Pardon the Dust

Let me dust off my blog and finally update it. Unfortunately, I had a BAD flare-up that lasted for about 7 days. I started to be able to see yesterday and today has been shaky. So, I have not been able to read let alone really write much of anything. To add to the drama, I missed an entire week of school. I can honestly say, I’m nervous and I have no idea how I’m going to make up all of the work that I missed. I notified the disability office so we shall see tomorrow. I’m trying not to freak out but I definitely don’t want to leave a bad taste in any of my professor’s mouths. *sigh* Vision and mobility are pretty key to quality of life. I so badly want to not have to deal with all of this but this is my life now. I’ve got to figure out a good system for this with DSP. Wish me luck tomorrow! Continue reading Pardon the Dust

Adventures in Grad School 007

Day 7:

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t posted anything for a while. And it isn’t because I haven’t been writing. I have been writing but I haven’t hit publish on anything because I need to go through and do some simple editing. My past week should be up soon, but the long days and the new adjustments have been kicking my butt. One thing that my illness does is suck the energy out of me. My will power can only take me but so far before my meds and my autoimmune system protests. I’ve been literally going home, eating and passing out. Hopefully, my doctors can figure something else out to help me out a little bit.  If not, I’ll figure it out like I have been since I got diagnosed with my first disorder.

Anyhoo, today has been a long long day, but I felt super productive. I’m continuing in taking the advice given at one of my orientations: Treat graduate school like a job. Work from 9-5. And really get things done, don’t just socialize. And I feel like I’ve been doing just that. My goal is to be at my desk around 8am and go to class/meetings but return to my desk and stay until 4/4:30pm. It has been working thus far. I’ve been preparing my lunch and clothes the evening prior and just roll out of bed to do what I need to do. My goal is to not take work home if I can help it.

Today marked my return to the pool after a long hiatus. I was in the water by 6:20am.  The first few laps made me feel like I was going to die, but once I past that initial pain it felt amazing to be in the water again.  I hope my body holds up.  After swimming this morning, I realized that I have to figure out something reliable for breakfast. I think I may start making large batches of grain-free-gluten-free granola. And then just have granola with Greek yogurt for breakfast.

My two classes for the day went well and I continue to make more acquaintances and hopefully friends. I completed a few assignments early after class today and plan to take my day off of classes to do my assigned readings and start working on my problem set that I got today. With the exception of me going to check out an interesting class. So all in all a good day. Nothing profound just a day that ran smoothly.

Adventures in Grad School 002

Day 2:

So today was more of a regular day like those I’ve experienced this past Spring. A fellow lab member brought in yummy dessert that he made from his South African grandma. Don’t get it excited, somewhere down the lineage his people were the “man.” Anyhoo, then he and his girl (both labbers) went through pictures of their 5 week summer trip to Peru. It looked amazing! But the real reason we were there was for him to practice for his quals. He did really well, except he sped through it at lightening speed. Nerves. After that was out-of-the-way I got to see one of my boys who’s taking his last prelim exam on Wednesday. He looked like he’d been sleeping at his desk. It was nice to see him but he was STRESSED. That’ll be me in a year or so… Joy! I can’t wait to get him back in some sort of normalcy in a few weeks.  After all the running around a few of us went up to the stadium to see our advisor’s new design classroom for the business school. They put A LOT of money into this fancy upgrade. Our advisor is genius in that she suggested turning parts of the stadium into classrooms. These areas only get used on Saturdays. Genius!

And that was it. A completely chill day. I went to the new froyo place that is dangerously close to my lab. I will need some will power to not go everyday.

Adventures in Grad School 001

Day One:

So today was the first official day that I start graduate school in Mechanical Engineering. I felt slightly old because I’d been working for nearly a decade before deciding to return to school. I graduated from undergrad with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Engineering. I went to work for the Navy as a Civil Engineering Officer. And now I’m back in school for Mechanical Engineering, focusing on Sustainable Co-Design. I will admit I was a little nervous this morning because I’m 30 and hadn’t been in school for a decade. The morning session was full of resources and then the afternoon sessions were all social.

You want to talk about something amusing, go to an engineering social event. There are honestly some people who just don’t know how to communicate with people. I’ve learned to side step those people because quite frankly they’re boring to be around. They may be geniuses but they tend to have no social skills or outside hobbies. I’ve learned that since my illness, I am a lot more outgoing and social. I find it amusing that it took a life altering illness to bring about a total “social” change in my life.

I was practically the only black person in my orientation group minus the one guy that was mixed. No worries, sadly I’m used to it in engineering. But there are a lot of people there that want to see me succeed and I’m grateful! I can’t really hide in the crowd, so why not try to stand out and make a difference in some small way? I want to give back to the community as much as I can. I want to encourage people of color and women to get into STEM fields. I will be the first to admit that it isn’t easy, but nothing is easy in life. I guess I never really thought about how important my presence as a graduate student in engineering was until recently.

I hope I can keep a regular account of my adventures, trials, etc through graduate school.