Saturday, March 24, 2007

Time on my hands

I'm busy, sure. I have my hands full with a good many things this weekend... thesis revisions, finishing touches on paperwork for financial requests for the conference, reading for next week's classes, proofreading on the most recent draft of the CASA manual, laundry... I have the next two days to do it all in, so I'd better get going. But first, there's the PlayStation 2, and sweet, sweet God of War II.

I'm no idiot. I know it's a time killer. Still, it's good fun, it's something I barely ever get to do, and damn it, I've earned it. It's been a long, stupid week, I'm mentally exhausted, and all I want is some time to chill and let my brain go a little mushy. That, and I could use a haircut. But I digress... I need some relaxation time, time to do absolutely nothing important. I need it, or I'll be just worthless. Besides, I'm finally getting over this bronchial problem, which means I can actually go out into the world and do things without having to stop every couple of minutes and bark like an angry seal. And then there's the weather... much, much better than it's been. A little wet, buta pleasant temperature that doesn't require emotional preparation to go out into. All of this considered, I think I need a little break, so I'm taking one today.

Not the whole day, of course. I'm not saying that I'm giving myself a full 24 hours of respite. No, I'll do some work tonight, but only a bit. Besides, I have church to sing at tomorrow morning, so I won't likely stay up extremely late working tonight. Then, of course, there are my dearest priorities.

God of War II. I love you very, very much.

This game is pretty fantastic. It's not easy, but it's at a level where it's not completely discouraging. It's as good as the first one, which was incredible. In fact, this one might just be a touch better, although it doesn't necessarily make any landmark improvements on the first one. It's truly awesome, though, and I highly recommend it. If you havent played it, you're missing out. Set a couple of days aside, sit in front of your TV, and play the damn thing. Oh, and pull out your laptop while you're at it and bring up a good online walkthrough, because you'll need it. but oh, the wonderful havoc you'll wreak! If you're not into violent games, more's the pitty. Get over your squeamishness and play the damn game.

There... I've said my peace... and I'm off.

Friday, March 16, 2007

There, there...

Okay... I think the panic storm has blown over.

Apparently, everything has been resolved, and I'll be paying a few hundred dollars to fix it. Still worth it, though. I mean, if this guy wasn't coming to the conference, it wouldn't be nearly the event it's shaping up to be with him on the roster. Let me explain.

I thought this conference up last year, and I told a couple of people about my thoughts, namely my frined Miraj and Dr. Wertz, my qualitative advisor. Both of them thought it was a great idea, but I don't think either of them thought I was going to do anything tangible about it. Anyway, the next thing that came about was the QM (Qualitative Milieu), a reading group that a few of us decided we really needed in order to stay sharp in the realm of existential-phenomenoogical psychology. Three of us... Miraj, Azizi, and I... wanted to keep our heads in the game, having had more than our share of this sort of thing already but not finding any more of it in our other coursework (let's jut say that Fordham isn't so big on qualitative psychology). There were others who were just getting acquainted with this stuff, so they wanted more. Then there were the faculty members who were interested in these readings and how it affects psychological method, both in clinical practice and research, so they wanted in. Basically, there was enough interest, so I decided to organize the group, and we've been meeting for almost a year now. Once the group was established, I felt like I finally had a good basis for putting together a conference, and I could get the folks in the group to help out.

Sure enough, everyone wanted the thing to happen. I set out to distribute jobs here and there so I wouldn't have to deal with it on my own, and folks were happy to pitch in. Granted, there may be a moment now and then when someone drops the ball, but at least there's more of us to pick up the pieces when that happens. Anyway, I sent out a call for abstracts, having no idea whatsoever who would bite. I also reserved a few rooms at the Lincoln Center campus for one day in April... I figured this would be small, so a one-day conference would be appropriate. Dr. Wertz thought we should bring Fordham to the forefront with this conference, so we invited as many Fordham students as we could to present. For all I knew, Fordham students were probably the only people who were going to be there. So we sent out the call, and we waited. Sure enough, a good few Fordham students responded. Suprisingly, though, a few others from elsewhere seem to have had some interest. People from Tenessee, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Connecticut, California, Massachisets, New Jersey, as well as other schools in NYC... and others, too. And not only were there students who wished to present, but also faculty members from around the country... about six of them, actually. So okay, this thing got a little big a little fast. Suddenly, squeezing everyone into one day was looking like a bit of a challenge. I mean, who knew? It turns out that there really isn't a conference out there that deals with qualitative research in the human sciences. At the momnet, I'm working on promotional materials for the big day, which is April 13th (incidentally, I built a website for the conference at, and I've been in touch with presenters to let them know they've been accepted. Now I need to send another email to all of them to discuss specifics on each of their presentations... that's going to take a while, and I have this weekend to do it.

The reason I'm going on this way about the conference, besides the fact that I'm a little blown away by the response, is that I still have the rest of my other work to attend to. I need a break. Spring Break has been kind of a joke... I can't think of a single day during this week that I haven't been working on multiple things. The manual for CASA has been given to me for formating and editing (along with the edits for my own section), I've had reading for my classes, the conference has been relentless, and I've tried everything I could to stay afloat with my thesis follow-up (I refuse to call it a second thesis... I have some dignity left over the whole thing, after all... granted, it's getting harder to find, but it's still there). If I could just work on the conference and the CASA stuff, I think I'd be okay. But the school work on top of it is just ridiculous. I'll be honest... there are a couple of classes I'm taking that I'm truly glad I'm not having to pay for. The work we have to do in these courses is stressfull at best, and I can't say that I'm learning much of anything from them. I'm getting more out of my reading group than I am from my required courses. I'm going through the motions, checking off the list of requirements for the degree program as I go. Still, I'm not at all happy about it. Worst of all, I don't think anyone on my ADP faculty could care less about what I'm doing. All they seem to care about is this damn quantitative portion of my research (if they even care about that), and the rest is just fluff. My ADP advisor can't seem to remember that I'm doing this work with CASA or the conference... he also seems to have no recollection of the fact that he told me to bring in my University of Dallas transcript so I could arrange to have some of my masters credits transfered. When the transcript came in, he didn't know why it was there, only that I should be working on my thesis.

I have no words.

Okay, maybe a few. I choose to reserve those words, though, for another time. I'll be patient, I'll do what I must (and then some), and I'll get by in the program. At the end of all this, maybe they'll notice.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This has got to be a joke

Really... this can't be right.

I've just gotten word that the big-time keynote speaker for the conference I've been planning for the last year got the date wrong for his flight to New York, so now we don't know if he'll even be here. Not happening... not happening. I gotta find a freaking happy place, or I'm gonna just lose it.

It's my spring break right now, so I should be relaxing or somesuch. Yeah... that's cute. I'm putting together a manual for a measure for the CASA project, finishing a draft of my pre-doctoral project, creating the conference promotional materials (which is now on hold until we know more about the keynote... this isn't happening, right?), and getting over the last of my stupid bronchitis.


Sorry. I'm sure things will be fine. I'm sure of it. I'll get the drafts done to the manual and the pre-doc, our keynote speaker will sort out the mess with his flight, and I'll eventually stop coughing.

Happy spring break, kids. Send me happy thoughts if you've got 'em.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Give me a break, already!

I've gotten over a cold, only to come down with a lively case of bronchitis. Enough with the bronchitis! I've been given a round of antibiotics to take, but what good will that do me if most cases of bronchitis are viral in nature anyway? And of course, since it's bronchitis, I'm not supposed to take any kind of cough supressant, so that means I have to bark like an angry seal every few minutes, so hard that my head feels as if it'll just give way and explode. Not that I get a break from it a night... no, that's silly. I have to cough all the more at night, naturally, since I'm lying down. So sit up to sleep, right? Fine, except my back is so sore from all the coughing that it's painfull to sit up and try to get any rest, lest my lower back go numb in a very unpleasant way. Sorry about the rant... bronchitis sucks. At this point, I'm not even sure if I'll be able to make it to campus tomorrow, or if I'll be able to get on a subway without incurring the wrath of every passenger in whatever train car I'm in.

If somebody out there can fix this, hurry up already. I'm starting to forget what breathing normally is like. I'm sure the neighbors think I'm dying of consumption, what with all my frightful hacking. But seriously, someone make this go away.