Friday, December 7, 2007

The First Week of the Rest of My Life, or Funny, You Don't LOOK Like a Doctor

Man, have I been busy! While I was waiting for permissions guy, I remembered that I never did complete "Neuropsychology 101," and thereby complete the neuropsychology concentration certificate program I was taking concurrent with the PhD. The visions in my head showed me, a few years down the road, applying to take the neuropsychology board exams so I can put ABPN behind the PhD and officially be able to call myself a neuropsychologist. The rejection letter read something like this: "Dear Schmuck, We've noticed that you have extensive advanced coursework in neuropsychology in addition to impressive clinical work in practicum, internship, postdoctoral fellowship and specialized clinical training, but you never took Neuro 101. Sorry, but you can't be in our club. Thanks but no thanks, Neurodudes." Considering that boards like that are always looking for reasons to not let people in, I didn't want to take that risk. Besides, I was instrumental in getting the neuropsychology concentration off the ground and was the first president of the neuropsychology student association, so what kind of model was I presenting to those who came after me? Soooo, I asked the much-beloved professor about what to do and he was still willing to allow me to phone in my work. I didn't realize it would take 2 hours, but it's finished. I even got an A.

I got tired of waiting for "permissions guy" (since I was only asking for permission as a professional courtesy as the work is in the public domain), and sent my dissertation to the printer for the final copies. I've done business with these people since The Girl was a baby, back before I had my personal shopping business. When Arlene called to tell me the copies were ready to pick up, I asked her how much I owed, and she told me that she only charged me 7 cents per sheet, as if she had run them on the copier, not on the printing press, using the heavy 25% cotton bond archival quality paper. When I got there, she added the official original signature pages and lovingly shrink-wrapped each copy. She even had a shipping label ready for me. When we taped up the box, she said she had something else she wanted to go over with me so we went inside and she pointed out the shredder - then promptly stuck my invoice into it and refused to allow me to pay because she and her husband are so proud of how far I've come.
(A proud Arlene with the final copies and the UMI forms.)

I went straight to the post office to mail that bad boy off and get it out of my hair fo'evah and couldn't stop smiling while I was in line. Surely I looked like some kind of lunatic, but I didn't care. The clerk asked me how much I wanted to insure it for and I asked her how one places a value on 7 years of your life. It cost $40 to ship via express mail, but it was worth it to know that it would be delivered no later than noon PST Monday December 3, thus marking the officially official final and terminal no shit, for real, honest to GAWD end to my status as a student. I don't know about y'all, but I felt the gravitational pull of the earth shift as the weight of that thing slipped from my shoulders.

Meanwhile, The Man was celebrating his last day in the workforce. His coworkers were having a happy hour for him after work so The Girl and I went to a new restaurant in the town where Suz & I grew up. As soon as I got a taste of that first margarita swirl, I knew she & hubby needed to join us. Then, they made some seriously awesome guacamole at the table and I was hooked. Now that The Girl is fully licensed to drive, I could have two margaritas because I didn't have to worry about driving home.

So Saturday, we traversed to a town about 100 miles away for All-Region Band tryouts - she on the bus, me in my car so I could escape & get lunch. I was recruited to be room monitor for the clarinet room and was thrilled beyond belief that I didn't have to judge flutes this year. I wasn't prepared for the ensuing boredom though. To keep myself entertained, I was making faces, chair dancing, checking email & playing Bejeweled on my iPhone - anything to stay awake. No, the kids couldn't see me - I was sitting behind them. Over in the flute room, it may come as no surprise that The Girl was kicking ass and taking names. She made 5th chair Symphonic band, which means that she gets to advance to All-Area auditions next month. All four girls ahead of her are seniors so look out next year. I am so proud of my Girl. She never ceases to amaze me.

Sunday found me beginning the purging process in my office. I began with the closet from hell, which really looks like an annex of Staples more than anything else. I took everything out

and put it in the middle of the room, which was already pretty crowded.
I've sifted through every piece of paper from 7 years in gradual school, the soap business and every other aspect of my life. In addition to the 3 bins I've already done and the 1 left for me to go, The Man is finally going through all of his mother's papers now that he has time. She was a professional patient so we have boxes of her "sensitive medical information" dating back to 1976 that need to be shredded. It's beginning to sound a lot like Enron around here with all the shredding.

Monday I met with a colleague of mine from school to discuss a business venture that ties her internship, my postdoc and our future private practice all up into one tidy package - with lovely ribbons and bows. More as things develop, but let's just say the prospect is very exciting and that I'll be living one of those, "I made ridiculous amounts money working part time from home doing what I love," infomercials. Later in the day, I found out that the final copies of my dissertation landed at the school about the time we began our meeting. The university officially can't ask me to do Another. Fucking. Thing. Ever.

Tuesday morning found me finishing up the paperwork for the provisional license. I was also doing more sifting and shredding of paper. Tuesday evening we went to The Grandtwins' Xmas pageant at school. The contemporary praise music feel of the thing really didn't do it for me. At. All. The kids were cute though and they were proud of their performance, which was, thankfully, short.

Wednesday Mom & I went furniture shopping - finally. We've only been trying to go since I painted the living room. We When I got home and told The Man what & where I'd found what I want and when we have an appointment to go see the salesperson, he asked, "Do I have to go? Just go get what you want." Which led to a rather heated conversation (on my end) about how it was my understanding that my job was just to go narrow it down to a couple of options then we would decide together and that if I had known he was just going to tell me to get whatever, I could have handled it right then and there instead of having to make 2 trips to a store that's 80 miles away. Needless to say, he will be joining me at 10am tomorrow to select from the finalists.

Yesterday, The Man & I went to the new office of the practice where I served my internship to pick up a little cabinet and the neatest little fold-out table that I used for testing. When it's folded up, it looks like a little cabinet, but it has a secret. It was the perfect table for the micro-space we had in that office. I don't think anyone has dusted either of them since I left, even though it looked as if everyone and their dog were using them. When I tried to slide out the little table though, one of the hinges was bent and the support wouldn't slide out. Pissed me off, but The Man helped me bend it back so that I can slide it out. I'm going to leave it out for awhile & maybe it will stick. If it doesn't I'll just replace the hinge later. Still, what the fuck is wrong with people that they tear stuff up then don't offer to fix or replace what they've damaged?

Today I'll finalize the shredding and sifting in my office, list that Treo on eBay and make some soap. It's nice to have less clutter in my space.

After all that, I have to start preparations for a midwinter party we're having next Saturday. There's plenty of cooking and baking and cleaning and shining of stuff to be done, but I've still not gotten over the feeling that there's no more academic writing to be done. How long does it take for that go to away?

That's all I know right now. Gotta scoot - there's more shredding yet to do.

Me, Ph.D.


Loving Annie said...

Good Friday to you, Doctor, and heartfelt congratulations !!!!

Excellent, excellent, excellent, is all there is to say about the culmination of your hard work !

Looking forward to hearing more about the new business venture - What a nice way to start the new Year, with that and Hubby having retired !

Shred away, enjoy the margaritas at the mexican place, and your new furniture, and invite me to the upcoming party !

Kate said...

You may not look like a doctor, but I bet you smell like one.


Brunhilda said...

Congratulations! I'm so very proud. That is awesome about the copier lady. Sometimes small towns can be good for something. ;)