Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Putting one foot in front of the other

That is how I am proceeding with school. Actually there has been progress. No really.

I turned in a lousy (IMNSHO) draft of the last paper for the research course (I will not say how long this has been lingering) just the other day. Again, no really. I tried a new approach and wrote to some colleagues who had actually finished this course to ask their opinion on my paper. "You are overwriting this thing" was the common reply. No really? Hm, never would have suspected that, now would you? With any luck I will only have to rewrite the blessed thing 3 more times to finish the course.

Yet another long lingering class will be finished soon as well. Yesterday I wrote to the professor, who no doubt does not remember me at all because it's been so long, suggesting that I had just these three assignments still due. I did imply that perhaps there were others. No, really! He seemed fine with my assessment. I have already half written one of them.

Once those are done, I will write the last paper for Developmental Psychology. Thanks to my dear sweet buddy Scott (yes, like most "mysp@ce" pages it's painful to read, go to his blog entries. Yes he's odd but that's why I love him so bad) have a lead for a primary source to read and quote liberally from. He and I have struck a deal to cajole, nuture, and harp on each other to get the hell out of Saybrook.
This is what he wrote me:

Proposal: You and I work together to keep ourselves engaged, productive, focused.

Because: More than anyone else, it seems that you and I will be humans in the way that an MFT program could only hope to evolve us with or without an education. We are poster children for humanistic/transpersonal ways of being present.

However: this awareness and presence doesn't keep us connected to the relative mindless drudgery of some of the classes.

(I think my hit the fan moment was when I realized that all the love and effort I was putting into the work wasn't going to budge the world. Not budge it. I can have a bigger impact in the Walmart check out line.)

How can one refuse or ignore such an offer. I do think knowing he is in this with me has helped me move a bit through the sludge of this work. I am not sure if he will graduate in January or June but even if it is January, I know I can count on his support through the spring semester to get me out the other side.

In speaking with Sunny today, she assured me that she could have been done with her Ph.D (remember I am only doing a Masters with no thesis, only a project or an oral exam) "so much sooner, if I hadn't had dissertation block". Yeah, I'm so sure. Remember folks she got pregnant with me during her undergrad work, had a second pregnancy that resulted in a neonatal death but still graduated phi beta kappa, went on to finish a masters and doctoral degree before I was 9 (not sure of the exact timing but I'm sure I was no older than 9 at the most). 9 frigging years old. Block my ass. However, she was incredibly supportive, told me how lucky I was to have a supportive partner who understood what I was doing, that people loved me, how great (not that she really knows but she's a mom) I did with my client, etc. etc. Oh, and she got a post-doc Woodrow Wilson Fellowship or something like that - she got to go the England for like six weeks one summer. Yeah, no pressure. Oh, yes, nothing like a role model for academic excellence you can never achieve.

Where was I? Oh yes, so I have this killer, as in kill me now, plan, to finish two years of work in one. Okay maybe a little less than that since within three weeks or so I should have four completed classes. Yes four because I actually received credit for a class in the semester I took it! No really. Okay so three semesters of coursework in two. So totally doable, right? Work with me people, lie if you have to.

Okay, need to finish the "Appreciative Inquiry" paper tonight! Then I need to borrow a cassette player (Jennie, do you have one?) to work on the second. After that I need to interview someone from a different cultural background to really try to inhabit their experience, their point of view. I really need to think about who to interview. Even in casually pondering this right now, I feel as though I mostly surround myself with folks who are like me, but that's not really true. I suppose it is true in some ways, so it's easy to make a list of who not to interview. Ruth is no for sure. Hm, maybe Roger the Neighbor? Maybe my former client's mother? Okay, that's a task for another day, clearly. First things first finish the damn Inquiry Paper.

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