Monday, August 31, 2009

Out of the fry pan into the fryer

The summer is slowly coming to an end, which means that single motherhood is also ending. As happy as I am about that, it feels like I'm jumping from the frypan into the fire.

The start of the new semester means the beginning of the comprehensive countdown. Our department chair is very adamant that students write their comps in time. He strongly believes meeting the set deadlines helps keep students on track, the advisers and committees accountable, ultimately enabling students to graduate in reasonable time. I totally agree with this. I am terrified of my comps. I am terrified of the amount that I have to learn, how little I feel I have learned in the past year. I have less than 8 months, which just does not feel like enough time to learn so much.
On top of the having to prep for comps, I am TAing two courses this semester. My scholarship runs out at the end of the year and I have no idea if I will win another one. Since I only want to TA one course next semester (as that will be the hard core comp prep time), I need to double up this semester to make up for the lost income of my scholarship.
So I am in the early stages of comprehensive prep and TAing two courses while raising a kid. Definitely puts the hold on any plans for a second child. If this wasn't enough, totally awesome BIL is getting married this semester and I have been asked by him and his fiance to help with the planning. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, I have often mentioned that BIL is freaking awesome, is always there to lend a hand AND will drive around the entire city to find me sushi after I give birth. I could not say no. Since traditional punjabi weddings are week long affairs, to say that the planning process is intensive would be an understatement. Its prime indian family politics! Suffice it to say that blogging will continue to be light, probably until I am in the midst of hard core comps studying and will need the breaks/encouragement.

I do promise to post the story of my little monkey breaking out of daycare in the next few days and will try to keep up with his antics. He is getting too smart...

12 comments:

Mrs. Spit said...

He's smart 'cause he has a smart mum!

Good luck with the comps. . .

momphdstudent said...

Good Luck with everything!:)

The bean-mom said...

Breaking out of daycare? Okay, I have to hear that one!

And good luck on everything!!!

Alyssa said...

Wow - that's a lot on your plate, but if anyone can do it, it's you! Good luck with the studying, TAing and wedding planning (oh, and real life stuff too!).

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Everything always clusters, doesn't it?

Good luck with everything! We'll be here when you need us!

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

It always seems to come in threes. (Well, I guess in your case, with Monkey, it seems like fours.) Good luck with everything!

EcoGeoFemme said...

Whew! Good luck with all that!

At least it is different types of responsibilities, so it might be kind of fun to work on wedding planning as a break from comp studying. Or something.

microbiologist xx said...

Try not to stress to hard over your comps. (Not that you shouldn't be well-prepared). Most everyone I know (from many different institutions) that have passed their comps or qualifying exam came out the other side thinking, "Seriously? That was it?" You are probably anticipating something much worse than you will get. Also, you will be amazed at the amount of shit you know (once the nerves settle) when the time comes. :)

ScientistMother said...

Mrs.Spit - I'm blaming the lack of TV. I refused to let him watch any cartoons or tv until a couple months ago. This resulted in him having TONS of time figuring out stuff, instead of drooling in front of the TV - not a very smart move on my part! :))

momphdstudent - thanks!

Bean Mom - its actually a very funny story, which I want to take the time to write out properly. Lets just say that my little monkey instigated a new set of safety precautions!

Alyssa - you confused me there! Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Cath - beer breaks would be most appreciated!

Amanda - Things do come in threes don't they?

EGF - it is nice that they are different things, so each "job" gives me a break from the other.

MicroXX - I'm trying not stress, but at the same time its what helps me prepare. What makes me laugh is that no one has said its too early to start studying! I'm nervous as I know more than one person who has had to redo their comps or had conditional pass. I don't think I could deal with that well. Which means I'm starting to study 6>months in advance, I would rather be over prepared than under.

Anonymous said...

Such an endeavour as studying for your comps definitely requires a schedule! My advice is to draw up a syllabus for yourself with realistic time frames for how long each unit of the material will take to study, and include time to review after certain milestones are complete before moving on. I have never had a small child in my domicile who must be easily tempted to tear down pieces of paper or poster board tacked to the wall or a bulletin board near my workspace, but I've found that helps remind me to stay on task.

At least that would be my main priority if I were in your shoes. Money comes and goes, and if you have to modify your habits and consumption to make ends meet, as long as you and your family have your health, you'll be okay. You can always take out a loan from school. Even if you had to swallow your pride and ask family for help, kindly remind them that education is an investment in your potential, not a liability.

ScientistMother said...

Anon - that is excellent advice! I never thought of writing up an outline, but it makes total sense. I agree with you about making consumption adjustments, and we have. We live pretty lean, but the reason isn't a lack of money, but a desire to pay our mortgage down faster. Mr.SM and I have have agreed to adjust those goals to take some pressure off both us.

Anonymous said...

I am the same anon of the to-do list sometime back. Yes, of course, Canucks have to make that 5 year balloon note, and generally can't buy a house unless they have at least 20% down. Which probably explains why the housing crisis is non-existent in your land!

Where there's a will, there's a way. You'll pass with flying colours, and all the other stuff (mortgage, tuition, scholarships) will work itself out through all the tedious little things you do everyday - that in times of frustration and despair you may say, "why bother?" or "efff it." Persistence and sweat equity are wayyyy underrated these days, unfortunately. I heart your first generation diva-ness as I am one, too, although from a different culture. Go on, girl!