wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

I’m glad that I’ve chosen this point in my life to pursue a doctoral program…

I feel that my experiences make me an ideal candidate for…

I would be right at home in the school psychology department of…

Based on the program website, I think I would contribute nicely to the atmosphere..

I really dig the vibe y’all have going on over there…

Look, I really love kids and I’ve been doing this for three years…

I’d be awesome in a doctoral program because I’m a huge nerd.

…Just let me in and give me some cash, okay?

(This personal statement stuff is getting old. Is it December 1 yet?)

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

My weekend, in a nutshell:

Good Weekend

Translation: Michael Jackson’s This Is It, two full bobbins of alpaca all spun up and ready to be plied, my stuffed llama buddy, and six pages of notes for the Personal Statement of DOOM.

I spent probably ten hours of my weekend – six yesterday and four today – hard at work on that damn statement. Man, this is hard. The last time I applied to grad school, during my senior year in college, I didn’t find it this difficult to write a statement about myself. I had one basic draft that I futzed with a little, but nothing like this. This go-round, I really struggled. I tried writing a coherent draft from the get-go and that just exploded in my face. I tried bulleting points to get me started, as Jacey suggested, but it wasn’t getting me anywhere. I tried walking away and leaving it alone, like Katie said. I read through Krissy’s personal statement from her applications about a gazillion times. I even looked at the other prompts for my other three schools. I think that was what ended it for me – there WERE no prompts for the other schools! Just “tell us about your professional interests and career goals”. Well, balls. What the hell was I going to do with THAT?

At some point, it dawned on me that I could, with minor adjustments, use the same statement for all four schools, since the other three had no concrete prompt for me to write from. I finally just stared at the prompt I posted the other day and broke it down into what they wanted to know. I made each one a heading in a Word file and wrote something coherent for each category: Personal & Work Experience, Research Experience & Interests, Coursework, and the Damn Diversity Crap (yes, that was my heading. I was a little bitter). I wound up with six pages of reasonably coherent thoughts, in no particular order, and with no transitions or connections to anything else in the statement. But it’s something! The max length for Lehigh (the school with the prompt) is two pages, so there’s a lot of editing that needs to be done. That’s where I stopped, because I couldn’t figure out what to cut and what to leave in. I’m going to let it be for a day or so and then come back to it to see if it makes more sense later.

I still kind of wish I could submit the version I ran past Katie: “I love my students with autism. I want to be a psychologist, so please accept me and give me funding, and I’ll knit you a sweater. I’ll even poop rainbows for you. The end.”

Yeah, that’s the state my brain was in when I was finished. So rather than do anything that required any of my neurons to actually fire, I pulled out my spinning so I could finally finish the alpaca for the Rhinebeck One-Row scarf. Halloween cake challenges on Food Network plus nice, mindless spinning helped my brain re-solidify a little. So in that picture, there’s eight ounces of alpaca – four of the brown and four of the gray – that will get plied together tomorrow after the singles have rested a bit. I’m hoping I’ll be able to start knitting by Thursday, because I have two days off work this week for NJ Teacher’s Convention. Hello, four day weekend. I’ve missed you.

Despite this year being the lamest Halloween ever, what with five trick-or-treaters, the rain, and absolutely no good movies on TV, this was still a decent weekend. I was very productive; besides the spinning and the statement-ing, I also made sugar skull dough for my Spanish lesson tomorrow on Dia de los Muertos. I went Friday and saw This Is It, which was as awesome as it could possibly have been, given the circumstances. I don’t think it’s possible for me to have any MORE love for “Smooth Criminal,” and I will probably giggle each and every time I see a cherry picker for the rest of my life. I’m going again on Thursday night with a friend, which makes me happy. Scott went to New York today and bought me a present, and that makes me happy.

It was a good weekend. :)

Mirrored from winged orange.

wingedorange: Mr. Muggles! (Default)

I sat down tonight to look at personal statement stuff for grad apps, and I’m finding it really frustrating that I can’t think of an interesting way to answer these fairly straightforward questions for one of my grad school applications:

For Ed.S. applicants:

1. Describe your professional interests and how your interests match up with our school psychology training program.
2. Tell us about your applied experiences and how these experiences relate to the field of School Psychology.
3. Describe your experiences in working with individuals and/or groups from diverse backgrounds.

Really, this should be way easy, but I’m having a hard time. Do I just answer straightforwardly? Do I include amusing anecdotes? Do I write a poem? They give me two pages to work with.  I need to give answers that show what I can do and what I’ve been doing with the last three years of my life, but also answers that show me as a strong candidate for funding, which in this case, is an autism training grant I would give my left arm for. Where’s the line between interesting and informal? Should I just write the draft and punch it up later? Sadly, this statement has to stand on its own, because the other schools are more research focused. I’m a little afraid to touch those, because the last time I wrote research-focused personal statements, I wound up sounding like, “Wheeee I wanna be a psychologist wheeeeee!” *headdesk* I just can’t process stuff anymore.

My life would be easier if I could submit a knitting sample as a personal statement. Or a sleeping hamster.

I’m just not on it these days. I think I’m coming down with something, I’m unfocused, I’m snippy, and I’m impatient. That’s spilling over into work a little; today I was really impatient (and maybe a little short) with all the kids, even the ones who are never on my nerves and really didn’t do anything out of the ordinary or annoying. On the way home today, I tried to go the back way, made a wrong turn, and wound up about half an hour out of my way. Again, this was on my way back from my job, where I have been working for three years, to my house where I have lived with few interruptions since I was six months old. I’ve been seeing things out of the corner of my eyes lately – things I know logically are probably reflections off my glasses, but that really, honestly, for all the world, resemble men running by my door or right next to my car. I’ve been smelling weird things – yesterday I came home and smelled wet dog (neither of the dogs had been out or were wet or were even in the vicinity) in the kitchen and then later, I smelled hamster cage in my room near my desk. I haven’t had a hamster in five years. Christmas is coming, and with the exception of a few, “Oh man, it’s almost Christmas and I haven’t thought about gifts yet!” moments, I haven’t really given it a second thought. I’m not on it.

I don’t know if I’m just stressed out and potentially sick, or if I’m really cracking up. It’s freaking me out, not gonna lie.

Mirrored from winged orange.

January 2010

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