Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Busy...

It's been a few years, and I've been a bit busy.

 I have been working on my PhD, and I managed to pass my Candidacy exams last May (2015). I also have faced illness and now am a Type II Diabetic. I've also run out of funding for school because I've taken too many hours to finish this degree, so I've launched a fundraising page in order to raise money to pay for school. I did not ask for the amount I would really need for finishing school, but I've asked for some under the hope that I can successfully petition for more hours and finish my degree.

 Since this is my second petition, there is the possibility that I will not be successful.

 All I ask for is prayers if you are the praying type. If you can donate even a small amount, I would be forever grateful, but I won't be upset if you cannot or choose not to help out. How can I be mad? I probably don't even know you, and you don't know me from a hole in the wall. Anyway, I can't guarantee that I will write a ton of things on my blog, as finishing my degree is my top priority, but I'll try to keep you, gentle reader, in the loop.

 On the positive side of things, I have managed to get two jobs that will help out a lot. One is as a tutor and the other is a graduate assistantship appointment that will help with tuition (which is great news, if the person is accurate in their information).

 If nothing else, advice for those going into college at any level: Be your own advocate for financial aid! Keep on top of things. Keep track of your hours and any time you contact your financial aid office, write down what they tell you and make sure to get that person's name. You are your best hope of keeping yourself eligible for aid.

 Take care, everyone. :-)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Random Rant

Hi everyone. I've been busy (I had a great trip to San Diego, and I hope to write about it someday), but I just saw something from Conan O'Brien that I needed to address. It's one of those meme images where he says the following: "Over the weekend Lebron James got married.... He was set to marry his high school sweetheart in Cleveland, but then he got a better offer from a girl in Miami."
Not funny.
First of all, he did marry his high school sweetheart (we'll put aside the fact that this was 9 years and one child later). Secondly, he married her in San Diego (why?). Finally, it's just old and tired. People have tried to move past this whole thing and it's just not funny. Now if Conan did not say this, I will say that whoever attributed this to him did this in poor taste. If Conan did say it, then there's nothing else to say. It's just not cool.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Fundraising Continues...

Hi everyone. I'm back again to talk about my fundraiser to help me get to San Diego in a couple of weeks (yikes!), but I have something new: An interview I did with Jen of Think Jen, Think. In the interview, I talk about my studies and why I think looking at onomatopoeics is worthwhile. I especially love the fact that the image she used of me is the picture I took with Peter S. Beagle (he wrote The Last Unicorn, a book I love and one of my favorite film adaptations of all time). I recommend that people check out the interview and consider contributing $5 to my fundraiser. If you cannot donate (or online donations aren't your thing), you can spread the word to others. You can even send donations offline if you aren't comfortable with the whole online thing (contact me through the GoFundMe webpage).

I'll try to keep people posted about the fundraiser and my success. I'll even post a follow-up after it's all over. Thank you for your support.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Trying to Get to San Diego

Hi everyone. I am doing a fundraiser to help me get to San Deigo. I have been given the opportunity to present a paper at the Comics Arts Conference, which is part of the San Deigo Comic-con. For those of you who remember, I am a PhD student who is studying comics. As time has gone on, I have honed in my focus on sound effects in Japanese manga and American comics. This presentation is, essentially, an opportunity to try out my dissertation at a huge event. I am going to do whatever it takes to get there, and I've set up a fundraiser webpage to ask for money. Any help that I can get will be greatly appreciated, so check out the link below.

Most people know that being a graduate student is costly; I've got a four-year-old to take care of and a whole family to support on a meager salary. I am going to this conference because this is important to my career; here is a chance for me to meet people who can help me get to the next level in my research. This is also my first time going to Comic-con and, I'm not going to lie, I'd really love to go at least once. I had to give up two other conferences this year because of the need to do my candidacy exams, so the paper is incorporating resources from my exams so that my research is doing double-duty to get me ready for this. If you have even a dollar that you can donate, that would be very helpful. Please do what you can.

Also, if you happen to be attending Comic-con, look for me at my panel. It should be on the website eventually (the link is on the fundraising site). If you're curious, GoFundMe is kind of like Kickstarter for individuals. Let's see how successful I can be. I'll keep you posted as things come in.

My Fundraising Page

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just Some Thoughts...

Hi everyone. It's been awhile, and since I am usually a bit verbose or wordy with my posts, I'll try to keep it short. It's really late and I should be asleep, but that has been hard to come by of late. I am currently getting through my reading list for my candidacy exams, and I'm battling self-doubt. When the fall semester begins, I'll be in my sixth year of graduate school (wow!). It's been a wild ride, but I have to keep myself focused in order to finish my PhD.

As for D, she's is such a vibrant, smart, and tall little girl. I'll have to find the time to put up a picture of her, because she's grown so much over the years. She just finished preschool and she will be in kindergarten in the fall. Thinking about her caused me to think of something that may make me stand out as a bit weird. Most people (parents, mostly) tell people who are having their first child to treasure the moments with them because they grow up so fast. Some people lament missing big milestones in the child's life. I didn't, and I still don't. Yes, I missed a milestone or two with D when she was a baby because I was in school, but it didn't bother me all that much because everything, and I mean everything that I've experienced with her has made me excited for what will happen next in her life. I'm very excited to see her grow up, but I'm not as hung up on when she was a baby and all that. I think this may make me a bit different from other moms, but that's just how it is for me. I don't really miss those days of when she was a baby. I'm just looking ahead & looking forward to seeing what she will become. I think it's weird for me simply because I desperately want to hold onto the things from my past (despite my inability to do so), so I'm not sure what that says about me. I think it's just a different way of seeing things; I didn't really get hung up on my wedding because I thought that the rest of the marriage was far more important and interesting, and I don't get sentimental about when my little girl was born.

Now if I can carry that attitude into my studies, I'd probably be in great shape.

I miss writing this blog, and as much as I'd love to resume my former posting pace, that's probably not going to happen. I say I'll try to post more regularly, but we see how that goes. Let's just keep it casual and see how it goes.

Oh, before I forget: My paper proposal was accepted for the Comic Arts Conference at San Diego's Comic-con! I'm going to have a chance to try out my dissertation topic in front of an audience, so I'm really excited about this. I gave up two conferences this year in order to focus on my studies, so I am not passing this up. However, my big hurdle is that I've got to raise funds in order to go. If I do opt for an online fundraising site, I'll link to it here as well.

I'm going to stop writing before I get into updates about relatives I'd rather forget about. If you are familiar with what I've said in the past, you have an idea to whom I am referring.

...and what is the deal with the spam? I just had to clear out ~200 posts that were just nonsense. And they need to stop saying that I should link my posts to Google+. Are they crazy?! I leave names out on purpose so that people won't find me. Wow.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Product Review: Efficient To-Do List

I have been in a desperate search for a useful to-do list to help keep me organized, and I found it in the Efficient To-Do List program. I have been able to keep track of not only my activities, but my daughter's as well. I like the ability to utilize different colors as well as noting how much progress I have made in my tasks. It has been a much-needed change from my mental to-do lists because I can see how much work I have ahead of me, and how much (or how little) I have actually accomplished. Being a PhD student in the middle of candidacy exams, I need something to help me stay on task, and the Efficient To-Do List has helped me to do just that. Now if only I can get it to write my reading list for me....

Anyway, what else can I say about this product? I like that even the free version has a lot of functionality and isn't a 15-day trial that asks me to pay $50 to a company that I doubt still exists (that was the last program I used, and its full version didn't even have the functionality of Efficient To-Do List's free version). The first sign (for me) that this was going to be good was that the full version is less than $25. When you are priced reasonably, you have my attention. Secondly, the ability to decide what you want to see (i.e. you can change the view to only look at what's due that week or that month, see what is overdue, or look at high priority tasks) so you can further organize your time. I also like that you can set up alerts to let you know when something is due. I've included a screenshot of the product (with the names of people removed) to show you what it looks like and some of its features.

Overall, I cannot recommend this product enough! If you need a product to help keep you organized an on-track (and if you don't, you are a better person than I), the Efficient To-Do List is for you. And if you are a student who lives on your technological devices, I strongly recommend it because it will only serve to help you. And if you are the type of student who has a tendency to not read syllabi and ask their instructors when things are due repeatedly, you need to click on the link below and get this ASAP. On behalf of all instructors and professors, we will thank you for getting this product and making use of it.

Get it here: Efficient To-Do List

Wow. I need to spruce up the place...

Hi everyone,

I am in the midst of working on my candidacy exams, so my posts will again be few and far between (I'm reeeeeaaaaly sorry!), but I wanted to just drop a line and let people know what's going on these days.

I have most of my committee together at this point (3 of 4 people needed) and I am working on my reading list (which is what I should be doing right this minute). The first semester at my University ends tomorrow, but I finished my teaching duties today. I had a great group of students, and I hope that they all got something out of the class. Teaching is no longer the nightmare it once was, but it takes time away from my work, so the balance is very tough. I also did a paper at a conference that was held in town (and I think it was my best presentation to date), and someone approached me about publishing it, but I think I waited too long and I may have missed my opportunity. I will get in touch with them this week because it's worth a shot. I have to stop being afraid of things and move forward, so wish me luck in this and all my other endeavors.

I also applied to the PCA/ACA conference in Washington DC this coming year, and was floored when the paper was accepted within 30 minutes. Normally, this would be a happy occasion, but with my exams, it's just extra work. So, I'm going to write the paper over winter break [It's time to break out the Kristeva] so that I'm not worrying about it in March when the conference takes place.

My little girl is now in preschool!

The first two images are from her first day of school, and the third was the end of the day after the first day of school. I can't believe she's so big at only four years old. My uncle tells me all the time that she looks like my mom, and that makes me happy. It still hurts that my mom and grandma are gone (and that the world turned to shit after their deaths), but I get up and move forward everyday because that's what I have to do. I have to finish this degree for my daughter. I just have to believe that I can do this.

Well, I have to get back to work. If I can, I'll post more. If I ever find the spare time, I need to update the page because there are some digital cobwebs that needs to be cleared. I may also post some other things from time to time (i.e. reviews, manga discussions, etc.), so just know that I miss you all and hope that everything is well for you. And for those of you on the East Coast, you have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since Superstorm Sandy, so keep you head up and know that I am hoping for the best for all of you.

Take care, everyone.