Break me into bigger pieces, so some of me is home with you.

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Graduate Student Guilt: Epidemic or imagination?

 

 

It took a couple of weeks to get settled after the holiday break, but I’m back in classes and into the swing of the second semester.

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This cute little cat with the tasteful beret (come to think of it, it’s kind of a raspberry color…) really epitomizes the spirit of those first two weeks.  I’ve been in a state of constant vigilance since the start of the semester, and it has been a little trying.  Getting used to new classes, expectations and a fresh schedule has required my full attention.  But I think I’ve come down with something.  A few other members of my cohort have shown symptoms as well.  I’m not sure what the prognosis looks like, but I think I’ve got a little thing called “Graduate Student Guilt”.

GSG is described as, “a hyper-vigilant state in which otherwise reasonable graduate students are irrationally and illogically anxious and nervous about phantom commitments, imagined assignment due dates and fictitious upcoming exams.”

GSG is most common in first year graduate students, however it has been diagnosed in 10th year All-But-Dissertation (ABD) doctoral students.  While the sufferer tends to believe a steady diet of caffeine and Tostino’s Hot-Pockets to be the cure, GSG has best been treated through a series of rational discussions with a significant other (also known as “talking off the ledge”) and long hours of rest.  This condition is more frequently diagnosed at the beginning of academic terms.

I’m still in the early stages of this affliction, and my outlook is uncertain.  I’m remaining positive and we’ll see how it progresses.  I’ve got a great support system.  I’ve actually been lucky enough to encounter many individuals who have successfully made it through their battles with GSG.  Overall, they still seem pretty neurotic, but I remain optimistic.  Wish me luck, friends…

Have you ever experienced GSG? Any advice for current grad students who occasionally feel the crushing pressure?  Share your insight in the comments!


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Grand Canyon Highlights

 

 

 

 

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Sunny, long days on the river were complemented most days by breathtaking hikes into side canyons and sometimes up ancient stone walls.

 

 

 

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Options are a good thing. With four duckies and four oar rigs, we had the opportunity to switch our method of transportation. Floating low and slow with Mikey.

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And there were rapids. Oh, were there rapids! Ted and his minions, taking the fun line right through Hance.,

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Your’s truly, learning to row. I took the oars on the second day and piloted our vessel through the roaring twenties. Trial by fire!

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How many people can fit on a ducky? I bet we could have squeezed in one more…

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I got the Mat-Cat-Ameboa blues!!!

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After a good day on the water and some hiking around camp, we’d usually kickback telling stories and drinking beer. The river life is the life for me.

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It’s time to start permit-strategizing! Can’t wait to go back!

 


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Big moves

The train whistle pierces the still of the evening silence…

Is it “pierces”?  “Pearces”?  No, definitely “pierces”.  It still looks funny, though…anyway.

It rained tonight.  The soil around the new house is damp and a faint smell of ozone and puddles wafts in through the screen door.

Yikes, is that how ‘wafts’ is spelled?

The house on Cedar Ave is still partially packed in boxes, randomly pilled against walls and atop one another.  Only today did a proper coaxial cable adapter spring our house forth from “Luddite” to “blog-worthy”.

Alright, poor attempt at gaining pity through prose.  Yup, I’ve been a slouch at blogging.

I’m trying to say that it’s been awhile.

I’ve missed you.

But (in the typical and all too common fashion of unpaid bloggers) I’m going to make a serious effort towards being more consistent with my posts.

The sound you just heard was my unsuccessful attempt at stifling a chortle.

Everyone knows the easiest excuse when you haven’t called mom for weeks or run into a friend you’ve been innocently avoiding: “I’ve meant to get in touch with you, but I’ve been sooo busy!”

And I really, really have.  Really.

Allow me to recap:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

In a worthy attempt to make this summer even more fun than the last, I spent 17 days rafting the Grand Canyon stretch of the Colorado River…

A handstand chain at Redwall Cavern with some of the team

A handstand chain at Redwall Cavern with some of the team

 

…I attended a beer festival and a Rockies game with childhood friends…

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I watched one of my best friends get married to the woman of his dreams…

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…I had my first paid circus-gig, and performed on stilts and in the aerial cube.

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Running away to join the circus!

 

Earlier in the year, I made an attempt to ski Mt. Rainier with two of my climbing partners, Sean and Kyle…

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Mt. Rainier with Kyle and Sean

 

…and I held my nephew Asher for the first time!

 

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Holding my nephew for the first time

 

Joan and I mountain biked, hiked, camped and goofed.

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Hiking in the West Elk Wilderness with Joansie

 

I fell further in love…

 

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Lupine on Snodgrass with my Linders

…and we moved to Flagstaff.

We’re starting a great little life in the “mountains” of Arizona.  It’s cool enough for the dogs, we’re two blocks from great trails and school is in full swing for me.  It’s been a bit of an adjustment but with change comes opportunity.  We’re excited for all the adventures to be had in Flagstaff and can’t wait for you all to come visit!

With Colorado always in our hearts, we’ll be thinking of all our friends back home.  Adventure is out there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

“Find a way or make one.” -Robert E. Peary