BACKGROUND

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Going loco, but sanity is around the corner!

Although I changed my schedule to try and make July easier, it has still been very difficult. I am sleep deprived and generally fatigued in all areas of life. August will be easier because I will be done with driving to Victoria twice a week for classes. I have three more classes, the last being August 2. I have enjoyed the class very much and I love my classmates, but I will be relieved to be able to stop driving and have that time free, not to mention saving a ton of money on gas.

I will continue my practicum through August, but I will have more time to spend at the hospital thanks to not having to go to class so I should be able to finish my summer hours quickly. I am hoping to have at least a one-week break between the end of my summer practicum and the start of the fall practicum. We shall see how that goes.

In the meantime, I am catching sleep where I can. Tonight, I took a three-hour nap. I just needed the sleep. It helped a lot. I will be up for the next few hours working on a paid project that I need to complete by tomorrow if possible, although I fear it may be Monday before it's in the shape I want it to be in. Once I have completed this project, I will have a major weight off my shoulders. Next week, I will be finishing up my practicum papers. Still crazy busy, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Going Batty is Just Ducky!

This weekend was spent resting and doing things at home. Last weekend was spent with bats, ducks, and my Dad! I drove up to San Antonio on Thursday evening and met my Dad at Bill Miller's, our favorite BBQ spot. We headed back to his house and watched Shutter Island on DVD. It was AMAZING! Such an incredible movie with a great twist at the end.

Friday found my Dad taking my car to get the oil changed and two new tires put on. Poor Dad had no idea he'd be driving all around San Antonio to get that done. He went to the dealership, but they had no openings for oil changes, so he went to get the oil changed, then tires and finally back to the dealer to check on a warranty issue with the car. My Dad is awesome, he takes such great care of me and my car. While he was doing that, I was doing homework. 

Friday night, we headed over to the Harlequin Dinner Theatre to see Smokey Joe's Cafe, a musical revue of songs from the 50s and 60s. It was fantastic! The singers were great and the performances as a whole were wonderful. I love the Harlequin Dinner Theatre, it's always a fun way to spend an evening. Good food, good shows.

Saturday, we headed to Austin to spend some time with ducks, bats, and BBQ. Our first stop was the Austin Visitor's Center on Sixth Street to check in on our activities and then we had a drink at Darwin's Pub - a soda for Dad and a Shirley Temple for me. Had a great chat with the bartender there and then headed over to Salt Lick BBQ. Dad and I had been wanting to try it and it was excellent! Such good food.

After that, we were ready to spend some time with the ducks. My Dad was wearing his Oregon Ducks Dad t-shirt. I'm an alum of the University of Oregon and his wearing the shirt was a fun coincidence. We boarded the bus for the Austin Duck Tours! We were given duckbill whistles that made duck sounds that we were able to use and keep. They matched my Dad's shirt perfectly! We had a great tour of Austin and then headed to Lake Austin to take a tour of the lake. The bus we drove around town in was also a boat so we just drove right into the water. It was SO amazing! I love the water and miss it since I used to live within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. 

We headed over to the Hilton Hotel and had a drink while waiting for our Bat Watching Tour! In Austin, there is a huge colony of bats that fly out from under Congress bridge at night from March - October. We had a tour of Lady Bird Lake and then waited for the bats. It was really amazing to see the bats flying out from under the bridge. It's something I had wanted to do for quite some time. Such a great experience to watch nature do its thing like that. I have to wonder what the bats think having all those people cheering around them when they are just doing what they normally do. 

We headed back to San Antonio and watched a couple of movies, one of which was Mr. Wong, Detective. It's an old black and white movie made in 1938. I love those old movies and my Dad and I are both mystery fans so we love watching films like that.

We ended the fun weekend with a visit to Mimi's Cafe for an excellent turkey dinner. I needed a nap after that and then I had to head home. I love hanging out with my Dad and we always have the best time so I didn't want to come back to Houston, but I had to get back to all the not-so-fun responsibilities. I'm looking forward to the next time I get to hang with Dad!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kicking the bucket? Not now, maybe later.

So last month nearly killed me and although there have been times that grad school has made me pray for death, it would be terribly inconvenient to kick the bucket right now. Given that, I had to get a plan to make things easier or at least more manageable than they had been before.

I started by looking at the things I absolutely have to do - attend class, babysit, and get my practicum hours. I got out a July calendar and decided that I need to cut down on the hours I am working at the psychiatric hospital (my practicum hours) so I can fit everything else in without going on a major killing spree and possibly ending up in the hospital myself. I decided to work three days a week at the hospital for a total of 15 hours a week. 

I am not working on Mondays because I have to drive to class that day so I am giving myself a break instead of working at the hospital from 9 - 2 and then driving to class right after that, getting home at midnight and getting up the next day to go into the hospital again at 8:30. Now, I am working 12-4 on Tuesdays/Thursdays (the day after my long drives to class) and then 9 - 5 on Fridays. I may adjust that slightly to working 12-5 and 9-2 or something like that, but basically that will be the schedule.

This allows me to not have to be so tired that I once again try to perfect sleeping one eye at a time so that I can close one eye and still do things with the other. That has never worked, but I continue to have hope because it would be handy to be able to rest one eye at a time. Anyway...

In the name of stress relief, I have also decided to get my second paper for my practicum class finished in advance. I will be doing that over the next three weeks so that when it is due in August, I will have it ready to go without scrambling to finish it as I had to do with the first paper this week. On Wednesdays, I will be babysitting from 9 - 2 p.m. and I can use some of that time to get my paid work done. While the kids are perfecting their Mario Kart skills or making pipe bombs in the garage or whatever it is that they do, I can be doing the technical writing work that I need to complete. 

OK folks...we have a plan. I'll let you know if it works out. If it doesn't, please come visit me in the psych ward. And bring some Peanut M&Ms. I love those.