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October 18th, 2004

Jammed at work, jammed for school...

This week is killing me -- both at work and in school.

I have tons due before the external audit next week, which is what we've been working toward over the last year and a half. Plus I have two projects due this week for school, and hundreds of pages to read.

My Monday meeting went well. I worked all afternoon on updating our department DOM, which I'm going to go over with the team leads tomorrow afternoon. I didn't finish it. Got to finish that up first thing in the morning.

I left at 3:15 to make a 4:00 advising appointment with Dr. Dicks -- planning courses for the Spring '05 semester, as registration opens tomorrow. We had somewhat of a time finding two courses for me to take, but ended up with one English course, and one course in the School of Communications -- being taught by the head of the Masters in Communication program, which turns out to be good, since he will be involved with reviewing applications for the PhD program in Technical Communication when the program is announced.

I discussed my potential application to the program with Dr. Dicks, and made sure he has seen evidence of potential, and asked him if there's anything he's observed to date that I might work on -- any areas of weakness. He said I tend to see things (i.e., point them out in my "observation" exercises that we turn in each class) that others don't see, and he definitely saw potential, and was glad to hear I was interested in the program. He didn't have any potential areas of improvement to suggest yet.

We talked about how the program works, and I asked specific questions about how the program could be paid for. He told me about teacher assistantships, which would pay for my tuition, and that I'd get about $9000 a year as a "salary." He said it's not something you could do, though, and have a full time job, too. I would consider quitting IBM to do that, and we discussed that for a while.

Nothing concrete at this point, just exploring all the options. I could afford to live on that salary, but it would certainly entail lifestyle changes -- most notably in the area of traveling. I certainly could pay my bills on that salary, but afterwards, I did start thinking about benefits -- particularly medical benefits and wondered if those would be part of the package.

I stopped at the NY Pizza place on Hillsborough St. and bought two slices of "NY White Pizza." At home, I put slices of chourico on one slice of the pizza, and heated it up in the oven for about 10 minutes. I smeared a skosh of kalmata olive paste on each bite before I ate it. OMG. Delicious!

Class was okay tonight -- we shared examples of "workplace culture," which was interesting at times.

That beautiful girl, Erin, who sits next to me -- she's just beautiful, said to me, "You are my idol. Just from sitting next to you, I can tell that you are one of the most organized people I've ever seen. Everything is always just so, and you do all of your reading -- I can tell. You've probably read more in this program to date than I'll read in the entire program."

I noticed she has on a wedding ring. I hope she's in a fulfilling relationship.

After class, I went to the library and started working on my Methods Analysis paper, which is due on Wednesday. First I noted down each of the chapters we've read in RTC, their titles, and just one or two main points, to use as a checklist when I read the article I'm going to analyze. Then, I laughed and thought of Erin, as I made an outline of the three pages. Then I started going through the article noting things I want to comment on, and indicating under which section (by outline number) each thing would be best discussed.

Shortly after I arrived, someone's cell phone started ringing, which I thought belonged to the guy sitting in the cubicle behind me. I thought, "Wow, that's the first time I've heard someone's ring tone set the same as mine." Duh. After about the fourth ring, I opened my backpack pocket, grabbed my ringing phone, and ran out into a stairwell. I always remember to put my phone on vibrate when I go into class or the library. How embarrassing.

I had to take the call, though, even though I was up in the "no call zone" stacks on the 7th floor, as I saw that it was Jeanie-baby. She was trying to reach Ann Law's house in Houston, and fortunately for me, had dialed the wrong number. I've been thinking about her ever since "Hurricane Jeanne," wondering how they made out. We had a short, but great conversation. All is well there.

Though I got none of the paper actually written, I feel pretty good about delving into it tomorrow -- I feel "ready" to write it now, and am now worried about how I will say everything I want to say as opposed to being worried about having enough to say. I'd much rather be worrying about the former than the latter.

I got home at midnight, and caught up my journal since last Friday.

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