The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Proverbial Question

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Yesterday, I had a meeting with my professor at PhD U. I asked to meet with her to discuss my topic for the final paper. I wanted to use the manuscript that I am writing for submission to a journal, which is also the basis for a conference presentation I am doing later this fall. Instead, she wanted to talk about where I was with the program application process. I told her I was scheduled to take the GRE next week. I have verbal commitment from two people for letters of recommendation. I told her that I was on track for having my application submitted by the December deadline.

Then she asked me something I was prepared to answer.

She wanted to know what my plans were after I earn my PhD.

In my defense, and I need one, I was not prepared to discuss that topic. My mind was filled with other things. I was giving a presentation in her class in an hour. I was thinking about the paper that I was going to write for her class, which was the purpose of the meeting, or so I thought. The last thing I wanted to talk about was where I am going to be once I finish my PhD.

But, it was a fair question.

I ended up falling back on my lawyer skills and gave an answer that was bedazzled with brilliance but full of total bullshit. Thinking back, I don't even recall what I told her. We talked about the practitioner vs. researcher tracks, particularly with respect to dissertation topics. She also invited me to volunteer to assist her with a major research project next semester. She offered to be a sounding board, mentor, whatever I would want to call it. We did get to talking about my paper, and I got a better sense of what she was looking for in that particular assignment. All in all, it was a good talk.

But, I could not get that question and my bullshit answer out of my head. I had all of these thoughts swimming around in my head. So much so that I had a hard time focusing on my presentation. Although, I got many compliments on my talk, I don't think I brought my "A" game because I just could not shake that question from my head.

What do I want to do with the PhD?

When I decided that I was going to pursue the PhD, my thought was that having the PhD, would lead to more job opportunities in academia. Long time readers know of my struggle with "just a JD".  But, I never thought about anything past that. I didn't have the stock answer to the proverbial question "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

 It's a fair question. I just need to figure out an answer that isn't bullshit.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Not Me

Posted by Seeking Solace |

As I was reading through posts on FB, I learned that someone that grew up with passed away. Post after post talked about what a wonderful person she was and how she was a friend to everyone who knew her.

Except me.


What I remember of this person was not the kind and sweet person everyone is gushing and reminiscing about.  I remember a mean girl who, along with her crowd, picked on and bullied Seeking Solace back in high school. 

Now, I know that was more that 25 years ago. I am not the same person that I was back then. People who know since undergrad are often surprised when I tell them about how I was bullied back in the day. I have worked very hard to erase the demons of that time, laying the past behind and let go of the ways that I've been hurt.

I  hope that this person changed and realized the error of her ways. Hopefully, she realized what she did was wrong. Perhaps she became a good person. I don't know.

I mean, I am not happy that she has passed. I would not wish death on anyone...EVER.

But, I cannot share in the grief-fest.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Searching...

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I have no idea where my motivation has gone. It's not like I don't have anything to do. I have tons of things that need to be done. But, even with my trusty To Do list, my motivation is lacking. I begin each day with good intent. And, most days, I am good. But today, even my usual tricks that help me get going are not working. And, I am usually ready to go after my morning run/walk with Junior. But, that hasn't helped at all.

Even writing this post is a painfully slow process.

I am not sure if this is a rut or if I am just bored.

Maybe, it's frustration.

Depression?

 A little bit of everything?

I do miss blogging on a regular basis. I think that when I am writing about what is going on in my crazy, mixed-up world, I am able to process what is going on in my head. Although, I am not sure if there are people out there who still read. But, then again, it's about processing. Having the support of a community of readers helps. I love having input from those out there who do read. But, again it's about trying to figure out all this shit that goes through my head.

Friday, September 05, 2014

40-Something Paradox

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I have often said that being in my 40's is fabulous. And it has been fabulous. I am in the best shape of my life. I am confident in many aspects of my life. I don't give a rat's ass of what people think.

But, there is one part of being 40 that is not so fabulous...being passed up or not being valued for your experience because of your age.

Husband is experiencing this at work. He is considered the "old man". He and two other guys are in their mid to late 40's. They have 20+ years of experience in the field. Yet, they are having to answer to younger guys who have little to no experience in the field.  In two cases, it's their first job. Needless to say, Husband and his buddies are frustrated because they see things that are wrong, yet management wants to go with what the young guys want to do. And, when Husband and the older guys try to show the younger guys the error of their ways, it is met with arrogance.

Needless to say, Husband is an unhappy camper. It could be that the HMFIC's at Husband's job are just being douchey. But, that does make the feelings less real.

 I've seen this too. I often wonder if part of the reason that I am being passed for jobs in my age. It doesn't take a math genius to see that on my CV, I am in my mid 40's. But, I often wonder if my experience is a detriment rather than an asset. Now, I am not saying that there is discrimination going on here. I can't prove it.

But, it does give me pause.

I remember when I began looking for attorney jobs. No experience meant no job. The rub was how does one get experience when you are not give to chance to get experience. Now, it seems the rub is how is one rewarded for their experience when those in power do not recognize the value in experience?

And, there lies the paradox.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's Hard

Posted by Seeking Solace |

My summer vacation has come to an end. Classes at HBCU started last week. Classes at PhD Uni started today; however, my class does not start until next Tuesday. This gives me some extra time too make sure the class I am teaching is running smoothly before I get consumed with PhD stuff.

So how did the summer go? Well, let's see...

The good...

  • I will be presenting at a conference in November. My first proposal and it gets accepted. Woot, Woot! 
  • I am up to 2 miles of jogging with Junior.  
  • No RA or FMS issues. Still in remission. 
  • I maintained my weight loss. Actually, I am down to 136 pounds, which is two pounds less than my goal. I have been doing some strength training, so I am sure that helps. 
  • Husband and I had two fabulous beach vacays. 
  • I have some lovely herbs, including one massive basil plant. 
The not-so-good...
  •  I have yet to take the GRE. Studying kinda fizzled out. 
  • I have yet to finish my IRB. I've learned that trying to track down professors over the summer can be futile. 
  • Job search went no where. There was the CC job, which I am convinced they never read, a job and PhD Uni that was a long-shot and one at HBCU that they barely acknowledged. I have three more that are stuck in "In Progress" land. 
The not-so-good stuff led me to spend most of July wallowing in a pool of self pity and depression that prevented me from accomplishing much of what I wanted to do. Husband thinks that possibly I was in the depression stage of grief. The grief being that I had thought/hoped that my current underemployment status would be short-lived. Yet, it's been a year and I am still in the same place I was a year ago.

He's right. And, I know this. It's just hard. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

What's It Gonna To Take?

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I received an email from a local CC letting me know that despite having numerous qualified applicants, they were looking for someone who best fit their requirements. Therefore, I was not selected for an interview.

Really? I thought I hit all the requirments for the position. Let's see...

  • I've taught the course in question for many years and I am teaching it currently
  • I have experience with online learning. 
  • I have all of the educational and employment requirements. (Those of you who know me IRL know my history.)
  • I have devoted my academic work to adult learners, which includes my PhD studies
  • I have a stellar teaching record.

Yep. I can see why I didn't get an interview. I am seriously under-qualified (Insert sarcastic look of disgust.)

I can understand having many applicants for the position. But, did anyone really look at my CV and other materials? I sent an email to HR, inquiring what deficiencies were present in my application, so that I could address them. I seriously doubt I will get a response.

If meeting all the requirements, and then some, is not enough to even get an interview, what's it gonna take?

Because, I have no idea.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Counting Streetlights

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Runners use many things to keep track of their distance. There are tons of devices and apps to help one monitor how far they go. I use a pedometer app on my phone and wear one of those armbands that hold my phone. But, it's kinda hard to look at my progress while running and holding on to Junior's leash (plus, a poop bag, if needed).

I count streetlights.

I live in a subdivision that has one large loop and two smaller streets that intersect the large loop. The large loop is about a mile and the two intersecting streets break up the loop at a quarter and half miles, respectively. As I progress with my distance, I am not always able to make the quarter or half mile mark, so the streetlights are a great visual for me to see how far I have gone and where I need to go.

I've been stuck at the 1.5 mile mark for a while. Usually, I can add one or two streetlights every two weeks or so, if I stick to my four to five day a week run/walk schedule. This consists of running one day, walking the next, and then rest on the third day. Or, I add another run or walk day followed by a rest day if I feel up to it. But, I have not been able to add a streetlight past the 1.5 mile mark for about a month.

That is, until today.

I didn't think we would make it out for a run. It looked like it was going to rain, so I was sure that we would get caught up in it. Junior was pretty persistent about going, so I decided to give it a go. Once we finished our warm up walk and reached our start point, we started cruising. I noticed that as we got close to the 1.5 mile mark, I felt like I had enough gas in the tank to reach another streetlight. Once, I past that streetlight, I had enough gas to push past the second streetlight. I decided to stop at that point. so that I would not overdue it and send myself into an RA flare. Also, I wanted to make sure that Junior was not too overheated or overextended. I added two streetlights. That was enough. I checked my pedometer, and sure enough, we added 1/10 of a mile.

My goal is to complete a 5K by the end of the year. With Junior's help, we are on our way.

One streetlight at a time.

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