Head blogger: Anita Cory, wife, mom of 3, sister, sorority alumnae, Christian, Sorority/Fraternity Life professional at WSU, former Paper Pals Design Team member, dissertation writer, and all around friendly 40-something in Pullman, Washington.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Old habits die hard, but they do die OR Lessons have been learned...

If you grow up in small farmhouse in Nebraska, you really must learn from your mother and develop a knack for storing things in every nook, cranny, and some crevices in your own small kitchen when you grow up.

For example. One might store large Tupperware containers full of chex mix, or another container with muffins in it in a cool oven. Some people might do that. Just sayin'.

We decide to drop this habit and/or learn a lesson the hard way when the 11 year old daughter, home alone, decides to make a pizza for lunch, and not realizing the oven is full of plastic and fodder, preheats the oven. Later of course, the oven is fully ignited when the door is opened to bake said pizza. And, calamity ensues.


God was all over this one. I was on my way to Cam's school for parent teacher conferences when I got a call from the crying, shrieking girl. Poor thing...how terrifying. Once I could understand what she was saying, I urged her to kick the oven door shut and leave the house. I called 911, drove 50 mph on many streets and arrived at home in about 4 minutes. Thank you God for small towns.

I checked out the situation and found no flames (yet, or again) but heavy smoke coming from the oven. I too, left the house quickly (later realizing I should've grabbed my computer...Yikes). Anyway, the PFD arrives, calmly walked in, extinguished the oven-fire, cleared the house of smoke, shook my hand, and left. This was all in about 30 minutes.

Thank God everyone was/is OK. Cam, the pets, etc. The only completely ruined major item is the oven. Easily replaceable.

Thank God for homeowners insurance. Safeco is being really awesome. Professional cleaners were here today and will come back tomorrow to prep for painting the kitchen and living room (only way to completely cover up smoke smell apparently). They cleaned every item on every wall in the affected areas (you know how I love my wall groupings and shelf collections). They are even waxing our hard wood floors because after they scrub them, they will be really dull. A laundry service took the rugs and draperies and a few coats that were hanging in the hallway. Most other things we can handle ourselves.

So, we are good. God is good. Storing Tupperware in the oven is Bad. Just sayin'.


Monday, October 18, 2010

My Bucket List

No, this is not a post about the items on my what-to-do-before-I-die list, however, there are some doozies on that list. But that is for another post.

This post is one of what will probably be several where I record items that have come to mind for the post-PhD Bucket List. Right, these are the things I am looking forward to doing after I finish. Thank you to several friends for suggesting I write these things down. If you're not mentioned in this installment, not to worry, you'll probably be in a post forthcoming. List is in no particular order. Not valid in all 50 states. Not intended to serve as expert advice for others in post-PhD category. Void where prohibited. No expiration date.

1. reading for pleasure (The Twilight and a re-reading of the Harry Potter series top the list...oh, and some magazines)

2. go to kid's sporting, school, and music events WITHOUT bringing articles and books that must be read while waiting for the event to start, during time-outs and half time.

3. rid my house (and my life) of yellow highlighers (see #2).

4. slow down long enough to just be.

5. get a new-to-me camera (looking for a good, used, digital SLR)

6. play with #5

7. organize all sorts of things in my house and life

8. call family and friends more often

9. scrapbook with all the beautiful photos I take with the new camera

10. learn to use photoshop well enough to digitally scrapbook some of the photos I take with the new camera

11. Establish a weekly date time with my spouse

12. Establish Mom and (pick a kid) time each week with each kid

13. Volunteer for the PTA (nothing big, maybe the cookie-baking committee:)

14. Make cookies

15. Exercise

16. Read my Bible...and not feel pressured to highlight it or type up a summary of the passage and figure out how to cite it in APA style.

17. Go to church and church events and not worry about the time.

18. Go to Daily Grind to sip tea and hang with a friend and know I have time to do so!

19. Visit my family in Nebraska, Iowa, and Colorado.

20. Go to Disney World with John and the kids

21. Tackle the landscaping needs at the Cory Casa.

22. Help a friend or neighbor with ________.

23. Watch TV (just a little).

24. Be the Mom that drives kids to away soccer games and likes it.

25. Take bubble baths once a week.

To be continued...


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The road to a PhD...

...is a long one. But, at least progress has been made.

First, you take classes part time for 4 years...2 every semester and 1 in the summer. Some of the classes are amazing, fun, and so much is learned. Some just feel like a hoop to jump through. You miss family fun in various forms, aren't "available" for much and spend 2 nights a week away from home (in addition to work stuff). Sigh.

Then... you study like mad for several months to take the highest stakes test imaginable...prelims. You may have to re-teach yourself things you should have probably learned along the way. Prelims (for our department) involve being provided 3 questions that must be answered in a well-written, well-thought out, 10-13 page paper. Writing a paper...that's a snap. Writing in a computer lab with a 4-hour time limit is not. This process is worse in some other departments, better in others. It is nerve wracking to say the least.

Then...you wait to find out if you passed (I'll know in mid-November). If you pass, you can write and defend your dissertation proposal. The proposal is a thorough description (50-70 page paper)that 'outlines' what the dissertation will be about, why that is important, and how it will be done.

Then...the real fun begins (no really, I think this will be fun). You collect 'data'. For me, that will be in the form of about 30 interviews with college students at 5-6 campuses.

Then, the real drudge begins. All those interviews? Yeah, they have to be transcribed, analyized, synthesized, etc. That is going to take some time...

Then, write like mad and present the finished product (called a "defense") next April. Yeah, April seems like the distant future, but trust me, this is going to be a stretch!

And then...well, if you know me know, you can still call me Anita...or maybe Dr. C :)