Sunday, July 1, 2018

So it has been A While...

This is me in Glencoe, Scotland a few weeks ago, but it is not just a photo of me in a place I've always wanted to visit on a summer vacation, but a picture of someone who has done a great deal to get closer to her goal of becoming a PhD in History. In April of 2018, I passed my PhD comprehensive written and oral exams with flying colors and a great deal of accolades from my committee. 
After the completion of my coursework and the passing of comps, I have moved to another stage in my education and I plan to defend my prospectus in August. 
This summer I was able to actually do archival research in England and Scotland and it was glorious. It was difficult, hopeful, discouraging, enlightening, and educational. I learned a lot and am thankful that I had another student, Heather...with me the whole time to be supportive and encouraging in a foreign place doing new things. 

I have a few things I am working on....
mental health
beginning my dissertation
teaching my first course alone
getting in shape
and having a great time with my family.

I biked over 10 miles total today and it feels great.
My research feels solid...and who knows, I might try some other new things soon.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Almost There....

I have one paper due on the 25th and another on May 1st and then I am finished with Spring Semester.

Good Riddance....

What do I plan on doing with my Summer?

1. Gardening

2. Prepping my child for Pre-K

3. Playing Video Games

4. Practicing French

5. Prepping for Comps

 I have two courses to go before I am done with my PhD coursework.... ITS HAPPENING!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bad Week

I don't get down in the dumps too often and even when I do I try to keep my head up. I know everyone has tons of struggles and for a lot of people, mine are pretty insignificant. That being said, this week has just sucked. I have a lot of things on my mind right now and so even the smallest setback just feels like the earth's main purpose right now is to rain on my parade. I tried to go to bed over an hour ago and my brain is just in worry overdrive and stressed so completely that I am sitting at my computer getting emotional over the smallest of perceived slights. 

I've been unable to truly enjoy anything for about a month now...
My research/coursework has not been perfect and while I don't feel overwhelmed... I also don't feel super motivated.
I feel like everything I say is the wrong thing.
I feel like nothing I do is good enough. 
I feel pretty insignificant right now and defeated.
and I don't feel like I have anyone to talk to about it. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Founding Fathers?

This is not an America bashing post, but more of a... think about our past and learn from it post.

I had someone the other day essentially say... what is the point of studying history, the past isn't useful.

Now... I did not flog them, I wanted to... but I refrained.

This is one of those reasons, well to me at least.

America kind of idolizes the guys who put together the government and I get it to a point, but we have to understand that the real beauty in American democracy does not lie with a bunch of dead dudes who wore white wigs and lived in the 18th century... its our history of compromise and working together and we need to know and understand that BECAUSE for some reason our politicians have completely forgotten it and sometimes resemble the guys in this picture a bit more than I am comfortable with....

For example...

During the American Revolution...when those guys up there were contemplating about what our country, what America should look like... they had some pretty interesting concepts of individual freedom, citizenry, and the franchise (aka voting).

Gordon S. Wood has a pretty awesome book called The Radicalism of the American Revolution that I totally recommend and in that book Wood delves into early ideas about civic participation. In part II of the book, Wood delves into how Republican-minded Patriots worked to overturn the traditional system of patriarchy and patronage that plagued the pre-revolution colonial governments. One way this rejection manifested was by the Patriots disavowing the coercive relationship between landowner and tenant...arguing that a landowner often tried to rule and influence the way his tenants behaved and thought, something that would endanger a Republican system of government right?????

They had a solution:
The solution was to prohibit non-landowners from voting. Yes, that is what I just said. Thus, the Patriots were technically removing the influence or abuse of influence of landowners on elections... BY MAKING THE FRANCHISE ONLY AVAILABLE TO LANDOWNERS... yea. 

We need to know that freedom took time and compromise and we need to know how our government was forged or the entire country is going to believe that prior to 1776 we were all these oppressed serf-like colonists and immediately post-Revolution we were independent and democratic citizens where everyone had a say.... every white male landowner had a say I mean.  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

I know... it has been a while.

For the three people who are not bots who actually read this blog... It has been a while since I've posted...
Life is busy and insane right now with two jobs, a child, school, a husband, and everything else that goes on.

I do want to say that I will be updating more in the future, I promise.

Right now I am reading about the decline of Detroit and its heartbreaking.  

I did want to plug a new podcast that I am really into. 

Its called Decode the News, and its done by a PhD who is informed, clear, and very good at conveying how the news media works.

I love it. 

Here is a link to the site: Click Here

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Finding words to talk about this on a blog has been a difficult task. I began one post almost a week ago and it will never see the light of day. Last Saturday morning, after a great day at an academic conference on campus, I received a phone call from a fellow student, telling me that the professor I worked for had died suddenly the night was unreal.

Over the last week I have struggled with that situation and asked myself how something like that happened to such a kind and vibrant person, a question I still cannot answer.

After a beautiful and love-filled memorial to his life yesterday, I can finally write a few words about why this has affected me so deeply.

I have dealt with death before... I lost grandparents, other family members, and a child over a decade ago, but for some reason, the speed...the abruptness, and the disconnect that this death caused me is just arresting.

I will say this, the professor I worked for was a joy to be around. He was motivational, light, funny, and always telling me that despite mistakes or issues, everything was going great.

Graduate students operate in a very stressful environment and having mentors around us that promote positivism and calm is just vital to our success... my boss made me smile every time I talked to him and he also made me feel like despite all the hang-ups and difficulties, I was doing a great job every day.

I feel horrible for his family, his close friends...and everyone who were lucky enough to meet him and know him.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Classic Sexism

We, as Americans want our top representative, the President to stand as an example of proper and dignified behavior. Currently, Donald Trump is our President and thus, we get none of that mess. 

He looks like a petulant child 

When this photo was taken a few days ago, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Trump if he wanted to do a handshake for cameras and this is how he acted as she spoke to him... he did not even register that she spoke at all, nor did he respond to her. It was embarrassing to say the least... especially when he also brought up the faux wiretap claims at a dual press conference. 

There are days like this when I think to myself... I can't even.

That is pretty much it for today and maybe this weekend, I am under the weather and I have a book to finish, a paper to write, and another book to start.

Have a great weekend!