Read, read, read, read

But I’m not complaining – my classes are simply fascinating! The only problem  is that there simply are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. At the moment, we’re now entering the fourth week of the quarter and I’m frantically trying to get my reading done (only nine books and a million or so research articles). Just the same, not only are my courses and their respective professors fascinating but so are the materials. My biggest problem is trying to digest everything.

Unlike everything else in my life (which remains a veritable whirlwind of utter chaos and ceaseless personal crises), my studies are about the only thing that I’m enjoying. I’m very grateful that I’m in this program and continue to pray that it will lead to good things. Time to get back to my reading 🙂

Whew! I’ve finished my first quarter!

It’s been awhile since I was last able to post here (I had originally hoped I’d be able to do that once a week) but I’ve just been too busy. In fact, I’m absolutely EXHAUSTED but I survived (I hope) my first quarter. The amount of reading, writing, calculation, writing, reading, calculating, reading, calculating, writing,  (did I mention calculating, reading, writing?), that I’ve done over the past couple of months has been absolutely incredible. Oh, did I mention I’m EXHAUSTED?

In case I’m not coherent (in other words, no synapses are currently firing) it’s because my brain (what’s left of it) is currently dripping out of my ears. My last class/final was two days ago – on Monday, and I was so tired by the time I arrived home that I slept for twenty (20) hours yesterday!

Am I complaining? Absolutely not (well, maybe just a little bit). All of my classes were fascinating, my professors were extremely intelligent, the work challenging (now that’s an understatement), and I learned a lot. Was it easy? Again, absolutely not! If finger tips could get callouses from typing, mine would be eight inches thick and bleeding. One of my classes was especially grueling (statistics) – at least for me. I intend to keep working on the material I’ve learned so that I can, hopefully, retain it.

Things would have been a bit easier if other matters in my personal life weren’t so chaotic – the amount of endless stress has been unbearable. There were many times when taking my classes at UCR was a pleasurable relief from the other messes. I’m just hoping that things will settle down, a LOT, next quarter but there are some matters (not related to UCR) that have to potential to cause more havoc. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a good New Year.

My first classes!

I’ve got a bit to catch up on but this will bring my blog current. As noted previously, I’ve been very, very busy getting settled into school. On top of that, my “old life” continues to swarm around me and I’m, quite frankly, very tired of it. All I can do is hope and pray that it will all be behind me in the near future and that my schedule will settle down as I want to focus 100% of my attention on my studies.

Last Thursday, I attended my first two classes and WHAT A JOY they both were! I felt like I had finally arrived home after a very long (and much unwanted) journey. It was exciting to immersed back into a field which I know so well only to discover that my previous training and experiences remain relevant today. While techniques may change and research is certainly beginning to reveal why certain exemplary (but previously unstudied) pedagogical practices work, much remains to be done. After attending these courses, my mind was left with countless possibilities for potential research topics that beg to be explored. Of course, my overactive mind merely went into overload as I thought about many of these but that’s alright! It’s better to have too many ideas than not enough.

I just returned, a moment ago from my third (of four) classes and, again, I was absolutely thrilled with the calibre of instruction, the professionalism and expertise of the professor, and enthralled with the topics discussed. Without question, the academic environment at UCR is VASTLY SUPERIOR, in every way, nearly all others I have experienced over the past twenty years (since I earned my MA).

One thing that I really noticed – something that hasn’t ever happened before – is that unlike my previous educational experiences, my age seemed to actually be a benefit. Specifically, my life experiences made once theoretical topics jump out at me with relevancy – simply because I have gone through so much. This was vastly different from both my undergrad and grad experiences because, at that time, I simply did not know what I do today. Interestingly, it also causes me to have many, many more questions  – too many to ask (otherwise, the professor wouldn’t accomplish anything else) – so I asked only the most relevant ones. My only concern is that, at this point in time, I’m free associating so many ideas that I might overload my professors. 🙂

I’m going to have to call it quits tonight as I’m just too tired. But it’s a “good tired” – not the stressed out “tired” that I’ve come to know and hate. 🙂 Tomorrow, I’ll be attending my fourth (and final) class for this semester and I’ll write more then.