Reminiscing about winter break

Sitting here trying to do some work (a few readings that I have to have done by tomorrow), my mind wandered off a little bit to think about my winter break, and how relaxing and good it felt to be in a warm place, with friends and family, and celebrating some very fun holidays. One of the life changing events that happened to me over winter break was the new addition to our family, a beautiful baby that has made me a proud aunt for the very first time, and marks the beginning of a new generation. The cake in the picture was given to the proud mother a couple of days after giving birth. She definitely needed all the pampering she could get, especially after all that work!

I also did very little work, and spent most of my time eating a lot, hanging out with the family, and helping care for the little one. Of course, I am now paying for the fact that I did so little work, but all in all, I don’t regret it, because it was one of the best winter breaks that I have had :)
Now.. about those readings…

My New Year Resolution

My New Year Resolution

Having been a big fan of marathon since my early childhood, I can understand why many athletes barely cross the finishing line. This is my fifth year of being a full-time graduate student and I am beginning to sense the fatigue that athletes experience toward the end of a competitive race. To prevent the lingering fatigue from derailing my ambitious goal of completing my dissertation in 12 months, I have decided to enroll in an indoor soccer tournament. My team meets once a week for a 45-minute game. So my hope is to combine sports with studies in order to attain the ultimate goal which is the latter. 45 minutes of intensive exercise may be inconsequential to regular athletes but I think it is a good start for beginners.

I am currently putting in at least 10 hours a day on the dissertation proposal. I took a resolution not to take more classes after my Qualifying Exam in order to focus on my dissertation research. So far, I am still resolute on that resolution.

Staying Healthy, Keeping Fit


One of my goals this year is to practice healthy habits. Besides eating healthy, well-balanced meals, I have started exercising on a regular basis. I love to walk, but since it’s still pretty cold outside, I use the gym. When I cannot make it to the gym, I brave the cold and take a nice brisk walk in my neighborhood.

Indiana University is the perfect place to develop a healthy lifestyle, as we have “over 400 pieces of strength-training and cardiovascular equipment at two different facilities (SRSC and HPER).” In addition to “machines,” there is wide range of other fitness and sporting activities offered by I.U.’s Recreational Sports.

This year promises to be productive one :)

Helpful Link:

http://www.iurecsports.org/

Realistic New Years Resolutions


Entering a new academic semester can be both exciting and terrifying. We have a tendency to create an exhaustive list of academic and personal goals for the entire year only to forget about them a month or so in. In the spirit of keeping it simple, I have set the following new years goals: 1.) to maintain my current GPA, 2.) continue working out 3-4 days per week, 3.) have a dissertation topic by the end of Spring semester, and 4.) continue to carve out an evolving research agenda. Some of my upcoming blogs will explore these new years goals in more detail It is important to set realistic goals during the graduate school journey. I constantly tell my friends to celebrate the small victories because they ultimately lead to degree attainment. I am now off to fulfill my second goal which is to work out at the gym.

My Winter Vacation

Being from out of state and from what seems like a totally different place at times, going home for Winter Break proved to be a much needed vacation. I am originally from Virginia and as an only child I sometimes struggle with missing my family and friends. I went home about 8 or 9 days earlier than I have in the previous two years. Over the break I visited New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and Georgia. Whew! There were a lot of people to visit, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

Often when I am in my apartment at school, I find myself slightly nostalgic and searching through pictures on Facebook for comfort. Bloomington and IU are absolutely wonderful and I have met amazing people while here, however returning to my comfort zone is much needed for my success in my doctoral program. I am growing in how to manage my personal, academic, and professional life as a full-time doctoral student. Taking advantage of every vacation or break and using occasional weekends to recharge are absolutely necessary for me to feel comfortable in my academic pursuits. My winter vacation was absolutely wonderful and now I look forward to a successful and amazing semester complete with research projects, presentations, conferences, and classes!

New "Leash" On Life

This is my dog, Flurry. She’s a 4-year-old European retriever mix, and this is pretty much what she does ALL the time. Due to her natural lifestyle pattern and my busy grad school schedule, I’ve become concerned lately that she isn’t getting enough exercise. So for the new year, I got her an “activity meter.” It’s that white thing you can see on her collar, and it’s going to monitor her daily activity levels. It has a little light that blinks whenever she moves — red when she hasn’t met her daily movement goal (which I can adjust) and green after she has. At the end of each day, the meter sends the data it’s collected via an infrared sensor to my Nintendo DS, which then displays Flurry’s activity report, including a minute-by-minute account of the times of day she is active. The meter is designed for both humans and dogs and has a special setting to track the movements of our canine companions. It should help me know whether Flurry is getting the exercise she needs each day, and I’m also curious to discover whether she does anything at all when she’s alone in the apartment! Wondering how much time your pet will spend without you while you’re in grad school is a valid concern, but perhaps a device like this can help you figure out just how much extra time and attention you should be devoting to your furry friend when you do get home. I’ll post an update on Flurry’s progress as we get further into the semester.

New "Leash" On Life

This is my dog, Flurry. She’s a 4-year-old European retriever mix, and this is pretty much what she does ALL the time. Due to her natural lifestyle pattern and my busy grad school schedule, I’ve become concerned lately that she isn’t getting enough exercise. So for the new year, I got her an “activity meter.” It’s that white thing you can see on her collar, and it’s going to monitor her daily activity levels. It has a little light that blinks whenever she moves — red when she hasn’t met her daily movement goal (which I can adjust) and green after she has. At the end of each day, the meter sends the data it’s collected via an infrared sensor to my Nintendo DS, which then displays Flurry’s activity report, including a minute-by-minute account of the times of day she is active. The meter is designed for both humans and dogs and has a special setting to track the movements of our canine companions. It should help me know whether Flurry is getting the exercise she needs each day, and I’m also curious to discover whether she does anything at all when she’s alone in the apartment! Wondering how much time your pet will spend without you while you’re in grad school is a valid concern, but perhaps a device like this can help you figure out just how much extra time and attention you should be devoting to your furry friend when you do get home. I’ll post an update on Flurry’s progress as we get further into the semester.

New Years Resolutions

The new year has started, and the feeling of new opportunities and beginnings is in the air. Like most other people, when a new year starts, I always think about all of the new things that I want to start, and all of the things that I SHOULD be doing. Here are my top four new years resolutions:

1) Get lots of work done

2) Get lots of work done

3) Work out (at the gym)

4) Get lots of work done

As you can guess from my list, getting work done is the main thing that I want to make sure to do this year. I am at a point in my graduate student career where I do not have to take any classes, do not have to teach, and can focus mainly on my research. That’s right, I am a free woman, and my time is MINE, to completely devote to my research (and maybe have a little bit of free time to do things other than work). I really have to stay focused, though, because, seeing as I have much more free time than ever before, it is easy to get distracted.

The other things on my top four is to work out.. it is hard sometimes to stay active when your job is to sit at a desk all day and read, write, and have meetings. So, my goal is to get in shape, nothing major, but be physically active to keep healthy.

Other things I want to do:

5) Devote more time to playing music

6) Devote more time to my puppy

7) Start a garden in the spring