Friday, May 17, 2013

Flaming Hoops

Its been a month.  No seriously.  Its. been. a. month.  The doctoral program is full of huge flaming hoops.  I swear that half the battle is to simply make it through the hoops without falling completely a part.  The past month has been about making it through one of those hoops: the field exams.  I'll spare you the gory details but the gist of it is that I had to write three 12-15 page papers in five days. If that wasn't tough enough, I then had to sit in front of my committee (three professors from my department) and respond to their questions and feedback about my papers in what they call an oral defense.  Let's just say the whole process is a bit intimidating, a whole lot overwhelming, and altogether exhausting.  The good news is I came out on the other end of the hoop in one piece.  I am proud to say that I not only passed but I passed with honors!  Woohoo!

An old photo of Aria from my first term in the doctoral program back in 2010.  She is contemplating  the concept of  law...obviously.  Heh.
Being a mom and a full time doctoral student is tough.  Some days I feel like I simply don't give my daughter the attention and time she deserves.  But I also know that she is learning about hard work and the importance of education and I have to take comfort in that.  Aria has always been a bit spunky and spirited from day one, but for all her spitfire and grit, she just seems to get it sometimes.  When I'm stressed or under a lot of pressure, she almost intuitively knows not to push too hard and to give me a bit of space. The day of my oral defense I took her to school in the morning.  Aria knew about the oral defense because I had talked about it.  She wanted to know if I was scared so I told her the truth, that I was scared but that I had also worked really hard and I was trying to be brave.  She patted me on the back, assured me that I would be okay, and then gave me a kiss for bravery and sent me on my way.  My little girl.  Sometimes she seems so much older than she actually is.

Aria loves to dress up.  I'm not sure what she is dressing up as but I like to think its her very colorful version of  Gothic fashion.  Her sense of style reflects her imagination: Colorful, fun, with just a touch of the grim.  I think I have a writer or artist on my hands here.
So here I am.  I've passed my field exams and the summer is almost here.  I promised myself that if I passed this flaming hoop I'd give myself a little break.  I envision plenty of sewing for myself, for Aria, my sweet niece, and of course Tansy Dolls. I also see reading, lots of reading...all those graphic novels and fantasy books that have been collecting dust on my shelves are waiting for me.  Oh and adventures. My little Aria is growing up into such an imaginative and creative young lady.  I want to spend time this summer nurturing her natural creativity with plenty of adventures.

Summer beckons.  What do you have planned for this summer?


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