School Archive

Self Worth

Posted June 17, 2019 By kmarrs

For so long now, my self worth has directly tied into my grades. I have an amazing GPA, I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude, this is what my value as a person is based on, in my eyes.

My therapist is working to convince me that this is not the best thing to measure my worth on.

She also went as far as to suggest that in grad school, I won’t continue to be a straight-A student; which I immediately took as a challenge. I will defy that or die trying.

Then when I shared that sentiment with my friends and family on Facebook, someone else pointed out that it’s not worth the die trying sentiment because literally, no one is going to care about my grades after I graduate.

So really, aside from being useful towards getting into grad school, grades don’t matter.

So then maybe this is why I shouldn’t base my self worth on them.

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Passion Project

Posted June 3, 2019 By kmarrs

Those 6 weeks in April through May were tough as I took on double the recommended course load so that I could graduate this September.

One of the things I dedicated myself to during those 6 weeks was my passion project for my anthro class. No exaggeration I nearly broke my mental health with stress on this project because I was excited about it, and forgot I was in a 200 level class and didn’t need to go so hard. My topic was Irish Gaeilge, but that’s only the briefest of summaries. (I’ll put more details on the end.) I got to pick my own topic, because the idea was for me to study, and apply an anthropological lens, to something I’m passionate about. And I gave it beyond my all.

I received my score in under 24 hours. My hard to please professor who doesn’t give perfect scores marked it 120/120. He noted where he could have taken points, but because he’s never personally seen a project so well done, he had no choice but to call it perfect. He added, “I’d even urge you to publish it somewhere, somehow.” With some notes as to where I could flesh it out some and an offer to help that I’m going to take him up on after I graduate. (Another 6 weeks of hell started in the end of May. )

As I gear up to graduate, and then take my GRE and apply to grad school, I have self doubts that I’m good enough. But where I’m passionate, I’m fully capable, I guess I’m learning. I just need to not break myself in the process.

Details:

So. I picked Irish Gaeilge as a topic of interest because I’m currently learning it. I wanted a deeper understanding why people picked this language as a second/third/fourth language. I know why I chose it, but what about others?

In week 2 I put out a basic survey asking 10 questions dealing with people’s connections to Ireland and why they chose that language. I then set that loose on Tumblr with some key blogs reblogging. I didn’t exactly get 5,000 responses like last time. But that survey was open to literally everyone, while this survey was open just to those learning Irish. I still got 335 responses, which isn’t bad.

However, as I started to do research, I fell headlong into the history of the language, its near extinction, and the revival in the past 100 years. Which then led to me learning that there are some in Ireland (this is not representative of the entire population) who resent being forced to learn it.

Which led to another survey, this one just for those who live in Ireland and are learning it, or have learned it, through the school system. This one I sent to a key friend living in Ireland and asked him to circulate it small scale. I only needed a few responses to this one. I got 3 which was great. This survey looked at the perceived effectiveness of the revival and their thoughts on being “forced” to learn it in school.

Then came the stark fact that 50-90% of the world’s languages are going to be gone by 2100 and the question, will Irish be one of them? I still don’t have a solid answer to this.

Anyway, 2 surveys and a couple dozen academic research articles later, I put together a beautiful presentation that I’m really proud of.

So go team me.

But I could use a nap.

And it’s not good that I nearly broke my mental health.

Mid May through the end of June isn’t going to be much better either.

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End of Term – Touch of Base

Posted May 6, 2019 By kmarrs

I’m wiring this on May 1, 2019. It is going live on May 6, 2019. And the term ends on May 11, 2019. Just so we’re all in the same place.

I feel… tired. Stressed. Scared. Determined. Tired.

I have a handful of papers to read in the time that remains, for a huge project that is due by the 11th. I have to get the project itself put together. This includes all my secondary research. However, I also conducted primary research and have 2 surveys to analyze. One if fairly minor. The other has over 300 responses. I’m really overwhelmed and scared I can’t do this project justice.

On top of that I have a few more papers to write for that class. and a handful of chapters to read.

And that’s not my only class.

In my other class, I already turned in my big project because I needed it off my plate and it was less overwhelming. So I just knocked it out.

But I still have a huge final paper to write, and a couple of minor papers as well. Plus reading. Always reading. Though the reading for this class it less intimidating.

The next 1.5 weeks are just going to be super stressful. And, lest we forget, I have a surgery scheduled for in the midst of it all.

But I will survive. I am strong. I have high powers on my side. I will come through this.

I have the week that immediately follows this off from school. But then I’m right back at it with the heavy course load.

Light a candle for me, yeah?

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With Honors

Posted April 1, 2019 By kmarrs

It’s not 100% but unless I really fuck up one of my few remaining classes…

I walk the stage on August 6th and will be wearing top Latin Honors. I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude!

I’ve been practically working myself to death to maintain a nearly perfect GPA. With the exception of a single B, I have straight A’s. I berate myself over that B but apparently, one bad grade doesn’t matter. I’m still considered a top achieving student and I can finally forgive myself for that B and breath.

I feel more confident in my future now. I’m applying to one of the top programs in my field in the country. It’s right down the street and I won’t have to move my family to attend. But I can only imagine how competitive it is to get in! I’ve been so worried that my GPA would hinder me since it’s (currently) a 3.96 which is less than ideal, for my goals. However, if it’s good enough for Summa Cum Laude, then I guess it can be good enough for me.

Now I just have to blow the GRE out of the waters and I might stand a chance at my dream school!

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Do What You Can

Posted March 4, 2019 By kmarrs

This started as a Twitter thread, so you might have seen it there, but I want to expand upon it, and I want to do that here, in long form.

Sambam is at that age where it’s fun to do chores that aren’t her own.
Ask her to clean her room? It’s the end of the world. Try to do dishes (my chore) without her help? Also the end of the world. I let her help until (if) she gets bored then I let her move on. And when it comes to her room (her chore), once a day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and tell her to do what she can but once the timer rings, she can be done.

In reality, all her room ever really needs is that 10 minutes a day, and usually, it’s done in 5. But instead of overwhelming her by the limitless “clean your room”, I redirect it into a clear time frame with a set beginning and end. And reframe the word “spotless” into “do what you can”. This allows an overwhelming task to feel manageable. Possible. And I get a much better end result. In 10 (5) minutes, instead of the 10 days, it used to take.


Now she is happy to do her chores. Is excited (bossy) to help me with mine. And our relationship has a lot less stress in it. She is my heart and is growing into a functional and happy and beautiful young lady!


(Also, her hands are seeing work for the first time and she earned a tiny blister she’s very proud of. She worked herself on the dishes far harder than I would have worked her. But she was having fun.)


Do what you can.

That is just such an important concept!

So many of us are sick in one way or another. Mental health, chronic physical health. So many of us are spoonies. And when you are a spoonie, being given an open ended task like, “clean your room” or “vacuum the carpets” can seem so overwhelming.

I’ve seen this concept stated in many ways by many people, but I’m going to work it my way and see what happens.

Your bathroom is a mess? Start with the clutter around the sink. Put everything on the counter in its place. Now wipe it down. Out of spoons or otherwise need to move on? You did what you can. You’re free to go. But be proud of what you did! Tomorrow you can tackle the toilet.

Not out of spoons and the counter looks great but you want to do a little more? Go for it! Nothing is stopping you. Do what you can for 10 minutes. 15 minutes. Stop when you need to stop. Continue on when you have the spoons and will.

Vacuum one room a day. Look. I get it. Pushing the vacuum around takes a lot of spoons. So just get your living room. Or your office. Or the one room that needs it the most. Do what you can.

Writing a paper for class and it needs to be 6 pages and that feels overwhelming? Well, unless it’s due in like an hour, write the introduction and walk away from it for awhile. Go do the dishes. Get a snack. Just walk away. But while you do so, work the paper around in your head. After 15 minutes, come back to the computer and get down what your brain tossed around. Polish it. Add a little more. Just until it starts to get a little overwhelming again, or right before, then walk away again for awhile. No one said you have to write the entire paper in one day, unless you procrastinated. Take your time with it. Take little bites as you can. Bit by bit those 6, 10, 20 pages will form.

Do what you can.

Don’t ever berate yourself for not having what it takes to <insert task here> in one go. But don’t just do nothing either. Idleness won’t help. It’ll only make you overwhelmed with the task in general.

Back to Sammy.

We used to just tell her to clean her room spotless and, especially to a young child, that was the single most horrible thing we could have done (aside from actual child abuse, I acknowledge). To her little mind, it was the end of the world because it was so overwhelming. So one day I set an egg timer for 10 minutes and told her to do what she could. As long as she actually worked for the full 10 minutes, just putting away what caught her eye, or whatever was closest, or no method to the madness, just honest cleaning… whatever the end result was, she just needed to work for 10 minutes. I figured 10 minutes a day for a week, and we might have a spotless room.

But she bloomed. Suddenly she didn’t have to clean indefinitely. She had a clear and solid end insight. So instead of letting it build up in her mind into this huge overwhelming task, and accomplishing nothing at all (or worse… continuing to play and letting it get messier)…

The entire room took her about 5 minutes and she bragged about it. It wasn’t an ordeal. It wasn’t overwhelming. It was 10 (5) minutes worth of honest effort, end results be damned, and the end results were amazing. Better than what usually resulted in 10 days worth of tears and frustration, and mostly procrastinating.

I have executive dysfunction. It’s paired with my ADHD and depression. Tasks can seem so overwhelming and impossible to start. My head paints this big picture that <insert task here> is going to take a million hours of exhausting, mission impossible work. As a result, I’m afraid to even start. It’s just built up and overwhelming and I can’t seem to make myself start.

When I do eventually start the task, more often than not, it takes a hell of a lot less time than I feared, and not nearly as much effort as I assumed. It seemed endless and impossible, but in reality it was manageable and not that big of a deal. Certainly not what I built it up to be.

Getting started is the hard part. With me. With Sammy. And possibly (probably) with you.

So buy a little egg timer. Set it for 10 minutes. Now, not forever from now. (Or if you’re like me, give yourself a little more leeway and start at exactly x:00 or x:15 or x:30 or x:45… it just feels more solid and definite.) Set that timer and just start. See what happens.

And do what you can.

Oh! And one last thing! Don’t set yourself up for expecting perfection in the results. No one ever needs that. Your honest best is your honest best and don’t let anyone, including yourself, expect anything more from you.

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My Life Plan

Posted February 21, 2019 By kmarrs

I know what I want to be when I grow up. As mentioned, I want to be the one who administers the tests and diagnoses people with ADHD and Autism. Especially women.

And that’s great, for a decade from now after I have my doctorate.

But here in August, I’m going to have to find a new job. I’m currently a work study and once I graduate I have to move on.

I also know I want to take 2 years off from school to concentrate on taking my GRE and finding the right grad school for me. That, and after the final push of completing my bachelor’s I could use a break.

But in those two years, I need to do something. I need to find a new job. I need to start looking in June.

And I don’t know what I want to do. At all.

I refuse to go back to retail or banking. I’ve had a cushy office job for 3 years now. I’ve grown used to it. I like being off in time for dinner. I like my weekends.

The closest to retail I’d be willing to do, is some sort of library job. It’s really tempting. It’s also a great way to have a set week day off, which I honestly need. But I just don’t know if I can go back to a service type job. It helps that there is no sales goal. And no register. But still, I don’t know that it’d be a healthy job for me. I’m currently really stable in my mental health and I don’t want to rock the boat too much.

But I need to find something. That pays well. And is hopefully at least 30 hours a week. So like Monday-Thursday. Or Monday-Friday with Wednesday off. You get the idea.

I just… I feel so lost. I don’t know what I want to do in the short term.

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