All posts by bknjxv

A Small Break

Well, it is official. This past week was spent doing as little as possible. There is no need to beat around the bush. The break on Thursday was much needed. The only advancement on my thesis work for the week was the brief revision of my writing prompts that is being sent out tomorrow.

I had a lot of genuine concerns about what may come out of the responses I receive from my volunteers. It was really weighing heavy on my mind, so I needed some time of clarity. My main concern is that I may have someone participating and their responses could be a red flag, or a cry for help. I’m still concerned, so I did a little research so that I can be better prepared for this ‘worse case scenario’.

While I want my volunteers to know that they have my word on maintaining anonymity and confidentiality, I also want to be able to guide them to additional resources and support if I see that they are an immediate threat to themselves or someone else.

In other news, I broke my stubbornness and admitted to myself that I could not shovel the snow this past Thursday. I did a little research and found a local company that did the shoveling for me. The cost was more than I really wanted to spend, but the cost of saving my back from that pain was priceless.

Reminder: Breathe

Things have been stressful, but what else would anyone expect while working on a thesis for your M.A.? Especially when the information being researched pertains to so much of your own life. In the past week, I took the time out to do some deep, personal inner inventory of myself. In wanting to help others with the results of this thesis, I must be able to help myself.

Through my inventory, I came up with an idea that relates to my research. I want to create a yearly journal that has prompts for daily writing. The prompts will be to help others by logging daily life events. It is hard to shut your mind down at the end of the day, when you have so much weighing on it. The journal would have three daily prompts. Two of which would be the same every day, with the third one always being different and a positive attribute to one self. I think that many people would benefit from having something like this to help guide them through the negativity that pulls us down each day. It is important to always end the day with positive energy. Positivity helps to have a more restful night.

After clearing my mind, I took the time to compose the prompt that I will be asking my volunteers to write about. That prompt will be: How has journaling impacted your daily life? Do you find that when you write about your experiences, you feel some relief in any way? Would you recommend journaling as a tool to those that suffer from P.T.S.D.? Why or why not?

My survey ends at midnight tonight. I am very pleased with the amount of my fellow veterans, that have volunteered to participate in my research. Time to complete the written responses from my volunteers will be two weeks.

During that two weeks, I will be continuing to work on my own writing samples that will be included in the thesis. So for now, and always, I wish peace upon all eyes that have fell upon this update.

Reminder: Breathe

Things have been stressful, but what else would anyone expect while working on a thesis for your M.A.? Especially when the information being researched pertains to so much of your own life. In the past week, I took the time out to do some deep, personal inner inventory of myself. In wanting to help others with the results of this thesis, I must be able to help myself.

Through my inventory, I came up with an idea that relates to my research. I want to create a yearly journal that has prompts for daily writing. The prompts will be to help others by logging daily life events. It is hard to shut your mind down at the end of the day, when you have so much weighing on it. The journal would have three daily prompts. Two of which would be the same every day, with the third one always being different and a positive attribute to one self. I think that many people would benefit from having something like this to help guide them through the negativity that pulls us down each day. It is important to always end the day with positive energy. Positivity helps to have a more restful night.

After clearing my mind, I took the time to compose the prompt that I will be asking my volunteers to write about. That prompt will be: How has journaling impacted your daily life? Do you find that when you write about your experiences, you feel some relief in any way? Would you recommend journaling as a tool to those that suffer from P.T.S.D.? Why or why not?

My survey ends at midnight tonight. I am very pleased with the amount of my fellow veterans, that have volunteered to participate in my research. Time to complete the written responses from my volunteers will be two weeks.

During that two weeks, I will be continuing to work on my own writing samples that will be included in the thesis. So for now, and always, I wish peace upon all eyes that have fell upon this update.

It’s Alive! It’s Alive!

My survey has come to life. As of the fourth, I have received twenty-two responses. Out of those, five veteran students have agreed to participate by completing a one to two page summary of their experiences in journaling. One piece of the data has me concerned for my fellow veteran students. That concern is over the amount of positive responses to those that do suffer from P.T.S.D.. Over half of those that completed the survey stated that they suffer.

Based off of the collected data thus far, it affirms just how important this project is to me and my community. I elected to cut off survey results after the fifteenth of the month. At that point, I will email those that have elected to participate.

In making progress of my own work, I have found that it is affecting my own ability to function. My apologies go out to each of you as I am aware that I’ve been very distant and unresponsive. I ask that you please don’t take it personal. Your friendships and mentorships mean a lot to me. My brain has been shutting everything out and making daily life hard.

I keep stepping away from it and try to refocus my attention on other things, but even that has been a struggle. I really need Spring to get here so I can once again enjoy the great outdoors and open roads.

For now, I am signing off and leaving you with a little peace.

Progress Report

What a crazy week it has been. After receiving a round of epidurals in my lower back, I have been very ornery. It is not on purpose, just the way I am. My apologies to those that have had to deal with me. You would think that after having the shots I would feel better. Well this stubborn mule just threw any progress out the window these past 24 hours. With all of this wet, heavy snow, approximately 13 inches by me, my back is on fire from all of the shoveling.

Fear not though colleagues’, I am still managing to sit here with the laptop and I’m doing my best to refocus my attention. After our meeting last week, I have spent some time working on the organizational aspect of my thesis. I have two different options in front of me now. By waiting for survey results to start coming in, I am still moving forward in my own autoethnography aspects. If I have learned anything in the past, it is not to wait on others to make progress. It can be hard to move forward not getting what your looking for, but I can not just simply sit here and wait.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow. Stay well and be careful out there.

Ready to Pick Up and Start Where I Left Off

It was nice to catch up with my peers this past week. It seems as if we all got a little R&R out of the break. I was ready for everything to pick up again. Maybe it was just me, but the break was a little long.

I spent the week going through my proposal and determining what my next steps will be. As you can see in my attached road map to success, I will be working on creating a Microsoft form that will ask my fellow veterans about their experiences in journaling and documenting their accords.

I am off to the races. The race of daily life that is. Check out this quick video that gives you more insight on written exposure therapy.

Wrapping Up, Not a Present

As we begin to get wrapped up in the holidays, it is hard to believe that we are here, wrapping up the semester. For some of you, this is it. You have reached the end of the program and it has been an honor learning along the side of you and getting to know you. As I always have said, it is not goodbye! We have all made connections and crossed paths for a reason. Each of our networks have grown. I will always be a phone call, text or email away. For those that are done, I hope to see you this spring as we celebrate our achievement at graduation.

Last week I had the opportunity to share my in-progress thesis work with my peers. I truly appreciate everyone’s feedback and taking the time to listen to me. There are great things to come with this work and I’m excited to see how next semester unfolds in continuing this journey.

In my final thought for the semester, I leave you with this. “I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace.” Helen Keller

Presentation

Greetings to all that have ventured to this blog! Hopefully you are doing well and had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week. I know that it was a different one for most of us, in the sense of our typical gatherings. However, I did not let anything come between my normal feast preparations’ and partaking in the devouring of such.

In preparation for my presentation this week, I took some time to fine tune the slides and went through the sections that I will be providing the reading sample of. To some of you, it may be repetitive, but it is a work in progress and I’ll be looking forward to your feedback. If you would like a sneak peek at the presentation, it is provided at the end of this blog.

This work is important to me in so many ways. I want the work to have a purposeful meaning that can help others. Even if it helps just one soul, it will have made all of the research and work, worth it. At times it has subjected my own personal demons to arise, but by using the tools that I speak of, it has helped me get through the temporary impairment.

So for now, I bid you all adieu.

Road Block

It has happened again. This time the road block seems to be self inflicted. I caught myself making multiple errors in my assignments this week and I believe that I can pin point the cause. So please bare with me for a short rant.

Last week began the priority registration period for my students and I hate to say it, but I am burned out from all of the extra effort I have been putting into taking care of my 237 students. For 68 of them are set to graduate at the end of this coming Spring term. The college has allowed our program to run in person, due to the large portion of hands on training required. That in mind, following C.D.C. guidelines, we have reduced our class room sizes and thus also a reduction in available sections that we can offer. One of our final classes that our students must take, normally has two sections in the Spring term. Now with the reductions, we only are offering one section. This is a huge problem because half of our students that need the course, will not be able to take it. So now I am getting all of the nasty emails and phone calls from parents and students. The problem is, I agree with them. I feel as if they are being wronged and punished in a sense.

Somehow I am feeling as if it is my fault that these students will not be able to graduate on time. I know that I’ve done all I can to persuade the department and college to run a second section, but it’s as if I’m talking to a brick wall. So needless to say, I’ve been spending an extraordinary amount of time dealing with the ramifications of things out of my control. When will I learn not to let these things affect my mood and focus on other things in life? Shouldn’t I be used to this by now?

On a side note of positivity, I began my festive holiday spirit by putting my Christmas tree up this past Monday night. It was a much needed moral booster. Speaking of moral boosters, I want to give a huge shoutout to our very own Emily. Last week she gave me twenty-seven pieces of art. Each one of them were colored by her own students that are pre-k. This was done in honor of Veterans day and it made this grown man feel extremely humbled. Never having kids of my own has left me feeling an emptiness in my life that I will never know the joys of. Joys such as having your kid come home from school and putting their art on the fridge. Or that test that they did really well on. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart Emily. Medea and Nives also took to Twitter on Veterans day to thank me for my service. It such an honor to have such a supportive group of peers and friends in this program.

With that all said, my rant is over for this week. Hopefully I can move past this road block and finish strong these next few weeks.

Moving Write Along

For this weeks progress notes, I have been writing more about a few incidents that have caused me to suffer. By doing so, it is opening me up and triggering attacks more frequently this week.

I have a lot on my plate to deal with already, but this work is important and I must push through. When I start to feel anxiety kicking in, I’ve been stepping away from the project to try and regain some clarity. When I start back up, it makes it a little easier for me to continue by thinking of what this will do for others and myself.

It took me some time to think of my post for the #IAMFROM prompt. It needed to be clear and I think that message was achieved. Sure, it could be interpreted in many different ways, but I’ll leave that decision to the reader. Isn’t that what poetry and art does?

For the #WHYIWRITE post, it was clear as could be. It didn’t take me long to compose my thoughts on that, my thesis will be evident to why I write.