- I took a little unannounced blogging break, mainly because I worked all last weekend on my law term paper (about a topic I was clueless on) and finishing up some law journals to hand in on Thursday. And then I was busy with that little magazine project you might have heard me mention a time or two. The semester is slowwwly winding down (only 10 days left!) so I’ll be blogging less until I get my feet back from under me.
- In completely awesome news, I finished my magazine today! It has to be the best feeling ever to know I am done and still have over a week to tweak it until it’s due. I’m going to send the file to my professor so he can give me his opinion and critique so I know exactly what I need to fix. This project caused me so much stress and tension but once I found out that my professor liked my magazine, it became so much fun! It didn’t feel like I was doing homework when I was working on this project. And I’m super happy with the way it’s turned out.
- I signed up for 4 courses over the summer, forgetting that my scholarship doesn’t pay for summer classes and my financial aid still hasn’t been reinstated. So I might have freaked out a little bit when I saw my tuition would be around $2,500 which is just a little unaffordable. So I’ll be taking two classes and then hoping to get my scholarship back/financial aid reinstated for fall so I can take 5 classes and finish up my undergraduate degree!
- I’ve made a lot of changes to this blog while on my “break.” First off, I changed the layout and I love, love, love it! And since I paid money for it, I’m hoping I don’t get bored with it in a month. I tend to do that. I also fixed my blogroll and made a new 101 days list. I loved how clean and simple Lauren’s looked and went for one like hers with the categories which makes it so much easier for me to look at. I had to make some new goals for the ones I already completed, since I started my 1,001 days over, so check it out!
- I have a short three-day workweek next week which I’m thrilled about! That’s two days where I don’t have to wake up before 5am! I took those two days to help with getting everything completed before finals weeks starts and I think I’m going to manage to do everything. Wow! (And the week after that, I took Friday off to recuperate from this semester. I can’t wait!)
- In May, I’m taking on The 30-Day Shred challenge. I think I need a challenge for my exercise life, since I do everything in my power to get out of it. Anyone up to doing the challenge with me? Pretty please?
I want to tell you a story.
The story is about a boy of about fourteen. The boy is sullen and angry. His parents just got divorced and he has to live with his mom and little sister. He thinks the world revolves around his father and wants to live with him. His mom forces him to go to church and he hates being there. Every Sunday, he stomps in and slumps down as far as he can get in his seat.
Watching him, is a man. The man leads a Sunday School class with middle-/high-schoolers with his wife. He has an amazing testimony and story of redemption. The man can see a little of himself in this boy.
The man introduces himself to the boy and invites him to the Sunday School class. It takes him multiple attempts for the boy to finally agree to go.
The boy loves it. He loves the class and he loves the leaders even more.
The boy’s sister joins him in the class when she starts seventh grade. She loves it, too. She connects with the leaders on a level she hasn’t connected with other Christian leaders in her life. These people are real. They are living out loud for God. They are refreshing.
One day, the youth leaders for the Wednesday night class announce they are leaving and the Sunday School leaders will be taking their place. The boy and girl are excited.
Youth group changes dramatically with the new leaders. It becomes dynamic and fun. They learn more about the Bible than they ever have. They start each service with worship and then a icebreaker game before the sermon. The sermon’s are exciting. Both boy and girl can sit through the entire service, with rapt attention. They learn about the man’s testimony, which blows them away.
They begin to become more involved. The youth leaders start a Thursday night game night with a ramp for skateboarding, a pick-up football game, and plenty of board games. The boys play sports and get dirty. The girls sit at picnic tables and gossip (um, in a godly way?). Boy and girl begin to enjoy church.
The youth leaders begin to have a Sunday afternoon hangout, between the morning services and evening service. They go to the beach or hang out by a pool. They stop at Wendy’s for a yummy lunch. They shake the van while sitting at a traffic light, with the leader leading the way. They have more fun with church friends than they ever imagined.
But then circumstances arise where a new youth leader takes his place. Boy and girl are devastated. They never connect with another leader as much as the previous ones.
But for those short months they got to have those leaders changed their life. They never forgot them, never forgot their story or how much they meant to them.
They saved their life. They showed them a new way of living. They inspired them.
Boy and girl grew up. They never tried a drug in their life. They never saw the inside of a jail cell. They never had a drunken night. They fought through the odds to come out on top. Boy has a good job, a beautiful girlfriend, and an adorable baby. Girl has a good job and is finishing up her Bachelor’s degree. They never forgot those leaders or the impact they had on their lives.
I knew this semester was going to be jam-packed, busy, and test every level of strength I possessed. What I didn’t know was how much it would try to break me.
I’m not good at managing my time. This is not a new fact for me. The truth is, I’d much rather spend my time blogging, catching up my DVR-ed shows, and sleeping than doing actual work. It’s the lazy American in me, you could say.
I managed fairly well, working a part-time job and going to school full-time, last semester. I managed to scrape by with A’s and an almost-A and didn’t feel as if my entire world was caving in at all. The last few weeks were intense but I managed.
I still have another two months to go and I’ve already had my fair share of cry-my-eyes-out meltdowns. My mom has witnessed way too many of these and I’m not a very nice person when these occur. I throw out F-bombs, snap at her for no reason, and just get ugly. It’s not pretty.
But I’m going to make it through this semester. I’m going to succeed, even if success comes in the form of a barely-passable C-.
In order to succeed, I need to put my priorities together. The only way I am going to make it through this semester without going crazy is by figuring out the placement of everything in my life.
Obviously, school must come first. I’m in the process of figuring out what I have due for the rest of the semester in all my classes and making sure I have a timeline to complete it all. The biggest thing weighing on my mind is a 16-page magazine I have to create from scratch. Original images, original designs, and original stories. I’ve come to realize design is not my forte and I know this magazine won’t be the best in the class. But I just want to create it for me and to be happy with my work – even if my professor isn’t.
Second on the list is my health. I’m on the Weight Watchers program and lost three pounds my first week. I want to keep my health in check and know this is the one thing in my life that I can control, even if everything else in my life is going to the crapper. And I know by eating healthy, drinking water, and exercising, I will keep my body happy. And a happy body means a happy mind, right?
Third on the list is my relationship with God. I need to fall back in love with Jesus and I need Him to help me make it through these days. I know I’m just going to falter if I try to do this on my own. And I need His help with the magazine I’m going to produce. I’m trying out a new small group on Sunday and I’m hoping this one works for me. I really have tried so many small groups that I just don’t enjoy, people-wise. I want to feel comfortable and I want my relationship with God to deepen through it.
Sitting lower on my list of priorities are my social life, blogging life, and job. My job isn’t something I’m willing to give up. After this semester, it should be smooth sailing for my last two semesters of college. And I want to keep my job throughout it. I love where I work and even if the pay is crappy, it’s better than no job. My social life is laughable so let’s not even talk about it. Suffice it to say, I know I need down time but those times will be few and far between for the next two months.
But blogging. I love blogging. I love writing blogs and reading posts. I love commenting and finding out I have new people reading my blog. And it hurts to know it’s going to have to go on the back burner for the next few months. My goal is to aim for 1-2 blog posts a week and keep up with my Google Reader as much as possible. But I do need to step away from the obsession I have over blogging until school has calmed down. Am I happy about it? No. But it’s necessary.
I’m already counting down the days until May. It’s going to be a rough, crazy, stressful two months but I will make it through. And I will succeed. Anyway, thanks for listening.
I have baggage. Internship baggage. And with this baggage comes some extreme anxiety and nervousness when approaching anything related to interning.
I start my fourth internship on Tuesday. And while it’s completely different from my previous three, it still has the label of “Internship.” And it still scares me to death.
My previous internships all took place in elementary school classrooms. My first one was in a first-grade classroom where I went one day a week for 15 weeks. My second one was in a fourth-grade classroom where I went two days a week for 17 weeks. My third one was in another fourth-grade classroom where I went five days a week and became a full-time teacher.
My first internship was smooth sailing and actually quite fun. I worked under a great teacher who really taught me a lot. I realized in this internship that teaching wasn’t as easy as it looked but it was fun and I enjoyed it. And I was super excited to start my next internship in a grade level I was more interested in.
My second internship was horrible. The teacher I worked under was kooky and so burnt out from teaching. She told me one day, and I quote, “Are you sure you really want to be a teacher? Because if I had to do it all over again, I would never have become a teacher.” Oh, how I enjoyed her pep talks!
Anyway, this was the first time I ever questioned whether I was on the right path. This teaching business was no joke. It was tough and hard and I wasn’t the best at it. I could make lesson plans that would rock your socks off. But executing them? I struggled. And it didn’t help when my supervising professor and teacher offered no support for me. While I could rock my education classes and had so much fun in them, I felt so lost in my internships. I was a fish out of water in the elementary schools as an intern.
My third internship actually managed to be even worse than the previous one. For this internship, I basically became a teacher. I worked in the classroom all day for five days a week. By my 4th or 5th week, I had to be fully teaching every subject. I also had two different teachers I worked under. In the morning, I started with Lady Teacher where I taught reading and writing. In the afternoon, I moved to another classroom with my students to Guy Teacher where I taught math, science, and social studies.
Honestly, I thought I was doing good. Lady Teacher and Guy Teacher never had anything bad to say about the job I was doing. I knew I wasn’t perfect and I was making a lot of rookie mistakes but wasn’t that what the internship was about? To prepare us for full-on teaching? I felt even more like a fish out of water as I never really connected with my teachers and felt that my supervising professor (who was the same one who “supervised” me in my second internship) was rooting for me to fail. I had a review about 6 or 7 weeks into teaching where I found out I wasn’t doing as well as they hoped, but that “many of their interns start out this way.” They didn’t seem concerned so I wasn’t too concerned.
Only they told my professor that I was doing an awful job. We had a sit-down meeting one afternoon, shortly after they gave me my review, and I bawled throughout the entire thing. I’m embarrassed to admit it now but I felt so dumbfounded by this information, since they had told me that this was normal! During the meeting, my teachers didn’t have that much to say and no real advice was given to help me improve. So I had to go at it alone, find out what I was doing wrong, and how I could fix it.
October 29th is the day that will live in infamy for me for a long, long while. It was the day I was told by my professor that there was no way I would pass my internship. ME! Who had flown through school, passing classes and acing classes like it was no big deal, was going to fail an internship. And not just any internship – my final internship. The last requirement I needed to graduate college.
I don’t have good memories of my internships. As much as I would like to blame my supervising teachers (although I do admit they are partly to blame), the ultimate responsibility falls to me. For some reason, I wasn’t good enough. It seems like such a simple thing – teaching. It doesn’t occur to you that you could be bad at it. And I am. It’s been really hard to admit that I was bad at teaching and even harder to write this blog post. I’m a fairly capable human being and school has been something I’ve always excelled at. So to fail an internship felt like the ultimate bomb to my self-esteem and emotions.
But I’ve moved on. I’ve discovered I don’t want to be a teacher. I don’t want to wake up every day with fear and trepidation of what the day will bring. I don’t want to arrive at my job with nervous anxiety of how I’m going to teach this subject or that subject.
I’m a journalism student. Writing is where my heart lies. Writing is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Writing is my escape and my serenity. And I have fallen so head over heels in love with my passion.
So next week, I will start my fourth internship. This time, it won’t be in an elementary-school. This time, it will be a media internship. And I am going to take all that baggage that’s been holding me back and place it in the hands of my Heavenly Father. He can shoulder my burdens and give me a fresh attitude to arrive at this internship as a new woman. And I’m thinking He’s pretty good at that.
I start another semester of school on Monday. Unlike last semester, I’m not very excited about this. Well, I’m a tad bit more excited than I was a few weeks ago. I think I’ve forgotten a little how hectic and crazy and stressed a semester is.
Last semester was my first time working 30+ hours while attending a full load of courses. And I’m not going to lie, it was intense. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stressed out and tired as I did last semester, especially with a crazy move in the midst of it. But I managed through it and ended up with 3 A’s and an Almost A (it was an 89.96% and my professor didn’t bump it up to an A. He gave me a B+. But I’m calling it an Almost A because I was so close.)
I don’t feel settled about this semester yet. There’s one class I’m trying to get into and I’m on 3 separate waiting lists for the sections that are offered. On Tuesday, I received an e-mail saying they had opened up another class. (FINALLY!) So I shot off an e-mail to get the permit to take the class and I’m still waiting to hear back. If I can get into this class, which is on Monday nights, it would work perfectly with my schedule and I wouldn’t have to quit my job!
My other classes are set. (Although, if I do get into the above-mentioned class, I would drop one of my classes, to keep me at 12 credit hours.) I’m taking an internship, which will be my fourth one I’ve taken but seeing as my other three internships were in an elementary school setting, it will be much, much different. Two of the classes I’m taking are extremely close to my heart so I’m very excited about them. I think I’ll really get a feel for what I think I want to do when I graduate, so I can discover if it’s something I’m truly passionate about.
I’m having some major internship anxiety right now, something I’m going to talk more about tomorrow. I have a lot of baggage when it comes to internship, based on my past experiences.
So while the level of excitement isn’t the same as it was last semester, I’m still very excited about the possibilities and experiences that await me as I begin my third semester as a journalism student. And once I finish this one, I only have two semesters (and 5 classes!) until I graduate!
It’s been over a week since I last updated, thanks to no Internet connection at the new apartment. I found this out on Saturday, cried about it a little (I’m serious), and moved on. I’ve been able to get any homework I need to get done when I’m at school and today I woke up early to take my mom to work and then head over to Panera Bread to work on more homework. Yay, me.
All in all, I’m pretty happy. I’ll be even happier when we have Internet, better cable, and MONEY! Mom and I will be sitting down sometime this weekend and working out our budget. We need to get caught up on all our credit card bills and also start saving money. I’ve had $1.00 in my savings account for 3 years now. It’d be nice to get in the double digits, at least.
See these boxes? They weren’t supposed to grace our apartment for another couple of weeks.
In August, Mom and I decided to move. We’re living in a beautiful apartment in a beautiful complex. It’s a gated community with covered parking, granite countertops, and a full-size washer/dryer in every unit. But it’s way too expensive for us. We need to downsize and found a perfect little community that fit our budget.
So, when I said I was stressed before? Man, I didn’t even know! We only have one week to pack. We also have to set up cable and liability insurance before move-in. And the move-in fees? $1,400, which, thankfully, includes October’s rent. Basically, money is going to be non-existant for me until my next paycheck in October. Honestly, right now, I have no idea how we’re going to work this out. Money issues are keeping me up at night.
My mom sent my apartment complex an e-mail Thursday night to tell them we are able to move out before October 5th. (Although, frankly, I would’ve waited until Monday and let her sweat all weekend about it.) And now the office manager has been acting very strange. Before, when she told us about the new tenant, it was all roses: You’ll get any unused rent and your security deposit. And now? She’s telling us that any damages and cleaning they’ll have to do will be taken out of the security deposit.
Under normal circumstances, this would be fine. But these are not normal circumstances. We are, in a sense, being rushed out of our apartment. We won’t have the time (or the money) to clean the carpets. (Which is our main concern.) Everything else will be spic-and-span. My mom once read some reviews about our complex after we moved in here and one lady talked about how awful they were to her when she moved out. And how much they overcharged her. And it looks like the same might be happening to us.
Anyway, it’s going to be a long week. I still haven’t gotten the OK to take Friday and Monday off from my job, which I’m worried about. We have so much stuff to pack and get rid of. And I have 3 exams this week and a paper due.
Honestly, I just want to bypass the next 3 weeks. I want to be all settled into the new apartment with money in my bank account.
I haven’t wanted to admit it. First of all, I don’t like to complain. (Unless it’s about how much I don’t want to exercise.) Secondly, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer. But, after 4 weeks of classes, it’s finally hit me: Stress.
Stress + Stephany = Crabby Pants.
I don’t deal with stress well. I get crabby, short with people, and consume my body weight in chocolate. I’m really scared of what I’m going to be like around November, when the tough projects come rolling in. (Hello, case studies.)
I’ve never worked a part-time job while going full-time at school. Actually, scratch that because I did work in my school’s bookstore at the end of 2006, beginning of 2007. But I only worked maybe 10 hours a week and was taking easy-as-pie education classes.
I’m working 30 hours a week. My alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. Monday through Friday. After class, four days a week, I rush to campus where I try to stay awake to listen to
boring exciting lectures. On Mondays, I get a semblence of a break until I have to sit at my computer from 7 p.m. until 8:45 p.m., logging onto my online class’ Virtual Classroom. Then come Tuesdays, my longest day. I have work, afternoon class, a break, and then class from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. And it’s not even a fun class. (Although, it could be. They just choose to be boring about it.)
Luckily, my week gets better starting on Wednesday. I’m done with work/classes by 3:15 p.m., which is heavenly. And I usually don’t start any homework until Friday night, at the earliest. (Yes, I do homework on Friday nights. You can see how extremely exciting my life is.) But this means my nights are usually free for me to bum around online, watch lots o’ TV, and catch up on my reading.
It’s a busy schedule. I wouldn’t say I’m at the level I was at during my “final” internship in fall 2008, but I’m getting there. And, really, it’s not half as bad as many people. I live with my mom, which means I don’t have too many responsibilities. I don’t have any children to care for. And most of my nights are free for me.
So why am I so stressed out? My mom and I have gotten in more small arguments in the past 3 days than we have all year! I’ve come up with a list (because who doesn’t love a good list?):
- I’m sleepy – I’ve been going to bed way too late for someone who has to be up at 5:15 a.m. The past 3 days, I’ve gone to bed past 11:30, which means I’m getting less than 6 hours of sleep. And I’m a 9+-hours-of-sleep-a-night type of girl. I don’t function well when I’m exhausted.
- We’re moving – Our lease for this amazing-yet-way-too-expensive apartment is up October 15, so we’ve already put a deposit on another apartment, closer to my school and my mom’s work. But we put our deposit in very early so we haven’t exactly secured an apartment yet. I’m a little anxious about that and don’t relish the thought of yet another move. (This will be my 14th move. And no, I wasn’t a military brat.)
- Flab to fab – It hasn’t been working out as brilliantly as I had hoped. I don’t want to get too in depth, since I’ll be blogging about it tomorrow, but I’m getting really disappointed in myself. I’ve been feeling that I’m destined to be fat. (Lane Bryant…here I come!)
All of the issues, combined with my classes, projects, and work (which can be a VERY stressful job on most days), have gotten me to this point. Blogging about it has helped. I started this blog, not knowing I would find out why I am stressed. And now it’s just a matter of moving forward, making changes, and battling with the stress demon.
I really meant to write this post yesterday and now I feel dorky for writing it today. But I wanted to write about it. It’ll be my first time ever really talking it.
September 11, 2001.
I was 13 years old. (Don’t hate!) I was an eighth-grader in middle school and had never heard of the World Trade Center before then.
As is true with just about everyone else, I began my day like normal. I was taken to school by bus, joked around with friends until the bell rang, and settled into my first-period class. I listened to the announcements and noted that it was one of my many crushes, Marc’s, birthday. (And later felt sad as we loaded onto the bus at the end of the day that his birthday was never going to be the same again.)
I ambled along to second period and it wasn’t until I was coming into my third-period class that I heard the news.
“The Word Trade towers fell down and went boom.”
That’s what one of my classmates said to me. Not the best way to describe what happened. And believe me, we let her have it. In the classes that followed, we sat and watched CNN as they described the tragedy. I didn’t quite grasp the severity of what had happened.
What was the World Trade Center? Why would someone choose these towers to crash into? And how does it affect me? I have no family living in New York. I was in no shape or form involved in politics.
In my sixth-period class, my assistant principal visited us and led a Q-and-A session where we could voice our questions and get some facts.
I went home and immediately turned on the TV. It was scary. Our country had just been the victim of terrorism. Lives had been lost. People were missing. And the country was in disarray.
But I also remember how our country pulled together. We were no longer Republicans, Democrats, and independents. We were Americans. We drew together as a country. And I know other things were happening, under the Patriot Act. But, as a young 13-year-old, I didn’t notice that. Maybe I noticed what the media wanted me to see. But when I think back on September 11, 2001 and the aftermath that followed, I remember patriotism. I remember coming together as a country. I remember feeling scared yet hopeful.