiting for?

I guess I just keep waiting and looking for other opportunities....

Oh look, another kite...

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Doing What Works

Posted by Seeking Solace |

After two months of trying ween off of my medication for depression/anxiety, My doctor and I concluded that the best course of action is to continue where I left off before trying to ween off. Although I was able to get through the brain zaps, which feel like static shocks, only inside your head, I just could not get enough of a serotonin boost with diet and exercise.  And, I had some anxiety producing events where I did OK overall, I still had some trouble with being able to dial down from high anxiety or deep depression.

OK...that's cool.

It would have been nice to get rid of one of the numerous medications I have to take for my assorted ailments. It does get expensive, even with health insurance. Also, I still have concerns about going through my PhD studies without it. At the same time, I'm glad that I did attempt to go off the medication. I know what to expect if and when that time comes.

 But, now is not the time. I am not sure if and when there will ever be a time that I won't need the medication. For now, it seems that the best course is to go back to doing what works.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Perception and Pink Elephants

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Yesterday, I attended a function at PhD Uni. I didn't want to attend this function, as its timing created some logistical issues for me. But the topic was related to the class that I am currently taking, so I thought it would be in my best interest to attend. I also knew that several professors from the department would attend. I saw it as an opportunity to put on the charm...and gather intelligence. I need to know a little bit about the inhabitants of the island where I will be taking up residence.

I ran into Laid Back Professor, whom I took two classes with and have a good rapport. I told him that I was accepted to the program, albeit provisionally. He told me that he knew all about my application and was party to the discussion of my application. I remarked that I had heard through the grapevine that the discussion was a rather contentious one. His facial expression took on a look of "Seriously?" He smiled and told me that the discussion was really not that bad and that my 4.0 and other work spoke volumes about the type of doc student I am. He went on to say that he wanted to talk to me about it, but he didn't want to get into the whole conflict of interest thing. I told him that I completely understood and appreciated his support.

Well, alrighty then...

Perhaps it is Current Professor who has/had the issue with my quant score. Rather than come out and directly say it, which would be a huge no-no, my professor used the committee or some anonymous person to express her own concerns.  I'm not saying that doing this is wrong. She cannot come out and tell who has the issue. I totally get that. I have confidential secrets from my lawyer days that are way more intense that this. But, the conversation with Laid Back Professor does put my current professor's comments into context. Laid Back Professor's perception is that my quant score is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Current Professor's perception is that score is the pink elephant in the room. For Current Professor, the pink elephant is just too big to ignore. For Current Professor, it's all about perception.

I am a realist. I deal with what is, rather than what might be. What is is that I will knock quant out of the park, along with the rest of my PhD work. I also know that there are folks who don't see past the pink elephant. There may be nothing that I can do to have them see past the pink elephant. And, it is not my job to do it either. I just keep pushing forward....doing what I do best...

Knocking out the pink elephants. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Un-ringing a Bell

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Last night, I had a conversation with my professor about my provisional status with my PhD program. She informed me that there was quite a contentious battle between the department and the powers-that-be regarding my Forest Gump-like score on the quant section of the GRE. (Remember, in the movie when Forest's mother tries to enroll him in school, but his IQ score is just below normal? Yeah...that is my quant score on the GRE.)  She also said that there are some folks out there who think that I should have been denied admission, despite explanation for my scores being linked to my disability and the difficulty in obtaining accommodations. There are some who think I am going to blow it with my provisional status, or worse, not even finish the PhD.  Then, my professor suggested that there are ethical issues in allowing my provisional admission.

I said that I get some of her concerns..really, I do. In this world of increasing scrutiny, her concerns have some merit.  But, my counter-enlargement is that perhaps the whole is other than the sum of its parts. If we look at this holistically, the score on one part of one measurement is not the be all and end all of who a person is. I ended the conversation ensuring that I am looking into pursuing remedial measures over the summer to prepare for my quantitative methods course in the fall, and that I confident that I would continue to succeed in the program. I said that I've never backed down from a challenge, and I wasn't going to start now. I've fought for everything I have.

I left class feeling sick to my stomach. angry and hurt. I really wish I hadn't heard all of this. Have you ever wished you could un-hear something? It's next to impossible, isn't it?  Although, I know that there is probably some folks out there that feel I do not belong in the program, somehow it's worse hearing it. And once you do hear something like that, you can't erase those words from your memory.  I feel so unworthy right now. I also feel like I have a target on my back. And, it will remain there until I prove that I am better than my quant score.

There is part of me that wants to take the test again, earn the score that I need and let that be my "fuck off" to the naysayers. There's a part of me that just wants to move forward, do the extra work over the summer, and let my future work speak for itself. Husband wonders if all of this will blow over,. Someone or something will come along that will be the new face of chaos and drama, and no one will give my situation a thought.

I don't know what the answer is. I think I have to let me emotions be what they are for now. Then, I'll make my next move, with a clear head. I'll push through somehow. I'll fight and rise above this.

Like I always do. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Posted by Seeking Solace |

I've been accepted to PhD program at PhD Uni!

Well, I am provisionally accepted.

Because my quantitative score on the GRE was slightly below the threshold score for PhD Uni, and despite my high scores on the verbal and essay section, plus having 12 credits with a perfect 4.0, I am on provisional status until I have proven myself worthy. I must take nine credits and earn a "B" or better before being transferred to full standing. The downside is that I am not eligible for any funding while on provisional status.

You know what? I'm cool with that.

It's been a bit of a battle. I honestly thought that they would require me to take the test again. I think my closing argument helped, although I will never know for sure. I am considering this a victory.

Husband thinks we can handle the cost during my probation period. We do have some money saved that is not earmarked for anything. HBCU did give me a class for the fall, so that does help. I am also looking for other teaching gigs, as well as other administrative positions. I think I will do the course work part-time until I get off of probation, just to keep the out-of-pocket costs low.

So, I am happy..for a change!

Friday, March 06, 2015

I'm not crazy...

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Yesterday, I decided to apply for a job at a local CC that I know all too well. It's another administrative position similar to the one I had at Tech College.

I know, I know...didn't that same job cause you significant stress, so much so that you had to quit?


So why in the hell would you go back into the fire? 

In my defense, and I need one, I thought long and hard about doing this.

  • This particular position is a much shorter commute, like 10-15 minutes. So, that is way better than the 45-60 minutes with the last job. This would be way more do-able.
  • I know how to do the job and do it well. It complements my work in PhD program. I really could make a difference there.
  • It's not like anyone has been banging on my door for faculty positions, although HBCU did confirm that I will be teaching on camps for the fall. But that's one class. And, who knows what will happen with my admission situation at PhD U.
  • I just wanted to see what will happen. The worst thing is that I get no response or the classic FU letter.  If I did get an interview, I could decide for myself if this is where I want to go. 
  • I am in a better place physically, emotionally and mentally. I have the coping mechanisms to deal with this or any stressful situation. 
That's it in a nutshell. I am not really holding out hope on this. Who knows what will happen. The one thing that I have learned in all of this is that everything happens at the speed of smell in Elsewhere. So, I just have to sit back and wait.

That doesn't sound crazy...does it? 


Rejected due to lack of education and/or experience.