or something close to it, would be nice. I have not been able to sleep past 6:00am since I've returned home. And while I actually hope this continues until school starts (because it would make my life so much easier), I'm going to bed between 9 and 10p (ok, that's not really that different from my regular schedule, but I'd like to push it to at least 10:30p). So, it's Saturday morning, and I was up at 6:00a. Unfortunately, I'm one of those polite people, and I really need to clean and organize my apartment, but I don't want to wake any of the neighbors. That would just be rude. Therefore, I just spent the last half hour planning out my workout schedule for the fall.
I'm not sure how many of you know, but I have been diagnosed with Chronic mild depression. And the one thing I've found that really helps control it (without the use of medication) is exercise. For the last year, I've been swimming, but I want to add some other things to that. This next year is going to be very busy and stressful. I'm taking my pre-lim exams next April. I have four fields. That means, for two of those fields, I have to read about 100 books/articles (for each of those fields, not total). For the other two fields, that increases to about 200 books/articles (again, for each, not total). Then, 4 professors will give me 2 questions each, that I must answer in essay form, 5-10 pages for each question. I have 14 days to do this. I also have to create a syllabus for a class that I would teach (already working on it) and present a 15 page dissertation proposal (with a long bibliography). Does anyone see where the stress is coming in? This fall, I need to start applying for grants and fellowships for my dissertation research, which I want to start next fall. I also owe a professor a 25 page paper from 2 years ago (I don't even remember what the class was about), and I need to take a reading proficiency exam in German (I have to have 2 foreign languages). So, the exercise is going to be really, really important. I'm not actually taking any "official" classes in the fall. I'm doing independent studies with two of the professors I'm pre-liming with, which means I'll read what I need to and meet with them (if you do this, the pre-lims tend to be much, much easier). I've already done that with one of the other professors I'm pre-liming with and I'm also going to meet with the other professor as well. And I'm TAing this fall. And I'm in a long-distance relationship. This is going to be such a fun year!
It looks like I will be swimming MWThF and maybe Sat. as well. That's a mile each time I go. Then, I think I might take a belly dance class on Wed. nights, mostly because it sounds fun, and a Powerflow (yoga/pilates) class on Mon. and Wed. mornings and Tues. evenings. I know it sounds like a lot, but my friend Sarah, who took her pre-lims last semester, said that exercise really helped her sleep good and concentrate better when she was awake. It also helped her stress levels. Hopefully it'll help me smooth out the weight I gained in Russia. I don't mind gaining weight, I just don't like looking lumpy.
I am going to finish cleaning/organizing my apartment this weekend, so when school starts, I'm starting out ok and know where everything is. I also want to take Sundays totally off and not do any school work on those days: Sarah said that also helped quite a bit. I'm going to try it. That just means I'm going to have to be more disciplined during the rest of the week. I can do that.
Today, in addition to cleaning, I'm going to Old Navy and spending money. I wore out most of the clothes I took to Russia (Russia is really hard on clothes, and their water is so disgusting, it actually stains your clothes a rust color). Also, I don't fit very well into my old clothes. And, I noticed, I've owned most of these clothes for more than 4 years. It's time for a wardrobe update. Wes said he will also take me clothes shopping when he gets here. That's nice of him.
Ok, sorry, but no Russia update today: I can't find my Russian schedule. I'm sure I'll find it today when I'm cleaning. I think I may do a bit of redecorating also: realized nothing has changed in my apartment in 5 years. I love the way my apartment looks, but I think that may be a sign of getting old.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend,
I really am glad to be back,