Category Archives: grad school

Reverse the Curse

I’m a sports fan. Due to my health, I’ve never been much of an athlete – but ever since I was 14 and the 1995 Mariners pulled me in to a new world, I’ve been a sports fan.

Sometimes, this is awesome. As a teenager, all of a sudden, I had things I could talk about and really enjoy with my three brothers and dad, all of whom love sports.

Sometimes, this is not awesome.  Let me give you a quick summary of all the teams I’ve rooted for over the years:

*Seattle Mariners: In 1995, after beating the Yankees in a 5 game series (after being down 2-0) they couldn’t get past Cleveland. They lost Game 6 of the ALCS. To this day, have gotten to the ALCS one other time, but never made it to the World Series. (Even the year they won 116 games – tying the record for most wins in a season.)

*USA Hockey: In 2002, I was living in Canada for college. The Salt Lake City Olympics featured TWO gold metal hockey games (both Men’s & Women’s) where Canada beat the USA. It was miserable to watch with my Canadian friends.

*Edmonton Eskimos: I was still living in Edmonton Alberta in 2003.  The CFL team went to the Grey Cup. And Lost.

*Edmonton Oilers: 2006 – Since I went to school in Edmonton, I adopted the Oilers as my hockey team. They were the come from behind kids, only to get to the 7th game of the Stanley Cup finals, and lose.

*Seattle Seahawks: Lost the Superbowl in 2006

*Chicago Bears: They did win the Superbowl when I lived in Chicago, but I was only 5 years old and don’t remember the win.  In Grad School, it was 2007 and I lived in Chicago again. The Bears lost the Superbowl.

*Seattle Super Sonics: This one is so bad that the Sonics moved to OKC in 2008 and changed their name. I’ve been rooting against the Thunder ever since. (Maybe the one bright spot? I was forced to root for the Miami Heat to beat the Thunder in the finals. And the Heat won….Lesser of two evils.) I wrote off the NBA for a few years, until I was married to a Spurs fan.

*San Antonio Spurs: My adopted team, thanks to my husband, made it to the finals this year. As is the pattern of my life, they lost in the finals.

So there you go. And I’ll not even attempt to claim all the foibles of the Cubs as mine. They are my second favorite baseball team.  Since I was born in Chicago and have lived there a total of 8 years, the loveable losers have a special place in my heart as well.

All of that being said, I refuse to give up. I WILL cheer for my teams. And one year, one of them will WIN. I’m hoping this is the year. I’m banking on the curse being reversed. I’m ROOTING for the SEAHAWKS.  — And that’s all there is to it.

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Filed under baseball, basketball, canada, chicago, football, grad school, hockey, mariners, oilers, olympics, seahawks, seattle, sports

May by the Numbers

This month was pretty spectacular.  We are so thankful that we got one more amazing month before the actual slowdown hits.

We had very little ‘extra’ income this month.  No Craigslist sales.

This month’s budgeting was a little tight as the way refueling fell in the calendar – we both needed gas for our vehicles on the 29th, pushing us over that line item.  We had out-of-town company for a handful of days – but were pretty pleased that we were able to save on the other weeks so as to eat out with our company and not go over on the food budget.  We were under by an entire $7. 🙂

As far as progress – like I mentioned, the slowdown hasn’t hit yet so when some large jobs finished up (having already prepared for the next few slow months) we were able to make the FIRST EVER above minimum on our last remaining Major Debt – my grad school student loan.

Without further ado – the numbers:

Extra income:

We won a $100 Amex gift card

Extra Debt paid: $3,794

Total Debt paid in May: $4,040*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $21,499*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

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Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt, grad school

Come on – you knew it would happen at some point…

Can I experiencing anything in life and not draw parallels from Lord of the Rings? Probably not.

I was thinking about going with a Mt. Rainier climbing expedition as my example, but before prattling on about different base-camps, distances, and such, I would have needed to do research.  For me – no additional research needed for LOTR.

So, lets face it, the first 4 months were phenomenal.  In January, we had some 2011 carryover money that produced momentum. February through April, we had extra funds come in from big jobs, we had off the charts Craigslist sales, and we scratched out what felt like a multitude of small little orcs that were nipping at our heals. After that we had a hefty HVAC that took longer than we expected, but still – somewhat manageable on momentum and hope alone.

NOW, we get to the difficult part.  Similar to Frodo and the Fellowship which soon became just Frodo and Sam – it was a difficult journey, but doable.  With friendship and supplies, energy and hope, they managed.  But at some point, they got through the walls of Mordor and stared out at the wasteland in front of them, and up at the looming Mt. Doom.

It’s at this point in the story that I feel we find ourselves.  We are staring out at the wasteland called “My Graduate School Loan.”  It’s the biggest amount we owe.  It has the highest interest rate.  When we pay – it feels like most money goes toward interest, and just a little leftover drivel hits the principle.

Added to this we are in May, 30 days from June. From past history, this is the ‘slow time of year’ for my husband.

What will be our lembus bread and memories of the taste of strawberries?  What will keep us going? Probably the Dave Ramsey Show, seeing the eventual tipping of the scales on principle to interest, as well as encouraging words from friends.

This little hobbit is ready to be off riding on the back of an Eagle, seeing Mt. Doom fade in the distance.  But that my friends is still months off.

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Filed under debt, grad school, lord of the rings, tolkien

Evangelical

An article by John Ortberg that I found interesting discussing the term “evangelical.”

References to Bebbington, Noll, and Wheaton, along with other people and places I have studied made this an enjoyable read to me.

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MWS

So, those who have known me for a very long time can vouch for this, I love Michael W. Smith!!! Before Switchfoot, before Newsboys, MWS was my favorite!

The very first concert I ever went to was on Sept 19, 1993. dc Talk opened for MWS at the Puyallup Fair. It was a youth group event and because it was at the fair, we also got to go on rides and play games. I happened to win a green stuffed animal (I think it was a cat???) It had a tie on and perhaps sunglasses…I don’t quite remember. Anyway, I named him MdubS.

My first cassette tape, the Project.

My last cassette tape, The First Decade. One of my first CDs Michael W. Smith: The Wonder Years. A two disc compilation set with a sweet book. Seriously, he is awesome and I love his music!

And today, I got to see him speak and play. He was the speaker for Chapel today. My current roommate is a prof, so she gave me a heads up that he was coming. Because I went with her to chapel, we got pretty decent seats (in a packed out auditorium, I am sure no students skipped today). Two of Smitty’s daughters were sitting in the row in front of me with MWS and his wife, Debbie, in the next row up.

funniest moment, while he was speaking, someone yelled “friends!” So he abruptly stopped, walked over to the piano, sat down and started playing. All of a sudden, from the auditorium filled with students lighters appear. With lighters lite, and waving in the air, MWS looks up and sees what is taking place. He stops playing and just starts cracking up, and then directs the audience to start waving their arms while he finishes of the chorus of “friends.” this may not seem funny to you, but this is WHEATON, students sign a covenant with no smoking, no drinking, and other codes of christian conduct. And here they are waving lighters in chapel, perhaps the most lighters ever on campus at one time. It was hilarious. It also made me chuckle that people (MWS’ kids too) started taking photos of the students. Anyway, it was an enjoyable event and I am glad I could go today.

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Filed under favorite, music, wheaton

Pictures!

It has been a while since I posted an photos. Most of my recent pictures have many people in them (whom I have not gotten permission to post from) so I have mainly put stuff on facebook. (which is a bit more “controlled” and I have privacy settings set up. This blog on the other hand is open to whoever, so I am more picky about what I put up.) The result of this is that my blog often lacks pictures. Plus, I have not taken very many photos in recent months.

Here are just a few pictures from the last few months

My Uncle Bob took this photo. It was at graduation.

I am not sure who took this one, but it after the graduation recognition ceremony with my parents.

This is photo of Blanchard Hall. It is my favorite building on campus and is often referred to as “the castle building” I have often intended to take some pictures of campus, but have not. Finally, on Monday, my last day on campus, I took just a couple photos of Blanchard.

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Filed under grad school, pictures, wheaton

DONE!!!!!!!!

I sent off my final paper this afternoon. Officially, I have completed my M.A. Now we wait for grades and the diploma.

And get a job.
And finish packing.
And move…

AHHH….Go away to do lists! For this moment in time I am going to soak up the goodness that is the feeling of completion.

Debra Bauslaugh, B.A./M.A. 🙂 Don’t worry, I am not really going to start writing this as my name.

I am spending the evening listening to music while watching the visualization on itunes. I love it. Talk about relaxing.
I do my best thinking and reflecting when listening to music and watching the colors on the screen….I have been brainstorming about the book I am going to write.

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