Sunday, March 23, 2014

So This Guy Starts a Master's Program

I have photos to post and things to share, but I'm dealing with a wretched headache and Blogger doesn't want to play nice so I'm throwing in the towel.

Brien has spent the better part of the past two days doing homework.


Did I fail to mention he started his Master's work three weeks ago? 

I did, didn't I?  :sigh:

I love that he's getting his Master's.  I whole-heartedly support him and work on doing everything I can to help him.  But, ARGH!!!!  Any and all free time is now spent doing homework.  I get it.  Homework is important, and given his classes are all on-line, there's going to be an incredible amount of reading and writing involved. 

I feel sorry for him, I'm proud of him and I'm frustrated all at the same time.  I really DON'T begrudge him this, but it's so sad to know that for the next two years any projects and plans are just dreams.  He mentions wanting to see if fixing my car himself instead of taking it in is feasible (my alternator is dead...:sigh: which leads to a whole host of other problems) and I ask him with what time is he planning on doing this. 

Yesterday was beautiful. Stunningly gorgeous, in fact, given how crappy the weather has been of late.  We had planned to drive to the Parkway and take a hike.  Friday evening I asked him how much reading he had left to do and I believe he said something like, "A lot."  It wasn't what he said, it was his body language that really kicked me in the gut.  After 20 years, I know this guy pretty well.  

Aw crap.

We value education and homework around these parts and we know it's important to model what you expect from your children.  So.


So, I told him I didn't think taking that hike would be wise given he needed to finish the reading, do some research and write an 800 word essay due by midnight Sunday.

Yesterday was nothing but reading (with miniscule breaks) from 8:00 until around 5:45.  Today he skipped church to work on his writing.  He's been going at it practically non-stop since around 9:30 this morning and is still working and it's 8:21 right now. 

I think part of it is being an adult and realizing how important your education is (as opposed to when you're in high school and do the bare bones minimum you need in order to make that B or A), and part is him wanting to expand himself and his world view and understanding.  As he said to me earlier (I'm paraphrasing here, forgive me)--what's the point of going to school to get my Master's if I don't grow and change as a result of it?

He's struggled with this very short paper.  Brien is no dumb bunny.  In fact, he's one of the smartest people I know (and I know quite a few brilliant folks).  Writing papers is typically a breeze for him.  I'm not sure why he's struggling as much as he is, but he's rewritten this particular piece five times already.  When I went to check on him a little while ago, he was working on the bibliography.  But, that was about 30 minutes ago and he still hasn't emerged from the offudio (where the "big" computer is kept). 

I think this time around with school he wants to be proud of what he creates as opposed to just slapping something on paper to be done with it as he did in high school.  He has an excellent work ethic, what can I say?

Again, I don't begrudge him.  But, it doesn't stop it from being frustrating and making me a bit sad.  Family time is suffering.  OUR time together is suffering.  I'm not expressing any of this to him (and he doesn't read the blog so this is fine) because he already feels badly enough about it.  He knows.  Like I said, he's no slow leak.  He keenly felt the scrapped hike and I know he's missed church the past two weeks. 

We need to find a balance for him.  When you commute an hour and a half a day, work crazy long days and get home to dinner and get the kids to bed and can FINALLY do homework, that time is limited since you really do need to sleep in order to function the next day.  But, I don't think he feels his current situation is working for him either.  He's definitely feeling more stress than I've seen in quite awhile and there's nothing I can do to alleviate it other than take the girls out of the house and give him time to work--which is what I did yesterday and today. 

At the moment, it's the three of us girls and him.  Two teams.  We miss him.


Anonymous said...

Hang in there! It will be worth it in the long run :)

Nikki Frank-Hamilton said...

Crossing my fingers and toes for you
all. Hopefully once he gets in the groove it will become quicker and easier for you all.

Angela said...

I've been reading your blog for years and often think about your sweet family. My wife and I have been together for 3 years and one or both of us has been a student (returning in our late 30s) during every available semester. You DO eventually fall into a good routine. Sadly, you're right about side projects. My poor garden... :) One suggestion: can your husband use his commute to get some "reading" done? Voice reader apps have come a long way and lots of textbooks are available electronically. Good luck to all of you!

Bailey's Leaf said...


Peg said...

Ugh, this just sucks. Makes me glad we both got our master's programs done prior to kids. I can't imagine having homework to do on top of regular work and family life. Hopefully you guys will find some balance and it won't be a constant state.

I'm sorry. I thinking of you. Hugs!!

jaydee said...

Rach, big hugs. It's always tough on the family. It will be worth it for him in the long run and I agree with Angela, you will get into a routine, but it will consume a lot of his time. It is amazing how we want to do so much better when we do this as adults. I think the expectations are much higher, too.

I'm so sorry you had such a bad headache... I do hope you are feeling so much better this morning.

Lisa said...

I had a similar commute to and from my graduate school. One trick I had was to tape my lectures then play them back in the car while driving -- it really helped lock down what was happening in lecture, making it easier to make summaries of lecture notes later, and using what would otherwise be wasted time useful, and freeing up time in the evenings.

This is scheduling like anything else. I'd suggest having one evening or afternoon per week be scheduled as "family time". My husband is now in school full time, and Saturday afternoons/evenings are couple time for us. It can be flexible, based on everyone's needs, but scheduling it is super helpful.


Rebekah Thomas said...

Rach, I'm neck-deep in my last semester of grad school so I can SO feel B's pain!!! Sending you some love. I haven't been able to visit or say hi in a while due to my work load.

(((hugs))) to you all! Hang in there!