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It is after 3am and I am trying to remember what it is I want to do, again, and why.

With 21 credit hours -- three of which are an independent study I've yet to, uh, independently study -- my grant writing and sleeping I am having a hard time keeping track of all my apps.

Part of the problem is programs have become my new shiny thing. I love shiny things. I once seriously considered spending my electric bill money on a pair of gold and silver sparkly cowgirl boots at Marshall's. I'm black, by the way. I'm pretty sure doing the former would have called into question the latter. Anyway, the point is I see a place I wouldn't mind attending and I open an app!

Time passes and I forget it exists, or, I get so wrapped up in it that I forget about the other pressing items on my to-do list.

Today I got an email about a fee waiver (you must check out the CIC fee waiver program if you haven't already) and I realize I almost paid for that app a few weeks ago! I'm losing tracking of these things. My UMich app was just hanging out there with no progress and a fee waiver. So, I got both free apps done but that brings us back to it being after 3am.

I have been super-invested in this process. I started my SOP template this past summer. I contacted schools. I did the research. What I neglected to do was devise a system to manage it all. I've tried spreadsheets and to-do lists but I never seem to have either handy when I feel the urge to organize and so I end up creating a whole new document. I now have five docs with some version of "grad school list" in its title.

Needless to say, I don't feel like I'm being very efficient. However, I have completed five apps, including LORs and supplements mailed. I met all my crazy early deadlines - Nov 1st! - and I am mostly up-to-date on my school work. It won't be a stellar semester. I have lowered my standards from "blow it out of the water" to "keep my head above water". But I guess it's progress..right? Right?!

All of this minutiae is not my thing. That's the other issue. I'd much rather be immersed in theory, research, teaching and passionate discussions about things only a few people in the world care about. I'm the typical absentminded professor, only I'm no professor.

I called my superstar mentor (hereafter: Dr. Supastar) last week and told him I needed him to tell me I would be accepted. He said I would and not to worry. I must remember this direct approach for dating.

Ahhh, I remember dating.


See? Something shiny.

Welcome to my process. It should be lots of fun if you're not me and this isn't your life.


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