#liebster award

So Doctormonika nominated me for a Liebster Award  and I’m so happy I’m taking time (read: procrastinating) from my dissertation writing to answer her culture questions.  Go Monika! And thank you for reading and inspiring me to keep using instaphd to hold myself accountable to my writing process.

Here goes with the questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging? I was in a doctoral course on leadership in social work education and our professor got the idea of doing a blog for the class.  I’m the only one that took to it and liked it enough to start my own blog.  My first entries were my final submission for that class.
  2. What do you absolutely love to do and cannot get enough of? An honest answer in the last month would have been:”watching Downton Abbey.” But in actual life I’d have to say it’s having conversations with the people I love.  I’m a talker. End of story. No, really, I can talk…
  3. What is the biggest change that you have made or want to make in your own life? The biggest change overall was becoming a mother.  Nothing could have prepared me to love so fiercely day in and day out.  The biggest personal change was starting my doctoral studies.  I have never worked so hard at continuously reminding myself of how little I know as I have since I started the damned PhD.
  4. Which movie(s) has/have had the biggest impact on you? The Godfather I&II.  Artistry, drama, family, and the hard choices begat from responsibility.  I watch them at least once a year with my mom and favorite aunt.
  5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? New Orleans
  6. Which of the economic, social or environment issues do you feel most passionate about? Preventing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome by adequately treating pregnant women with substance use disorders.
  7. If you had the chance to be friends with any celebrity (political, social, business, movie star,anyone), who would it be and why? Tom Waits.  I’d love to drink coffee with him and make up crazy stories about people, places and things.
  8. What’s your favourite quote? “Anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” -JK Rowling
  9. If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or forward in time? Back in time…I love a good costume drama (see #2 above).
  10. What is the next milestone that you want to achieve in your life? Finish the damned PhD…and move onto the MPH.
  11. What is your favourite childhood memory? Playing alone on the shore of the Pacific, the ocean in front of me and my grandparents sitting on the balcony in their house behind me.

A PhD, explained. 

When you’re a star, I know you’ll fix everything

Now you know you’re sure lookin’ pretty

Rock the beat just a little faster

Now I know you are the master

I don’t wanna, I don’t think so

– Sonic Youth 

I’m so close…I looked at my Chair’s edits and I know I’m almost there. When you’re this close to the thing you’ve wanted ever since you can remember you can’t help but take a step back. I’ve been lagging since November. Time to snatch the prize. No matter the weight of responsibility is heavy. No matter I’m this close to finishing and the ennui is setting in. It’s time to be done. 

Few people speak about this last leg. Most post about getting the PhD. It seems almost anticlimactic when they do. I’m here struggling with the end. Wrestling like Jacob in the middle of the night with the angel of G-d. #phd #coolthing 

Status: Writing 


E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard. 

-Anne Lamott

7 Days

Last Friday: Served as translator (English/Spanish) for patient complaint to administration meeting.  The person I was translating for spoke 2 sentences total…at the end of a 2 hour meeting.

Next, I went down to emergency department to speak to a pregnant woman who may be referred to our Maternal Addiction Treatment (MAT) Program. Me (at the bedside): “Hi, I know you’ve had a rough last few hours…I’m here to talk to you about treatment and a way to recovery.”  Patient: “Can you come back? I feel like shit and I have to go to the bathroom.”  I still did my behind the scenes thing….coordinating with the psychparmacologist, the other half of the MAT dyad to review the case, get the labs and meds she needs ordered, arranging for an inpatient bed, informing ER doc & psychiatrist of status, getting OB online.  If it wasn’t for my MAT partner who kept checking her chart and coordinating care with MD and nursing staff, I wouldn’t think of her again until Tuesday.  Once she got admitted to the unit, reports say she was irritable, uncooperative and refused OB monitoring.

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