Category Archives: Back to School

Short Weekend Report

The brain fog (darn, do I love this term) I suffered from earlier this week, probably really was due to either a lack of sleep. Or the weather. Or the moon…. I have no idea. I’ve spent a pretty relaxed weekend and am feeling almost refreshed and ready for a new week at the office. Only “almost”, because… it’s work, after all ;-)

I was relatively (meaning compared to the lazy weekends before) busy with my termpaper, even though I haven’t written much yet. But I read quite a lot and thought a few things through. I might have finally gotten the hang of one of the seven questions I have to answer in this paper. While i was searching for literature online I stumbled across a book which seemed a big help for a specific part I still have problems with. And when I looked at the cover I realized I already bought that book months ago, during my first attempt to write this paper. *headdesk* No idea how I could have forgotten about that. But I found it again and will read this and hopefully some other articles / excerpts on my way to work tomorrow. The motivation is coming back. Slowly, but still better than never.

All in all it was a rather slow, lazy, uneventful weekend, which was fine by me.

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Flunking Once Again…

10 months ago I wrote the following

[….] I decided to not hand in the paper and thus flunk this exam. I feel a bit bad about it and mostly I’m mad at myself that I let it get this far, by starting to work on this paper much too late. But I didn’t want to pass this with an only “sufficient” grade and I wouldn’t have been able to do more than sufficient. […]

I handed in that paper 6 months later and received my grades for it yesterday. 82% which equals a B or a 1,9 (according to the scale you use). So it definitively was the right decision to flunk it at the first try.

And this also helped with the decision I made today: To flunk another exam by not handing another paper in time. It’s due next Sunday and once again I started way too late to work on it. Until this morning I actually really thought I could pull it off. But then I realized, even though I have a basic idea of what to write for the various parts of the paper, there is no way I can actually manage to do that until Sunday. Not with a normal week of work and work-related events on two evenings. I managed to write 1 of the 25 required pages this morning and that took me about 4 hours. At that pace I would need 96 hours to write the rest (and that doesn’t include proof reading) and I just don’t have these 100 hours next week. Ugh!

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More good than bad news…

My neurologist’s practice was closed today. WTF? There wasn’t any kind of notice and it most probably was due to “Rosenmontag” (Carnival Monday), even though Carnival isn’t really such a big event in the county I live in. But when I stood in front of the closed doors I remembered that even in my hometown shops are closed in the afternoon and a lot of docs don’t even open. Too bad though, that I couldn’t start my corticosteroids treatment today already.

I used the time I didn’t spend at the practice with finally starting to write my Grey’s review. Which took me quite a while, but that might be due to a lot of distractions throughout the day. Oh, and the presentation I gave during the weekend seminar was already evaluated and graded. I got 95% which equals “A” in the ECTS scale and something like 1,3 in the german scale. Yay! I didn’t get full marks for the composition of the presentation itself, because there was too much text and information on some of the slides. But I aced all the other aspects, which made up the final evaluation. Double Yay! This definitely boost my motivation to start working on the final assignment for the other class I’ve signed on for at the moment.

The Same Old Cycle…

I really don’t know where to start. Good news? Bad news? I should go for the bad news, I guess. I’m pretty sure I’m having an acute MS attack at the moment. Well, it started a while ago, actually, but it was like it always is. I didn’t notice it in the beginning, probably because I was too busy with a lot of other stuff. When I first noticed something, I tried to ignore it, because it wasn’t really a big deal anyway and I so didn’t need an MS attack right now. Duh, when do I ever? I somehow manged to push it all to the back of my mind, because I just didn’t want to deal with it on top of a lot of work at work and with the presentation I had to finish for this class and all. But of course I knew that something wasn’t right and of course I noticed that the symptoms didn’t get better, but rather the opposite. Even before I left for the weekend seminar, I thought about calling in sick this following week, see my neurologist, let my blood stream fill up with corticosteroids, deal with all the side effects and hope for the best.

Once I hade made up my mind to actually admit to myself (+ my family and my doc tomorrow) I started to beat myself up for not seeing the neurologist right away and that my decision to wait made it all worse and the vicious cycle of bad thinking started again. I obviously still haven’t found the right way to deal with this disease. Or… I don’t know. I feel kind of bad at the moment, not necessarily in the actual physical sense, but more in the emotional sense. Like I still don’t know what I’m doing. Like I’m still not grown-up and able to make sensible decisions. On the other hand… my mom doesn’t see a doc right away, even when she feels bad and I always scold her for that. So maybe it’s in my genes ;-) Or maybe I still haven’t accepted the fact, that I do have MS and that there is no way to ignore it in the long run… I just don’t know and that’s frustrating. I really need some more positive thinking, but that’s sometimes very hard to achieve. At least for me…
I probably should explain my current symptoms as well: It started with loss of sensation in my left foot (and partially in the right foot as well). I especially noticed that I lost the sense of temperature. The numbness started to grow all the way up to my hip, which didn’t bother me that much in the beginning either. But then a few days ago I noticed some muscle weakness as well. It felt like I wobble a little and couldn’t put my weight on the left leg for too long. This evening I checked some MS websites and that actually is a classic symptom. Just not for me so far. But obviously I can add it to my list :-(

I also have some good news though. I had a wonderful time at the seminar, which was part of one of my  Master’s degree courses. It’s a distance education program, so it’s always nice to meet fellow students face to face, because it’s always fascinating to meet folks from all over Germany (and also Austria + Switzerland) who all have a different background (education, profession, age and life) and you still have so much to talk about. To hear different points of views on the issues we discussed and to learn from that experience. I really enjoy the 2-3 days of these seminars every time. I totally missed the first few days of the Olympics though, because I didn’t have a TV in my room and not really time to read one of the newspaper lying around in the lounge. But I’m catching up at the moment :-)
I think, my presentatiion went rather well. Thank God. It was long, but obviously not too long and the lecturer wasn’t really strict about the time limit anyway. While I was talking and explaining I couldn’t really figure out if my audience was interested or bored, but they had some good questions after I had finished and there was some discussion, which is always a good sign as well. During the coffee break some of them told me, that I did a great job, that they liked it and it was interesting and not boring and not too much information in a short period of time (which was my biggest fear). One of them asked me right away, if he could get a copy of my presentation… so all in all, good feedback. Yay! I’m rather optimistic that I’ll get good grades for it as well. At least I hope I will :-)

There was more I wanted to write about, but I guess I can do that during the next week. I’m going to have a lot of free time on my hands. I’ll probably have to do some work stuff from home after all, in fact, there still is a loooong list of small tasks to complete. The same long list and variety of small tasks that kept me busy (and frustrated) for a while now. But at least on Thursday I started to actually compile a real list of all the stuff, so I can keep track of what I still have to do. There also is another set of coursework to complete to get another step closer to the Master’s degree. TV series to finally catch up with. Olympics to watch. And and acute MS attack to recover from. I probably should have put that first… Oh, well. It is indeed foremost on my mind, but I don’t want it to be the center of my mind or my life.

2nd (and last) post from Norderney

I just blinked and my vacation is already almost over. Well, I still got until the ferry back to the mainland leaves at 3.30 PM tomorrow afternoon. I have to leave my room until 11 AM, which means I could still have the laptop plugged to the outletand charged, so I might be able to use it at one of the cafés around here. There even is one with a t-mobile hotspot. Yes, I did use the simple internet functions of my phone to look for that, when I couldn’t get online at the hotel and none of the staff felt inclined to feel responsible for at least trying to find out what might be the problem. I didn’t really expected them to fix it, but at least it would have been polite to offer to look into it. And not a “I don’t use the t-mobile hotspot to go online, so I don’t know what might be the problem” answer. There were a few other tiny details why this hotel and it’s staff wouldn’t get glowing reviews from me, but as it is not too expensive and really ok for the small amount I’m only paying per night, I shouldn’t complain. And I won’t. Not anymore, now that the WLAN is working again *g* It’s terrifying how easily I let myself get sucked back into the online world, once there is the possibility. Because I really really didn’t bring the laptop to be able to go online. I needed it to write my termpaper. And I did use it for that mostly. I can and did go online with my phone even though that’s basically restricted to view sites and not even all of them. It’s an old phone :-)
Anyway, I wasn’t really online that much during this vacation. A couple of minutes at the public internet terminal and 70 minutes so far via WLAN. Which sounds like a lot, but trust me it’s not. I only checked my replies at twitter, quickly browsed through some blogs and journals, checked the weather forecast, and the train schedules for my departure. And saved the updates on some of my favourite Grey’s fanfics, so I could read them offline. I only checked my yahoo mails, because that’s basically all the fandom and blogosphere related stuff and not once checked my offical or even work-related mails. Because I am officially on vacation :-)

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Ramblings – Part 2

This is the post for all the frustrating and annoying things of this week so far. I don’t want to spent too much time writing about it, because it probably would be better to not dwell on it, let it go and just move on. The thing is, that I always have a hard time to just let it got and writing about it, even if it’s just a short omnious post, might help. I’m working on not letting all this stuff get to me (and I hope reading “The Four Agreements” might help with that. When I some day will find the time to read it *g*). But I’m not there yet and until there will be a post like this every once in a while.

I still don’t know if I will get a completly new assignment for the paper I flunked or if I can just continue working on that one. I asked the staff at the department over the phone before I didn’t hand in the paper. The first student assistant said, I would not get a new assignment. The mail I got a few days later regarding the procedure of repeating it, sounded a bit different. So I called again today. Another student assistant wasn’t sure about if I get a new assignment or could continue the old one. He asked the program’s coordinator and he wasn’t sure either, but wanted to find out and let me know on Monday. Seriously? I can’t be the first one to fail/flunk an assignment. They should know how to deal with that. This still leaves me baffled. I don’t want to let this thing slide again and really continue working on it. But I won’t continue to work on the old stuff, if these questions won’t be the ones I have to answer. But it’s taking them quite a few days to send mails to be available on the phone and to get back to me, so I’ve been in the loop for almost two weeks now. Which sucks.

The other frustrating thing is too complicated to explain in detail. I’d have to write a lot about the electorial system for town council and all kinds of legal and electorial stuff, which is to complicated to explain in English. At least when I’m running on only a few hours of sleep. The thing is, that my fellow Greens are frustrating me at the moment. In my small town the Green party only has got a few members and even less are more or less actively participating. But even these right now are hesitating or refusing to step up. And there are so many things on my mind I could say to them, but can’t, because these are rather cynical thoughts and uttering them won’t help. Not the cause and not me. So I have to find a way to put the essence of my thoughts in a non-cynical way and hope that I will be able to convince some of them. But it’s so frustrating.

And game 7 last night was frustrating, but I already covered that :-)

My Academic Career (So Far…)

I mentioned my graduate studies so often in the blog now, especially during the last few weeks, when my posts mostly consisted of “OMG I won’t manage to write a decent paper” thoughts. Which made me think that maybe I should finally write a post what this is all about. Or maybe I shouldn’t, but I will anyway, because I just feel like doing it. If you’r not interested in my academic career (and the current status of it), you should skip reading further… :-)

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