Oh the irony. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking to a group of UTA marketing/PR students. You know, trying to mold the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.
I survived my big paper presentation. I think the PhD’s were so surprised that we actually wrote a paper about something REAL, and they were probably a bit distracted by my pretty 4-color hand-outs (for a PR conference, the handouts here have been decidedly bland), so they forgot to string me up by my toenails and take turns beating me up with their criticism. Instead, they asked me questions I knew how to answer and complimented us on our interesting topic and method. The editor of a well-known PR journal stayed after our presentation and told us he would like to publish our article in his journal this year! Hooray! Everything went so much better than I had expected, but I’ll admit that I was this close to peeing in my pants at one point. All that worry for nothing.
I’m at my academic research conference in Miami, and it’s quite a an experience. I’m one of about five non-PhD’s in a room of 100 people, which means I’m the only one who doesn’t dream about T-tests and regression analysis. They want to publish a 10o-page thesis on some obscure communication theory… I want to publish silly junior high fiction.
It’s such a downer when I write about how stressed I am because of school. I’ve been back in school for three years now, and juggling that, along with work and the 100 other things I try to do is simply exhausting. I’m a bit burned out. But I’m only three classes from graduating, so I will continue to plug along until I either finish, or marry an independently wealthy Baptist minister. If that happens, I’m going to QUIT school and become a “lady who lunches.” Keep your fingers crossed, please.
I found out late last week that the research paper I have worked so hard on this semester was accepted to a conference in Miami. In mid-March, my professor and I will go present our research to a bunch of public relations academics and professionals. And we’re competing for “top paper” with some other folks… at times I can be a bit competitive, and this one has a CASH PRIZE, which means I would really, REALLY like to win. When you start talking monetary rewards, research seems to become a bit more interesting.
I could tell you what it’s about, but the title alone is about 50 words long and would put you straight to sleep. Basically, it’s about how intranets can provide employees with “voice” in a large organization. I have enjoyed learning about intranets and creating one of my own, but my 25 pages of literature review, descriptions and stats might just put you to sleep. Hopefully it won’t put the conference attendees to sleep. I guess either way, I get a trip to Miami out of the deal.
I tend to have unrealistic expectations when it comes to my graduate program. Like, if I turn in an assignment, I expect to have it graded and returned. If you give me a test, I expect you to return it and tell me how I did. I expect you to actually read the papers that I make so many sacrifices to write.
So a Muslim, a Jew and a Baptist go to a sushi restaurant…
My family held an intervention the past two nights. My parents basically told me that I am over-doing it with school and work and life in general, and that next semester I should go back to just one class. I guess it’s not healthy to always feel like you’re going to cry, or collapse from exhaustion that comes from working two jobs and taking two night classes.
I feel like most of my posts are about how tired, or busy,or stressed I am. All are true, because this has been the toughest year of my life. Working full time, having a part-time job, and going to graduate school has begun to take its toll on me physically. I have hit moments of exhaustion worse than I’ve ever experienced before. I keep telling myself that the worst is behind me, I have 13 more months and counting. Hopefully.
But today I’m enjoying a personal retreat. I’m far from civilization, sitting on my balcony overlooking a gorgeous lake, enjoying absolute quiet. This afternoon I got a massage, read a book, took a nap, and then went for a long run through the hills around the lake. Days like these are enough to recharge my batteries for a little while longer. After today, I can go back to the real world of homework, deadlines, and responsibilities.
But for a few more minutes I’m going to enjoy some peace.