Category Archives: Grad School


Soon I will have to retire my grad school label, because I am graduating.  After 20 years as a full time student, I will be graduating from my second master’s degree, my first science degree (I have a BA and an MA so far) and the hardest degree I’ve every worked toward.  In the last 18 months, I’ve taken coursework on economics, C++, biostatistics, and health law for the first time.

In the last 9 months, I have applied for 62 jobs, had 5 phone interviews, 4 in person interviews, and no job offers (although 2 of those interviews were recent.)  I am going to keep applying for things and keep soldiering on, but am ready to be employed.  One would think that with a pair of master’s degrees I have to be fairly desirable, but thus far I am not having much luck.  Nevertheless, I will continue to persevere.  I’m glad that H and I have been frugal and managed our money well, so we’ll be in okay shape even if I’m unemployed for a bit.  I am still hoping that won’t occur because I have work through June 30 with my graduate assistantship.

This week, I’ll write my last 15 page paper and my last piece of graduate school work before I will be leaving academia.  It’s a big adventure and oh so nerve wrack.


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I am a type A crazy person and was particularly stressed out this week.  I went and saw my professor to talk about my degree final.  We talked for a while, but during our chat I found myself sighing and taking deep soothing breaths for the first time in days because of this low music she was playing.  I mentioned it, and she introduced me to the world of Byron Metcalf hemi-sync.  She told me some artists and gave me recommendations to look up when I got home.  I am officially in love with this new stress relief tool.

It’s basically meditation assistance music, but with this bi-aural underlying tone that I found completely soothing.  In addition to the hemi-sync, I listened to a meditation thing.  It was 20 minutes long and knocked me unconscious about halfway through.  I went and took an hour nap before getting back to feverishly working on my homework.  I am not a believer in meditation.  I have never done it successfully in my life.  Yet, I found myself completely relaxed by this stuff.  It will not be every day listening certainly, as I don’t have time for random naps, but when I am so stressed I’ve stopped breathing, it will be a helpful tool.  I’ve already determined I have some hemi-sync preferences that I will share for those who may be interested in venturing into the world of bi-aural relaxation.

Digeridoos?  Okay.
Drums? Fine if not too fast.
Flutes? Not okay.
Chanting? Dear God make it stop.
Animal chirping? No.
Wave sounds? Only acceptable after I’ve been listening to it for awhile.  If I start with this, it makes me feel like using the bathroom.

On that lovely and strange note, I give you an example of hemi-sync so you too can relax yourself unconscious.

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Don’t I Look Sheepish

Clearly I am the world’s worst blogger.  It has been over a month since I last posted because graduate school is a cruel mistress who unceremoniously took all my time and wouldn’t give it back.  Yesterday I finished my degree final and passed, so that is one step closer to graduation.  Now I need to pass my 3 remaining classes (including a terrifying midterm in two weeks) and find a job.  Hopefully this will not be as painful as I am anticipating.  I’ve been applying for jobs consistently with a few interviews and no offers yet, so I just keep hoping.  Financially we’ll be fine if I’m doing something other than my dream job, but I think it will be fairly demoralizing to have to take a random job I don’t want with 2 master’s degrees.  Today I’ll apply for another handful of jobs and add them to the list of jobs I’ve applied for.

Other highlights include a tax refund and plans to pay off over half of the loan on H’s car because we hit our short term savings goal in February.  We are being consistent and controlled with our financial lives, and starting to see some positive results of our tenacity.

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Nearing the end of the semester

I am 4.5 weeks away from being done with this semester.  That means I am 4.5 weeks from having 1 semester left to finish in my second master’s degree.  I cannot wait for these 4.5 weeks to be finished.  On the bright side, I will get to have vacation for one of those weeks and hopefully be doing homework like a mad woman to make life easier at the tail end of the semester.  I’ve also got classes picked out for the spring.  I”ll be taking introduction to Biostatistics, Health Informatics II, and hopefully a clinical practicum, but it remains to be seen if that will actually work out.  I may have to throw another class in randomly.

After the end of the semester comes a break form schoolwork in which I will be writing a one hour presentation for my degree presentation that will occur at the end of February.  I’ll also be applying for jobs as I find them to apply for.  Overall I will just keep working in full swing until the end of the semester.

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Surviving Midterms & Halloween Previews

I’ve been neglecting my blog quite extensively not of my own doing, but from outside pressures and time sucks.  I’ve had some large projects, a couple exams, and a whopping cold on top of dealing with saying goodbye to my grandmother.  I’ve survived, but October has been a hectic month already and it is only the 18th.

At the end of the month we are going to a Halloween party thrown by some of H’s work friends.  I think it will be fun to get together with them, as we haven’t seen them since a summer get together.  This party is a costume party, as they are people who like costume things.  (They threw a murder mystery party that H went to as a pirate.)  H bought a kilt at the Renaissance Festival, so I am going to be a medieval person in a lace up corset and all that jazz.  I think it will be a grand olde time for one and all. 

I do anticipate being less pouty than the model though and with more hip coverage.  I also got a wig that is technically a mermaid wig.  It’s brunette/auburn brown and wavy.  I’ll have long flowing locks down to my waist, which seems highly entertaining to me.  If I’m going to go medieval, all out it is.  I am going to go out and buy some black boots of some kind or maybe even black stylized heels so that I have a shoe that fits with the ensemble a little.  I’m going to be a glorious, glorious vision of beauty or look completely ridiculous.  As it is for a Halloween costume, I think either will work out pretty well.

I am also probably doing some HIPAA training so I can take a specific class next semester.  It’ll be an interesting experience and hopefully rewarding.  I’ll talk about it more at length if I get time in the next few days.  That’s pretty much it for highlights.  I survived midterms and now I need to get caught up on everything that was pushed aside for life after midterms.

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Hard Day

I’m having a hard day.  It’s days like this when you need hugs.  I’ve spent the last few days completely immersed a really difficult project, while trying to get other home work done.  I’m doing pretty well (I think), but I have a midterm coming up that is terrifying.  The project is due Friday, and although I am hopeful we’ll get everything accomplished, I’m exhausted and burnt out.

My grandmother is 88 and although she had a difficult spring, she recovered somewhat.  She’s now been put in hospice care.  After being there for about a week, she’s got depressed breathing today.  She’s only breathing every 15-30 seconds, with blue fingers and toes, along with some skin mottling.  Her sisters and her kids are with her singing (our family does lots of this) and talking and praying for her comfort.

My dad’s having a hip replacement on Monday, so he’s got a great many things to deal with, even though he’s very sad for his mom.  I’m hours away so I have to wait for things to happen before I go home.  Today is a hard day.

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The Great Monotone Wonder

I am inundated with reading this semester.  It has been eating my mind for the past 3.5 weeks.  I have slogged through 255 pages of this terrible textbook until I could take no more.  NO MORE!

The problem with this was that I hadn’t read enough of the chapter to be finished with the content last night.  I then stumbled upon the most wonderful information I have ever stumbled upon.  Adobe Reader will do what it says.  Adobe Reader will read to you!  In Adobe 10, it will read in a male monotone.  In Adobe 9, it’s a slightly lispy lady.

I messed with my sound equalizer to make it sound vaguely human, and then listened away.  Due to this function and my tenacity.  I’ve gotten through chapters 4, 21, 2, 5, and half of 6 since Saturday.  We’ll see if I can deal with listening to chapters 6 and 16 tonight.

Just a note: It can’t say useful.  It says fuful.

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