Monday, September 21, 2009

I think I can....I think I can....

Have you ever felt like the little engine that could?  Of course you have!  Who hasn't?? ;-)  Well, I definitely feel like the poor little engine struggling at the bottom of the hill.  Actually, I feel more like the little engine that fell off the tracks and crashed and burned!  If I've learned one thing in DC so far, it is that graduate school at Georgetown University is tough...really tough.  I knew it wouldn't be a walk in the park, but I didn't think I'd walk out of class feeling completely clueless as to what was just taught over the last three hours.  Here are my thoughts from a few hours ago:  "Franchise taxes?  Revenue vs. expenses?  Succession planning?  Inclusion management?  Could you run that by me one more time professor??  Dude, what did you say?? HUH???"  Yep, that's about what I was thinking tonight during class....just a big fat "huh?"  I just had a big fat question mark floating over my head.  If you've ever felt this way before when trying to learn something, you know how unbelievably frustrating it is.  I hadn't even been home from class five minutes and I was already emailing the professor asking for help.  I hope he is going to take pity on this poor little country mouse who knows NOTHING about business finance and inclusion management!  Even after reading and outlining each chapter ever so carefully, I still feel like I'm not "getting it". 

Of course after I finished emailing my professor I called home and cried to my mother with the hopes of her taking pity on her pitiful daughter, but all I got was "You need to adjust your attitude and not act so defeated after only three weeks of school.  Think of yourself as the little engine that could!"  Normally my first instict would be to scream when she came out with the ol' little engine that could line (how many times have we all heard that one!), but for some reason this time it actually was comforting and encouraging.  OK, so maybe I feel lost and stupid right now, but this is graduate school and it's not supposed to be easy.  Maybe I'm having trouble and don't like admitting it, but that's just life.  So, I have decided to take the little engine that could theory and truly put it to the test!  A little cheesy maybe, but at this point I'm willing to be the cheesiest of cheeses if it will keep me from flunking out of grad school!  Every day I am going to wake up and tell myself "I think I can, I think I can...I know I can!"  And every day I'm going to envision my little engine inching it's way closer to the top of the hill.  Yes, I am going to be taking this inches, not feet!  I'm also going straight to Barnes & Noble tomorrow and buying every "for dummies" book I can find on business finance, taxes, budgeting, human resources, succession planning, etc!  My textbooks aren't going to cut it...they aren't exactly written in "dummy" format with an index of key terms in the back. ;-) 

OK, now that I've had a good cry and felt really sorry for myself and blogged about it I'm going to go to bed and wake up tomorrow a positive little engine.  I think I can...I think I can....and I hope you think I can too! :-)

Night night!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Moving right along

Happy Friday to you!  I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.  My week has been ALOT better than last week!  Really...ALOT.  Dropping down to six hours in school really has made a huge difference in my overall mental state!  Last week I was a good candidate for the psych ward.  While the six hours I have are by no means a breeze, I am thankful I now have an extra night of the week to study...or just relax. ;-) 

Gretchen and Lucy started preschool on Tuesday at Chevy Chase United Methodist Church.  They were so excited.  You would have thought we were taking them to Disney World!  Gretchen's mother told me that Gretchen came into their bedroom at 6:30AM dressed and ready to go.  Of course school didn't start until 10AM!  We all went to school and met the teachers and other children in the classes.  Each class is designated by a particular type of bird....Gretchen is an Eagle and Lucy is a Robin.  I had the best time sitting back and watching them introduce themselves to the other children and explore their new classrooms.  Tuesday was just a "get to know you" day for one hour, so Thursday and today were their actual first full days of school (9AM-12PM).  Have you ever picked up a child from school and had them run towards you like you were their most favorite person on the planet?  If not, it will make you feel like a million dollars!  When they see me outside the door they run to me and give me the biggest hugs.  And today I got a hug plus a beautiful picture from Gretchen.  It was a princess that she colored...complete with blonde hair like me.  So today I felt like supernanny and a princess...hard to beat that isn't it? :-)

In other news, I am hosting a study group at my house this Sunday afternoon for one of my classes.  Five of us have been assigned a group project that is due in November.  Thankfully everyone in our group is a "get it done early" type!  My apartment just happened to be the most "central" location for everyone and it is much more inviting and pleasant than the Georgetown U. library.  Of course I am going to provide homemade appetizers because that is what a southern lady should do, right?  What kind of a hostess would I be if I didn't provide finger sandwiches and tea to sip?  Haha...I think it will be more like chips and salsa and cheese dip! 

I'm off to do a little studying and then maybe I might sneak out and see what's happening on the town.  Until next time, have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sometimes you just need a hug

Have you ever thought about just how much a hug can help when you're having a bad day?  Needless to say, the past two weeks have been just a tad stressful for me and I've been in serious need of a hug!  Well, the two precious little girls that I am nannying for (Gretchen (5) and Lucy (3)) have definitely provided me with all of the hug medicine anybody could need in the last few days!  Every morning this week I walked in the door to work and the girls hugged me like they hadn't seen me in years. It really feels good to know that you're needed too, doesn't it?  :-)

The girls and I had a big day yesterday (Thursday).  I took them to the park, out to lunch and to the bookstore where they each got to pick out a book.  They were in heaven!  Lucy ordered spaghetti at lunch.  At first I almost didn't let her because I knew what a disastrous mess it would make, but I couldn't resist the excitement on her face when I told her spaghetti was on the child's menu.  Naturally she wanted to feed herself without any help from me.  And naturally, she ended up with spaghetti all over her hands, arms and face.  I looked at her when she finished and couldn't help but laugh at the way she was covered in spaghetti sauce.  The sweetheart looked at me with the biggest smile, stretched out her little arms and started to lean forward to give me a hug.  I yelped "No Lucy!  You'll get spaghetti sauce all over me!"  Well folks, you would have thought the poor thing had lost her best friend.  Her eyes teared up and her bottom lip started was so sad!  I laughed and told her that I would love nothing more than a hug, but that I didn't need to have spaghetti sauce stains all over my shirt.  She understood, but as soon as I got her all cleaned up she gave me that big ol' hug!  It really made my heart melt. 

So, if you're having a bad day or just feeling blah, tell somebody to give you a hug! :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm still here...but barely!!

Hello all!  I am so sorry that I am just now updating you on my first big week in DC!  The internet at my apartment was down for the past few days and it just came back up.  Thank goodness!  I have felt lost without it!

So, my first week in DC has been...well...honestly...TOUGH.  REALLY TOUGH to be perfectly honest.  Homesickness hit pretty hard my first day here and unfortunately it hasn't disappeared completely.  When I realized that I really did move to DC and am no longer within driving distance of my friends and family it hit me like a ton of bricks.  If any of you have ever been truly homesick, you know what I'm talking about.  It is the worst!  I've probably cried enough tears to fill up the Potomac River!  My face has looked very similar to this little gal's over the past several days (Miss Sarah Alabama Coxwell):

On top of the homesickness, things haven't gone as smoothly as I had hoped with my new job and school.  The family that I am nannying for is great.  They have been so kind and welcoming and their girls are precious.  Unfortunately, the transition from working in an office setting to being a full time nanny has been much more difficult than I expected.  It may sound like a piece of cake, but taking care of children all day is pretty exhausting!  I'm sure you mother's out there reading this can relate very easily!  It has also made me miss my former co-workers at JSPB tremendously. I was so homesick and upset my first day at work last week and it was tough not having my "second family" around to get me through the day. How many of you out there have cried because you wished your old boss was there to pat you on the back and tell you everything is going to be ok? ;-)  Things have gotten better this week and the girls and I are starting to get more comfortable with each other. They start school next week (they will go for a half day in the mornings) and I think that will really help us get a good routine established.  It's been raining here every day this week, so we've spent ALOT of time inside. Again, you mother's out there know that this can be tough!  Aside from all the first week blips on the radar, I really am very thankful to have such a good job and I think I will definitely look back a few months from now and laugh at how upset I was in the beginning!

Now, I'm sure you're wondering if I'm making all A's in my classes and literally blowing Georgetown U away with my brilliance. ;-)  When I was accepted into the program I registered for three classes, which counts as nine hours of credit.  Most people take two classes at the most, but I wanted to quality for the student health insurance and you had to take nine hours in order to do so.  Let's just say that after hitting a few bumps in the road I went to the dean's office today and was advised to definitely drop down to six hours!  I think that will make a huge difference in all the pressure and stress I've felt since I've been here.  I guess I'm learning the hard way what the consequences of trying to overdo it can be.  Don't you just love those fun life lessons like that? 

On a much, much lighter note, I've met so many nice and fun people since I've been here!  And all of them (except for those in my classes) are from the South!  I had such a fun weekend meeting new people and they were all so encouraging and welcoming.  I am looking forward to another fun weekend of meeting more people....after I've spent some time in the library of course! ;-)

Well, this little mouse is tired and ready to hit the hay.  I hope all of you are doing great and I definitely be back sooner next time now that things are starting to fall into place here in the big city.

Sweet dreams!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A long way from the country

Hello there!  Well, I finally arrived in DC yesterday at around 1PM!  That was one LONG car ride.  Very pretty, but LONG!  I definitely won't be making any car trips back down south anytime soon. ;-)  I was completely convinced that I could make the drive in one day.  Thankfully, my parents insisted on reserving a hotel room for me in Christiansburg, VA (close to VA Tech).  I thought I would be so "journey proud" that I would just whiz right by Christiansburg without even blinking, but by the time I got there my head felt like a ton of bricks!  I got a good night's sleep and only had a short three hour drive to DC yesterday morning.  Driving into the city was almost surreal.  I couldn't believe that I had really driven all the way from Monroeville, AL to Washington, DC!

All day yesterday and last night I was a complete nervous wreck about starting work and going to my first class today.  Well, the mother of the children I am nannying for called this morning and told me to take the day to rest and regroup and to come in on Thursday instead.  Wasn't that so nice of her?  I wanted to jump through the phone and give her a hug for the few extra hours sleep she had just given me!  I spent the day reading over my homework assignment for class (yep, an assignment before the first day of class!) and praying that I wouldn't forget everything in the fifty pages of material we had to read.  Well, at 5:45 I packed up my brand new book bag (courtesty of my old boss - thanks Tom!) and headed out to class.  Unfortunately, class was to be held at a Georgetown U. office on M Street, which is the main drag that contains alot of the posh retail shops in Georgetown.  Naturally lots of posh, pretty people walk up and down M Street going in and out of these shops.  Can you see me right in the middle of them with my fifty pound book bag on my back?  Believe me when I tell you I was the ONLY person on M Street with a book bag!  I probably wouldn't have looked so ridiculous if I hadn't filled the thing with:  all of my books (even the ones I didn't need for this class), three legal pads, a three ring binder, a laptop, about fifty pens and highlighters and a thirty ounce water bottle!  I thought that if I kept everything in my book bag at all times that I would never forget to bring anything with me to class.  Forget that!  I think I'll be taking just the necessities for each class with me from now on.  Maybe my book bag won't stick out five feet behind me and I won't hunch over while trying to walk!  Hopefully I'll be looking a little more "posh" for class next Tuesday. :-)

While I am so excited about being here and starting out on this new adventure in life, I have to admit that I am already feeling pretty homesick and scared.  I realized this morning that I really am a long way from my friends and family.  I can't just jump in the car and come home whenever I want to anymore.  That's a pretty hard pill to swallow for me.  I've never lived this far from home before, so I guess these feelings are normal.  They certainly don't feel good though.  I spent alot of the day bursting into tears and then stopping and then bursting into tears again.  It was pretty pitiful!  Despite how rotten it feels to be homesick, I'm thankful that I have such wonderful family and friends to be homesick for!  And I know that adjusting to a new place with new people just takes time.  Hopefully my adjustment time will be short! ;-) 

Well, this homesick little country mouse is about to turn in for the night.  Tomorrow really will be a big day and I can't afford to be sleepy with two little girls to take care of from 8AM-5PM.  I will post again tomorrow with a full report on how the day goes!

Sweet dreams to you!