This is going to be the hardest few months of my entire life in so many ways. To listen to my professor, Dr. Supa, talk about some of the things we will be doing in Journalism 680 – Research Methods – quite simply scares the shit out of me. A small sampling of what we will be doing:
– A 20-50 page research proposal, presumably used as the start (yes, the start) to our thesis we need to complete to obtain a master’s degree.
– A 12-15 page handout, which will accompany teaching an entire 3-hour class period concerning a certain research method (mine is Content Analysis)
– An oral final exam, which will consist of 12-15 questions and will last roughly an hour.
– Reading assignments every week that will normally be at least 200 pages and probably more like 300.
And that’s the easier one of the two classes I will be doing. The other one consists of that 80+ pager I mentioned earlier, only this time he called it a 100-pager, with the 150 sources and all that, plus four 10-page papers spread through the semester. I honestly feel like I might cry typing all of that. It seems so difficult and I honestly don’t feel like I can do it. I didn’t have to do hardly any writing as a telecom major in my undergrad – my longest paper was 25 pages and quite honestly with all the crap Barry made us put in it, it was indescribably easy to meet that standard. He also set deadlines throughout the semester that made the whole paper seem incredibly easy to write. Dr. Supa does no such thing, at least that I am aware of…
I wish I could talk to Amy about all of this. She is hanging out with her girls tonight, which is great. (She hasn’t told them we are back together yet, which is why I’m under orders to leave her alone. 🙂 Just kidding Amy! I think I will do better in the future to let her have her girls-time anyway, just like I would want her to do the same if/when I have guys-time.) And, in a way, it’s helpful that I can’t, because without the possibility of talking to her to distract me, it will enable me to get some reading done tonight that I need to do. Anyway, I know that she really wouldn’t be able to soothe me but at least she’d offer up some support. I’m sure she would (and will) tell me that she knows I can do this, that she believes in me. I know she does. She has been amazing this week. She really has. As amazing as the first two months of our relationship were, this week seems like it’s been even better. We’ve become closer in that time than I think we ever were before, because, I think, we both realized how horrible our lives would be – and were – apart, and we both see now that relationships can’t and shouldn’t be easy all the time. I think she already knew that. And now, she’s teaching me that. More than anything though, she’s decided more than ever that I’m worth all the struggle. Which is something that makes me smile and almost tear up every time she tells me, because it is such an honor, such a blessing and such a twist of amazingly good luck that someone like her really thinks that about me. 🙂
Tomorrow is going to be interesting. It’s the only day of the week where I have GA work but not class. That will help me substantially. I’m planning on hitting the library after work tomorrow and checking out the book we have to read off course reserves. They only let you for two hours, so I will do as much reading as I can out of that book (we have to read nine chapters of it for next week) until my mom’s money is available on Monday and I can actually buy it. The thing is, if it all goes right to books – and it will – how am I supposed to pay my cell phone bill, which is due next Saturday? It’s all a mess. I feel so guilty that I can’t get my stuff together myself. If it weren’t for the 700 dollars I had to use to replace my car window, stereo and iPod when my car got broken into, I would be in a much better situation right now, right? I just feel horrible because the only people I could potentially borrow money from are really not in a position where they can give me enough. My mom doesn’t have much. My sister has virtually nil in spending money because of her new car payment. I suppose I could borrow from Brendan if I had to, but I really don’t want to if I can avoid it, mostly because it would be a substantial amount of time before I could pay him back – I don’t get paid much as a GA, pretty much just enough to live. There is no way on God’s green earth I’m going to hit Amy up for money, because like Megan she doesn’t have a lot of it. Basically, I should have taken out some sort of student loan. That’s the main lesson here. Because on top of EVERYTHING else, I have BSU fees that I will need to pay. Frankly, I will not be able to do this without building up some debt. Maybe I should just apply for a small loan – 1,000 dollars or so – just to get me through. That, of course, begs the question of how to do that…
This is just a really long entry now. But there is a lot going through my head and I need to get it out somewhere. Xanga is as good a place as any, because apart from Amy and Brianna, I don’t think anybody I know reads it so I can speak more or less without worrying about what people will think. I’m so nervous and so self-doubting right now. I guess I just wish I had some sort of validation – some sort of message from the future that said, “YOU WILL SUCCEED”. Right now I don’t have that validation, and I don’t have the proof that I know this will work. This grad-school thing, unlike so many people’s beliefs of me, was kind of hastily thrown together, more out of wanting to be back at school than anything. Seeing Kim – which I can’t really ever do because she student teaches almost 40 hours a week – was also a factor. It really was never about ‘bettering myself’, although the possibility of becoming employable certainly helped (and is still helping). But here I am. I managed to procure an assistantship to pay for my education. I managed to get all of this sorted out. I managed to win my baby back and persuade her to go through this long road with me.
A very frightening thought occurred to me sitting in Supa’s class, listening to him describe the horrors. For the first time since I started this road, the thought occurred to me: “What if I fail?” It was the first time that had happened. Without my prodding, my mind sort of tried to build a contingency plan of what I will do if I fail – if I can’t pass grad school (you have to get a B- or better to pass), if I can’t retain this GAship, or something else happens. It was an incredibly frightening thought.
P.S. I hope this entry doesn’t sound like I’m depressed. I suppose the absolute worst thing that could happen is that I do build up some debt, can’t pass classes, and can’t come back next year. I won’t be in financial doom thanks to my GAship, even if I can’t pull this off. And there’s always the possibility that I could find a job if it came down to it and I had to start looking. I’m not depressed. Just a little overwhelmed.