Tag 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.



Don’t you sometimes wonder how you will make it through?

Well, I’m at that point.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s crunch time. 

Today on March 18, 2013 I reached the point that I thought I would have hit a long time ago. It’s my fault, I made the to-do list.

((Insert awe, shock, increased heart rate, stress, tears sobs…..))

Academically, I finishing up my first full year in my PhD program.  Ahhh, end of the semester blues – too many papers and projects, not enough time.  Also trying to decide on my summer classes (do I want to push it and take a crap ton???) and most importantly, how I will pay for said summer classes! money sucks. 

Personally, wedding, wedding and more wedding.  That to-do list is way too long, too extensive, and too overwhelming. We officially have 102 days until the wedding. Holy crap.

Fitness(ly), I have 47 days until my half marathon. Woof, I need to get this butt running.

Time to get my booty in gear!!!





Do you have any quotes that get you through stressful times?

Have any advice to help me keep my head screwed on?!


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))


Is the week over with yet?????

For some reason, this week has been really tough for me – I feel like I’m on the verge of getting sick, frustrated with my working out/weight loss, and just overall exhausted!

Mike has lovingly referred to me as a “walking sickie” because anytime there is minimal change in weather, I’m sick. I don’t get it – I take my adult gummy vitamins every day, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, exercise…. guess it’s just a test of my resiliency!


Awesome spelled wrong, I know – just thought it was too cute and I didn’t make it 🙂

So to fight through the week, I have had some really good work outs (not seeing the results I want) and I have worked REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to be proactive with my studies and research (which has paid off) I even got a 30 minute nap today at my desk! (my desk = a tiny desk in the middle of a huge room of other desks for all the other grad assistants!)

If this is how I am feeling 3 weeks into my PhD program, I wonder how I am going to feel at the end of the semester….???? Ahhh!!! Welcome to the life of a doctoral student, I guess!

In terms of workouts I had a bit of an internal struggle yesterday… my shins have been hurting me from running so I was debating between taking Tinsley for a long walk or taking a class at a local women’s fitness place. So, naturally, I asked Mike for his opinion and he said it was too cold to take Tinsley for a walk, BOOM! Decision made!

First of all, I would love to give a bit shout out to Live Out Loud (or as Mike calls it, Ladies of Love) – a studio in the heart of Goshen that is run by 2 women. The offer a myriad of classes for women. So far I have taken a Long and Lean class (hard), Zumba (super fun), and Wednesday’s class, Vanity. Now, the description given on the website is

“You’re so vain you probably thing this workout was designed for you. Total body toning with special emphasis on trouble areas. You know which ones we mean! This class meets at underground.”

Well, I didn’t know what to expect, but man was it a phenomenal workout. We did a 45 minutes of a full body work out – muscle strength and endurance and some cardio. We did 8 sets of each exercises for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest in between each set. Yes, I thought “WOW” also. Needless to say, I am took an extended shower this morning to stretch in the heat, can barely get out of my chair today, and really had to think twice about taking the stairs over the elevator.

As I mentioned (and have spoke with Kim about), I’m getting frustrated about the (lack of) results from exercising, but I know I need to just keep plugging along. In about 3.5 weeks I have lost about 5 pounds (when Mike can drop 18 by just changing his eating habits, jerk).www.Functionalfitmag.com

I don’t think it’s enough, but it’s better than nothing, and I need to remind myself of that! I know that I have more endurance and stamina, am gaining more strength and I completed my first 5k. I need to be really proud of myself and not get too bogged down! It’s easier said than done though… any pointers for some motivation?!


Once tonight’s class is over with, I’ll head home to have the weekend to relax (hopefully not bake), do some class work, hang out with my friend Stange (hopefully at the ND vs UofM game), and spend some much needed time with the fiance. Ah yes, and get better so I can get back out there and spend some quality time with the pup and the gravel walking path. I have to remember this... julie

Week #2 = conquered!

Well, I don’t know how much I have really relayed this point, but I have quit my “grown-up” job in order to go back to school to pursue my PhD in Higher Educational Leadership. I think I am crazy, a little Eat, Pray, Love”-ish….. But so far it is working out. Yet, I am only 2 weeks in.

In order to obtain a little bit of income, I have an associateship helping 3 professors with their personal research. Yes, my 20 of work is “split” between 3 people – just met my last cooperating professor today, phew am I going to busy….on top of 3 classes, my own research, starting a dissertation, ah yes, and my 1:15min drive 3 days/week.

Report of the first full week: (keep in mind I drive a Jeep Compass, not the most fuel efficient)
Total time: 7 hours 19 minutes
Total distance: 335.7 miles
End miles/gallon: 27.3

I managed to squeak by on 1 tank of gas, despite one day of rushed driving in order to make it to a meeting on time for a meeting.

I know I am only 2 weeks into this driving, but so far I have enjoyed it. I began last week by listening to the radio and my music on my iPod and I have switched over to listening to a book on tape, thanks to my bestie Kim!! This is my first experience listening to a book and I am really enjoying it. I am reading The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner and I am so intrigued by the characters, the plot, and the voice of the narrator! I can’t wait to find more book when this one is finished! What a great way to spend my time and take a little break away from textbooks, talk radio, and worries!

On a FITNESS note, I am 2 days away from the 5k and I don’t have any idea on how my “training” is going. I took today off as I did some running/lifting yesterday and my shins are on fire! Of course, I know exactly how to take care of that with my career (rest, ice, ibuprofen, different shoes, less impact, orthotics, hip strengthening, etc) yet I haven’t done anything for it, except take ibuprofen, once. Needless to say, I have I idea what I am going to do for my workout tomorrow as I need to take a it a little easy, but still need to keep these lungs stressed out!! Perhaps a light run will work… I don’t know what light is, ha.

Today was tough, and I wanted nothing but to be filled with caffeine all day. So, I used a lovely gift card I received from a former athlete and made my rounds to Biggby, twice.


If you don’t have a Biggby in your area, you need to hunt them out. I believe some Sam’s Clubs sell the big bag of Biggby coffee and I am sure they have some K cups, like every other company – do you think Ben and Jerry’s has some in the works? Yummmmmm ice cream flavored coffee….. Phish food maybe?

I first tried this little gem, a cleverly named Chumpkin. Chai and pumpkin. Needless to say, my world was changed. Please try some form of this, you won’t regret it.

I hope you all had a wonderful day – I am looking forward to a relaxed day tomorrow filled with a workout, kisses from Tinsley, exploring my new iPad, finishing up my darn HSIRB training, and oh yeah, reading, reading, and more reading.

Peace and pineapples 🙂