Just a break.

Talk about needing help with time management…

I’ve got half of my paper done, and just a little longer to write before I’ll have to turn something in, done or not. I did go to work today, but I won’t be going in, tomorrow, given time pressures. This is why I’m in a job that doesn’t pay so much: flexible scheduling. Well, that’s part of the reason. The other parts are idealism and a desire to help.

Right now…I’ve been working on this stuff since about 4:30 PM with the only break being dinner, and I need to think about something else. I also need to review my readings, and see if I can’t get the next four in, before submitting my paper.

I also need to gauge if I’m even awake enough to continue working on this, tonight…as well as perhaps comment on others’ posts, on the discussion forum.

EDIT: Yay! I responded to someone, which means I get extra credit! Now to get back to whatever I was doing…

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It’s cold and dark. Lots to do, but not all of it, necessary.

What’s sad is that it’s so cold that the computer warming my lap is welcome. I didn’t get any work done on my paper tonight, so far, and it’s taken an intentional effort for me to write here instead of space out watching the television and waste the time that way. It would take an even larger intentional effort for me to work on art.

In comparison, reading seems fairly…well, passive. Those two books I crammed into one night a couple of weeks ago, I can barely remember, now. It makes me want to re-read them just for the sake of writing up a review, and write the reviews for the sake of my own recall.

I haven’t been on this blog as much, recently. After finishing my ePortfolio, I have basically gone into reading. It’s difficult to have content to put up here without going through the additional process of living. It’s also difficult to live after having gone through as intensive a process of study as I’ve been involved with.

And…a lot of time and energy has been concentrated on obtaining things. Mostly, texts; but also some other stuff, like winter and professional clothes, and stuff for art and writing. But I think I spoke about that in past posts.

My due date for my term paper got extended to the middle of next week (as versus what looked like tomorrow night). At this point, I’ve re-read the applicable chapter, and looked some terms up, prior to doing hardcore research. The major issue I’m having now is not knowing my exact, most productive search terms, but I should be able to find those out in the process of searching.

I just…get anxious about searching. If you knew what kind of anxiety I have to deal with on a daily basis, you would know how much I hate routinely exploring online, on my own machine. Of course, I’m running a system which I’ve tried to make safer, but still.

So…I should probably get a plan together for the next three days. I know I want to have the majority of my research done by Sunday night, and to be writing by Monday. What really threw me off was going to work this last Wednesday; I should probably have held off for two more weeks. I just thought that since I would technically only be working on one class, it would be okay to have fewer available hours to study.

But also — it is a Master’s program.

Huh. It’s also harder to write here, I think, because most of my recent writing has been academic. It has been easier to channel my creativity into academic work, however. I’ve been wondering whether “arts” are just the most recognized outlet of creativity…

Aside from all of this, I still need to help clean the house, do some laundry, and…I think that’s about it. If I get my term paper done, I should be able to work on cleaning the house by Thursday, though I should work on my laundry before then.

And water the plants. And take another shower.

I think I’ll be okay. Today and yesterday were rest days. Tomorrow is work and study. The two days after that should be wholly study, and I can try and get this thing in early if I need to (just to have it over with), though I can also edit on Tuesday, given that I need to use APA format (and writing to a format is not easy).

Overall, I think my energy feels sapped because it’s cold and I haven’t been getting enough light. It is an idea to get out and start my day earlier, or to use the mood light in the morning. It looks like the sun is coming up at about 7:15 these days, so that’s about 9-10 possible hours of natural light.

It’s also possible that my energy feels sapped because I’m recovering from the stress of completing my ePortfolio, but I’m sure the season has something to do with it, too.

As well, I’ve noted tonight that I need to lay off drinking juices, again. For the last three weeks, I’ve been off of tea (camellia tea, I mean) and chocolate, due to heart flutter; and I think drinking sugar (and stress) has caused me to gain 2-3 pounds. Not too happy about that, but most of my clothes should still fit, as I got them recently.

I know I should still be able to drink kombucha, kefir, coconut water, and limited vegetable juices, in addition to barley tea and caffeine-free herbal tea (mint, chamomile, rooibos, elderflower, hibiscus, ginger, etc.).

That does make me feel better…

Wow. I didn’t know *that* was in there…

Let’s see…tonight I was able to submit another segment of my Culminating Experience requirement. Last night, I submitted my paper for Collection Development, meaning I’m probably not going to have a problem with that class. I only have one more big assignment, there.

Time is ticking down for my remaining essays: I have 2.5 weeks to complete 5 essays, plus one which is mostly-done, and two more which are my Philosophy and Conclusion essays, which I’ve already put serious work into; those two shouldn’t be hard. Right now, I’m pushing myself to give myself a break. Although, maybe I shouldn’t be.

There is still some study to be done to keep up with Collection Development, though it should be fairly straightforward, as compared to the more free-form (but still scaffolded) Culminating Experience stuff.

Luckily, writing isn’t too difficult for me, and I work relatively well under pressure (unless the task is just straight-up too difficult and sheer, due to multiple hidden tasks; then I just freak out and freeze, as started to happen before I got an extension on my last assignment).

If I reach a time in the near future where I want to work but can’t think in words, I can assemble the skeletons and scaffolding of my last six essays — or, the five which need it, I guess. It does take time. That’s the hardest part: trying to estimate how long it will take, and hoping that I’ll have the capacity to do the type of work I’ll need to do at the time I’ll need to do it.

The only way I’ll get into trouble is if I have to do hidden research for one or more essays, but I think I’ll be OK.

Well, there’s that. It’s pretty well-settled. I…am wondering if it is a good idea to go out, soon; or stay in, listen to my lecture, and basically catch up on the Collection Development material (which isn’t really, “catching up,” if I’m not behind, yet). Not to mention that I can look over the voting guides.

I think it would be easier on me to stay home tomorrow, actually, rather than going out when I don’t have to.

What was interesting, was investigating my college, the other day, and realizing that they have a pretty sizable Art budget. That, in turn, gets me thinking about going back to Art classes, or Computer Science classes, and the possibility of an MFA…and if an MFA, whether to do that in Web Design, or Studio Arts…and if Studio Arts, what do I plan to do with that? If Web Design, is that broad enough to do what I want?

I think it is an okay thing, right now, to really…start looking beyond the next two months. I know that December should see a lot of tension being released. January should see me beginning to look for new jobs…and getting back in touch with who I actually am.

I’m looking to be employed for at least 20-30 hours a week in my next job, which may be a Library Assistant or Librarian position, a combination of my current job with an internship, or a non-Library job.

If I don’t get any of this, I may start doing things like pulling prints or otherwise working creatively, and selling the results of that in my spare time (though as I’ve said before, I’m not entirely all that hot on Etsy, at the moment — I might want to find an alternative vending platform).

There is a third route, but I’d rather not do it, at least immediately (take Intro to Computer Science, and a one-unit class). I also need to learn Javascript, especially if I want to work in Technical Services.

And then…there is a story idea that I’ve had, which I’m not sure is related to dystopia or utopia, which goes into what might happen if the state of culture changes so that, in the majority, we decided to avoid irrational thought. A lot of things would go, including much of culture and religion; and I’m not sure what would replace them. I’m…curious about that problem, and kind of want to work it out on my own, to see where it would go. The thing is, even rational thought, based on false premises, leads to statements that aren’t true.

It does seem to be a timely idea, and it’s one I had to turn the TV off to remember, which means it’s good I’m writing it down somewhere, because just telling people about it, barely helped me recollect it.

As for whether I’m good enough at drawing to make it into a graphic novel or series, I’m not sure…but maybe that’s not the point. It doesn’t make sense to make something into a visual form, when there is no need to do so. I’m better at the written word, anyway; and one of the reasons I got into Art was because I was getting to the point with literature, of being able to actually say things that mattered, and I was afraid to do so.

Yeah, and…I’m thinking about another dream I had, which challenged my previous conception of a couple of characters I’ve had, from way back. That dream was seriously adult-themed, though; I mean, it might even set people with trauma, off. (By, “adult,” I mean that you need a moral grounding to be able to comprehend it and not take the situation as acceptable.) I’m not sure if I should write it…but it might help. It might help me get beyond it, that is.

On top of that, we got a new book in at the Library about Critical Thinking, which I want to read, but am somewhat concerned that I’ll have to challenge the book to successfully get through it. I’m not sure if the author is intentionally doing mind-trips to make their readers think, that is, and I won’t have the extra time or energy to try and puzzle it out, before December.

What’s kind of crazy (in the colloquial sense [like “crazy” is ever non-colloquial]) is that if I get back into literature and decide that’s where I want to be, a Public Library setting would feed me, by surrounding me with literature. If I get into Art and want to be an Art Librarian (subject specialist) in a University setting, then I might well need an MA or MFA in an Art-related field.

(The thing is, do I like Art well enough to do that?)

But maybe what I need to get used to, is being okay with expression? Or unafraid to express things, maybe I should say. It’s that which got me into writing, in the first place…I could write things I couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about. (That’s also what got me onto the Web, which relatively freaks out some people.)

And I guess I do, now, have the life experience to kind of know what I’m talking about when I write, which I didn’t, fresh out of undergraduate training.

Yeah… maybe I’ll go back and give writing a shot! It doesn’t cost a lot in anything but time (and maybe, books). On top of that, I know a bit of coding, and can look up the schema used to encode Kindle books, which I could then, self-publish. Or…I could try and publish through a traditional venue, with a BA in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Library and Information Science under my belt…

Hmm. Gotta do the writing, first!

(And I can go back to school for an MFA in Fiction, if I want…it’s a terminal degree, though. But I would be able to teach, then [as well as work in Publishing], and I would be very well-prepared [formally, at least] to be a subject specialist in Fiction writing…)

It makes sense, though, that if I want to really publish, I need to be reading: yesterday, if not sooner. Maybe I could line some stuff up for January?

Time crunch.

So it seems we’re ramping up to the holidays, faster than (at least) I expected. I’ve decided to skip the bead show, this year. I already have too many beads, and I haven’t really been using them at all. Hoarding more beads, I think, would just make me feel bad.

Especially knowing that I’m not intending to go into beadwork as a money-making venture, at this point. Cost-recovery is something else, but beadwork is an expensive habit, and I don’t even wear much jewelry and I haven’t been crafting. I would be more encouraged to sell on Etsy, but even that isn’t really worth it unless we look at how much money I’m losing for not being otherwise employed (plus I am not sure whether or not the last computer bug I got was from Etsy).

The alternative, it looks like, is to start my own website or find a better sales platform, and I’m not doing the first until I can take a serious cybersecurity class.

It also seems that I forgot to mention in my last post that we went out with my Godmother on Wednesday, for lunch. It was supposed to be a little meeting, and ended up lasting until 8 PM. I likely would have done better to stay at home and work, but then again, I did get to try a really good frozen drink at the Vietnamese restaurant we frequent.

The drink itself, I hear, is like the Philippine halo halo, or…well, you can look it up. I don’t really know much about it! I got it because it was listed as having three types of beans and coconut milk. It did have coconut milk, but the other two, “beans,” aside from the azuki beans, were sweetened plantain (so far as I could tell) and slightly sweet agar.

I don’t know, either.

But since I like plantain and coconut and azuki, I was pretty happy. 🙂 Until M almost drank all the coconut milk out of it. That was unfortunate.

There’s something else happening tomorrow that I am wondering whether to skip. It’s basically a festival where stuff is sold. I know I really don’t need to go and I kind of don’t want to go. I mean, it’s just a chance to spend money. The thing that’s giving me pause is whether to go in order to share the experience with my family — which I’m also leaning against, because I have an assignment due Monday night which I haven’t really started yet.

If I were looking to go into business and work shows like this…that’s something else, but that’s kind of not where I’m headed at this point in my life.

I’m really not sure. If I don’t want to go, my family may not see the point in going, either…which isn’t the outcome I want.

I suppose the best thing I can do now is get to work on my homework so that I can complete it on Monday…and if I have an extra Sunday to work on my portfolio, so much the better…

And then, I just realized: it would be different to go to the bead show to see the current state of the market, if I wanted to go into Jewelry Design. That …is an entirely different angle.

Because of my work in my grad program, I realized that drafting a set of rules as to what I would and wouldn’t buy, would help me not overspend. This is with an aim to end-use. I want to do stuff with macrame and size 6º (Czech) and 8º (Czech and Japanese) seed beads, possibly with small (3-5 mm) druks (round pressed glass beads) and fire-polished faceted round beads. The thing is, what is seen in person are often limited-run specialty glass…

Ehh…I’ve got to think about this, some more…

Recovering.

Right now, I’m just writing so I’m not in bed. For the past four days, I’ve been dealing with food poisoning (and the course of recovering from food poisoning). This morning when I weighed myself, I had lost almost five pounds — though I’m not sure how much of that is due to dehydration and how much is because, until about 24 hours ago, I couldn’t digest food.

I was going back and forth between writing this out by hand, and writing this out online…I guess you can see which won out. I intended to journal last night and ended up dropping off to sleep by accident — twice!

Last night was a little worrisome, too. Because I couldn’t keep anything in, I hadn’t taken my regular medication. So when I realized I had double vision at about 8:30 PM, I didn’t know if it was from dehydration, lack of food, reading things too close for too long, electrolyte imbalance, or withdrawal. I took medication early last night and tried to drink as much water as I could, and it did self-resolve (thankfully).

I also realized that the wedge pillow I got to do computer work in bed, also works really well to allow me to read in bed, and to prevent me from experiencing what might be the beginnings of sleep apnea. (I think I’m snoring, that is, and I think the snoring is leading to anxiety while asleep, about not being able to breathe — though that might better be categorized as a panic attack.)

So basically…Tuesday night I started feeling sick, and Wednesday was just a wash. If I hadn’t taken the time off of work previously, I would have been (seriously) sick at work. Yesterday, I did manage to work on my homework for Collection Development (the Prof finally put up the correct link, and I read through the assigned chapter). Nothing much else has happened, except I realized how much of Intro to Marketing I had forgotten, while reading about Marketing. (I need to rework that section of my ePortfolio.)

Except — I did start reading in this book I got a while ago, called The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web is Changing What We Read and How We Think, by Eli Pariser. I think it was copyrighted in 2011, and it’s regarding the Web, so I’m kind of surprised it’s still accurate. It’s about how Web search algorithms have been designed to show us what it predicts we’ll want to read, and how that isolates us from ideas outside of that.

Immediately when I was reading it, I started thinking about the widening political rifts going on in my own country, and how much of it may be due to people never being exposed to ideas outside of what they already think. I’m pretty sure Pariser isn’t saying we should stop using the Internet, but rather as with any form of technology, we need to be aware of the hazards inherent in how it works (which are largely hidden from us, and the workings of which, none of us entirely understand).

And yes, I do want to get back to my art, but it looks like I’ll need to be working on completing this degree for about the next month, pretty seriously. I’m just glad I’m not drowning in assignments, yet.

I’m also glad I allocated myself enough time that I could just forget about my work for a day, and it’s probably going to be all right.

For the rest of today…I should get on finishing my other two readings. One of them is 53 pages long, so I doubt I’ll get much else, done. Tomorrow, unless I get sick again, I should be going in to work. Then there is a Discussion Post to do, and the rest of that time — unless I start working on my Collection Development paper early, I should be able to work on my ePortfolio.

The anxiety’s easing, a little bit.

I think the only thing I’m really going to have to watch out for is devoting too much time to Collection Development, over my Culminating Experience requirement. That, and not getting sick. Today I spent a little time outside, picking up more food and, incidentally, highlighters. (I get tired of having to look for one that isn’t 15 years old.)

Yesterday, I was able to complete most of one new section (F) to my project. I’m still not halfway done, but it’s comforting to know that it doesn’t take me forever to get one of these, completed. The day before that, I completed and submitted Section E. I likely would have gotten more done last night if I hadn’t been tearing through my archives, looking for evidence (while I had the motivation and nerve to do so). I wanted to deal with finishing Section F more today, but I had to turn in an assignment for Collection Development. Two points. (And…I wanted more trail mix.)

I just would hate not to turn in anything, especially as I lost three points for not following standard format in my last paper. That narrows the gap as to what I can avoid turning in. But of course, it probably doesn’t matter, so long as I don’t get a D or F in this class (I’m uncertain whether that would cause graduation to fall into jeopardy, though I’m presently in good standing).

Good news: I’m now caught up for the weekly turnover, and the Marketing assignment is coming up shortly. I should be able to use this for my incomplete Section D, and then move on from there. Once Sections D and F are turned in, I’ll be over halfway done.

Section D is going to be kind of a pain, though. I was an editor for the major class I’ll be using for evidence in that section…which was needed, because we wrote about 80 pages in our final drafts for that class, combined.

Right now I’ve got approximately eight sections to work on and approximately two weeks before Halloween, which is my soft deadline to get rough drafts of all these sections turned in. After seeing what happened with my first few drafts, though (in which none were reviewed until I fixed the first one I submitted), I may want to take my time on them as versus turning in, “just anything.”

The final due date is in mid-November. I have five weeks. 35 days. But I want to do my best to get all this turned in, in two. 14 days. Hopefully, this will allow me a little bit of extra time, to edit anything that needs work, to fill any gaps which may exist, and to complete incidentals like my Introduction. I’m getting confident with the format, though.

Seriously, the sooner I get this turned in, the sooner I can relax.

Adjusting

Yesterday I finished the majority of work to be done before early next week, for Collection Development. Today, I updated everything I could think to update, in lieu of working further on homework and my project.

I also went out to the produce market and retrieved a bunch of stuff which will be nourishing for me to eat, while I study. I did get some time off of work (a benefit of being part-time), to be adjusted after I get my project turned in.

I also took a shower and washed my hair…and slept. I probably shouldn’t be up now, but I didn’t wake up until 7:30 PM, or something. (I guess D did tell me I’d fall asleep in the recliner, though at least I had the presence of mind to go to bed. I thought to look for that crochet blanket I’d been working on, but was too tired to think of where it might be, and dig it out.) I’ve been trying not to get sick, which is why I’ve been letting myself sleep so much.

Tomorrow is another appointment, which in addition to the appointment I had today and the training day I had earlier this week…kind of explains why I felt pushed to reduce my hours at work.

I have 20 pages to go before the end of Chapter 5. I found that one of my Professors likely hadn’t reviewed my more recent work because I hadn’t updated my first page with her suggested edits; so now that I know this, I should be able to get my stuff reviewed more quickly.

And I am feeling anxiety about this, but I’m probably going to feel it until it’s out of the way and done. It’s better now that I have three pages approved…I didn’t know if I was doing things correctly. But apparently, it’s good enough to pass.

Just, tomorrow…I need to take in a list of questions to my doctor. I may also want to take another shower. Aside from that, the day should be free to work on either chapter reading, or my culminating experience project.

I kind of feel like the latter needs my attention, more…if I fail Collection Development, I just get an F. If I fail my ePortfolio…that’s one shot down. I have two chances. If I waste them both, I won’t graduate — which is obviously much more important than a class that I don’t totally need.

Yeah; it’ll be better to work on the ePort than read. I’ll just read if I can’t think straight…because the thing due this week is only a two-point assignment. Priorities, right?