Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grad School and the Blahs

For some reason, I've been dragging ever since I got back from Idaho. I need a swift kick to get me into gear and get something done today. I thought I'd share an excerpt from my last writing assignment, to try and explain why I've been so . . . unfocused? Unmotivated? Un-anything? Enjoy. My teacher did. 

There is much irony for me in this week’s assignment. Under most circumstances, I would describe myself as a textbook example of intrinsic motivation—“motivation resulting from internal personal characteristics or inherent to the task being performed” (Danner, 2012, p. 177). I am most likely one of the oldest students in this class, having returned to academia after 23 years of being a full-time stay-at-home mom to seven children. I came back to school because I wanted to—not because there is a pay increase waiting for me when I get my certification and not because my parents are paying for my schooling in hopes that I will find myself. I don’t even know if I’m going to work when I’ve completed my degree. How’s that for thumbing my nose at the concept that rewards are needed to improve performance (Pink, 2010)? I have discovered that I love the independence associated with online study, since all of this is completely new to me—learning about Google docs, dropbox, and research without a room of drawers full of index cards and Dewey decimal numbers. Whenever I’m studying or testing or writing, I am focused and intense, and my entire family knows there is potential danger involved if I am interrupted. I guess that’s what Danner (2012) means by the term flow—if flow means don’t interrupt upon pain of death. That being said, I have found nothing that can force me to the keyboard this week. Extrinsic motivators (like missing my favorite yoga class or a diet Pepsi in the afternoon) have been quite unsuccessful in pulling assignments from me. Why the sudden change? What has happened, you ask. My oldest daughter had a brand new baby boy (seven pounds, one ounce, 19.5 inches long, and tons of curly black hair, just in case you were curious), and she lives over 800 miles away. How can a grandma possibly focus on the mundanity of grad school when there is a delicious new baby in this world?


  1. I think that is the best reason ever!

  2. Come back to Idaho! (Because heaven knows we'd be crazy to come to the ever-heating inferno when it's finally nice enough to go outside here... And by "nice" I mean between 45 and 60 degrees.) You won't have to cook and clean this time... And you can snuggle the baby all you want... And... And.... And...... a million other things. :) We miss you all!

  3. That being said, I'm very sorry for the distraction! ....But he is stinking cute, if I say so myself!

  4. Exactly.

    And that is some terrific writing!