A break from my semi-imposed hiatus

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I have been silent for awhile because of many things that have been happening:

  • My family had to move out suddenly from their house because of their douche-y landlady. She told them at the second to the last week of August that she will increase their rent by $400/month but gave them until the end of October. Which is total bullshit because who signs leases in October? (Probably only super desperate people…) After hours of scrounging through craigslist and my parents checking out the places, we finally found a townhouse for them to stay in.
  • Looking for housing for my family took up most of my time the week before school started so I didn’t get to finish the summer work I did for my professor… She was very understanding and was okay with me finishing it pretty late. Good thing she didn’t need it right away too…
  • My older sister is planning to come to the US to study as an international student so I have been helping her out with the process… I had to ask a friend back in our home country to help get some requirements since my sister does not live there anymore..

School has been kicking my ass so far and its been crazy. I’m working for two professors this year and I’m TAing for an undergrad stats class, so that takes up 7 hours of my week; I’m actually working 10-12 hours every week this semester (whereas last semester I worked maybe 5-7 hours). I’m taking a comprehensive exam in one of my courses so I’m taking good notes in my readings so that I don’t have to re-read most of them again. I’m also taking multivariate stats so I have to study a lot for that…

Lastly, I’m trying to figure out what specialty areas I should focus on. I have narrowed one of them down to Criminology but I’m not so sure about the other one (in sociology, you have to pick two specialty areas in the field). I kind of wanted to do Immigration since thats the reason why I’m in graduate school to begin with but my graduate director has been pushing me to do Demography since its a.) way more marketable and b.) I read immigration stuff along the way anyway. I’m a little hesitant to do Demography mostly because I haven’t taken any classes in it and its heavily quantitative. I’m also worried because my staying in the US is tied to my employment so I have to make absolutely sure that the skills I get from grad school are employable at different levels. I talked to my honey about these fears of mine–even though I know that we love each other and will probably get married, I need to make sure that I can stay in the US *in case* I dont get my green card in time or something.

I also have to take our Methods Comprehensive exam since I didn’t do that great in Intermediate Stats. Its kind of embarrassing because it means I didn’t get a 3.5 GPA in my methods and stats class but whatever. This will so not matter in 5 years when I’m job hunting…

I was looking at the ASA job listings and thankfully there are jobs. I might do a postdoc after my program to work on getting more publications and grant writing. It seems like I’m planning this too early but I feel like I’m going to be in my 5th year in no time… And if I don’t plan carefully for it, I will have lower job prospects and lots of regret.

I also decided to write a Masters thesis with the data I collected this summer. Its just an extra thing I can put on CV. I’ve also been toying with the idea to transfer to a higher ranked university now that I’m really going to write a Master’s thesis..The honey pointed out that if I go ahead with this, I would lose the social capital that I’ve built up in my department. He said I shouldn’t throw away what I have now to take a chance in getting something better, because the new one might be worse in the end.

On other news, being a second year is fun just because I actually know whats going on and whats expected of me. I don’t have to settle in and know who to go to when I have specific questions about things. I don’t have to figure out the financial system at my University and I know where things are. (I might lose this if I go to another university).

I don’t know, just so many things going on…

On a somewhat random note, I took my honey to white water rafting last last weekend (more pictures to come from my waterproof disposable camera!) and he surprised me with a painting workshop event!

Our paintings ❤ Mine is on the right! 

 

Back to work…

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