Monday, August 09, 2004

Here I go again posting an email, but there is a reason for this one. It also contains the reason I have hardly posted anything since my return from Hawaii! (Well, this and the inability to find somewhere to download my photos, which make all the difference.)

The thing is, people have been inviting me to an average of two events per weekend, as though I now have free time simply because it's warm out! I think I probably gave people the wrong impression by having some fun around the 4th of was only temporary, not a new lifestyle.


Dear Favorite Cool People,

Many of you have invited me to do all kinds of really neat and fun things throughout the summer. They have been things I wanted to do, and anyway you are people I would even do boring things with just for the heck of it. (And I have in fact done one or two things with nearly all of you, at least those of youliving in the same state!)

The reason I am writing this email is to beg you all to not even tell me about anything fun you are doing during August, (and probably not September either), let alone invite me, because the only thing I can do about it is feel a combination of guilty and envious.

I know you have heard it all a hundred times since I started grad school, but it really is this bad. I feel like I need to explain what this is like, since it probably seems like I just constantly turn things down for no reason. I want people to know why I am rejecting your invitations, and it's not because of you.

(I probably also just feel like complaining about how crazy this really is, and also possibly like warning people away from entering a PhD program unless totally informed!)

Okay, here it is, the stuff I have to get done by the end of this month, so my next four weeks will consist of:

1. I have to write a 10-page paper every weekend during August. Every…weekend. And not just any old 10-page paper where if it sounds pretty good and everything is spelled right and I widen the margins I can kind of BS my way through, but rather a total of 40 pages combined that is my qualifying exam paper. This is the hujambous exam where I have to show in minute detail, with about 10 pages of references, everything I have learned in the past 3 years of grad school. It has to be a serious, big, heavy, scholarly paper in 10-point font and with all these APA specifications. (Including the dang statistics stuff.) This will have to be graded by three separate faculty members individually before I can basically pass to "the next grade". And then at the end of this month I have to put it all together and make it sound like a cohesive whole.

2. I have to pretty much rewrite my entire thesis. I was supposed to be completely done with it and have it defended at the end of June/beginning of July, but of course one of my committee members (a mean one!) returned it to me with 4 (four!) single-spaced pages of things he wanted me to change, which means completely redoing roughly 75% of it. (This is the thing that has already taken me three years to do so far.)

3. I have to create, upload, and lesson-plan my entire class semester from scratch: I begin teaching my first class September 2.

4. I have to design the research plan for my upcoming dissertation. Of course, I can't actually propose until I rewrite and defend that thesis (above) and turn in my quals exam paper (above). But I can't begin applying for internships—-which I have to do this fall—-until I propose my thesis.

5. I still have clients, assessments, case presentations, supervision, write-ups, and other clinic work to do throughout the week, every week.

6. I have to completely plan out and then promote a therapy group for the fall semester. But before I can even begin the planning stage, I have five texts/resources I need to read. They total nearly 2000 pages. And since I need a co-leader, I am also going to have to train one of my colleagues in the particular type of therapy it will be, since I'm the only one who's done it so far.

7. I have to write this dumb report thing for a class that was over last year, but the professor changed the instructions on the very last day of class during the actual final, so that several of us ended up with incompletes for the class, including me.

8. I have to attend colleagues' weddings two of these weekends. I am actually pretty unhappy about that, (even though I love them personally,) as Saturdays and Sundays are my prime working days, so there go big chunks of two of the four weekends. Furthermore, my teenage half-sister (dad's side) will be coming up to stay with me on yet another one of the weekends.

Also, since Simon and I have had so many reasons we've each had to leave the town/state/continent over the summer, we have barely seen each other at all. When he returns from Texas in a couple weekends, we won't have seen each other in nearly a month. So yes, it will be a priority to squeeze in some time to see him, even time I can't afford, or technically we won't even have a relationship. (Naturally, that weekend will also be the weekend my little sister will be visiting, and I still have to be writing 10 pages that weekend somehow too.)


So there it is, the stuff I have do finish THIS month—-and yet I know there are other things I have left off this list but can't think of right now. So if you feel that I have been blowing you off, or you wonder why I won't take just one night or just one afternoon to play, now you know what kind of fun things I've been doing instead. I'm at that point where every single freakin' hour of every day from now through September is already completely planned out, with no wiggle room at all.

I spent about four or five days around the 4th of July not doing very much work, so I guess that was my summer. Oh yeah, plus the APA convention. (And of course I even feel guilty for having done that.) So please, please—-don't even tell me about the barbecue/ dance night/ funeral/ swim day/ party/ wedding/ birthday/ movie evening/ open-mike night, because I simply can't do it, and I feel bad for having to keep saying no over and over and over like a big jerk!

"Loves It!" (<--if you can tell me what that's from you get some kind of metaphorical prize, though it can't make up for having seen the source)

1 comment:

argotnaut said...

I believe you! I always believed you!

Like when Rev. Noyes said, "Well, maybe there's some other weekend when she could come here . . . "

"NO! There isn't! There just isn't. Otherwise she would have said so."

Even I, a lowly undergrad, sometimes have to ask The Rev to just not even THINK about asking me to do anything fun, because I already feel bad. Then I'll do one of two things:

1) Do the fun thing anyway, but feel ill-at-ease because I know I don't have the time to do it, and then become even more crabby while trying to catch up on the other stuff that I'm then hopelessly behind on.

2) Not do the fun thing, and feel like a jerk, and become even more crabby because he would dare ask me to do something fun when he knows I can't!