The Scamp Re-formats

I am just about done with the final edits (cue video)

Along with the editing, I was forced to reformat the paper using a referencing system I know nothing about. Thanks to Google, and a line by line reading of all 16,667 words, the paper now reads like a Harvard referenced dream (If you don’t know what the Harvard system for citations is, don’t you fret…I can now tell you all about it). I spent a good portion of the day working on it, and by tomorrow, the goal is to be completely done.

My paper is not the only thing that is getting reformatted.

berry-break-232

For the last couple of weeks I have felt like I have been wearing a “Kick me” sign. Yesterday I hit my breaking point, complete with a hysterical sobbing fit in the middle of the 25 Hour Fitness parking lot in La Mirada (I know I hurt my mom’s feelings when I said that I hate here and all I want to do is go back to Scotland, but I seriously mean it in terms of going back to my happy place).  I have done nothing but work on my paper for months. I haven’t seen or chatted with my friends as often as I would like, and some days I don’t even leave the house. In my cabin fevered state I was starting to resent the people around me. No one was calling to ask me how I was feeling or how my paper was going, or they were calling me to complain about mundane problems or self created drama. I was being lied to by people my friends, or complained about for not being around. My supervisor cancelled a meeting with me half an hour after it was supposed to take place…generally, I was just feeling like my time wasn’t valuable, and my feelings didn’t matter.

It hurt. It hurt a lot, and admitting that it hurt, and that I let someone else hurt my feelings is hard (although, a very wise friend brought it to my attention that the fact that I can admit that, and acknowledge that shows great growth and maturity on my part.).

I wallowed. A lot. Yesterday was a pity party of poor mes and why am I the bad guys. Today though, I made a choice. I could continue to have a friendship with a self-serving person, or I could move on and rid myself of the stress and drama.  I reformatted my criteria for who qualified as a friend, emailed my supervisor all of the questions that I had for the meeting along with times when it was convenient for me to meet, and decided that I am going to have to make a little extra effort to reconnect and foster friendships with people who I know will not bring unnecessary drama into my life.

I know my therapist would be shaking her head at me for falling back into old ways, so I am going to try and take a more active role in keeping myself from any more meltdowns….if for nothing else than the fact that I am an ugly crier. My face gets blotchy, I oooze snot (which is not fun to deal with in regards to a fresh nose piercing) and I usually give myself the hiccups.

It is not a pretty picture….

 

 

 

The Scamp on a Sunday

I always know it is Sunday because I wake up feeling remorseful.

Today was no exception. I got an email from my supervisor with the last two annotated chapters of my thesis, and even before I made it out of bed I was trying to think of things to do that would keep me from having to sit down and look at the edits.  I did my part of the house cleaning, spent way too much time dicking around the internet and chatted with a couple of the lads from Scotland.

When  I finally focused on the edits, they weren’t that bad for the most part. The problem that I am having is that in every place my supervisor asks me to explain something further, or link my research to the massive amount of literature I read, I just can’t do it. I’ve been staring at the paper for the last four months, and can no longer see how I can improve it, and can no longer think of clever things to say about the books and their representation of culture. Truth is, I read a massive amount of literature, but I never really made a concrete plan on how I was going to use it in my analysis. My methods were not in line with any one philosophy. My research mainly consisted of pointing out the flaws in one story and highlighting the positive features in another……not really groundbreaking (and thank sweet baby Jesus is doesn’t have to be). I never had that light bulb moment where I could connect an old white guy’s theory to my motivation for the research (mostly because my motivation for the project was the fact that I could do it all from my desk and I didn’t have to interact with people).

Tomorrow I am going to try and finish the last of the edits and get myself in the mindset of a meeting with my supervisor. I was grossly under prepared for the last meeting, and I am not going to make that mistake again. If I am lucky, maybe she will just tell me what to write and I can stop stressing about having to finish the entire paper in just under 6 days.

Might be time for a nap.

love-sleep-7

 

The Scamp’s Favorite Word

wanderlust-480x317

Wanderlust: my favorite word in the human language. I’ve always suffered from a severe case of it (although, I do not see it as suffering in the least) and wasted no time getting out and about in the world once I graduated high school. Every three to four years I’ve looked for the next adventure. I just came back from my adventure, and should be good for the next three years, but right now I am itching for a a new destination.

download

 

I’m not doing so well at home. I came home a different person. I had a plan. I was happy, I had worked through the worst of my break-up, worked through some of my fucked up emotional issues, and I was a girl on a mission. I came home and fell right back into my old habits. I’m grouchy most of the time, I am not being a great friend, and I have yet to find a job so I can pay my bills. Right now, the most adventurous I get is driving to the gym every day.  I can hear my Scottish therapist’s voice in my head telling me what to do, and how to change my thinking, but for some reason my brain is not fully processing the message. Part of me wants to blame the fact that I have been working nonstop on my dissertation for the last four months, but now that I am just about done, I have no excuse for the “piss off” attitude I have been carrying around. I’m going to really have to beat feet to get some insurance soon so that I can get myself back into therapy in case I can’t get myself out of my funk.

That is the logical step instead of quitting the program before I have really started and becoming an Alpaca farmer in New Zealand….I have a feeling Alpacas wouldn’t like me, and I don’t like the idea that my cat would have to be quarantined for so long, so I guess I will have to put that dream on hold…at least for the next three years while I finish my program. The great thing about going to an international school is that I met people from every corner of the globe, so now when I am feeling restless, and my finances will allow me, I am can pick a spot, see people that I really care about, and have an adventure with them in their homelands.

globeroom

 

 

For now though, my adventure will come from my desk and a classroom. I’m about to start a grueling school schedule with a lot of late nights spent reading, and mornings spent writing. I only had 15,000 words to write for this paper (I say only, but it was a lot) and the next project has to be in the line of 100,000 words, which means a lot of time sitting in my office, or the library looking at the Berry and pretending to write.

Given that no more work is going to get done today, I am going to nerd out with a  travel book and think about my next destination.

 

tumblr_lhag75q8OH1qdu79bo1_500

 

The Scamp Hurts Herself to Prove a Point

I went to the dentist today. I’m not a huge fan of the dentist (insert widely inappropriate joke about not liking things in my mouth), but my mama kicked me in the butt and made me go. I haven’t been to a dentist in about 3 years, and the last time I was there was less than pleasant. The pain pill I take sucks the calcium out of your body, causing my teeth to literally rot from the inside out. I had a fair amount of work done during my last visit, and the thought of having to do that again with no insurance scared me. The dentist’s office was running a special on cleanings though, and so off I went early this morning to get my chompers checked. Lucky for me no cavities and no scary gum disease or degeneration (probably the only good thing about asshole David is that he has stronger love for flossing than he does anything else. He got me to floss regularly, and my gums and teeth are happy for that much).

 

….but I digress.

As part of the visit today I had to fill out a complete medical history. I had to list my illness and all of my medications. I just figured they wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to spontaneously combust while sitting in the chair.

The hygienist who took care of me today was a really great girl about my age. We chatted about Scotland, about how she once wanted to be a teacher, and about how scary life is without insurance. While we were waiting for the dentist she mentioned the Lupus and asked me all kinds of questions about being diagnosed, being treated, and being tired all the time. She told me that she had never met a person with Lupus before and that she is in the middle of being tested for it. She is worried because she shows a lot of the symptoms, but doesn’t really know a whole lot ab out the disease. I did my best to reassure her that it wasn’t the end of the world. I told her that if she did have it she would get used to being tired,  that there were plenty of options for exercise, and that my life was pretty normal. She laughed and said she was glad to hear that because her mother-in-law is a nurse and told her if she did in fact have Lupus it would ruin her life. I laughed and promised her that it  wasn’t the end of the world.

and now to the part where I hurt myself to prove a point…..

The gym has become my daily break from writing. I go and do yoga or rowing and sweat for an hour. It has become a stress reliever as well as a change of scenery from the tiki masks in my office. I was feeling uninspired today so I went to the gym to do some yoga and see if I could find my focus. When I got to the gym though, I just kept thinking about what the hygienist said about her life being ruined if she had Lupus.

Was my life ruined? Sure, most days I am too tired to really want to get out of bed, but insomnia keeps me from sleeping, the joints in my fingers are so swollen I can’t get my rings off, and increased stress can cause me to lapse into a down cycle that makes me cranky, sore and a general pain in the ass to be around, but my life isn’t ruined….is it?

My aches and pains usually keep me from doing any strenuous workouts. I’m not supposed to be on treadmills, or lifting a lot of heavy weights. Since the pool was closed today, I hopped on a treadmill and decided that I was going to run until I was no longer focused on the stress of my paper or the potential ruin that was my life.  3 miles later (which may not seem like a lot, but for a girl who hates running is a lot) I was sweating, out of breath, and immediately regretting my decision.

4 hours, a hot shower and some iced knees later and I am still regretting it. There is a reason why my doctor told me not to do anything strenuous. The worst part of all of this is I have run out of pain pills. I can’t see my doc for another 2 weeks (not that I am counting) and I can’t really take Aleve because it causes me to bruise, so I should be taking it easy, but just had to prove to myself that I wasn’t ruined despite already knowing that I wasn’t.

On the upside, a small discussion of my analysis and a conclusion is all that separates me from a complete dissertation. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will now be glued to my desk chair so that I can finish it tonight, and start the editing process tomorrow.

I also think I will skip the gym….

A Scamp and Her Best Ideas

All my best ideas come to me in the shower. I’ve plotted many an act of revenge, a night on the town, and even several drafts of my plot for world domination under the spray of hot water.

Today was no exception. I have been struggling for two days to finish the analysis section of my paper. I’m tired of looking at the same four pictures, tired of trying to find academic sounding ways to say one book is racist and one is a little less racist. I have been fighting the wall of analysis and the headache that comes from staring at a computer screen for eight-ten hours a day. I took a break to movie hop with the mama and the sister, and during my afternoon off I ate popcorn, Skittles and red vines until I thought my stomach was going to protest. Needless to say, I came home in no mood to work.

The shower saved the day though. It was in the middle of conditioning my hair when I finally figured out how I can save my analysis and get my word count back down to a manageable level. I spent the last two hours working and got things back on track. With four days until the deadline to be completely done with my paper, and two sections still to write, it is clear that I have my work cut out for me.

That’s what tomorrow’s for.

berry-break-26-3

The Scamp Down For the Count

Right now I have about as much sex appeal as a camel….with gingivitis. My body hurts. The joints in my hands are so stiff and sore that I can’t make a fist, and I’m walking like an 80 year old woman.

I feel like an 80 year old woman. I’m not much of a complainer when it comes to my health, but today I am complaining. I have been feeling icky for a week, but it seems to be getting worse. Most days the pain doesn’t bother me too much, but the pain in my hands and wrists is making it hard for me to sit at the computer all day and work on my dissertation. I am still about 5,000 words from my goal, and I have a literature review to edit, and instead of working, I am laying in bed trying to both not move and get comfortable at the same time. I have about 10 days left until I would like to be done with the dissertation and into the final editing stage.

I just have to make it that far.

This time last year I would call the doctor and go see him to get some extra pain meds and to make sure that there isn’t something seriously wrong with me.

This time though, I am not really doing anything about it because I do not have insurance, and definitely don’t have the $300 just to see the doctor and then the $75 or more that it will take to fill the prescriptions. American is a scary place to be without health insurance. Everyone keeps going on and on about how great Obamacare is, but considering I can’t apply for it until October, and then I  might not get covered for another 6 months, I fail to see how great it is. Trying to figure out how to get my own insurance from a healthcare provider is proving equally as challenging. I require regularly scheduled maintenance, and most plans only offer a certain number of covered visits. The first three months of being covered would max me out. The plans that do offer more visits are a lot more expensive, and might not still be valid when Obamacare actually kicks in.

I may have hated being in San Diego, and I may not have always loved my job, but the insurance coverage I got was amazing. I could afford the payments, doctor visits were never a problem, and the price of meds was rarely over $10.  I wish I could have that kind of coverage for a price that didn’t make me want to cry.

This is another moment when I miss Scotland. I miss being able to see the doc and fill my prescriptions without having to spend a dollar and worry about my amount of coverage.

If only the doctors here would take my Scottish insurance.

In the meantime, I am going to guzzle Aleve like it is candy and try not to stress about the fact that I only have 4 pain pills left.