early mornings and late nights

adjustment, change, life, meditation, morning person, schedule, school, The U

It's been a long time since I actually blogged first thing in the morning. I used to get up at 5:30 regularly for the express purpose of waking up slowly.  I enjoy a leisurly wake up padding around the house drinking my coffee and eating breakfast. To think that I would get up extra early to be able to do that makes me laugh a little.

The dogs wake me up pretty regularly at 6:00 a.m. I don't mind, I still like being up in the early morning. There's something peaceful about the dark hours that happen before the world rolls out of bed and greets me. It's because of these hours and waking-up habits that I would call myself a morning person.

Though I'm also a sleep person. Y'know, someone who can sleep for 10-12 hours in a stretch. Though those instances are less and less frequent since, well, the dogs wake me up. But they can be satisfied with a quick potty break outside and some breakfast and then I'm allowed to go back to sleep, usually for another couple hours or so.

And all this was working like a well-oiled machine. They wake me up at 6 a.m., eat, back to sleep for two hours, wake me up again for a walk and we start our day. It was a beautiful relationship that ran like clockwork. All of this worked so well beacause I was going to bed by 11 p.m. Ideally, I was in bed reading by 10 p.m. A solid eight hours of sleep has always been my best friend.

Until last week when I started school. Who knew that me waking up to an alarm could be so jarring? Or that because of the alarm, those dogs wake me up EARLIER than 6 a.m. BEFORE the alarm goes off? 

As with every school or work adjustment I've ever made, my schedule is wonky, my eating habits are not consistent and now I have crazy dreams and can't even sleep through the night! *big sigh* 

I find that I'm getting to bed later and later, last night was the earliest in two weeks when I finally decided to call it quits at almost 11 p.m. Even Sunday night was closer to 11:30 and most of last week I saw the terrifying hour of midnight. 

Lately I'm getting home from 12-hour days on campus to dig around for dinner and unwind from the newsroom only to have at least four hours of reading to do, for which it would be nearly impossible for me to stay awake for the entire thing. 

Lest you think I decided to stay awake this morning for the purpose of complaining, because that's just not my style, I am awake to get some reading done. One more chapter before class today. And then after class there are three more and about 10 law cases to brief and understand their impact on laws about my bible, the first amendment. 

But before that all begins again, I'm taking these few moments to morning snuggle with my little corn dog the way I used to. And while I've switched from coffee and oatmeal to tea and fruit, today begins the way I want it to: with quiet reflection, a short planning session for the rest of the day and a little pep talk to get me through it. 

Good morning early morning, it's nice to see you again.


istanbul is constantinople

create, creating, creating opportunities, life, opportunities, school, semi-unemployed, work


I've been thinking recently about opportunities.  How they come and the go. How I, we, come face to face with some and how we create others. It seems to me that some opportunities come because we used others.

I have a hard time saying that I took advantage of the opportunity.  To me, taking advantage of something has the connotation of exploiting a weakness when really, you can't exploit an opportunity because it's there to be used in the first place. 

So today, as I settle into my third day of summer and semi-unemployment, I'm thinking about how I can use of all the free time I have now and create some opportunities for myself.

And maybe another way of looking at it is, I have this opportunity of free time so how can I take advantage of it? Except my mind doesn't really work that way.  This opportunity of free time didn't land in my lap by chance, I created it. So now I have to think on how I will use this free time to my advantage. Take advantage of having all this free time and make some headway, get some experience, do something useful. Exploit my free time? Hmm, maybe I really am taking advantage of it.

Either way, I contacted a mentor and lined up some experience for the summer. I've used one opportunity to create another which, hopefully, if I play my cards right, will get me more opportunities down the road.

The point is, if I did not take the chance in the first place and try my luck at one opportunity, the one or two, that I'll soon be up to my elbows in would not have become opportunities at all.

Which brings me to one of the things that frequently comes out of my mouth: If you don't ask, you'll never know.

Currently I'm sitting in a coffee shop.  It's the middle of the afternoon, I've had lunch and I'm sucking the last bit of iced chai from between the ice cubes at the bottom of my cup.  I'm reading some homework in prep for tomorrow.  We May Be Giants is streaming through the too-warm air and it would take drastic measures to get me in a better mood right now. Thanks to a couple opportunities, I think this summer will shape up pretty nicely after all.

And I'm sure there's something to be said about opportunities and Constantinople becoming Istanbul, but I'm too indifferent about it to look it up.

someone else’s schedule

adjustment, career, life, school, work

I'm back at work today.  I'm working all day sitting at a desk and it just feels weird. 

Getting up early didn't change when I started school.  Thanks to a 7:30 morning class I was ready for the day and catching the bus at 7 a.m.  But even then I was walking across campus in the cool morning air working my muscles and huffing my pants up the hill.  During the god-send-breaks between my classes I spent the last couple weeks soaking in some sunshine and working on my tan lines.

I find that I'm getting restless about half way through the day, sitting behind a desk in a windowless office is taking its toll on my sanity.  The decrease in my sanity level is happening a lot faster than it did before.  I'm assuming there will be some sort of adjustment period and I'm hoping to get back in the groove of sitting on my sit bones all day sometime soon.

When I started school it felt very antisocial.  I went to class and didn't talk to anyone, didn't make any friends, no reason to expel words from my mouth for the first month or so. It was one of those things where I knew I was supposed to be there but I didn't quite feel like I belonged there. Work had been such a security blanket and really, I had few friends outside of work.

As I got more involved at the Daily Utah Chronicle I developed new friends, built a fragile little home for myself and began having conversations throughout the day.  Interviewing people for articles helped with that and I'm starting to feel brave about approaching people.  Not totally all the time of course, but it's a work in progress.

Now that I'm back at work I find myself in the same position I was when school started in January.  I know I'm supposed to be here, but I don't quite fit in anymore. So while I spend the next two weeks at work wrapping things up and getting my ducks in a row (quack), I'll work on stretching myself once again. I really enjoy the freedom and sporadic schedule that school offers me. I know that “normal” work hours are… well… normal and that eventually I'll have to go back out into the “real world” and work for The Man once again.

I'm just hoping The Man won't stick me behind a desk in a windowless office for 8 hours a day every day.

progress in week 2

back to school, college, school, The U, university of utah

It's the end of week 2 and it's been a good week.  I find the juggle of school, work and personal life to be easier and less stressful.  This is good news.

Also good news? Readings for my classes are online.  Which means no purchased textbook.  During the past 2 weeks it has meant printed out articles and stacks of paper to read.  Except for the article that was 30 pages long, I didn't print that one out. Since I read and study better in a chair other than my desk chair, reading the electronic copies has been difficult. Until now…

In other good news… I got an ipad this week.  Which I'm tremendously excited about.  I can now read these required articles and texts online.  The school offers e-textbooks too, so starting next semester, no more lugging around textbooks in my backpack. Seriously good news.

With the purchase of a small keyboard to companion with my ipad, I'm feeling completely set up. I toyed with the idea for a long time with getting a laptop. But since I have a computer at home, I didn't want to have two computers and two harddrives.  Since starting school, I've seen the ipad/keyboard set up a few times and realized it was the perfect set up for what I needed.  Not much storage space, but with the ability to write a paper, read online text and easy peasy to use… it's wonderful!

Weather was quite warm, as far as winter goes. With temps into the mid-50s in the afternoon, I haven't needed all the layers and warm accessories I needed last week.  The train commute and walking has been interesting in the drizzling rain, but I'm adaptable and I did just fine. 🙂 It's been nice to adjust to the rhythm of school and work without being snowed on and having to tromp through the slush. Though I'm sure that will happen soon enough.

week one down

life, new semester, school, school started, spring semester, The U, the university of utah, university, university of utah, Utah, utah red, utes

It's the end of the first week of school. 

The U logo

I told my friend school was fun.  He said I must be doing it wrong because school isn't supposed to be fun. I beg to differ.

Either way, the start of my first semester has been filled with anticipation and butterflies. Now that I've been to all my classes twice, here is a partial list of the (non-scholarly) things I've learned:

  • Twitter is mightly helpful for getting up to the minute updates from UTA for the train.
  • The thing I miss most from work during the day is being able to listen to ESPN radio pretty much non stop.
  • All college girls have the same fashion basics. Me included.
  • I'm testing meal replacement bars and they're not so bad.
  • But I'm still starving when 2pm rolls around.
  • I feel inspired and motivated.
  • I'm continuing to feel tired while my body adjusts to my new “higher” activity level. No freshman 15 for this girl. Which is doubly good since I'm technically a junior.
  • I have enough reading to do that I'm no longer bored during my break in classes.
  • Am I the oldest student in my classes? Almost 🙂

This going back to school still has me feeling a bit out of sorts. But a couple more weeks in and I'll be adjusted and moving right along. I've been able to feel settled and familiar with my route to classes and the train schedule. I'm hoping within the next couple weeks to find the activities and events I need to get involved in so I can get the experience and exposure I need. 

So much has happened already, but still so much more to come!