Monday, November 4, 2013


And so I find that I am not a dedicated blogger. No matter how good my intentions, I seem to consistently fail to update this blog. Perhaps I just don't believe that there is value to what I'm saying here. After all...don't we all have five blogs apiece, marking our journey from angsty teen, to philosophical college student, landing on informed, un-presuming adult? Or maybe that's just me. I know I can attest to the fact that I was a very angsty teen, and a very philosophical college student, and all I need to do to prove it is point back to those old blogs.

I read a blog by a friend recently (this morning, in fact) that talked about blogs, and how hers always tended to fall into a ramble or a rant, if there wasn't a focus. So she has started a blog detailing her spiritual journey. I did start this blog with an intention: inform those people from back home about my wanderings into the mid-west and Higher Ed. Yet I don't know that I ever articulated that purpose, so here I am over a year later, with a total of 15 (16 including this one) posts. I don't really believe I have anything profound or important to say. But as this is begun, I may as well keep on, and see what happens. I have no hopes of becoming a famous blogger, merely keeping people in the loop of my life.

So here is my commitment to you faithful readers (if I haven't lost you yet!):
  • I am going to try and write in an 'interesting' way. I am always inspired by the incredible writings of others - they are beautiful, and interesting, and wonderful. I do not pretend to aspire to their levels of expertise (how could I?), but I will commit to trying to make my writing at least moderately absorbing.
  • I will keep you posted on my doings and goings on. Fortunately, I am about to defend my thesis (somewhat interesting, right?), I am going to Wales (that could be good blogging material), and then SE Asia. So, lots of fodder for the imagination there.
  • I will be consistent. At least weekly.
I will now proceed to update you all on my doings. Because that is point two of three, and I will do my best. Lately, I have been processing the balance between marriage and social. Profound, yes? I doubt you are particularly intrigued by my discoveries of married life, but I will fill you in anyway. Many of you who know me may have heard me described as a social butterfly. Two years ago, I would have said absolutely yes, that's me. You're right. I am even a hug slut. Or I was a hug slut. Since moving to Indiana, and especially since being married, I find myself increasingly content with a small social circle. So small as to sometimes be limited just my husband and myself. I do realize that I am in fact still in the honeymoon stage - maybe in another three months I'll be tired of just hanging out with my man. However, in the meantime, I find myself confronted with an identity crisis (maybe crisis is too strong of a word, but dilemma doesn't seem right either). I no longer feel a need to be socially engaged. Oh, I love social interactions. I was at a birthday party on Friday that reminded me how much I enjoy being out and about with people. Yet I am totally content to not go to any parties at all. Maybe I'm just being lazy? It seems easier to stay home with Michael, than to go out?

Like I said, my married discoveries aren't very exciting. Especially on paper. But perhaps you would like to know that as social as I am, as much of an extrovert as I am, I do believe I'm "growing up." Or may be just growing over... Regardless, I am learning things, and I am now sharing them with you, my blog readers (I need a better name for that).

Once again, I feel like I've rambled. But I'll get better, I promise. Thanks for reading. :)


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

new year. new marriage. new home. old friends.

Well it's certainly been awhile since my last post. I don't know how many people read or are interested in my posts. However, I will carry on and see if I can't keep people more up to date with my life.

Since my last post, I finished up the school year, went home to Washington, went to ACSD, traveled all over the west coast, lived the life of a nomad, got MARRIED, went on a two week honeymoon in MAUI, drove back to Indiana, and got settled into our new little home here with my husband. :) It was a busy but good summer.

Today was the first day of classes. In the past, I have always been incredibly excited for the first day of classes, especially in the fall. It signifies new beginnings, new knowledge, and new opportunities to learn and grow. Which, being a learner by strength, I love. Syllabus days motivate me. They inspire me to be a better student, scholar, and person. As crazy as that may sound. Today was a little different from the norm for me. While I'm incredibly excited to start this new year, I feel like I've been on such a whirlwind, I didn't have time to get emotionally or mentally prepared for this semester. And now it's started. Fortunately, it's shaping up to be a manageable semester so far. We'll see if I say that in a week or two. :)

So a short update for today. Not sure where I will go from here. It seems somewhat silly to have a blog about my everyday doings, as they aren't very exciting. However, I will faithfully post and see what happens.

Here's to beginnings.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Tonight I was able to take a wonderful stroll down the road to the Handy Andy (aka gas station/convenience store) with my visiting mom and sister, as well as my awesome housemate Megan. It was so good to a) walk outside and not be freezing and b) share some laughs with my sister and mom.

I have to admit, it's kind of like having two worlds clash with them here. No one from my 'other life' has as yet been to visit me in Indiana. Sometimes I don't know what to do with myself. Or them. That said, they've only been here since yesterday, so I think I have some time to adjust.

In other news, I've nearly proposed my thesis. I submitted it to my supervisor last weekend, and have received two of three thumbs up! I should be able to submit to IRB this week, and start some serious work the following! I can't believe it's actually happened. Whew.

I feel like this will be a somewhat rambling post, so my apologies. I sat down and felt all artistic and wanted to write a great post, but then....well, I keep getting distracted. :)

So I suppose my ramble will just continue. In about five weeks I am once again packing up my life, putting it in a storage unit, and becoming a nomad for approximately two months. I thought that this time around, I would finally be able to leave my things unpacked and in order. That I would be able to come home, or stay home, and not have my whole life packed into boxes only to be unpacked again. I am beyond excited to get married this summer, but I wish there was some way to avoid all the hassle of moving in the interim. I just can't come up with anything. So, pack it up I will. Again.

Hmm...I suppose that's all for tonight. Just wanted to give a little update. My life is pretty low key. Finishing off the semester. Enjoying the EPIC thunderstorms of this state. Getting married soon. The end.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Onward with the thesis.

Sorry for taking soo long to write, yet again. At this rate, I'm never going to get a consistent following. *sigh* Anyway, I promised an update regarding my thesis, so here it is!

I spent most of spring break and the majority of my waking hours last week preparing my thesis for proposal. At this point, this mostly meant formatting the whole thing, and writing my methodology (chapter 3). They tell you the methodology is super easy, I mean, it's only 3 pages. But I think this has been the hardest part of the project for me to date. This is mostly because I'm a little ahead of the curve, so a lot of the stats lingo (multiple regressions? convenience sample? ANOVA?) is way out of my league. However, I was finally able to meet with my methodologist, which was super helpful. He explained everything in a way that made total sense, and even reawakened my slumbering inner chemist (that's right. I have an inner chemist).

All this to say: I have proposed. Woohooo! I have yet to hear if my supervisor has approved it/sent it on to my committee, or if my committee approves, but it's a serious step in the right direction! I am way ahead of the game here, which is wonderful. Now it's just a waiting game, then I'll submit to the Institutional Review Board, to make sure I'm not harming people with my research and such.

So, to fill you all in on my research a bit. There's a big debate right now about this idea of the 'co-curriculum' or the 'intercurriculum' or whatever you choose to call it. Essentially, a lot of the literature says that "Man, things students do outside of class are super conducive to their learning overall." I wanted to do some quantitative research that is not self-report, that would give credibility to this statement. By being quantitative and not self-report, I'm able to avoid the whole "well, I think I learned a lot through these things" and actually look at the data for a statistical correlation. Do these things actually relate? I'm hopeful they do, but we'll see. :)

That's where I'm at. Just waitin' for my dearie, and happy am I...I mean, my approval. (Bonus points if you caught that reference...).

Thanks for tuning in. Life is good. Ready to be a monster with this last semester, and come home to finally get hitched!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

...waiting for something to say

Whew. It has been awhile since I've cracked open this blog. To those of you who care, my apologies. It's been a...rough few weeks. Lots of emotional angst and sickness and pretending to be productive. But, I'm back. I went to bed at 9 last night...a Friday night...that must be why I'm actually up and productively doing things this morning.

There are so many things I could say, since so much has happened, but then it starts feeling overwhelming, and this blog really isn't a catalog of my activities. Right now, I am torn between two lives it feels. On the one hand, I'm an awesome grad student. I am studying things I love, in depth. I get to meet super cool and important people. I get to do legitimate research of my own. I'm living in a great house with awesome people. So, great graduate life.

On the other hand, I am getting married. I get to commit myself to spend the rest of my life with my absolute best friend. I also have to plan our wedding, and think about our living situation, and figure out what it means to be husband and wife.

This was so much easier last semester.

As much as I loved spending two months at home, it almost emphasized how I have two different lives going right now, and it can be really challenging. I didn't realize until I got back to good old Indiana just how stressful - emotionally - this would be. And I have not been handling it well.

So, that's what has been going on with my life. Feel free to ask questions. I'm hoping to post more consistently in the coming weeks. Also, expect a significant thesis post very soon.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

news. finally.

Well, it's been a long time coming, but I am finally able to post about my engagement. So, I am engaged, and have been since July. Michael and I wanted to tell people via phone or in person, and then by the time we felt ready to make it 'facebook official,' we figured we may as well wait for some good photos to prove it. So, if you're curious, there are lots of pictures on facebook of us looking adorable and in love.

Right now, however, I would much rather discuss the academic/professional side of my life. Today was the fourth day of my internship in Everett, WA at Trinity Lutheran College. I didn't know colleges this small existed, but they sure do. Trinity is located in four buildings: an old department store, a parking garage, and two rented apartment buildings. Small. All in all I believe there are about 200 students, give or take a few. While this school is small, and also probably because this school is small, I have been given a chance to do some serious learning. I have spent the last four days revamping the Residence Life and Housing section of the Student Handbook. In some ways, I have been able to 'write' policy. I mean, everything gets approved by the Director of Residence Life and the Dean of Students, but I have been given freedom to rearrange, edit, revise, and add to the manual. Talk about getting in on the ground floor of some serious policy making.

UPDATE: I fail at finishing these posts...whew. Anyway, a few more thoughts, then this is absolutely getting posted. :)

I had a serious breakthrough with my thesis tonight. Felt like the things I was researching finally clicked, and it makes sense now. I was even able to make a *VERY* rough outline of my lit review! Which is a huge relief. I've been feeling like I'm going in circles, but I broke through, and now it's just a wavy line! Before this program, I never seriously thought of myself as a thesis person. I mean, my life plan was certainly to get a PhD, and I knew the thesis would be hard work, but I didn't really have to think about what that would look like. Even when I came to Taylor, I don't think I fully realized that a thesis was a part of the program. I definitely didn't know that when I first applied. But the more I research and learn, the more I realize I am totally a thesis person. I am a Learner, and no matter what I do, I can't seem to shake that. I just love diving into a project, and learning all about it, and the regurgitating all that information in a way that is comprehensible to more than just myself.

Not to say I'm all set on getting a PhD. But now, I think it is something I could consider knowing that, if I was to find something I am truly passionate about, I could do it. Not quite sure I want to do it, but it's now a possibility, whereas before it was completely out the window.

This is a good January. A chance to rest and learn and figure out what it means to be a Student Development Professional. I love it.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Comfort Zones

This last week I had to write a "personal model of student development," explaining what I believed was a model of development for students in college. After agonizing for close on a month about what exactly I thought about development, I started thinking back on my own college experience and what 'forced' my development the most. One thing I have learned that I believe is true in so many cases is the value in stepping outside comfort zones.

I pride myself on being someone who looks for challenges. I do not like being comfortable (in some ways). I don't know if this is because I think I am a better person because life isn't easy, or if it's because I simply want a challenge in life. Regardless, I have learned that it's much better not to fight when God pushes you in a new direction.

For example, I am currently getting my Master's in Higher Education. In Upland. Indiana. A town smaller than the size of the university it hosts. A small part of me thinks this was the easier route, because I am far away from everything familiar, and don't have to battle for my family, or balance friends, or visit home. But then I really stop to think about where I am and what I'm doing. Not everyone would call making the step out here easy. I'm not by any means trying to toot my own horn here. What I find fascinating is what different people call easy. Sometimes I think that it would be harder for me to stay home. Because staying home would be a sacrifice. Staying home would mean putting my plans on hold. Staying home would mean I don't get to have a grand adventure. And that is really really hard. It's easier to be selfish, and serve myself.

My personal model of student development states that students grow best when they are faced with new knowledge, with something, anything, outside their comfort zone, and they integrate that into their lives. But I wonder if the reverse would be true. If a part of growth is learning how to be content inside a comfort zone. How to live life without a new challenge every day. Hmm. We'll see.