Signup date: 29 Dec 2013 at 8:21pm
Last login: 29 Jul 2014 at 3:35pm
Post count: 25
Tulip and Tree of Life,
Thanks for the support! I like the idea of having prepared (even if it's frozen entrees!) on hand. I live in Florida, so it may be nice enough to take periodic walks (there has been a "cold" front here). Maybe I can splurge on a yoga class. A colleague of mine is having a massage today, but I think it would be better for me to spend get one AFTER. I now have just under 24 hours to make my final preparations! I will try not to think about it too much today! Thanks!!
I will be taking my quals this week: 9am Tuesday-9am Friday! I am trying not to feel too anxious. For my exam, I have access to unlimited resources/internet, so I do not have to worry about recall--thank goodness. I took a practice exam in a doctoral seminar last term and have dozens and dozens of files and publications somewhat organized, so I am fairly well-prepared. However, I am still quite nervous. There is one unknown factor: I will be given 2 cases from which to choose (one domestic--US; one international). From there I have to pick one and apply 3 theories, develop a full methodology to study the case, and apply a practical component (mediation, facilitation, etc). I will have 72 hours total to do this (I had nearly 2 weeks for the practice exam).
I guess what I am looking for is perhaps advice on how to relax and not freak out about it too much between now and Tuesday morning. How do you stay clear-headed when it comes to something like this? Or, even any tips for organizing. I apologize if this seems like a bit of a rant! Thanks!!
Things are going a bit better on my end--and I hope they are for you, too. I have my 72 hour qualifying exam beginning next Tuesday, so the stress is building, but I am trying to prevent it from causing any more problems. I am just thinking: get through this exam and tackle the relationship issues after.
I also agree with Pjlu. I know a couple of academics who have a great relationship but live quite a distance apart. They are in two different cities on the East Coast and Midwest in the US. I spent some time with the two of them recently, and their relationship seemed very strong. They also both seemed to enjoy their distance. They see each other relatively frequently, but seem to cherish the time they have alone to work on their own endeavors. While one is a well-published professor, the other works at a university and is completing a dissertation. There seems to be a great deal of mutual understanding in this case. However, I believe such a situation is workable even if both partners are not academics. It seems like trust, understanding, respect, and communication can go a long way in terms of PhD relationships. I hope things are going better for you now!
I can relate on many levels...and ranting is probably healthy. Your particular situation reminds me of "The Five Year Engagement"--have you seen it (it has a happy ending!)? I think it is just difficult to have any relationship while completing a PhD, regardless of whether the other person is in academia. There is just so much stress and pressure every single day.
While your partner doesn't complain, mine is quit vocal. I wish he could find a happy medium. In a recent post, I mentioned how our relationship was on the rocks. We are doing okay now, but he nitpicks lots of ridiculous things because he has been unhappy in general. We have been addressing the issues, but he tends to hold a grudge. Since I myself study conflict analysis and resolution, I learned to move past the hiccups without making them into an unnecessarily big deal of them. Does your partner ever talk about how he feels about the situation? I know you make observations, but it might be helpful for him to express his feelings to you--or even someone else. People sometimes explode--seemingly out of nowhere--when they have bottled up their emotions for so long. I guess communication is key. I wish I had the answer for you, but I am learning as I go as well. Best of luck to you!
What methodology are you using? If it seems repetitive, you might be able to make a note of it instead of spending too much time writing on each individual characteristic. Then again, it depends on the audience and field. What type of paper is this? I would as a professor for advice--just to make sure I was on the right track.
Thank you everyone for the outpouring of support! It's good to know I am not alone. I do have several colleagues as a strong support network, but there is only so much I can put on them. My boyfriend and I are talking and seeing each other again, albeit, he has taken a few steps back from the relationship at this point. I am in a sort of limbo with that.
To make matters worse, there was a technical error and I am currently "ineligible" to take my qualifying exam this month. For some reason, the record shows that I dropped the final class I needed. I did not--I earned an A in it. However, there is nothing anyone can do until 6 January, when the university reopens. I have to make sure that gets settled before the drop/add period ends. I know I have my credentials, but it is a bit stressful knowing that my financial aid is implicated. It will work out, though. Positive thoughts!
I am considering going to counseling at my university to see if I can learn some new techniques for managing stress. The only problem is that it is 45 minutes away from my apartment, and an hour and a half from my new job. I will have to see if I can work something out there. Perhaps, the suggested online counseling might be a better solution. In the meantime, I am trying to work with a study group to prepare for the exam. We are in different parts of the country--and some are abroad, so it is slow moving. I am trying to organize my new tutoring students as well as my studying so that I will not become overwhelmed when everything starts up again next week. My main goal: keep a positive outlook! Thanks!
Thanks for the insights. I really like the idea of working on my stuff while he is working. I just have to really plan it out. In reality, the second he gets home, I am unable to accomplish anything. He doesn't talk to me or bother me...but, his presence alone is distracting. Yet, I continue trying to work on things when he gets home. On rare occasions, I put my computer away--and he is on his laptop (he hardly ever turns it on, so it is ironic that it works out that way).
How do you de-wire? I find it increasingly difficult to walk away from electronics. Since it is new year's eve (happy new year to all of those on the other side of the ocean!), I figure I should make some resolutions. I don't know how practical it is, but I would like to reserve at least one full day of each week to do zero school work. Has anyone tried this? On that note, I want to learn how to stop obsessing over writing 24/7. Destressing is extremely important; stress is really impacting the quality of my life. I just want to be done with this degree. But, like TreeofLife said, it is very unlikely that I will be done in 2015. However, the topic and location I choose for my dissertation will heavily impact how long it takes. I really wanted to do ethnographic work, but I think it may just take way too long. So, I still haven't seen him yet because I just got home from my travels last night (he drove off a few hours away to be with his family for a few days). He is still saying he doesn't have hope, but seems more willing to at least try at some point--hopefully, soon. Here's to thinking positively and a productive, happy, and stress-free 2014!
Thanks for the responses. I am in the US. My university has its own degree plan that is unlike those of many other US schools. For full time students, we have 3 classes per trimester--and total coursework amounts to 7 trimesters. We then take a 72 hour exam in January, and start dissertation prep in February. I should be defending my proposal by June...and the earliest I can graduate is May 2015.
I tutor, so my days ended anywhere from 5pm til 9pm last term. I just got a new tutoring job that allows me to work daytime. I am set to work from about 9am-3pm every day; the place is 45 minutes from my home. So, that will mesh with his schedule (8am-5pm). Also, I made myself unavailable Friday-Sunday. I still have my other jobs, and I am trying to figure which to quit. This new job will pay $50USD/hour before taxes, and I am set to work 15.5 hours. Essentially, I have gaps in between students and only get paid when actually tutoring. These gaps range from 30 minutes to an hour and a half--I am hoping to use them to work on my own research.The new pay will be slightly more than what I have been making with all of my other jobs combined.
However, I don't know if I should quit everything just yet. I will be tutoring equestrian students on the showgrounds, and "season" is only January through March or April. So, it will slow down a lot after. I need to have another job as a buffer.
My boyfriend has not gone through a PhD. We got together a few months before I finished my Masters, so he is very familiar with the process--as a spectator. He tries to be as supportive as he can; but, he gets a little overwhelmed when his support sometimes does little to boost my morale. And, I seem to have a hard time expressing my gratitude for his support. Rough stuff.
I don't know why it took so long to find this forum! I have completed 28 months of PhD coursework and will be taking my quals in 23 days (who's counting, though?). While I am glad to finally be done all of the coursework, I now find myself in a terrible situation: my boyfriend of over 4 and a half years says he is ready to give up on our relationship.
We have been fighting and bickering quite frequently for months. We had at it on Christmas night, and he left my parents' house (where we were staying), rented a car, and drove an entire day home (there were no flights available). I have talked to him a bit, but will not be able to see him until I go home. We moved into an apartment together last year, and he thinks things have gotten worse. He was been telling me he isn't happy with our relationship for a few months, but I didn't really get it until all this happened.
I took 4 classes and worked 4 part time jobs (about 30 hours/week) this past term. I hardly had time to brush my hair in the morning, let alone have a social life. He can't stand that I'm always stressed out. I can't stop stressing. Ever. I go to the gym for about an hour 5-6 times/week...even there, I find myself working. I have an app that allows me to type documents, and I sometimes bring articles or books to read while biking. On the rare occasions that I do go out, I can't stop thinking about what I have to do--and, I'm no fun. I don't even like myself much sometimes. I am not even sure if I would want to date me.
I am ready to change. He is not hopeful right now, but I want the relationship to work. I need to find better time-management.I need to just let things go...no stress. Advice? Thanks!
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