August 23

The new season of Dr. Who started again tonight. I was looking forward to it so much that I put it on my calendar over a month ago. As if I’d forget. Im the one who painted my inside garage door to look like this:

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I was a little worried about it though. The previews for Peter Capaldi as the new doctor definitely portrayed him with a different vibe than the old doctors. More intense. Less fun loving. And I loved David Tennant and Matt Smith as the last two doctors. They were unique but similar in their play on emotions and attachments to companions. It appeared in previews as if the new doctor will be more business and less relationship. And that may be the case. But after watching the show tonight, I am happy to say I was not disappointed. It’s different, yes. But there was still some BBC silliness and humor. Clara is still the same. And Capaldi made an interesting doctor. He will be a bit more serious, but I think that will be ok. Underneath it, there was still a tenderness, especially when he asks Clara to trust him. And is worried that she can’t see him past his changed exterior. I suppose that was Moffat’s attempt at asking all us viewers to see Capaldi as the same doctor we’ve grown to love over the last several years. New form, maybe. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be a good one. I’m thankful that the new season has started.

March 28

Well, my month of studying math is over. I put on my Dr. Who Dalek/Cyberman fighting t-shirt (for the battle) and took the GRE today. I think I’ll need at least three days for my brain to recover. The entire test took four hours. Of constant testing. I took one three minute break to use the bathroom, but that was it. The testing center wasn’t messing around either. I had to empty all my pockets, remove my watch, sign a waiver which included rewriting a passage saying I understood the penalties of cheating, and lock up all belongings before I could even enter the holding room prior to the testing room. In the holding room, I got my picture taken, signed another form, turned my pockets inside out to show they were empty, pulled up my pant legs to prove I had nothing hidden in my socks, and stood subject to a metal detector sweep of my clothing. Then I was given scratch paper, which I had to count out loud to verify how many pieces were there, and two pencils. I asked for a tissue, just in case I needed to cry during the exam. (Actually, I was chewing gum and suspected I’d need to put it somewhere later when it lost its flavor.) When I took my bathroom break later, I had to sign myself out and back in and then repeat the procedure of pocket turning, pant leg lifting, and metal detecting. I felt like I should be boarding a flight somewhere.

The test itself was comprised of essay writing and alternating sections of math and verbal reasoning. I didn’t pace myself well and ran out of time during both math sections. That’s not a good thing since blank answers automatically count against you. However, for each of the verbal sections, I ended up with enough extra time to go back through and check my answers. I had read prior to today that the final section could be math or verbal and was chosen at random. I was really hoping for verbal, but of course, it was math. It seemed a little easier, but honestly, at that point, I was losing interest. I just wanted to be done.

The good thing is that the scores are shown immediately upon completion. Well, on the math and verbal part. The score for the essay is separate and comes later. I’m not even sure when. I’m happy to report that my scores weren’t horrible. I was on the low end for math but the high end for verbal, so I did fine overall. Not as great as I’d have liked, but I wasn’t shocked at the outcome. And with the test completed, I’m done with my graduate school application! Now comes the wait for acceptance into the program. While I’m thankful today that the test is over, I’m actually more thankful for the support I got from my family and friends. So many people wished me good luck, either stopping by yesterday at work to see me or sending me texts today. I even got a goodie bag from one friend with last minute study/reward treats, which was extremely thoughtful. It was touching to know I have so many people behind me, regardless of the outcome. That means more to me than my score.

March 22

Today I was thankful for a lot of small things:

Making it to the gym this morning for a good workout. I missed the class I enjoy going to, but I ended up running a little longer than I normally do and still got some biking in.
Putting clean sheets on my bed. I’m going to be happy about that as soon as I’m done writing tonight.
Having my kids stop home unexpectedly. They’re visiting their dad this weekend, but needed to pick up a couple of items for a birthday party tomorrow. They hung out long enough to have a proper chat over lunch.
Catching up with my younger sister over the phone. We don’t do that often enough.
Seeing the sunshine, even though it was too cold out again.
Finding ways to stay warm without turning up the thermostat. That’s always a good thing.
Eating a really good burger. I don’t often crave specific foods. Today I did and made a good choice of where to go for it. Yummm.
Watching a Dr. Who special. (There should be no need to explain that.)
Writing at the computer with my cat in my lap. Even though he isn’t very helpful.

Day Two

I went back to work today after an almost two-week holiday break. I wasn’t overjoyed. However, I work at a college and because the students are still on break, I knew my day would at least be quiet. For the most part it was, so I had several hours of uninterrupted time to organize my office and create a to-do list for the start of the new semester. That’s the cool part of working on a school schedule. The semesters end and begin again; there’s always a fresh start at some point. That will probably be a topic to post about at some point, but not today. What struck me today was my office. What looks like clutter to most is a collection of moments to me.

I have a couple of bulletin boards in my office that are covered with pictures and mementos, mostly things given to me by others. I have thank you notes and holiday cards, pictures and gifts from students and colleagues alike.  On my desk I have a small collection of toys that usually invite conversation from visitors. I always know who the Dr. Who fans are because they are the only ones who recognize the 11th Doctor’s screwdriver sitting next to my computer. And on my computer I have some notes from my daughters who stop by to visit. Those are my favorite.

photo2What may seem like a lot of junk to some people is joy to me. I spend my days surrounded by memories of others and how they thought enough of me to leave little bits of themselves behind. And I can’t help but be grateful for that.