Category Archives: PhD


While in hour 4 of Skype meetings this morning, I managed to look down at my keyboard and see this.

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Looks like a normal keyboard, right? 

Now, take a closer look.

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That’s right, my S decal is almost completely gone…. hence the title of this post, ctrl+s.  As a grad student in the social sciences I am frequently writing papers, posting on discussion boards, having Skype text conversations, etc.  And with that comes multiple, multiple strokes of the good ol’ ctrl+s.  If you’re not saving your work, your dumb.  If you’re not backing up your work, you’re dumb.

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Why yes, that is two external hard drives.  And yes, both of them get used for my backups every week.  Additionally, I have two flash drives and two DropBox accounts.

Some may call this paranoia, I call it INTELLIGENCE.  

Here’s your funny of the day 🙂



Related Links – Check them out!



What’s your style?

Learning style – the PhD topic of the day. 

I am now in 19th grade, scary to think about.  I completed high school, obtained my bachelor’s degree, my master’s degree and I am currently pursuing my PhD.  I think this categorizes me as a life long educational learner.

The one thing I am always working on is how to study/learn.  You’d think I’d have this down pat in 19th grade… but I don’t.

I know that I am a hands-on learner and a visual learner.  I am best at studying when I can write, rewrite, and write something again.  Things don’t stick the first time around.  I need time to think, apply, think more, and write it down!!

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The hardest part about being this kind of learner is that life is changing.  Technology is taking over the world.  I have textbooks on my Kindle, all my class powerpoints are posted online, and I try to use electronic note taking programs, like Evernote.

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Yet, there’s just something about writing things down – it’s just how I learn.  So, yes, I am that person in class, with an adorable, giant, colorful 4 subject notebook frantically scribbling down every word my professor says.  But, that’s okay.  I think it’ll be a slow process before I am able to move to technology for all my notes.  I did change from a planner to an online planner! That’s a big step! 🙂

While training for my last half marathon, this is how I had to study.  Did I mention I had a knee injury? That sucked.  Additionally, it’s pretty hard to train for a half, keep the house together, take 3 doctoral classes, and have 4 part time jobs (yes, you read that right, and that’s a story for a different day).

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I don’t study well this way.  Some people are able to stay up late at night, reading in bed.  Nope, not me. I fall RIGHT asleep.  But I usually bring a textbook in, for wishful thinking.  I really think I need to start sleeping with a book under my pillow. Especially this statistics book, woof.

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This picture usually represents how I study…. with a dog in my lap, while working on statistics, and in a Skype study group.  This is my life.

These girls are typically really good when I am doing work, but as soon as I get talking to someone on the phone or get into a Skype conversation, of course they want attention. Of course.

Can we play mom, please?
Can we play mom, please?

My learning style has definitely developed over time and for that I am grateful.  Maybe the older I get the wiser I really do get? (I’ll have to keep thinking about this one).  I’m very grateful to be able to complete my PhD full time but in semesters like these (Quantitative, Qualitative, and Leadership Theories) I wish I would have only enrolled in one course.  If anything, it’s a challenge for my organizational skills, my learning style, and most importantly, my drinking skills.

What’s your learning style?



Here’s a little funny for you – BuzzFeed is a grad student’s best friend.  What an amazing distraction.



November RECAP

I can’t believe it’s December already – I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here when I say that I can’t believe it’s December.  Before we know it, it’s going to be 2013 and we’ll be married! EEeeeeekkkk!! 

As I reflect on November, I have to admit that I am very happy with the progress I have made with our wedding, my schooling, and my health and fitness.

I set 12 attainable goals for myself last month and accomplished 7 of them:

November Goals

I have made some great strides in November – I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to, but that’s life.  I was able to see great improvements in my cardio and endurance – I never EVER thought I would run a 10k OR sign up for a half marathon. I can’t even express how proud I am of myself! I’ve lost more than 5 pounds (5 was my goal) and did my measurements this morning and I am most importantly making improvements there as well! Fantastic! I didn’t exercise as much as I wanted to this month (darn cold weather) so it’s good to see that I still am making progress with my exercising and changes in my diet.

Academically, I’ve been making some strides towards what I want to study for the duration of my doctoral program and have been putting more thought into ideas for my dissertation.  The long term picture still isn’t clear yet, but I have faith it will become clear in the future.

I also took the step to get a second job at a local retail store in order to make some extra cash for Christmas presents and meet some people in the area. I’m really enjoying it and it’s giving me a chance to get out a bit and do something mindless for a few hours.

November is a time to be THANKFUL. And that I have been. We have made some big strides in our family with the selling of the cabin that’s been in our family for almost 25 years.  I am still in the process of working on that post, it’s taken some time to get all the thoughts together that I’d like to. I am incredibly BLESSED with all God has given me and all I have worked for.

As we move on to December, I have set more goals for myself – some of them reaching beyond the ‘ME’.

I am looking forward to a HAPPY, HEALTHY, FUN-FILLED December. 

December Goals

She wants me to be a stay-at-home blogger, not a student.

Seriously. What dog does this?

This picture is the perfect example as to why I usually pack my meals (breakfast, lunch, AND dinner) and head to a little office at school for the ENTIRE day, 3 days a week.

How does one actually get work done with a dog like this????


((Also at this moment as I write this, she is curled up under a blanket that is draped over my legs))