Very Stressful Holiday Season

Sorry I haven’t been replying to e-mail, entries, and comments for too long.  Many things have taken place, and the holidays made things even crazier.

I finally had more patients at work the past two months.  At the same time I’ve had a few seminars.

Since Saturday, November 19, 2011, I’ve felt that everything was against me again.  My alarm failed, making me late for a seminar in West L.A.  Even worse, directions provided by the internet and GPS were not accurate, and I ended up getting confused and lost.  After I parked my car, I realized that I had forgotten my purse, which had all my necessities, but it was too late to drive back to my apartment for it, especially when it’s far.  Fortunately, the staff was nice, so I was able to borrow a pen.  They also gave me a few dollars for lunch.

The seminar by the doctor in the movie, "9,000 Needles," was interesting.  The movie is about a stroke patient who went all the way to China for treatment, and liking the movie was one reason why I wanted to attend the seminar.  You should check out the movie.

My alarm failed again Sunday morning, November 20, and I began to suspect something wrong with the snooze function.  I paid the staff back, and still enjoyed the seminar, but it had to rain and flood.  For lunch, we ended up having to step through deep puddles, and that soaked my feet, socks, and shoes.  It was hard to survive the rest of the seminar since I can’t tolerate even slight discomfort.

The weekend really showed how stupid, lazy, and irresponsible I am.  I hit "snooze" instead of getting up right away, causing me to be late.  At the same time I forgot my purse, so I’m more stupid, forgetful, and irresponsible than anyone else.  I had to continue to be stupid and irresponsible to not check the weather report for November 20, and not wear boots, which caused more trouble and discomfort.

Someone at the seminar said, "Now you pay the price," and I rudely and selfishly snapped back, "I don’t need anyone rubbing it in!" and continued with my explanations.

As if that wasn’t enough stress, a virus called System Fix invaded my computer that night and really scared me.  It hid my files and desktop, and I had to search for information and instructions for removing that virus.  Despite following the instructions, the virus was still there.  While then, it took hours to back up my files.  This is another proof of my irresponsibility: I don’t back up my folders and files often enough, and I waste too much time online instead of doing important things.

I set off to ask computer service departments on Monday, November 21.  While then, I did not stop being careless or irresponsible, so I ended up with a broken flat tire.  That’s why after work Tuesday, I had to take my computer in to get fixed, then stop by a tire center before I headed for my parents’ house.  Traffic was terrible on the way to my parents’ since there were many accidents.  After the virus and broken tire, I just felt very nervous and vulnerable to everything.

Soon after we began our family trip on Thanksgiving Day, I realized that I had forgotten to post something I wanted to post at OD.  Unfortunately, internet access at the hotel was too expensive, so I had to forget about it.  While sightseeing and eating dinner, I saw that my cell phone was missing, which gave me a big scare for a few hours.  Fortunately, it had just fallen out of my purse in the car.  That night, I couldn’t find the cable for transferring pictures from my camera to computers, which meant I had not packed it in.

Because of the virus and several of those things, I could not get another draft of my research paper turned in before Thanksgiving, and my plans were foiled and pushed back too much.  I did get my computer back on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, with the System Fix virus gone.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find that camera cable in my suitcase, and found out that I had left it at my parents’ place again.  I did find all the files and documents for it, and a few days later, I e-mailed my mentor and the school staff in charge of research projects to let them know that they didn’t need to resend me files.

Very late at night on Thursday, December 8, 2011, I received an e-mail from one of the staff that said, "Sorry to hear that your computer was compromised, but that doesn’t exempt you from the rules.  [We] had told you that your paper was due at the end of the quarter, which is December 9."  The message went on to say that the doctoral program staff had a meeting and was told that those who didn’t complete the research project in the given amount of time would receive a "Fail."  The e-mail concluded by telling me to see the staff in charge or I might not be able to get my degree forever.  I knew the sender was just the messenger who stated the fact, but it was still enough to trigger a bad panic attack, giving me severe appetite problems and insomnia.

I called the school Friday morning to let them know that I would stop by after my appointment with a patient.  Fortunately, things weren’t as bad as I feared, and we discussed the problem.  It appeared that I had misunderstood some of the information they had given me over the months as well as parts of the e-mail.  Most of it was due to our school’s disorganization, being unclear on things, language barriers, and frequent changes in rules, procedures, and staff.  For example, it used to be that those who fail to complete the research project would fail and had to re-register and repeat the portion, but now they changed it to not receiving their degree.  The staff I met with gave me a week to turn in a more final draft, and said that my defense would be scheduled on December 22.

When they said that they were going to be adding clearer requirements and procedures that would benefit future students, I thought, "You should have done that earlier."  Well, I’m not surprised since the school has been disorganized and unclear all these years.  The next day, the school also had a seminar, and one of the lectures was on the research project procedures, which cleared more things up for me.  At least I got my questions answered.

With the research project and holidays, the next two weeks were very high stress for me, meaning no time for long messages or entries.  I luckily turned in the draft on Friday, December 16, and the following week consisted of preparation for the defense presentation.  I waited in suspense for more bad news, but fortunately I passed.  I just have to make some revisions and add something in for the final copy to be printed.  My brother and his wife were arriving at our parents’ house the next day, December 23, which meant I had to be there by that day, too.

At the same time, I had been making orders online, and one of the products wasn’t what I thought it to be due to the website not providing clear information.  Though I was able to get a refund, I had wasted time and added pressure to myself.  Even worse, this holiday season, I had to make quite a few returns and exchanges on products because they weren’t what I expected, especially when technology was involved.  All this meant that I was stupid to not have much knowledge about things, and irresponsible to not learn more.  Add forgetting so many things during those days, being an hour late to work one day, and missing birthdays.  I apologize to those whom I didn’t send a birthday card or e-card to.

I forget more things than anyone else, and all my behaviors and actions, especially the past two months have shown that I have become even more forgetful, irresponsible, self-centered, and lazy than before, so please don’t rub it in.  I really thought I would not meet any deadlines, but I managed to get what I needed done by the time I arrived at my parents’ on Friday, December 23.  Since then I’ve had limited computer access, and it will be limited until I return to my apartment.

During all the stressful times, I did have some fun times, too, such as a friend’s wedding and a Hetalia gathering with gift exchange.  I saw the musical, Wicked, though it wasn’t as great as I expected.  I also managed to make a quick trip to Disneyland as well before my annual pass was blocked out for the rest of 2011.  Sorry I was selfishly wasting time on fun things for myself instead of replying to you or working on holiday things for you.

Please do not rub in what a terrible person I am.  Many things have gotten me down, and my stress level has been very high.

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