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Struggling through some very rough times

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hello, everyone! I apologize for the very upsetting status update last night. I wish I could say I felt better today, but it was actually much worse. Essentially, I am in the final, and most difficult, year of my doctorate. I was told that I would have far less performing duties so that I could use my time to prepare for my lecture recital, study for exams, and start work on my dissertation. Instead, the opposite has happened. I have been forced by a music director to do MORE work by playing in an ensemble that I did not audition for. When I argued his ability to force me in the ensemble, the administration did not care (I am the only third-year doctoral student who has had to play in an ensemble), and a faculty member said that he wouldn't care if I decided to quit. My professor has also been insulted by the faculty. To be so disrespected by people who are supposed to be my mentors is very discouraging. I had wanted to teach music in college, but my time here and my experience in this particular situation has opened my eyes to how selfish and unsympathetic people in this field are. Everyone is nice to my face and then talks very poorly about me behind my back. That is expected of students, but for professors to make nasty comments about students is completed unprofessional and uninspiring. This has been a very challenging few days, and I am considering quitting school. I'm applying to teaching jobs and orchestral auditions out of state so that my resume will indicate that I left school for a professional purpose, and not just because I couldn't handle the pressure. Because it isn't that. I am not a bad student. I have pushed through some very hard times. But this situation has been unfair to myself, my professor, and the other members of the oboe studio (a new graduate student was told by a director that she was not good enough to play solos in an ensemble, so even though her assistantship is to play in that ensemble, she will get very little exposure). I feel like I am at a weird crossroads where I just don't think I want to participate in music anymore, but at the same time, I am so close to this degree and all the hard work would be for nothing. But if I would be happier somewhere else, isn't it worth it?

At least the scale is on my side. This week, I weighed in at 151.8, which puts me at 3.2 pounds down from last week. Overall, I have lost 7.2 pounds! I have officially earned my 5 pound reward, which is a new bookcase (I have so many academic books!). I actually bought the bookcase over the weekend before I knew that I hit my goal, but that's because I had to drive 2 hours out of the way to get it (there isn't an IKEA in Indiana), and I don't have any free weekends again for months. The life of a musician. Seriously, a 9-5 non-music job is looking pretty sweet right now.

Today was also my monthly body fat check. I am down 1.6% body fat from the beginning of this journey last month! I'm at 25.6, which is technically still considered overweight even though my height-to-weight ratio is healthy. I know that if I just keep pushing, I can get to that healthy body fat percentage at no time! I just hope that this situation at school doesn't become so overwhelming and put me in a depression that will cause me to lose focus of my health goals.

Tonight, I am treating myself to a dessert at Applebee's with friends. It will put me over my calories, but only by 150. It barely pushes me over my sodium, and all of my other factors that I have been tracking are good. I know it's still not good for me, but after what I have been through this week, I think I deserve it. And tomorrow, I will get back to the gym (I've cried way too much today to be able to make it) and do some extra work, so I will burn it all off!

I'm really excited about the fitness classes I'm taking this semester. I did my first ever hula hoop class last night and it was such a blast! The step class was fun, but I think I'm just going to stick to Zumba and hula hoop for now so my workouts aren't so varied that I never show signs of improvement in any of them.

I appreciate the concern and comments from my sparkfriends. The one thing that has been really encouraging is that all of my friends have been there for me. They are all upset about how this has played out and are very worried about my well-being. I have the most incredible support system, both on SparkPeople and in real life, and it is amazing that so many people that I barely even know have extended a helping hand. It's what gets me out of bed in the morning. If this has taught me anything, it's that even though I am not at home in California, I have my very own family here to confide in, and that's the best feeling there is.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi There, I'm not sure how I came to find your page but I do have a reaction to your last post. I too have higher level degrees in music performance. My last year in school I was in a Professional Artist Certificate program preparing for doctoral auditions. By the end of the year I was so burned out and tired of (excuse the language) the bullsh*t and politics I never even took auditions. That was in 2011, just two years ago and now in retrospect all of my troubles and frustrations in every degree program seem like nothing. Believe me, you've come too far to quit now, especially because having a doctorate in this field gives you that little extra chance at winning a job. It's a tough market, no matter where you get the degree and if anything I'd suggest putting up with this and focusing on securing a job BEFORE you graduate. You can get through this and will be glad that you did.
    1703 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/22/2013 10:43:49 AM
    emoticon Wishing the best for you!
    1703 days ago
  • BRADMILL2922
    Well congrats on the loss! You are making some good progress there!

    As for the school thing, that is really a shame that you have to deal with all of that mess. You would think that the people in charge of shaping the next generation would be a little more kind and be more willing to actually teach. Like you said, they just seem selfish! That is terrible and not fair to you. You are so close to finishing that I would hate for you to quit but in the end, you have to do what is best for you and your situation. I hope things work out for you for the best...you deserve that!
    1703 days ago
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