Second Quarter


It’s cloudy this morning. Shelton’s rocking that marine layer. It’s an okay hair day, not great, but not horrible. The coffeemaker didn’t want to brew the magic. I cajoled it and now it’s complying. Dakota is barking at random stuff – or cats – outside. Everyone else slumbers.

But none of that really matters.

I just completed the second quarter of the MPA program. For this last week – ending today, so the professors can get grades in – I had 3 discussion posts due for the two classes I’m taking this quarter. Two for one class on critical research, a great class, fabulous teacher, and interesting. That leaves one discussion post plus one assignment for the most challenging class I’ve taken in awhile: Prof Collab in a Div & Dyn Wd. The title was so long, it didn’t even fully load in the courseroom. Translation: Professional Collaboration in a Diverse and Dynamic World. You’re jealous. Admit it.  

Jonathon and I reviewed my PowerPoint presentation, a culmination of 10 weeks writing essentially the same paper four (4) times. It was iterative, but still. By week 9, I was so tired of researching diversity, I wanted to torch the whole thing. For this last assignment, I had to narrate the PowerPoint and include it with the slides. Folks, PowerPoints are already 90% boring. I just made it an even 100%. Ta da! Having to maintain a scholarly tone and include citations kinda bogged it down. Note to self: If you ever become a researcher, *don’t* hyphenate your name. I’m looking at you, Shockley-Zalabak, Wanca-Thibault and Antwi-Boasakio, tongue-twisters all. I can copy and paste your names over and over. Not so easy with my mouth.

I considered taking the whole summer off. I’m managing time so much better, now that I have very little. Playing with Ruby and Zac after work and on weekends sounds pretty good right about now. However, if I continue on this track, I will graduate in June 2020. This time next year, I’ll have my master’s.

Focus, Susan. Take the 3 weeks off now between quarters, and get back at it. In basketball, halftime comes after the second quarter. Two quarters follow halftime. I am not halfway to the finish yet. I can’t wait to take this break. The weather is clearing and warming up day after day. I love summer.

And…drumroll, please…I started back running again. Yes, I’ve said that before. But I’m doing it very, very slowly, only running about 1-1.5 miles at a time. I’m stretching. I’m trying to eat enough. Maybe fewer peanut M&Ms. Maybe.

This year has had some curveballs so far. Jonathon’s still out of a job, Central Services in flux, Zac waiting on Air Force info. We’re about halfway through 2019. Halftime, as it were, in this year’s “game”. Time to pause and rest, drink some water, listen to a pep talk from the Coach, wipe your face, and prepare for the next quarter. Thank you, Jesus. You have gotten us this far. I know You will continue to guide and lead us.

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing – Psalm 84:11