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Posts Tagged ‘finals’

It’s a steady push to the end folks. I’m clawin’, scratchin’ and most of all prayin’ to get to the end of this semester, which officially ends tomorrow night. I still have some big assignments on the table, and challenge is daunting. After going all semester it’s important to have enough gas at the end to power through the finish line.

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I’ve been meaning to pen a post about how real in the field it is right now but…well…it’s real in the field! (For those who don’t get the hip-hop lexicon, I’m saying that things are very hectic right now)

I’m a TA for Trial Round of Policy Analysis and the groups presented this week. I’m so proud of both of my groups. They worked very hard and really dug into their issues. I’m blessed to be a TA and I’m grateful for this experience.

That being said, I have my own presentations and papers to get done. The clock is ticking on the final days of the semester and I’m not trying to take a knee or punt.

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Laura and Tushar!  They are off somewhere celebrating right now, as they should be, and I am just posting to cap off this year.  I know the anxiety over our whereabouts since my last cryptic, exhausted missive has been keeping some of you bleaders up nights.  I know.  We’ve been a little busy.  Laura and Tushar graduated, and I had a marathon of my own last week as I went from a Quant final to wrapping loose ends to volunteering at their recognition ceremony, watching all of these fabulous beautiful people walk by and fantasizing about joining their ranks as an alum as soon as possible.

Quant went well, I am proud to say, but I will now also go “on the record” with this conclusion: I really wasn’t missing out on a great unfulfilled academic passion all those years when I did not delve into stats.  Some of us are meant to work in words (or music, or law, or medicine, or motion), and while I am very good with numbers, I don’t find them nearly as fascinating.  It is very important, however, to understand the statistical backdrop to your policy work, so these are great skills to have.  As for my Media Advocacy and Social Marketing course: I worked on another interesting client project, and have had quite a few prompts for thinking about my upcoming professional and academic work.  It’s likely no surprise that a blogger would enjoy thinking about messaging and issues concurrently–and I do.

Last week at the recognition ceremony I occasionally spotted someone and thought, “I remember speaking with them, when was it, hmm, oh, wait, it was at ORIENTATION two years ago.”  Very strange.  Being part time in the policy program has led me down a slightly different path than that of many of my colleagues, but I am very grateful to have worked with and enjoyed their company.  I am also looking forward to–there just isn’t a good enough way to put this–walking myself across that stage next May.  To that end, since I have been around Milano for these past two years I need a bit of a break too, and so this summer I will not be taking courses, but spending time working on my own writing, starting to investigate what I’m planning for my own PDR (final master’s project; we’ll discuss) next year, and reflecting on how the changes and growth of a very challenging and important year will impact What Happens Next professionally.  Reframing those goals is exciting, but nerve-wracking.  Since it’s summer, despite unemployment and student-dom, I’ll be having fun too.  I need to recharge my batteries, for the sake of that PDR, this blog, and my real desire to write some other kinds of material.

It’s been a difficult May for another reason: I know many of us at Milano and elsewhere are alternately furious, concerned, saddened, and wanting to do something about the ongoing ramifications of the oil spill in the Gulf.  I’m as stymied as anyone, and frustrated as this is the kind of situation testing the very concept of a belief in our capacity to make a difference.  However, I hope I am not wrong in seeing, I think, a certain horrible recognition in some new quarters that our (in my opinion) dysfunctional dependence on oil has to end.  In my more cynical moments I think it had to take such a tragedy to shake some out of indifference.  In my more hopeful ones, I think that I may have already met some people who are committed to help us find a better way to live without further destroying the planet, and our ranks are growing.  There is too much more to say about this–but ignoring it while writing from within our program (so to speak) would not be appropriate.

While I may pop in from time to time, as will Eulalia and our newly minted alumni, I just want to wish many of you congratulations, best wishes, my thanks for reading, and to others, welcome aboard!  We have plenty of archives for you to peruse–enjoy!

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ONE MORE WEEK.

We’re gearing up to complete our final exams, turn in the PDR’s, and cheer for some of you terribly lucky, hard-working and deserving people as you graduate.  Quite a hectic couple of weeks, no?

To that end, I hope that everyone stays as calm as possible as we near the Big Finish.  I will not be taking a course this summer, and as the job hunt continues, I will also be working on some creative writing projects that have been put on the back burner for far too long.  I can’t afford to travel, sadly, so I’ll leave it to some of you to do so and report back.

Good luck–and I’ll be back soon as we wish two of our bloggers a fond farewell.  :(

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I really am still here. I swear. My blogging absence has been dutifully noted and will be addressed tonight. Right after a 15 minute power nap…zzzzz……. Ok, just kidding. But I really have had to resort to power naps lately at a rate not seen since the days of my last semester of undergraduate. Warning: The faint of heart should not enroll in 19 credit hours, work 10 hours at an internship (unpaid!), work 30+ hours at a PT job, be involved in school activities and attempt to finish a senior thesis all at the same time. But somehow I survived that, and I intend to survive my first semester here in grad school at Milano. (Plus I suppose it all worked well for me since I earned an A+ on my senior thesis and was hired from my internship into full-time staff after graduation.)

It’s not as if my schedule is really even that full right now, compared to the above or compared to many students who work full-time while attending school full-time, have children and families or are attempting to juggle classes with teaching assistantships. But compared to my first few months here, I’m exhausted, and for the most part, happy about it.

For all students this time of year is stressful and busy. Finals- enough said. Which may be why I am now questioning the reason I began interning at a nonprofit consulting firm last week, instead of simply starting in the beginning of Spring semester. For all practical purposes, I know why it worked out this way: I was interested in the firm and was eager to jump into the projects, they asked me to start at this time, etc. etc… But working on top of the many group projects Milano throws at us, plus tending to my numerous final semester-long papers has been a handful.

What I remembered after these past few weeks though, is that I work best like this. Procrastination tends to creep up when I have too much free time tempting me to watch movies and do fun art projects instead of study. With less free time, I know that I only have X amount of hours to do Y paper. No ifs and or buts about it, I have to do it NOW. It gets finished and I am more focused! I wouldn’t say that everything benefits from this focused time management (just ask my family who I never call, my boyfriend who I never see despite the fact that we live together in a tiny apartment, my gym membership, my laundry or my dishes…) but right now, the most important tasks are getting the attention they deserve, and I’m happy to do it.

It’s not as if any of this is groundbreaking or news to any graduate student, but for some reason it took me a few months to remember. Now my goal is to NOT forget it in January when May finals seem soooo far away…

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