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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

graduate school: an exercise in frustration, neural expansion and keeping fingers crossed that it is all worth it

This is what my next six weeks look like:

Plan a baby shower for Mindy and Charissa who are having twins (!), plan the PTO Valentine's Dance which I was elected to do this past summer without my consent and I didn't have the brains to say no one I was nominated (I also have no training since last year all I did was help blow up some balloons), plan a party and write an article for on my semi-failed chocolate milk campaign at Ella's school for my friend Emilie's online magazine, Sparrow.

Oh, and fold the laundry, shop, cook, clean, drive, unpack Maya's ten purses that she has throughout the house containing random items like chapstick, dollhouse furniture, my jewelry, a single glove (naturally, not the set) and, god forbid, my car keys. 

I should add to the list: try not to lose my mind.

Sandi's next six weeks, in fact next 5 months look like this: study, pack to go to Portland, study, drive to Portland, study, go to class, study, take a test, study, pack to come home, study, unpack from Portland, study and repeat.

Those folks down at UNE really know how to ruin a perfectly good vacation.  Sandi was to be off from the December 16th until January 3rd.  We both held our breath expecting them to give work over the break.  No one did. 

That is until about Christmas Eve.

The assignments started coming in.  Read 7 chapters in this book.  Watch 5 hours of lecture.  Take an online quiz in this class.  Oh, and you know that book you bought in the fall and paid $80 for?  A second addition is out so please buy it again.  And on and on. 

The vacation that remained after Christmas took this form.  Sandi: "I think if I study part of Thursday and Friday, that will be it and I will be able to just enjoy the rest of vacation."  Then:  "If I could study most of the day on Saturday then Sunday and Monday would be in the clear." 

It turned out she had to study part of Sunday and Monday too and still didn't finish it all.

I mean, c'mon people.  We knew it was a rigorous program.  We knew it would be hard and wrought with tension as we tried to negotiate having a family with having UNE as a mistress.  But, seriously, poor organization need not also be part of the stress.

I will confess I did not handle this ever increasing need for study time all that well.  I know it isn't Sandi's fault and I feel for her, having to hole up in the office with ear plugs while the girls and I play.  Sandi worked two twelve hour shifts in the ICU before Christmas and then with all the busyness of the holiday, we were SO looking forward to the down time before New Year's. 

What can I say.  I am so proud of us for making it through one semester and now she is halfway done with schooling in Portland so that is a plus.  Mostly, though, I feel like we just settle back into our new normal, putting our heads down and working (her on airways, physiology and pharmacology and me on dances and baby showers) and try not to think too much about how hard it is to be worlds apart.

It doesn't help that last night, as I was confessing my overwhelm about my ineptitude to plan the Valentine's Dance, we realized that she will be in Portland that day for a training and won't even be able to help me get it off the ground and she might have to miss the dance itself.  I worked really hard not to cry. I mean, it is only a dance for some little kids, right? RIGHT?

So I'm looking for a new wingman if anyone is interested....

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Oh, Suzanne, after reading all this stuff I realized how much I miss you. HOw we all used to laugh. Seems like years ago. Oh, it WAS years ago.
Okay, so here's the reason why I wanted to contact you in the first place. I left Larry alone in the kitchen while I was at work. His mission was to make a blueberry pie. When I got home, he was cooking something on the stove. I said, "What are you doing?" He said, "That's what the recipe says to do." I said, "What recipe?" He showed me. At the top, it said, "Mrs. Carver's blueberry pie." Once I remembered where I got it, turns out it was Sandi's mother! HOw long ago, and under what circumstances I have no clue. That's what it was, though. I never would have found it because I always use the one in my Betty Crocker cookbook. Leave Larry alone and look what he found! I am so happy.
So what is Sandi doing at UNE - I mean what is she studying? What degree will she have? Graduate school is exactly what you call it. I remember having not much of a life except school. It must be hard for you.
Life has taken us so far apart. 'Twould be wonderful to see you again.
I guess that's all for now.

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