The Paper

So this paper I’ve been killing myself to write… I should clarify a little bit, so it will make sense why I am so utterly tapped out.  The last two days I haven’t even mustered the energy to do more than pretty much wallow. Sunday morning I got up to get ready for church, got the kids up, and sat down for what I thought was a moment, and four hours later I opened my eyes again. That’s how tired I was. Wrung. Out.

So I signed up for this program when I decided to go back to school. When I heard about it, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why more people didn’t sign up to do it. Now I get it. It’s hard. But this program is also why I have finished a four-year degree in two and a half years. (Well, this, plus overloading myself to the point of insanity each term.) Here’s the deal…

In this program, I basically have to write a book. The task is to document your lifelong learning trajectory, with a critical eye towards university level skills, and document the whole arc of your life. There must be two volumes. The first volume contains your Curriculum Vitae, your resume, your VITA, your graduate plans, your mission and goal statement, your academic transcripts, your graduate school applications, and then 80-100 written pages (my 43 become 80 when ds and formatted) detailing your career and life experience.  The second volume contains all supporting documents for the first volume. Both volumes must be perfect bound, two copies of each, and submitted to the committee for your department. In my case, that’s communications.

You then go before a review board, and you defend you work. If you defend well, you are given 40 full credits. Basically, an entire year of school in one massive paper.

And this is what I’ve been doing. While also trying to take my last math class and three other classes. And prepare for a cross country move, find a place to live, find a job, organize a move, deal with a flooded garage (oh, and they found asbestos in the roof- the hazmat guys were all over the place yesterday) and the loss of personal property. Somewhere in there are three kids, too. And Abby’s birthday is tomorrow.

I don’t tell you all that to whine. It’s done. My advisor accepted my draft and told me to proceed with the binding and submission. I should defend sometime in May. And the rest of it will get done. It always does, one way or another.

The boys helped me decorate for Abby’s birthday, and  I have a lab and a class tomorrow before I have to run to her school with cupcakes (they will be store bought, I’m not insane) and put on my mom hat. I can do this. I just may collapse every now and then. And sleep for four hours when I should be at church. I’m pretty confident God understands, though.

Edit: p.s. There are some of you who have sent me very nice cards, letters and even some lovely small gifts. I am lagging tremendously in getting out my thank-yous, but I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten. I’m just overwhelmed. I fall on my sword and beg your patience. I am grateful. And I promise to acknowledge that soon.

7 thoughts on “The Paper

  1. You may have some idea, but I suspect you do not know how incredibly inspiring you are Tracy. I’m proud to know you!

  2. Be proud! Be very proud of yourself!
    This is one of those experiences that you have every right, and should, brag on yourself!

    Happy, HAPPY Birthday to Abby!

    Love you all!

  3. I wish I were close enough to take the helm long enough for you to sleep for a week straight. Or at least 15 hours or so.

  4. You inspire me to keep slogging through my own ulcer-inducing stressful moments… and right now there are a lot of them. I just keep looking for the blessings, because they are pretty phenomenal even given the stressors.

    Three cheers for accepted capstone papers and birthdays and kids who help!

  5. You are amazing!! What an accomplishment your work is- to say nothing of your spirit. I just came across something that could be interesting on the work front. Email me at tashlinc at yahoo dot com if you want to hear more (short version- some people are making an educational iPad app and they need a Mommy blogger to help spread the word through various social media channels.)

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