photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “indiana university east

Sailing the Savage Seas of Suck

I don’t remember a crazier time in my life than the past 6 months.

I’ve been dealing with a dying family member, the hospitalization of one of my children, an ongoing legal situation that has drawn on for more than 3 years, and 9 months of freezing cold “Arctic showers”, thanks to a rickety old water heater.

Believe me when I say, those cold showers are no joke. I’m not at liberty to expound on any of the (aforementioned) scenarios- save the water heater- but suffice to say, this year has already damn near killed me.

But, you know what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger bitter as hell! 🙂

Just kidding.
(Sort of.)

But really, thankfully, we’ve finally been able to replace the water heater and are at long last taking scalding hot showers once again. The legal situation seems to be coming to an end, my child has made a miraculous recovery, and life seems to be slowly stabilizing once again, making me believe that it just might be doable. What’s made everything particularly challenging is the fact that I’ve battled through all of these things tackling 5 classes as well. The 5 classes alone are enough to take someone down, but combined with everything else, it’s really tested me to the fullest.

As long as I can come through it all with some compassion left in my heart and serenity in my soul- I really can’t ask for more than that. Understandably, I blew an exam in one of my Psych. classes- (unacceptable!)- but still have 4 strong A’s in my remaining 4 classes, so I’ll be working extra hard to repair my grade in my Psychology of Personality course. My GPA is still right at 3.6, but I’m working hard to try and boost that up to a 3.8 before applying to grad. school over the next few weeks.

I’ve been working hard trying to complete all of my requirements (on the side) for the Society of Leadership and Success, and I’m 3 small projects away from being fully inducted. Afterwards, I’ll be able to take advantage of most of the Society’s scholarships. I’m racing against so many deadlines! I’ll be graduating in May, so I’m continually racing against this merciless clock- and the world seems to be spinning so fast. The days are just flying by.

I’m so busy that I haven’t been able to go out on a proper photo shoot, except for the picnic at Spring Mill Park last weekend that Josh and I were able to take with Brianna. She’s been staying with us for the past week and I’ve been so happy to have my little girl back, if even for a few days. Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences is going remarkably well; I can’t believe I have an A in the class still. On that note, I can’t believe I’m still making the Dean’s List so far this semester. I’m almost at the halfway point: I just have to keep hanging in there. I nabbed a shot of a few (mock) soldiers out at the Pioneer Village on Saturday; it would have been better if the modern-day cars weren’t included in the shot, but I don’t have time to clone them out right now. Still, it’s a cool shot. And that super furry dude isn’t Wild Bill Hickok, it’s Josh, with his winter beard that I love.

The last of the snow- taken last week
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Josh, overlooking the Ohio River at a restaurant called “The Overlook”
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View of the Ohio River at the Overlook
Overlook
Spring Mill Park/Lensbaby Composer/ f/5.6- manual- Feb. 20- Pioneers
Pioneers
Note to self: clone out those cars!
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Josh and Brianna on our picnic
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Josh, in the Weaver’s House- Pioneer Village
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One of my favourite pics of Josh ever- love that BG.
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The Fine Art of Outrunning the Law

This is the sunset that almost got me arrested yesterday:

Modified Lensbaby Composer + Canon Rebel XSI + golden hour lighting

HarvestSun

Josh and I were out driving through the beautiful country of Starlight, Indiana. We’d had a glass of Apple Spice wine from the orchard and were enjoying the sunshine. I glanced over through the trees and saw the sun beaming through and knew I had to get that shot (shown above). I didn’t alter any colours in it: it’s SOOTC (Straight Out Of the Camera). What you see is how it looked in person. It was incredibly beautiful.

So I parked the car a quarter of a mile down on the side of the road, and as I tiptoed through the field (barefooted, naturally), I happened to notice there was a man standing on the road directly to my left. He didn’t speak, he just watched me. If I could count the times strange people just showed up to watch me shoot. Grrr.

I took my cue to go, and as I was going, he said, “I just wanted to make sure everything was alright.”

That translates to, “I live right down the road and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you take a picture of this here field.”

I showed him the shot and let him know I was harmlessly taking a pic, and skidaddled off to our Rodeo Isuzu. Not even 45 seconds later, we passed a cop car going in the direction of where we had just come. Jimbob had called the law.

Thanks, Jimbob.

Not that we were doing anything wrong. But out in redneck country, you’re either going to get shot at, or have to outrun the police like we did. And so began our hurried exit, snaking through every jijagged turn we could make, and flying back to the city. Believe me when I say, photography is not a boring hobby! “Dealing” with the cops is part of the package.

Alas, it was worth it. 🙂

And a few more from the day:

Modified Lensbaby Composer + Canon Rebel XSI

Harvest

SOOTCtreeoutsideoldWoodsabandonedLensbabyMJ

And last, but not least, my partners in crime!

JandCh


Out with the Old…

…in with the new. Semester, that is. My summer classes are almost over. I can hardly believe another year has flown by so quickly!

And so goes college life.

I’ll either be taking 5 classes this fall, or 3- depending on how much aid I receive; it’s yet to be determined. Technically, I’m only two semesters away from receiving my B.S. in Psych. and I can either knock it out in two consecutive throat-choking semesters, or spread it out for another year and a half (and keep most of my sanity in tact!). I’d rather get it over with, however, quickly.

I still have one quiz, 3 discussion boards, both final exams and an 8-10 page paper to write- and yes, that’s just one week of school! I’ve been keeping up this ridiculous pace for 5 weeks now and I think I remember what all of my children look like. 😦

I haven’t seen my oldest daughter in half a year now and although my mother only lives 2 miles from me, haven’t seen her much more. She’s working doggedly herself 6 days a week; but we do get to talk often and she’s recently joined the rest of the texting world and has hopped on board and texts with the speed (and emojis) of a 20 year old. Too cute.

I’ll have a 10 day break in between my semesters, so if anybody’s reading this who actually wants to see me- there’s your official notice! Before you know it, I’ll be up to my eyeballs in 3 psych. classes, a biology (addictions) course and a Statistics course. It’s going to be one of those semesters.

Alas, as I wrap up my summer semester and prepare to dive into fall, I love all of you, my friends- old and new- and miss you all terribly. I’ll be popping in from time to time, as always. Before we know it, it’ll be 2016!

Summer is dying and I must say, I’m going to actually miss it this time! Special thanks to my BFF and the love of my life: Josh, for giving me the best summer of my life. 🙂

My back deck- summer of ’14- first leaves falling- my beloved Helios 44-2 film lens/Canon Rebel XSI

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Dean’s List!

I’m in a ridiculously good mood: I just found out that I made the Dean’s List again this semester. SO stoked. In the past, I wanted to make the Dean’s List solely for bragging rights (I can admit to that), but now, I have to make the Dean’s List or there’s no going forward. When I begin working on my Master’s degree- just around the corner- there’ll be no such thing as “making a C”. If you receive a C in psychology at the Master’s level, you’re automatically expelled from the program. Yep; anything less than a B- and you’re considered a failure. So, I set the bar really high for myself every semester because I have to. But my semester’s finally over, and I have until July 7th to relax and enjoy my summer (and work on my photography & art). It’s OVER! 🙂

Digitally rendered watercolour on washi paper/ Bernheim Forest- Clermont, Kentucky
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Two Days to Go

I spoke with my adviser today who confirmed that I have 25 credit hours to go before I receive my B.S. in Psychology. I need 120 total, and I have over 100 already, but my problem is that I need 36 hours of upper level courses in my major. So, I’m buckling down and preparing to finish up my final year. I have two finals to go (which I’ll take on Saturday) and then I get to take the summer off. I always feel so haggard by this point, as if I’m clawing my way through the finish line- one bloody fistful after the next.  We worked out my schedule for the fall; it looks like it’s going to be:

Personality Theory
Evolutionary Psychology
The Psychology of Learning
Statistics for Health Professionals

That’s a barrel of wild fun if I’ve ever seen one.

Time to veg out on some cooking shows with my culinary masterpiece: a baked pork chop with a can of cream of chicken dumped on top. Gourmet! Strangely, I get a sadistic thrill eating my lukewarm slop while watching those prissy chefs grate truffles over imported foie gras.

Today’s walk: Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 (Clearly still obsessed with dandelions)
dandyMJdandymj2


A Very Special Thank You to a Very Special (Extended) Family

I’m far too excited to sleep. I’ve only got 2 weeks left in the semester! I’ve been up for hours researching Master’s programs and trying to decide if I want to move away when I begin working on my PhD. That’ll be a few years from now but I’ve actually been thinking of moving much sooner. My kids are all grown and everybody’s on their own, pretty much, but I can’t leave my mother, so I’m sticking around this ole town. At least for a year or two more. (But it’s in the cards.)

The major hurdles are over this semester and I’ve only got my term paper on OCD to tighten up and two finals remaining. That’s reason to celebrate. 🙂 The mood around the house is jovial and I’m feeling packed full of love!

For anyone who may be reading this who has chosen to follow my blog and has offered your support over the weeks, months, and years, both emotionally and artistically, I want to take this time to thank you. I started out writing this blog so that my kids could have a piece of me when I’m gone. And, so perfect strangers might read my story (BIO) and see my pics and be inspired. I’ve had a lot of hard knocks in this world, but they’ve only served me. I like to tell people that the more cuts you have in your stone, the greater your shine, and that’s so true.

What’s started out as a lone walk through bloggie land (more than three years ago) has turned into me claiming several hundred of you as family, and you certainly are. You’ve supported me, held me together (stapled, tied and glued!), encouraged me when I was downtrodden, and made me laugh when I thought it impossible. I love all of you. ♥ Oh! And thanks a whole heap extra for encouraging me to hang in there when I wanted to quit school (a million times)!

Thank you guys- friends and strangers alike. Here are some flowers for you. 🙂 MUCH LOVE. xo And Oloriel, if you’re reading this, the 2nd pic is especially for you. I thought of you when I was editing it- it totally reminds me of you. :0)

Taken two days ago- Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 vintage film lens
(I’m totally in love with this rocking lens.)

1cherryblossomsCOLOURmjfloral4flowerpower

One more thing. SAMI, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that I MISS YOU VERY MUCH. I hope things are well, and I hope you’re still toughing out that journalism major! I also hope “other situations” are better too. I miss our many chats. Lots of love to you. X


Chasing Rabbits (and Big Dreams)

I read an article the other day in which a woman said, “A person who chases two rabbits at the same time catches neither in the end.” Thanks Taylor Swift.

It’s 4:10 a.m. and I’m just getting out of the shower. My head is throbbing again; I’m trying to stave off another migraine. I haven’t had a head-smasher in about 6 weeks- that’s a record for me! I ate en entire bag of Swedish Fish though and it’s trying to bite me in the ass: sugar is the enemy! (And I’m slightly addicted to Swedish Fish.)

I’m fresh out of Ambien; hence my insomnia. I was too lazy to go to the doctor, so…here I sit, editing pics and contemplating my future in the early wee morning hours! And on that note, I’m pretty sure I’m only 15 credit hours away from receiving my Bachelor’s in psychology. I have almost 100 credit hours so far; I’m pretty stoked about that. 🙂

I’ve decided that I’m going to try and get into Indiana University Southeast’s Master’s-to-PhD Clinical Psychology program in another year or so. Once I get my foot in the door- it’s a given- I’ll be in. So, it’s crucial that I keep my grades up because the competition in grad. schools is fierce! I’m going to have to really up my game when that time comes. Staying on the Dean’s List is very important. I raise the bar super high for myself so that if I don’t meet my standards and end up falling short, I’ll still succeed. And, I’m thinking about getting a dual Master’s degree- one in Clinical psychology and one in Social Work (M.S.W.); I’m going to need all of the extra tools in my bag that I can get. I’m betting that if I get a master’s degree in social work and a master’s in clinical psychology (minoring in forensic psych.) as well as my PhD in Clinical- I’ll be set. So, that’s what I’m aiming for. It’s ambitious as hell, but I’m an ambitious kinda gal.

In other news, I’m shocked (but not really) that Doggy Daddy hasn’t even requested to see his dog (or spend time with him) – not even once. 😦 It’s heart breaking. Who could walk away from a baby this cute?!

Chance

I really shouldn’t be surprised. Same thing, different year. On the other side of the coin though, it’s given Chance and I time to bond even more. I’ve had to fill in the gap and really make sure that he (my dog) isn’t suffering in Doggy Daddy’s absence. And, he’s not. But don’t let me get started on THAT.

Life has been super quiet lately. I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed the peace and quiet and the restoration of sanity in general. It hasn’t been easy! My heart is still raw and I’m still confused and bewildered that Josh and I aren’t even friends any more- we don’t speak. At all. It’s…very weird. But I suppose that’s how it has to be. I’m alright with it. As much as I want to divulge all sorts of juicy tidbits here, I’ll refrain. I don’t owe that man one more thing, but I do owe him the decency of not railing on him if he’s not here to defend himself. I’ll give him that. 

Sometimes, it’s a struggle to find my peace and smile throughout the day. I wrestle to do that in the wake of such a hideous breakup. (Then again, it’s only been a little over a month since parting ways.) But I know that I’m capable of great love and great compassion. If I were to lose those two components within me, I’d be nothing. So those are the things that I strive to hold onto more than anything: my love and compassion for my fellow human being. Generally, that’s not hard for me to do, love. But breaking up with the love of your life has a way of destroying innocent things and feelings; it pollutes beauty, and in the end, can leave a thick, evil feeling in your heart. It can be a real battle just to breathe sweet air again- but thank God those feelings don’t last. For some people, they actually become those feelings, until they’re hateful rotten shells of their former selves.

But I know me, and I know my heart. I’ll come out of this a winner. Stronger in love for it. 🙂

I’m not quite there yet! But I will be. And I can still smile and feel like a child inside. That’s a precious thing to me. Life is still sweet. ♥

Tell it to my Heart
Spring break is officially over and I have to get started soon on my 7 page term paper/literature review on OCD.

Short term goal: finishing my term paper
Long term goal: becoming a doctor/psychologist

One day at a time.


Psych on Psych

red

I’m in the best mood in the world today. I’ve dropped Social Psychology (as I’ve already taken it on the 200 level last year) and have replaced it with Cognitive Psychology. Therefore, my two courses this spring will be Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience.

I guess I’m in such a good mood because I found out that I’m only 8 courses away from receiving my B.S. in Psychology. EIGHT. This changes my “take two years off” plans just a bit. I thought I was still 20+ classes away but dang. I’m almost there.

So then, I’m still going to be taking a break this semester (for me, that means going half-time rather than full-time) and then this fall, after having the entire summer off, I’ll jump back in full-time (4 classes) and do the same thing in the spring of ’16 and then voila! I’ll have my bachelor’s. As I’ve already stated, I made the Dean’s List last semester, so if I’m able to maintain that throughout the next year, I’ll have my pick (pretty much) for my Master’s program. Making the Dean’s List is not just about ego! It’s “academic security”. Why would anybody want to work in a factory line when they can have an office?

Another thing I’m considering is Anthropology. I was raised on Nat. Geo.’s and so that stuff is in my blood. I’m a closet sociologist so I’m entertaining the idea of working on a Master’s in Anthropology with a concentration in Sociology. Either that, or I’ll stick it out in Psychology and work on my Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, specializing in OCD neuroses and perhaps choose to freelance- working with hoarders and other OCD-based disorders or even “Skype-therapy”. Here’s my personal theory: going in to a clinical environment (i.e. therapist’s “office” with motivational posters on the wall) will produce “clinical results”. It’s comfortable to the therapist, because he or she spends a great deal of time there. They eat there, they write there, they chart the patients there. But for the patient, or “client” (so very 2015 and politically correct), it’s a foreign environment and it makes one feels as if they’re sitting in their Aunt Ida’s bedroom, being uncomfortably interrogated. Why not spend an hour of that patient’s time in an environment where he or she is comfortable and better able to express themselves? These days, the average person spends much of their free time either on their cell phones or laptops- which means- the average person spends much of his or her free time in any area of a social media platform: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. or texting.

My last 3 visits to the doctor proved my theory (sort of) in that 75 % of all people were on their cell phones for the duration of my wait in the waiting room. 75! Those people won’t likely be reading a book or putting puzzles together in their spare time. They’ll be on their cell phones or laptops at home too. So why not focus on a therapy program that allows people to log in on Skype for an hour? I know that this type of therapy does exist already, but it’s in its infancy. People need face time with therapists- I agree. But going to meet a therapist, whom you’ve never before met, and sitting in a sterile environment is very much like going on a blind date and going straight back to the date’s house; it might be pretty uncomfortable. People like to “build up” to that stage. Why does therapy have to be different? We’re dealing with psychologically and emotionally fragile people (for the most part). Being a former patient, I can tell you it’s damn uncomfortable going to a therapist’s office and her asking straightaway, “Why are you here? What do you expect to get out of therapy?”

Future therapists: Don’t ever say this to your clients! it’s pretty off putting. Better to tell them that you’re glad to see them and explain what YOU hope to gain from meeting with them (so that they might feel welcome and comfortable) and it also gives the client an idealistic outline or shape of what they can expect. I digress.

So yes. Skype therapy for perhaps the first 5 sessions so that the client can feel comfortable before taking that next step of “leaving their house to go to a therapist’s office”. Walking in on a cold call visit, basically, can heighten anxiety in itself. Skyping first would build a structurally sound foundation of trust so that the client would know what to expect to some degree. Why hasn’t the psychological world realized this and integrated it into their practicum/interum already? As I mentioned, it’s in its infancy still, so I’m in a good place to better explore this area academically. I wouldn’t mind doing my own investigative surveys on the subject in the future.

Any way it goes, I’m really close to obtaining my bachelor’s so I’ve got a new found desire to push on, and I’m excited about it. Bipolar Barbie- if you’re reading this, don’t look over your shoulder cause I’m right behind you! 🙂

Another reason I’m in such a good mood is that I’m now sleeping in the most awesome bed in the world. It feels like I’m floating on clouds all night; the mattress is a pillow top, but still firm. It’s pure heaven! And it doesn’t hurt having a human meat pillow that’s as gorgeous as Josh too…

Josh guitar


Spring Semester

You read that correctly. It’s positively confirmed that I’ll be returning within a week to begin my spring semester. BUT- it’s only part time- 2 courses (because I do need a break). I’m used to tackling 12-21 credit hours per semester and so this will be a cake walk. (Sort of.) My two chosen classes are Social Psychology (on the 300 level) and Behavioral Neuroscience. Taking two courses isn’t hectic at all. I’m stoked that I’ve just been inducted into the Honor’s Society at IU East. Hooray! 🙂

HonorsSociery

That’s pretty rockin’. I’m pretty sure I’m only 27 credit hours away from receiving my B.S. in Psychology. I’m also pretty sure I’m addicted to going to school. Some people are adrenaline junkies; I’m a grade junkie. I still have a whole ‘nother week to loaf around and I’m taking full advantage of it.

Hasta luego, amigos.


To All of You

…who are just finishing up your semesters- students and teachers alike- congratz to you!

And although I’m bowing out of the academic race to pursue my photography/art, I do hope that each of you continues to do well in your studies and teachings. All of my final grades are in and it’s going to be a close call, but I think I might’ve made the Dean’s List. More on that later.

Maggie, congratzs to you, and Y, you too. WE DID IT. 🙂

PortabellasMJ