Friday, July 6, 2012

Juno: aka didjunowhatthekieslingsweredoing?

June was a great, but stressful, month for us.

1)  Dan defended his Master's thesis! AND PASSED!

     He defended last Thursday, June 28. He finished the first draft last December and has been waiting for edits. He received them this month and spent a good chunk of his Saturdays, Sundays, and a few late nights/early mornings making edits and working on his presentation. He does have edits to make (as all who go through the process do) - and the goal is to have those edits done before school starts. Yea! Master Dan!

2)  I taught my first summer course.

     We met 2 hours a day, Monday - Friday. My class was small (9), but they did very well. The course is the same one I teach throughout the year - Applying Critical Thinking Skills to Critical Discourse in Family & Consumer Science Organizations. Boring title, huh? The title needs work - but the class is excellent. In a nutshell, our students develop their critical thinking, writing and presenting skills while analyzing and developing rhetorical acts (arguments). I have learned so much from teaching the course and my writing has definitely improved as a result.
It was really fun to teach - but, stressful - as I want my students to succeed and I want to be sure that they are grasping the concepts and that I am doing the best I can.

The class ended yesterday. They all showed improvement and I loved their end-of-class reflections, always helps me appreciate the efforts.

3)  I presented at my first academic professionals conference: North American College Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA), June 26-29, River Falls, WI.
 I feel like I have officially arrived in the academic world. Honestly, I felt like I was missing out on the 'grad school' experience many times because my Master's courses were all online. Don't mis-hear me, I had great professors and excellent courses; but, I missed the 'experience' of attending conferences, presenting and doing research. Granted, I was only a full-time student one semester - but still, I missed it. SO, I was very excited to present TWO oral presentations about my research and one poster about the Ag 450 Farm.
     My "ex-post-facto/de-facto" 'advisor' and friend, Ryan, helped with the brainstorming process, for which I am very thankful. I had never made a poster before and it's pretty intimidating to start. Ryan also helped with the process of planning my two presentations. I had approximately 10 minutes to present each oral presentation. My defense presentation went 40 minutes longer than it should have; brevity is not my strong suit. I want to give ALL the background information; I needed to just keep it simple.
     The result? Awesomeness. I am not saying that to brag; it really went very well. I now feel confident to take on the next area! What is that, you wonder? Journal articles!

4)   It was in the triple digits nearly the entire month.

      I think that is enough explanation about why it was stressful. =)

5)   Monsoon season started. 

That means that is more humid than normal - and I love it! It also means that there is a chance of rain most days - and I love it! There are more clouds in the sky and more gray days - and I love it! (Trust me, when you have 360 days of sun, a little gray in your day is such a treat.)

6)   I was diagnosed with esophagealitis.

Every day for at least a week, I would have a pain in my upper-back/chest right after eating. Not a burning sensation - just a sharp pain. Then on a weekend, I had heartburn/burning for a day. It was awful.  At the doctor, I had an EKG - normal; blood drawn for the bacteria that causes ulcers - none. So, I'm taking Nexium and it's been helping.
      BUT, I want to get to the cause - have any of you who have been diagnosed with food allergies/sensitivies experienced similar symptoms? Any recommendations?

7)    I got a 'promotion'!

My title is now Advisor/Lecturer and I got a raise. Now, for Dan to get a raise.... That man works harder than most in his department and he doesn't get recognized for it.

8)    We got to spend time in the Midwest!

Ah, it was so good for my soul.  A blog post will follow. However, 1) I did not realize how beautiful Wisconsin is. Good on ya, Wisconsin! 2) I tell people that I miss humidity - but one of those days, I swear we were at 90% humidity - and I don't miss that.  3) I love my friends. We spent about 36 hours with my college roommate and dear friend, Pam and her family. It was excellent.  4) I love my family. My mom and dad drove all the way to Wisconsin/Minnesota just to spend about 40 hours with us. It was excellent.

9)     We enjoyed quite a few happy hours in June. We may not have a lot of friends - but we have good ones. =) We also got to host one of Dan's college friends for a night while she was on a short work trip. It was such a fun time!

10)    June 4 marked one year completed in Arizona! (for me; July 22 will make 2 years completed for Dan)

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