Sunday, October 13, 2019

Day 255

I had a wonderful day where I managed to squeeze in FaceTiming my father in law, going for a run, walking Scooter, and shopping for yarn with Ellen while still completing more homework than I expected to do today. I feel like I really have a grip on my life right now.

Of course, this sense of accomplishment has not come without a bit of ridiculousness.

I am currently finishing a study guide about multiple regression while "Back That Azz Up" by Juvenile plays on repeat. October 23 is still pretty far away. The "playing early 2000s rap songs on repeat while doing statistics" stage wasn't supposed to come this early. I worry about what the future holds. I will probably eat too much cereal at some point before this is all over.

I didn't take any blog-worthy photos today, so here's a picture of some candy corn that was free on Pixabay.

Something that made today great: My professor is allowing us to submit two "short" journals this semester, which is going to save me at least a few hours in the coming weeks. Boom.
Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Day 256

I'm continuing to work through my to-do list, but I started the day off with a little running and brunching to ease into the weekend. I had sworn that this would be a weekend of intense studying--which it's that too--but I needed some time to chill out, breathe, and have a little fun. Then, I did what I said I was going to do and studied. On one of my study breaks, I did take a quick trip over to my polling place to cast my vote in the primary election, so I feel like I did a good job taking care of my physical, emotional, social, and civic responsibilities today. 

The countdown is still on for October 23, but I am feeling less overwhelmed with every task I check off of my list. Even though I have tons to do, I am starting to see that it is possible to get it all done if I can break things down into smaller pieces. Plus, when all of this is over, it'll just about be time to head off to the Marine Corps Marathon, and that is something I have been looking forward to for months. I am almost to single-digit territory in the countdown to my last presentation. I can do this.

I would've voted without the sticker, but it was nice to get a sticker today!
Something that made today great: Running and brunching with fabulous female friends
Time I woke up: 6:15 am

Friday, October 11, 2019

Day 257

Through my College Access and Choice course this semester, I am participating in a service-learning opportunity. October is College Application Month, but in my state, it's actually Louisiana College Application and Access Month. Today, I volunteered at a high school for their College Application Day, and I helped seniors fill out college applications at a high school located about an hour and a half from where I live. In each class, I introduced myself with a spiel that went something like this:

Hi everyone! My name is Kimberly Davis, and I am a Ph. D. student at LSU. I am here to help you with your college applications and answer any questions you might have. I earned my bachelor's degree at Mercer University, which is a small private school, and my master's degree is from Arkansas Tech University, where I was an online student. If you have any questions about private institutions, online learning, or LSU, I am happy to answer those too! 

I did not have to answer any difficult questions; many of the issues that arose had more to do with navigating the application websites than the content of the applications. What was particularly exciting was seeing students finish their applications and feel accomplished for getting the ball rolling on their college processes. Most of the students were applying to state schools nearby, and I was surprised at how many were applying to their local community college. (While they worked, I walked around to answer questions and see where they were applying.)

Most students were either filling out college applications or searching for scholarships, but one student had Google pulled up on his Chromebook and had searched for "phd student." I had to pause for a moment and remember that while "Ph. D." is something that is a huge part of my life right now (and one of the top five topics I discuss with...anyone ever), I cannot assume that everyone knows what that is when I talk about it. Tonight when I came home, I read one of my readings for class on Monday, and it was about jargon and college knowledge. I spewed out all kinds of higher education terms in the 30 seconds I took to introduce myself--not a great idea for seeming like an approachable, relatable person to ask for help. These students are going through college application processes that differ from mine in many ways, and I just know I must have looked like a dodo. Fortunately, I managed to build some rapport with several of the students as we worked through their applications.

As I have learned more about college access this semester, something I have worried about is seeming unrelatable because I did not have obstacles to pursuing a college education. I do try to be honest about that fact, and I hope that my concern comes across as genuine when I serve students. College access is climbing the ranks of things I am passionate about, and I want to do meaningful work in expanding access to higher education. Realistically, I will likely always struggle with this as long as I am in the higher education field, but I hope I will come across as authentic when I serve others. Hopefully, the joy of the service will overtake my worries soon.

Free clip art of a Dodo bird wearing a crown...because I felt like a queen dodo bird today.

Something that made today great: I stopped at Billy's and picked up some boudin and pepperjack boudin balls. Yum!
Time I woke up: 5:15 am

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Day 258

I am amazed by how much better I have felt after making that to-do list last night. Even though it's a long and ambitious list, I feel so much more organized with my life. Also, checking items off of the list (well, highlighting them to indicate that they're done) feels pretty amazing.

I am proud to report that I am not guilty of this yet, but I still liked the meme.
At the moment, my list only contains school and professional tasks, but I did have some workout/exercise accomplishments today. I went to Lunchtime Lifts, making this the first week that I attended both workouts, and I ran with Varsity tonight! We did the decrease part of a ladder on a "hilly" area of Baton Rouge (which means not really hilly at all), and I managed to run faster as the requirements got shorter, even though I was getting tired. My hope is that I will continue to grow faster and stronger as I keep at it. For accountability purposes (and future reference) here were my paces:

  • 880 m: 9:19 min/mi
  • 660 m: 8:45 min/mi
  • 440 m: 8:08 min/mi
  • 220 m: 7:47 min/mi

Something that made today great: Getting two solid workouts done in one day!
Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Day 259

My mantras lately have been "I can't commit to anything new between now and October 23," and "I will be able to breathe a bit after October 23." Looking at my semester after October 23, however, I am starting to realize that I am still going to have a lot to do to finish the semester strong. Still, I am allowing myself to buy into the narrative that I will be able to relax after October 23 because I head to DC for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 25, and I am absolutely going to allow myself to breathe, enjoy the company of friends, and run the race I have been training for since the spring.

Tonight, I sat down and made a to-do list of everything school-related that I need to do between now and October 23. I broke the list down into manageable pieces because I like being able to check off tasks, but that made my list pretty long. Still, seeing it all in one place was actually kind of relieving, so I'm counting that exercise as a victory. I'll be glad to check every last task off of that bad boy and report back on my success in two weeks. Whew!

Something that made today great: I think I did really well on my statistics homework this week!
Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Day 260

I am definitely getting better and more confident in the weight room, and I think I might actually like Lunchtime Lifts. (Gasp!) Today was the first day that I did not have to shorten my last set, so that felt good. Paul even talked me into adding a little bit of weight to my last set of bench presses, and I still managed to do all eight reps. I'm not looking to do anything too crazy in the future (like upgrade from the 10 kg bar to the 15 kg bar), but I'll probably be there sooner than expected if I can continue to not fall from platforms and/or cry during class. I haven't done either of those things since the first day.

With the number of things I have on my plate this week and the fact that Richard was off of work tonight, I opted to skip Happy's and spend some time with my best husband and favorite dog. I am not running as much as I was a few weeks ago, which is due to a combination of (a) being a bit overwhelmed with school and (b) embracing the taper before Marine Corps perhaps a little too much. I'm doing better with my water consumption and sleep, though, and I like to think that those things will make me a better runner.

I'm glad tomorrow is the halfway point of the week!

Paul and I sent the workout to Jennie because she was not in class today
Something that made today great: Richard and I brought back Fried Chicken Tuesday for the first time in a few weeks. Popeye's for dinner!
Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Monday, October 7, 2019

Day 261

Today was jam-packed with student affairs fun! The annual Louisiana Association of College and University Personnel Administrators conference was today at Southern University. With some collaboration from LSU friends, I was able to co-present at two breakout sessions. This was great fun and apparently counts as valuable professional experience, so that's a double win!

I spent the bulk of the day at the conference but headed back to LSU in time to meet with my group project partners at 4:00 before we had class at 4:30. The first group presentation was today, and it was awesome! I might talk about it in my blog a little later this week, but I am pretty tired at the moment. I will actually be heading to bed before 11:00 for the first time in a while, which is an indicator of just how delightfully exhausting this day was. (Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I might've stayed up past 1:00 last night working on my PowerPoint slides. And by "might've" I mean "definitely blew that one," but I did take a three-hour nap yesterday.)

My heart is full from spending the day doing things I love and meeting people who are doing some incredible work in our state, but I have quite the list of things to accomplish between now and October 23. I have to pace myself so I don't end up crying in my car again...ha!

Selfie opportunity with my master's advisor after the graduate student round table!
Something that made today great: Reunions with fabulous student affairs friends from around Louisiana
Time I woke up: 6:15 am