All posts by bknjxv

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.

Sigh

What a week this has been! Please, be honest. I know I have not been the best lately. Physically, mentally and everything in-between has been bothering me. For those that I have never met in class, or worked with, you are probably thinking I’m a Debbie Downer. I really feel that way and apologize to all of you.

   After having our breakout rooms last week, and discussing my options with Dr. Zamora, I went back to my notes from Dr. Nelsons’ class last semester. After reviewing said notes, I will be incorporating case study into my research method. My research question will be, “Can writing help veterans that are diagnosed with P.T.S.D.?”

   For this case study, I will be using data that had already been collected by other researchers and using the literary works of authors that are well known. A sampling of those authors will be Brian Turner and Ernest Hemingway. There will also be some of my own writing incorporated.  

   I thank you all, once again, for your patience and understanding.

Penny For Your Thought

Well where do I begin this week? After having a breakout discussion with my classmates last week, it left me still wondering how to proceed. Do I continue with my original plan or do I explore a new option?

My original thought was to change my topic due to another classmate that is working on similar research. A few of my classmates encouraged me to stay the course with my original plans. If I do, I will have to change my research methodology so that I can be clear of using the IRB process. With our future of being on campus up in the air, I do not have the time or resources to conduct my research. Hopefully I can get some insight on this hang up that I’m facing this week.

If I switch my plan up, I will be able to include my work from last semester in the memoir class. Either way that I go, there is significant importance to the work. There have been so many other moments in my life that I could easily write about. The thoughts keep coming to my mind, but I have not been putting those thoughts onto paper.

On a positive note, my side is finally on the mend. After receiving a cortisone shot, the swelling has began to slowly come down and the area is not as tender anymore. I will see each of you in our virtual space tomorrow!

Picking Up the Pieces

I want to start this post by apologizing to my peers. My post last week was never published. With everything I’m dealing with in life, it slipped my mind to press the publish tab after writing it. This week, I honestly procrastinated and didn’t know what to write blog about. Is it to early to feel a writers block for the semester?

The proverbial ball must keep rolling on my thesis. After spending some time with the I.R.B. training, it has me in deep thought. My original plan was to use human subjects for surveying and logging their journal entries, but now I’m questioning the ability to do so given our current pandemic.

The research means a lot to me personally, so I am considering my methodology. Another option that has crossed my mind is to change my entire idea and go another route. Being that this program is unique and has a lot of flexibility, maybe I should explore writing a series of memoirs from my life, with the ultimate goal of having it published. Maybe that is a little to far fetched. After all, who would want to read about my life? I’m not a pro-athlete or any one famous. So what would make people want to read about me?

So as the ball rolls, I will continue to weigh my options and think of other possibilities to make my thesis beneficial to others and myself!