06 June 2008

Summer of Steph

Besides the usual free pass from a world of adult responsibility, grad students have it good because we get "summer breaks." The quotations are in place because we're never really idle...most of us are working on the research that we didn't have time to fully devote our time to over the school year (esp for us counseling psych folks...hello, 14 credits of classes every semester!). I was fortunate to secure a research fellowship for the summer to work on an independent project, without the pressure of having to find a job so that I can spend my un-school time doing things that usually cost money (sigh). In case you're wondering, my research project is utilizing a data set of 3 cohorts of incoming first years, mostly students of color. In a nutshell, I'm interested in the different types of discrimination reported by Asian American vs. Black/African Americans and whether these differences predict outcomes such as well-being, GPA, and retention differentially. It is predicted by past research and some theory that Asian Americans would uniquely report more "perpetual foreigner" type of discrimination (e.g., people question your citizenship status), as opposed to discrimination that connotes inferiority. Anyway, that's what my proposal was for....but in actuality, I am going to have to take some steps back and learn some more stats like factor analysis (does anyone know if you can do dichotomous factor analysis on SPSS?) and reading up on the literature. It sounds like a lot of work, but I'm actually really excited to have most of my time devoted to getting dirty with the data (*resisting bad joke*).

The project will take up most of my time during the weekdays, but then I am FREEEEEEE!!! And how wonderful it is. I've already shared my declaration with some of you that this is the "Summer of Steph." This should not be confused with the disastrous "Summer of George."

[ Apparently someone/YouTube didn't like me embedding their Seinfeld clip on my page, so just YouTube "Summer of George" yourself. Heh, brings on a chuckle every time.] 

What does that mean exactly? Well, I feel like I am finally in a more stable place and ready to get my shit together. That means taking care of myself - mind, body, and soul. I'm trying to do things that I love and make me happy, like...
  • Spending time outdoors riding my bike or running round/checking out the nearby lakes. That's a pic of Lake of the Isles above, just blocks away from my apt.
  • Speaking of running...aiming to train for a 5K w/ some friends in Sept (there were some delusions about training for the 10-mile but then I realized that it's probably a good idea to be able to run at least 3 miles at a time without wanting to die).
  • Hitting up the farmer's market.
  • Tending to my new mini-garden! (See pic below) Consisting of lemon basil, thai basil, sweet basil, winter thyme, rosemary, and chives...and a little tomato plant that does well in compact spaces. 
  • Reading for pleasure (what a CONCEPT!). I'm currently in the middle of an inspiring short book, If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland, which I'll have to blog about later. Also STILL reading Omnivore's Dilemma. Started rereading Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Hopefully get in some fiction by way of Love in the Time of Cholera and whatever else my short-attention span can handle.
  • More cooking. More cupcakes. 
  • Painting my apartment.
  • Writing in my journal. 
  • Outdoor summer music concerts and festivals.
  • Breaking out the sewing machine!
  • Happy hours.
  • Spending time with the new friends I have made this year. Making even newer friends. Connecting with old friends.
  • Finding an organization that I can devote some time to.
  • Convincing my parents to buy me a Magic Mic so that I can karaoke in my living room.
  • Learning more about likes, my values, my opinions....myself in general.
  • Overall, being a growing, positive, confident, happy person! (*Cue the rainbows and sunshine*).

Throw in there FIVE, count em, FIVE weddings to attend and some random trips home...and that's a very full summer! No pressure to get it all done, and I'm content to just enjoy my summer moment-by-moment. I would hate to be in the midst of next year's madness (uh 3 classes + 17 hours at clinical practicum + research) and wish that I had made more out of my summer.


Susannah said...

I love it! Rock it steph!

Steph said...

Thanks for being my life coach, Sus :)