Thursday, December 03, 2009


I've been working on this paper for 3 hours. I have 1.5 pages. I have two other papers to write by the end of next week. I need to learn to write faster. At this rate, I'm pretty sure my dissertation will take 80 years to write. Why is writing such a slow process for me?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Completely Overwhelmed

Graduate school is complete hell. I love the classes and the conversations, but the workload is terrible. It may be the three part-time jobs, 10 hours of graduate class work including co-teaching a section of freshman composition, PhD application process or the fact that my body needs sleep to function. I'm pretty sure it's that last one.

I feel like I'm in a rickety old Radio Flyer and I'm plummeting down the steepest hill in town. No brakes, just aim for something soft to hit. Why do I torture myself like this?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It seems like I only post on this blog when graduate school application time comes around. Maybe that will change someday, but not today. I narrowed down my list of PhD programs in Composition/Rhetoric to 12, and these are my intended schools:

And so, here is the list (in alphabetical, not necessarily preferential, order):

Arizona State University
Ball State University
Bowling Green State University
Florida State University
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
University of New Mexico
Ohio State University
University of Pittsburgh
Purdue University
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
University of Texas - Austin
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Monday, March 09, 2009

I'm spending the majority of my free time over at looking up grad school acceptance results. When not searching the results page for every possible combination of my schools and/or programs, I'm hanging out at the forums. I am fully convinced that the grad school application process is meant to drive prospective students to the brink of insanity.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I enjoy Chopin. I heard a song tonight that was a study on one of Chopin's Etudes, essentially a study on a study. Apparently the composer didn't find Chopin's original work challenging enough, so he made them more complicated. Adrienne Rich has a poem entitled "Transcendental Etude," which we studied in my Silence in Modern Literature course. Although the decreationist tone in the poem is critical of adept, practiced performers, there's still an appreciation of the significance of musical thought hidden in the text. Or maybe I just want there to be an appreciation. Whatever the case, that poem always makes me want to play Chopin.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I have this list of things I would like to do, but I seem to lack the time and/or motivation to actually carry out these plans. I guess I just need a little motivation to actually achieve these not-so-lofty-but-ever-so-elusive goals. I should embrace my OCD tendencies and organize my life. When I was 11, I would write out a daily schedule with events listed in 15-minute increments. Sometimes I miss that anal-retentive version of myself, but I know he's just sleeping, awaiting the return of that strange behavior. What activities were so pressing to young me that I felt the need to allot time for them? I guess I just need to regain a little bit of that crazy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How do you finish a story about a man becoming a tree? I don't know that I have that one quite figured out, but at least I know more than, "Josh was a tree." In fact, I know a lot more about Josh than his physical state. The question is (for both myself and Josh): "What's next?"

Sometimes I'm even surprised where my writing leads me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Peter's Rules: The Creed of the Sociopathic Obsessive Compulsive/Productivity

1. If anything can go wrong, fix it. (To hell with Murphy)
2. When given a choice, take both.
3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
4. Start at the top and work your way up.
5. Do it by the book, but be the author.
6. When forced to compromise, ask for more.
7. If you can't beat them, join them then beat them.
8. If it's worth doing, it's got to be done right now.
9. If you can't win, change the rules.
10. If you can't change the rules, then ignore them.
11. Perfection is not optional.
12. When faced without a challenge, make one.
13. "No" simply means begin one level higher.
14. Don't walk when you can run.
15. Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolerance for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary.
16. When in doubt, think.
17. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.
18. The squeaky wheel gets replaced.
19. The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.
20. Death is not the enemy but occasionally needs help with timing.
21. When on thin ice, dance.
22. It's up to us to change the world.

I found this list several months ago, and I rediscovered it while digging through my documents today. I must say I am quite proud of myself today because I was actually very productive. I organized all of my sources and have cross-referenced several items so I can just write tomorrow without worrying about finding the information. I have two separate notebooks listing source content and topics to discuss in my paper. Add several post-it notes to mark my books and I'm set for success.
On days like this, I'm tempted to go ahead and try for two graduate classes in the fall. Surely I can handle the work in addition to my job at Hy-Vee, being the church organist and applying to grad schools for Fall '09. I just have to be insanely organized and have absolutely no life. Can do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I want to do everything but work on my research paper. Damn.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I had to work at 9 this morning, but I have been quite tired from my wacky work schedule these past few days. Come 8 o'clock, and I am pleasantly dreaming about working in a movie theater. It was thrilling, let me tell you. I was standing behind the concession stand, and a girl came up and asked to buy arcade tokens from me. Fifty dollars worth of arcade tokens.

That was almost as exciting as the night of April 14, 2005, when I dreamed I walked into a bar to get change for a five.

Try not to be too jealous of my wild and exciting dreams.