Category Archives: thesis

So What’s on your Bucket List? — My 2014 Bucket List

shirt seattle cropped

As a person I like to live life to its fullest… like running my first marathon in 2013. As a college student my resources are limited. However I do not let my financial limitations limit my life dreams… it just means I cannot do everything that I want to do this month.With that said I have been able to accomplish quite a lot since I first constructed my 2012 Bucket List.

I have completed six of the fourteen items I had on my 2012 Bucket List, including:

Although I feel like I need to redo the Washington D.C. trip because I was there on a weekend when the government was shutdown.

Following is the 2014 version of my bucket list

  • Start a family: My wife and I have had challenges to getting pregnant. We thought it would be fun to have gotten pregnant in the Philippines. We joked about naming our kid Manny or maybe Philip. Although we did not get pregnant in the Philippines, we hope to be pregnant before the end of the year. Adoption is something we have talked about before. It is something we want to do even if we have biological kids. So if we are unable to get pregnant, adoption is something we are cool with.
  • Washington D.C.: This remains on my Bucket List even though I was in D.C. in 2013. The city was closed because of the shutdown which impacted the enjoyment. So… to clarify: I want to visit Washington D.C. and its museums/monuments during a time when access is available to the general public.
  • Start a free college: I began thinking about this a because of the wild tuition increases at colleges. I don’t want an internet college. I want a college with live professors and buildings and classrooms. It would be small (2000 or less), and probably use the Socratic teaching style. I think I need to finish my certificate in nonprofit management along with my PhD before I tackle this idea though. Originally I envisioned this college existing in America. But after visiting the Philippines and seeing so many high school graduates who could not afford college, maybe I will try to do something like that in the Philippines… and make it open to more than 2000 students. I do not have a name for the college yet… although I know it will NOT be named after me.
  • Finish my PhD in sociology: My dissertation will focus on poverty, healthcare, and food.
  • I want to write a fiction novel that gets published.
  • Have a decent size farm so that I can raise a lot of my own food… a couple cows, large gardens, chickens, a few pigs, etc. Yeah, I know that means I probably won’t be teaching at NYU or UCLA… but I’m cool with that.
  • Attend the Olympic Games… summer and winter. The 2016 summer Olympics will be right in the middle or end of my PhD process… but 2020 is a real possibility. The 2018 Winter Games are in South Korea, and that is a goal I think I could hit. It is hard to know what my work schedule will be like 6 years from now.
  • Have some grandkids.
  • Be an extra in a cheap monster movie (science-fiction/fantasy). I would prefer to be an alien or a zombie chasing people… and I don’t think I would want any lines. Maybe I could say ARRRRGGGHHHH!! There was a student film last year that I considered being an extra in… but grad school keeps me really busy. However, I am keeping my eye out for student filmmakers who are looking for extras 😉
  • Go to Italy. Why? Because I love Italian food… and I have always wanted to go to Italy.  But will “Italian” Italian food be better than “American” Italian food? We’ll see. In addition I want to ride in a Gondola and see the art! Do I need to write a 1000 words to explain why I would want to visit Italy? Nope.
  • Visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia:
  • ankgor wat, cambodia tourism travel guide
    BBC: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/cambodia/10552839/Angkor-Wat-Cambodia-a-guide-to-avoiding-the-crowds.html
  • Snowboard. I was in Colorado for four years but I was BROKE broke when I lived in Colorado. So there was no snowboarding for me then. I’m fine being on the practically flat bunny slopes for my snowboarding. I don’t need to do anything crazy (like a 16-year-old).
  • Visit New York City again. I love New York. I don’t think I could live there. But I would love to take an extended vacation there. I think three weeks would be long enough. Broadway, museums, the Yankees. Yeah… New York is pretty cool.
  • Go watch the Super Bowl Live. I don’t need tickets on the 50-yard-line. But I want really good seats. I wish the bad seats weren’t ridiculously expensive.
  • Have a script I write made into a movie. For this I want either a good science fiction/fantasy movie, or a good romantic comedy. I write both of these screenplays. I can be an extra in a cheap sci-fi film but I don’t want to have MY screenplay turned into a cheap movie. At least not my bucket list film. Maybe I could write a cheapo sci-fi script for fun.

This list was inspired by Bucket List Publications. Do you have a Bucket List?

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I’m Allergic to Rejection… It Makes My Eyes Water

I'm Allergic to Rejection
http://www.thebestbrainpossible.com/rethinking-red-wine

I do not take rejection well. I am not a medical doctor, but I am quite certain I am allergic to rejection. Rejection tends to make me less productive on the day I am exposed to rejection, and occasionally it makes my eyes water. The frustrating part about rejection is that it has no season like typical allergies. Rejection can strike at any time of day… even on what was a good (or great) day. The effects of this rejection allergy can last a few hours, or occasionally up to 30 hours.

I have not found the best cure for my rejection allergy. Sometimes I consult a glass of wine to reduce the effects of rejection, but I typically turn to long hikes and/or running to burn off the debilitating effects of the rejection allergy.

Case: Yesterday I received my second rejection from an academic journal for my master’s paper. It’s not that it was turned down… it was rejected without even being sent out for review. The explanation letter said my research was highly important but unoriginal. Being “sent out for review,” for the non-academics, means that my article is sent out to two or three people for them to evaluate and send feedback to improve the article. The instant rejection means I have no feedback to even improve the article (other than it being important but unoriginal). I only spent 18 months working on this …

So now here I am on a sunny afternoon… trying to overcome my allergy to rejection. I plan to go run… but I am waiting on a phone call from a relative. After the phone call I will run… and hopefully reduce the impact of this irritating rejection allergy.

So how do you deal with rejection? Is this an allergy that you have conquered? What are your secrets? I would love to hear from you.

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!!

Changing Locations to Finish My Thesis (a writing mini-retreat)

Happy Coffee
http://funny.funnyoldplanet.com/funny/happy-coffee/

My goal is to finish (or darn near finish) my master’s paper: TODAY!

But I am taking a short break from writing my master’s thesis to blog because blogging relieves stress and unleashes some creative awesomeness. As part of today’s thesis writing marathon, I decided to change locations from where I normally write/study. I chose a coffee shop instead of my desk at home, and instead of my campus office.

According to a post by the Thesis Whisperer, there has been ample research to suggest that taking a thesis writing retreat will benefit the writing process. The change of location can be invigorating. So here I am at a coffee shop for a mini-retreat. However, for my dissertation… I might take a month somewhere. I have already floated the idea to my wife and she seems interested. For her the “no” factor is always money… which makes sense. But the “yes” factor for her is travel because travel is fun.

I am thinking Seattle, Portland, New York City or Chicago could all be great places for a month long retreat. Almost anywhere in Colorado could work.

Have you ever taken a retreat (or mini-retreat) to finish a major project? How did it work out for you?

What are the Best Ways to Handle Criticism?

Sheldong Fainting, how to respond to an avalanche of constructive criticism
Sheldon Fainting, “The Big Bang Theory”

Is it every writers nightmare to receive comments and multiple revision suggestions on every page of a submission? Continue reading What are the Best Ways to Handle Criticism?

“Is it Better or Worse to know ME?”

Having put considerable thought into it: I am still unsure if it is better or worse to know ME.

I have returned from the Philippines. And already I feel like my research will add to the existing discussion on healthcare in the Philippines, and for third world countries in general. I also believe my research will establish a solid foundation for my PhD dissertation. Everyone probably feels that at some point. If my research actually contributes something is still hard to know until I reach the finish line. First step: I must type out and analyze the 100+ interviews I did in the Philippines.

If you have never done transcription before, it is simultaneously an interesting and painful process. Not as interesting or painful as seeing a dentist perform your root canal live via a ceiling mounted widescreen television… but still interesting and painful. The painful sensation in transcription is similar to sitting in a dentist chair. In a dentist chair, sometimes the dentist will hit a nerve or another tender spot in your mouth… and there really is no warning. You go from sitting in a tedious position with your mouth open… to sudden pain, and then back to sitting in a tedious position… wondering when the next painful moment will happen. Continue reading “Is it Better or Worse to know ME?”