Tag Archives: school

Yes, I Do My Nails

As I have completed my first semester of graduate work, I am finding that one thing I really miss about my undergraduate work was the opportunity for long periods of really solid introspection. When you’re studying a field as personal as gender it’s critically important, in my opinion, to examine your own beliefs really hard. That being said, having had so much practice in looking into myself to examine my own beliefs also means I can do it a lot more efficiently. One goal I’ve developed recently is to develop a really solid regimen of self-care acts that I can do indoors. I love living in Minnesota, and I’m not likely to go anywhere any time soon, but there are months spent indoors because of the frigid weather we experience here.

All of that being said, it’s hard to identify new acts of self-care when you’re suffering from a lack of self-care. So while the weather is warm I am trying some new activities and also some new products.

At this point I want to stop and say that this is a product post. I’m not getting anything out of this except to share some things I’m trying with you. Heck, one of the people doesn’t even know I’m doing this!

First, I have started dabbing (sometimes literally) into essential oils with DoTerra. My DoTerra lady is April, and she is amazing. She takes educating people about the products very seriously and I appreciate that because essential oils are still a little “new age” for me. You can visit her here.

Second, I have started doing my nails. This is pretty big for me for a few reasons. Nail polish was a banned substance in my home growing up (to many TV paint jobs) so while my friends were perfecting their mani game I was biting my nails down to the beds. I developed tricks to numb the pain in my fingertips, sometimes bringing ice cubes to bed with me. I don’t want to get gross, but after a bizarre infection robbed me of my thumb nails and one of them grew back in kind of a weird shape. It looks like a trapezoid. With my complicated relationship with my fingernails, I was really excited to try Jamberry about a year ago. My amazing friend, Kate, was having a launch party and so I bought some wraps.

I was just as disappointed as anyone to discover that I hated them. In hindsight, I think it was that I was at the end of my pregnancy and basically hated everything. It had nothing to do with the wraps and everything to do with me.

Upon having this realization, I decided to try Jamberry again. I got a mini-heater  and some wraps (okay, full disclosure, Kate had some extra ones and she graciously sent them to me with absolutely no expectation that I would do anything like this or even become a Jamberry enthusiast. She is an amazing friend).

It is, with a few manicures under my belt (or should I say, on my fingers?) that I share with you my haphazard process for doing my nails!

20170516_203410

First, rather than washing my nails specifically I usually just wash my whole hand vigorously.

Second, I put lotion on my hands. That mini-heater can really dry out your skin and the wraps don’t stay on as well if you moisturize immediately after.

20170516_203422.jpg

Third, I pick out my wraps. I usually pair up something kind of zany with a solid wrap.

20170516_203517

Fourth, I apply the wraps as recommended. I struggle to use nail scissors on my right hand so I trim the excess wrap down with nail clippers.

Fifth, I feel really excited about my finished manicure!

20170516_205755.jpgIf you like the manicure I have pictured here combine Sarape Sunset and Metallic Chrome Silver.

 

What do you like to do for self-care during those times when you’re stuck inside?

Advertisements

Synthesis Paper #4

As the Spring 2017 semester is over and I’ve launched into my Summer 2017 course, I’ve been trying to synthesize the experience and come up with some deliverables that I can share with you.

It hasn’t been easy.

I’ll start by inviting you over to my LinkedIn profile to check out my final paper and presentation, Responding to a Changing Labor Market: What Can We Learn From the Past?

I somehow managed to earn an “A” in both my classes, a fact that I am extremely proud of. I worked really hard and I’m glad my hard work for my first semester has paid off. My professors were all phenomenal and I learned so much from them!

In terms of what I can share about being successful inside and outside the classroom, I think there are some lessons I’ve learned that can be broadly applied.

Refer to Subject Matter Experts

As I worked on my projects, I found myself often going back to presentations that I have been on the receiving end of. As a member of the school board in my community, I am surrounded by people who have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into understanding the public education system in the United States. As my research led me more and more toward recommending that we need to invest in public education I was grateful for their thorough presentations and expertise.

This, of course, can certainly apply in so many areas. You may not know the answer to the problem you are facing but someone else does. Ask them for help! If you don’t know who to ask, just start asking. Someone is bound to know someone and “we all do better when we all do better.”

Accept Yourself

As I was preparing for the semester to begin, I somehow managed to develop this notion that I could just do all my homework in the evenings and I would almost never have to do anything on the weekends. In hindsight all I can think is “Rachel, have you met yourself?”

My peak time of day is 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. You may notice this is squarely in the middle of a standard work day. By the evening my brain in friend and intellectual pursuits are, by and large, off the table. Once I realized that and started working harder to do homework during my lunch break and sacrificing my weekends I felt a lot less overwhelmed.

My big take-away from this is that it doesn’t matter what you want to have happen. Certainly we can change, but sometimes we have to take ourselves as we are and work everything else around that.

Prioritize

This goes hand-in-hand with accepting yourself. Decide what your top priority for the day, week, month, or year is and then order things after that. Does Nateanite do laundry the way I do it? He absolutely does not. Did we have clean clothes to wear over the course of the semester? We absolutely did. Household work is something that fell solidly by the wayside for me, and it continues to be solidly on the wayside. I think it will be until at least May 2019.

 

Courage

Beings of Love

April 14 quote

You may have noticed that I have had two weeks in a row of quotes. I feel it’s important to maintain a presence here, but I am buried in the end of the semester. My final paper and research proposal will be about the place government programs have in a changing workforce. I think they will both be incredible and I’m excited to link to them on my LinkedIn page. But it is definitely a topic that is taking me deep down the rabbit hole!

I am also a syndicated columnist at The Relationship Blogger and I hope you’ll visit me over there! My first post, Keeping your Marriage Alive in Sickness and Health, is pretty stellar (even if I do say so myself).

I am not yet dead . . .

As always happens when it’s been a while since I’ve blogged I feel the need to share this song. That’s right folks . . . “I feel happy, I feel happy!”

In the last month since I shared how difficult it was for me to stay home I have since acquired three (or in some definitions, four) new jobs.   I went from . . .

. . .basically feeling like this . . .

To

. . . wearing a lot of hats!

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love everything that I’m doing. I’m just also reeling from the quick shift from the voice in my head going “Nobody wants you,” to “You’re the most popular kid in school!”  Literally one (or two, if you prefer) of my jobs are at my local middle school. I was hired to be an AVID tutor and once I was hired they begged me to also be a lunch aid.

For those of you who don’t know, AVID stands for Advancement via Individual Determination and it’s basically a college preparatory program for students in grades 4-12. I work with students in grades 7-9 and it is awesome! I work with them twice a week as a tutor to help them to be academically successful.

In the cafeteria I’m one of the people that makes sure that students in grades 6-8 don’t get into any shenanigans during lunch time. So far it’s been an interesting experience. By far my most interesting experience involved a student in 8th grade spending a considerable amount of time trying to convince me that I was 14 and not 24. Come to think of it, that could be a pretty good comic, hehe.

I consider those two positions to be one job because I do them in the same location (ie, the middle school). But I can see how you could consider them to be two jobs as well :).

In addition to this I am also babysitting two darling children, A & E (A is 4, E is 1) on the days that I am not doing AVID. Their parents are both phenomenal people, nurses at a local hospital, and I really enjoy being able to participate in their family. The parents, J (the mom) and C (the dad) are very relaxed people. Truthfully, I feel really lucky.

Finally, I just started giving piano lessons today! Two little boys, both eight years old. I’m really excited for the unique challenges that both of them will present.

As I get settled into these new positions I’m also getting started back into writing. Paisley has been neglected for far too long and I miss writing comics. I also feel much more comfortable writing about Paisley now that I am spending a fair amount of my time with her peers. And it’s much easier to write comics about your life when there’s actually some life happening to you outside the four walls of your home.

And now to get to writing!

Resisting the Urge

Over the last several weeks I have been resisting the urge to start shrieking, “I’m melting, I’m melting,” every time I step outside of my nicely air-conditioned apartment. Upper 90’s and low 100’s do not sit will with this lady, that’s for sure!

However, now that it’s cooling off and I’m getting back into a routine I realized it’s been a while since I sat down and actually wrote a post for no reason.  I’ve been doing Six Sentence Sunday and Comic Monday faithfully, but that’s about it (at least, in terms of writing on here.)

That said, I have been doing quite a bit in other areas.  I started a new job about three weeks ago (how could it possibly be that long already!?).  I’m working as an office manager for a student advocacy group.  It’s been awesome!  And as it turns out, I’m on a career path at the moment that I certainly didn’t expect.  A large part of my job involves bookkeeping (or. . .  accounting, if you will.) And as it turns out, I kind of like it. I once took an accounting class in high school. To put it lightly, I didn’t do very well. Amazing what 9 years can do, hehe. My boss excitedly told me that I was on track to be a Finance Director within the next 10+ years. And oddly, I don’t actually mind that.  I’m not sure what’s going on in my brain, but I think I like it.

I’ve also been doing a fair amount of work for school.  I finally just finished my independent-study course from h-e-double hockey sticks! Now I just have “Philosophy & Sexuality” and “Childbirth in the U.S.” The second one is certainly the most interesting to me. That may be because I picked the topic myself, haha.  Although, it’s having an odd effect on my psyche when it comes to actually having a baby someday. I’m focusing on how fear became such a huge component in having a baby. In my research I came across a study that states that women who are afraid to have a baby are in labor, on average, 2.5 hours more than women who are not afraid to have a baby. As a result, I am now afraid of being afraid to have a baby.  Go figure that one out, haha.  In “Philosophy & Sexuality” I am writing a paper about how we place value on love. I know I should be pulling out my right-brain philosophical self, but I’m somehow managing to look at it in a left-brain analytic way.  Seriously, what is going on with my brain!?

Finally, I am sad to report that my attempts at balcony gardening have failed spectacularly. Mostly due to the heat my poor little plants have baked alive, despite my best efforts to keep them alive.  So, I’ll just be looking forward to having an actual patch of ground to garden in.  I have a suspicion that they’ll do much better in actual earth.  In the mean time, out dwarf lemon tree is doing remarkably well.  At least we’ll have lemons some time soon, hehe.