I apologize for my period of absence but my cumulative exam is now over.  I am just waiting upon the results!  Hopefully I’ll know within the week.  I’ll have to change the premise for my blog now from graduate student to “person seeking employment in high school or community college” lol.

Until then, I proudly post this picture of my accomplishment in reading for my exam.

Cumulative Exam books


So today was my last class in graduate school!  I still have to turn in a final paper next week and take my comprehensive assessments in February, but that leaves a few things (ok maybe more than just a few things) that are going to change in a few months.  One of those things is this focus of this blog.  Much of what I have been writing with has been my struggles with studying, managing time, and just grad school in general.  I will be finding a new identity through this space so please bear with me and thanks for coming on this journey with me!  I appreciate you and your comments and support.

I’m considering looking more at teaching strategies, teachable moments, and effect lesson planning since my goal in life has been to be a history teacher.  Let’s hope I can find a job soon!

This is how I’m going to study…

This is totally how I’m going to study for my comps… though I may exchange gummy bears for chocolate covered espresso beans.


Taken from: http://www.mandatory.com/2012/10/30/the-funniest-photos-you-will-see-today-10-30-12#photo=7

Check out their website for hilarious photos that will distract you for hours.  Warning- some are very NSFW (not safe for work).

Unrealistic Expectations?

My lack of blogging is due to taking a six week course that felt like being beaten with a bag full of railroad spikes. On top of working full time, which includes traveling every other week at this point, I also took a 6 week course about United States history between 1920 and 1945. The class was a lower level graduate course so I figured it wouldn’t be that difficult.  Apparently my perception of a lower level course and the professor’s perception were completely different.  Our assignments included reading 9 books in 6 weeks, writing two 12 page papers on two books each, one 16-20 page paper on three books, and presenting a 15 minute lecture.  I felt like all of my work was rushed and below my average quality- or at least what I consider quality but they let me stay here so it must not be too bad!  I barely had time to think about one thing before I had to get onto the next.

So now I pose the question, at what point do we assign too much in a class?  There is a fine line, no doubt, between too little and too much.  However, when do we allow for time for the student to absorb the information they are reading and process the knowledge, taking the time to apply it to other information in their mind before we usher them off onto the next assignment?  Undoubtedly, I am not the only student in the class that has a full time job since the class was offered in the evening.  I was fortunate though to be one of the only students enrolled in the class to not have other classes for which I had responsibilities as well.  One, a social studies education student, had a panic attack during break on the first day of class because of the load of work from her education program every night with lesson plans, portfolios and such that were due at the end of the week every week on top of the assignments and reading for this class and two others.

Stress is manifested differently in each person and everyone has their various stress levels.  I panicked but I looked at the class as a challenge with my work and unavoidable travel schedule.  I walked out of the first class thinking, “Challenge Accepted.”  But in less than a year, these are the kinds of problems I will be running into as a teacher.  How do I manage my courseloads in the classes I teach so that I can challenge everyone but not overdo it?  Likewise, what will I be capable of handling with 4-6 classes?  I’ve talked a little bit before about time management, stress management, and migraines.  This seems to be a recurring theme, though not only in grad students (and history students!) but life in general.

Today I ordered a Yoga for Stress DVD through my subscription at Yoga Journal.  I will let you all know how that works out.  Until then, contemplate, what’s my toxic stress level?  At what point in the past have I wanted to just throw in the towel and what’s made me get there?  How did I get out of that dark place?

This weekend, I will be updating with some book reviews that I’ve owed people for months now and possibly a bit more on the levels of stress.

Until then, enjoy life my friends 😉

Job Posts & Educational Opportunities

Just a few announcements that have been brought to my attention this week:

EUROPEUM Summer School:

This summer there will be a summer school organized by EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in co-operation with Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in European Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University.

– It is the 10th year of this European Summer School organized in Prague;
– The title is Europe at the Crossroads;
– The event will take place from July 7 to July 19, 2012;
– Summer school is open to all university students from all over the world – diversity is a crucial aspect for us, last year we had students from 26 countries!
– Please see details about this event at www.europeum.org/ess2012<http://www.europeum.org/ess2012> or at the information leaflet http://www.europeum.org/ess2012/doc/poster2012.pdf.

Università di Trento:

Università di Trento, LSE IDEAS-Cold War Studies Programme, and the European University Institute are jointly convening the Fourth Annual European Summer School on Cold War History at the Università di Trento, 5-8 September 2012.

The Summer School is a unique conference specifically for PhD students and early career researchers. It consist of workshops and panel sessions focused on submitted research papers, debates on historiography, broad interpretative issues and new research directions. The school offers an informal atmosphere in which new ideas and research directions can be shared and debated, be it in panel sessions, or over morning coffee or dinner.

The school has a very high student to faculty ratio (2:1) allowing particiants to have in depth discussions about their research with established scholars in the field. The facultly includes prominent scholars, among others:

  • Sara Lorenzini (Università di Trento)
  • Leopoldo Nuti (Università Roma 3)
  • Silvio Pons (Università di Roma Tor Vergata)
  • Oliver Rathkolb (Universität Wien)
  • Antonio Varsori (Università di Padova)
  • Marilyn Young (New York University)
  • Piers Ludlow (LSE)
  • Mario Del Pero (Università di Bologna)
  • Svetozar Rajak (LSE)
  • Federico Romero (EUI)
  • Antonio Varsori (Università di Padova)

Application Guidance
PhD students and early career researchers (no more than 3 years from PhD completion) are invited to submit proposals. We encourage submissions on any aspect of the Cold War, broadly defined. Of particular interest are papers that make use of newly available primary sources and innovative methodologies. Papers should not exceed 7,000 words (including citations in Chicago style).  At the School, each participant will give a 15 minute presentation (in English) followed by discussion with the faculty and students. The best paper will be submitted to Cold War History.

Applicants should submit a 300 word abstract and a brief academic CV (in one PDF document and in English. The CV should make clear the applicants nationality and stage of research). Please send these to Wes Ullrich at ideas.coldwar@lse.ac.uk by 29 April 2012. Please note in the subject line of your email “CW Summer School 2012-Trento-YourLastName”. Notification of acceptance will be made by 1 June 2012. Successful applicants will be expected to email their papers by 16 August 2012.

The accepted students will provide for their own travelling expenses to and from Trento and pay a €50 registration fee. The School will provide board and lodging in Trento.

Job Opportunity in the Netherlands

The Roosevelt Study Center, in the Netherlands, has a vacancy for a three-year Postdoc position in September. The link below contains the job description.