Sunday, August 31, 2014

37. What's Poppin' On my Radar this Week

1. Tim Tebow spent some time with a young girl suffering from EDS. Check it out! 

Tim Tebow:

2. Emotional intelligence at work has been on my mind heavily lately. I found this article about setting boundaries to be solid information and advice. Check it out!

9 Things Successful People Won't Do:

3. Surviving the first week of a new term is a must for those working in academics. The Chronicle of Higher Education has an archive area dedicated specifically to this topic. Check it out!

From the Archives: The First Week of Academic Term:

4. Business Insider cites the behaviors that aggravate college professors the most which is great information from students, and totally validating for Professors. Check it out!

10 Things Every College Professor Hates:

5. Tenure track jobs are out there. I repeat: tenure-track jobs are out there. The Chronicle of Higher Education is tracking a handful of disciplines to see where the jobs are and who is getting them. I'll be following this story closely as I haven't totally ruled out a Ph.D yet. Check it out!

Who's Getting Tenure Track Jobs:

What's poppin' for you this week?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

36. EDS Advisory Board Members Needed

Hello! I am currently working on a book project. The subject is EDS and the purpose is to create a survivor’s handbook full of coping strategies from survivors themselves as well as medical professionals. I want to hear your stories, experiences, and coping strategies and am looking to create an advisory board of fellow EDSers to contribute these to the book. This how it will work: I will collect email addresses and contact you when I am working on a specific subject of the book asking for your experiences, coping strategies and stories (gastroparesis one week, POTS a few weeks later, for example). 

The amount and what you contribute would be completely up to you. You will be given credit for what you contribute but I cannot guarantee monetary compensation as I have no idea if the book will even make money. You would be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement which just means you agree not to sell my idea out to another writer or researcher.

 If you would like to be a part of the advisory board, please let me know by October 1, 2014 as I’d like to get started on this project within the next 6 months. You can respond to this thread or email me at

Monday, August 25, 2014

35. Staycation: A Nerdy Girl's Paradise

Last week I took a staycation and turned it into a nerdy girl's paradise. I needed some time away from work in between summer and fall terms and I didn't have the funds to take a true vacation, so a staycation it was. The week was filled with all the things that make a nerdy girl happy. 

1. Doctor Who

I finally had time to sit down and explore Doctor Who. The updated version of the show is on Netflix streaming and has become so popular, I don't really need to take time to give it much of an explanation. So far what has impressed me most are the deep and meaningful questions each episode addresses. It's not just pure entertainment but a bit of armchair philosophy as well. I am only on the first season, so this might change as the show progresses, but I hope not. 

2. Lego Batman 2

I splurged and bought a copy of this game as I'm a Lego game fanatic. It is by far the best Lego game yet produced. The graphics are amazing and it has a consistent story. Highly recommended! 

3. Vampire Knight

I have a soft spot for this series because I feel like I "discovered" it. Really, I wandered into the manga section at the public library, saw a series about vampires and gave it a shot. The storyline is immature and meant for an audience far younger than me, but I still enjoy the manga and now the anime series as well. (It is available to stream through Netflix). The one thing I do truly appreciate about this series is the significant lack of objectification of female bodies. This is very, very rare for an anime. 

4. Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright

I finished this historical account of the life of Jesus during my staycation. It fits into the nerd-girl category because, you know, history and stuff. :) I found this to be a really fascinating read and it put a lot of the story of Jesus into a different and, what I believe, more accurate historical perspective than other books I've read. 

5. High Techie techie

I spent a lot of my staycation trying to figure out my next steps regarding my cell phone (which is an entirely different blog post in itself to arrive here later). I've also been thinking a lot about the concept of "personal branding" (another post to arrive later). You may have noticed different titles on both this blog and my photography blog. Without going into all the small and dry details about why, it is good enough to know that this is what I'm sticking with for my own "personal brand". 

6. Traditions

As per mother nature's tradition, it is always sweltering during move-in weekend at UNI (my alma mater and town's large public university). I felt nostalgic thinking about all the sweaty, dehydrated move-in weekends I had myself during my undergrad and graduate careers at UNI. As per my tradition, I stayed inside in the air conditioning as much as was possible during my staycation. It's sooooooooooooooooooo nice not having to move in this weather. 

Now that the fall term has started I will be doing less of this stuff and more work stuff. I'm teaching four classes this term, running the campus library, working on a research paper, a nonfiction book and a novel as well as the normal photography gigs, book review gigs, and freelance writing and editing gigs. Uff da!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

34. Trying Something New

I finished my master's in psychology in February 2014. By March 2014 I enrolled in more classes. I figured since work was paying for the classes, I might as well go for it. My initial intentions were good enough. I wanted to take accounting classes to learn more about business to grow my photography business. This isn't a bad idea in itself, that is, until I decided "hey, why not just get another degree only this one in accounting?"

The first several classes I took were excellent and provided me with the knowledge I was looking for in originally taking the classes (i.e. basic business knowledge). By the time I made it to class three and four, I started questioning my motivation to continue with this degree. I started to feel like I was spinning my tires.

See, the degree itself was fine. I wasn't struggling with the content and I found it interesting, but something was not right about what I was doing. I came to realize that I had jumped into another degree program because it is what I've always done. I've never not been in school. School is what I do. At this point though, it's pretty clear that I've got the school thing figured out. I know how to be a student and I know how to be successful in a degree program.

So I did something I've never done before: I quit school.

I quit school and it felt sooooooooooooooooooooo good. It feels amazing to be able to grow in other ways. I can finally focus on finishing my book. I can do more photography gigs and learn more about Photoshop. I can spend more time with my friends and get out into the thriving community where I reside.

School played an important role for me, many roles if we want to be technical about things. In the past five years, I was pretty sick. I had lots of pain, fatigue, and infections. I didn't know what I was dealing with and I was overwhelmed. During that time school was my way of feeling like my illness (which was a mystery at the time) wasn't in control of my life. It helped me feel like even though I couldn't really travel, take pictures without pain, or be in the community without exhausting myself, that I could still accomplish something and do something meaningful.

Now that I have my diagnosis, I've been able to take the steps needed to better control my symptoms. I don't have to be house-ridden any more! I can get out and do things without feeling like I'm going to die. I don't need school like I once did. I am a whole human without it now.

Don't get me wrong, I am beyond thankful for where my education has taken me. Who knows, maybe someday I'll go back and finish this degree, but for now I need to focus on developing in ways outside of school.

Cheers to a fresh chapters! :: clink! ::