Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Day 180

I try to be honest in my blog postings since I'm really only writing these posts as a way to document my life, but I'm not always as real as I could be when I write. Much of that is probably tied to my personality and how I try to keep a positive outlook even when life isn't dealing me the most fabulous hand...but here's a bit of realness.

This week has been tough, and it's only Wednesday. A lot is going on in my personal life that is taking time from my professional and academic life, and it makes me want to eat lots of ice cream and drink a few cocktails for comfort. I do quite a few things such as running, school, volunteering, being a spouse, and taking care of a dog, so there are usually many plates to keep spinning at all times. When something unexpected pops up, there's not a whole lot of room to adjust, but I always seem to keep all of the balls up in the air. Some weeks, it works better than others.

After failing to complete a full draft of my grant proposal last night--my mind was in several places other than at my desk writing--I wrote to my advisor this morning asking if we could reschedule our meeting for next week when I could be better prepared. She wrote me back and said she was fine with moving the meeting, but she also didn't expect me to have a full proposal ready today since grant proposals can be a lengthy process, especially the first one. I ended up keeping my meeting, and while I'm glad I did, I also found myself unable to demonstrate the same enthusiasm I had a week or so ago when I e-mailed her and told her I wanted to apply for this grant and take on a research project. I was excited, of course, but maybe not on the level that I should be before the project even begins. I left our meeting with plenty of things to think about and ways to narrow my focus, but I couldn't help feeling like I'd dropped the ball somewhere. It was probably foolish to expect that I would be a master of grant proposals on my first attempt, but I surely expected to knock this one out of the park.

Tonight in Testing and Measurement class, we worked on evaluating the reliability using the questions on the assessment we recently administered, and the results were dismal. My group is doing okay as a whole, but our individual sections are a hot mess. (In case anyone was wondering, you can increase reliability by asking more questions, but then problems arise with test fatigue and disengagement.) My section's reliability estimate was an unpleasant surprise after I spent time and effort developing questions and trying to do a good job, but at least I am learning valuable lessons so I can do better work in the future. I'm reasonably sure that's part of the point of this whole graduate school gig I'm doing.

I am trudging through this week and staying on top of the things, but I'd be telling lies if I said it's been easy or fun. I get it: some weeks are like this, and we don't appreciate the good weeks without the bad ones...but man I'm ready to rest. I'm thankful for mercy and grace when I need it, but I'm also oddly thankful for the high expectations I set for myself, even if I don't always meet them.

Fun fact! When I Googled "trudging," most of the images were of people in snow, but the definition of "trudging" isn't specific to snow. (This photo from Pexels.)
Something that made today great: This has happened all week, but Richard has cooked dinner and cleaned up while he's been off of work. It's really wonderful to eat a delicious meal and not have to deal with the cleanup when I'm under stress.
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

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