Sunday, September 25, 2011

Can someone please press that PLAY button!!!

Hello blog friends,

I am back, back, back. I can't believe this is my 4th year in the PhD program!!! Where has the time gone??? All i can say is thank God for his mercies. A lot has happened since the last time i posted in my blog. I passed my oral comps, i submitted by institutional review board (IRB) ethical application for my dissertation research, i did not get the fellowship i applied for (thank God), i traveled to Lagos to collect my dissertation data (which was an experience on its own), i submitted my 2 manuscripts to a journal (1 got published, while the other will be published as soon as i make the revisions the editors suggested). The journey to getting my papers published has been difficult, but thank God it eventually got published. After 2 rejections of sending it to the wrong journals, it was finally accepted in the right journal. One day i will blog on the following:
-journey to publishing my articles.
-the dissertation process, from ethical approvals to data collection

Sometimes in this PhD program, i feel as though my life is on pause (hold). Don't get me wrong, i am trying to live my life to the fullest, and i have to some extent. I got engaged/ married during the time. However, i feel as though i cannot wait for this season to come to an end, so i can move on with the rest of my life, like getting to live with my boo as married, getting pregnant & having a baby (lol- seriously though, this was prompted by some developments), getting a real J-O-B so i can stop living on a grad student stipend!

However, i will miss this student life. There are perks to it, like having a really flexible schedule, being able to travel free on school's money and having a safety net (your advisor plus you get a break 'cos people know you're still in training).

I would really love to graduate next year by God's grace, but my advisor wants me to go back to Lagos next year to collect follow up data for my dissertation. With the data i have now, that is more than enough for my dissertation. Most of my committee members (3/5) believe i have more than enough to graduate next year. The 4th person i don't know where he stands, my advisor wants me to do a 5th year. So now, i am praying and hoping for the best. It will not be a bad idea to have a follow up data collection, but where is the money coming from? Do i really need a follow up now, seeing that i can do that for a postdoc? So these are the things playing around in my mind and i am praying to God for favor and direction.

On another note, transcribing recorded interviews is so not fun! Time consuming and it's just a draggggggggg! So my goals for this semester are as follows:
1) Revise & resubmit my paper for publication
2)Finish transcriptions & data analysis
3) Prepare manuscript for publication for Lagos data

Till i come your way again, remain blessed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Hello fellow blogheads, I wonder if anyone still reads this blog, but it's for me to share my thoughts. My life has really been a roller coaster ride. I just took the biggest exam of my life- my COMPS! For the non-PhD folks, Comps are your comprehensive exams which in my department is made up of a written and an oral exam. The written exam has between 5-6 loaded questions. Basically it covers almost all the work done since you started the program. I took the exam from March 11- March 14. It was torture. The questions were not difficult, i could handle it. The hard part is all the writing, literature search and literature review needed for the write up. When i was done, i had about 46 pages in total and i answered all 5 loaded questions. In addition, i had to turn in my proposal (1st 3 chapters of my dissertation). Altogether i wrote 90 pages in 3- 4 days. After the ORALS in 2 weeks, i will be ABD and back to my earlier analogy, my name will now be in ink. Oh by the way, in my last post when i said i had the topic for the BIG D all figured out, i did, but GUESS WHAT??? It's now changed to something similar, but now headed in a different direction and focusing on a different study population.

So what was the experience like?

The exam is meant to test not only your knowledge, but your tenacity, your persistence, your endurance, and how determined you are. Boy! At a point in time, i felt like giving up, but that was when i cried unto God. It was torture and there were times that i felt my head was going to explode, but God sustained me. To show the seriousness of it all, i even blocked facebook on my laptop so that i won't be tempted to go on it. I thank God. I ate only once a day for 3 days, just a snack & then back to work. I did not shower for 2 days. Yes, it was that serious.

*On a cheesy note* I have the bestestestestest hubby ever!!! ELVEE is a priceless gem, a rare find. He was with me through it all. Tending to my every need. As soon as i started the exam on Friday, he cooked for me & made sure that i ate, even though i had no appetite whatsoever. On Saturday, before he went back to his base, he made sure i had something to eat, but as soon as he left i went back to exam mode Sunday & Monday, just snacking & not eating any real food. I thank God for blessing me with a good man. I'm a lucky gal.

After my Orals and my proposal goes through, at the end of this month by God's grace, i will begin my IRB stuff (ethical approval to go conduct my research). This semester has been really busy, but God has really strengthened me in my weakness, given me wings to soar like an eagle, carried me when i felt like falling. The semester will be over in about 5 weeks, and i have so many reasons to thank God. I also applied for a dissertation fellowship, and i will share more details on the success of that very, very soon by God's grace. The application was like a whole proposal on its own. A lot of writing to do, but that's what you do when you're in a PhD program. So here's from my Spring 2011 to-do-list:

1) Complete & Submit my manuscript to a journal
2) Apply for the dissertation fellowship
3) COMPS- Written & Oral
4) IRB Application
5) Submit proposal
6) TA for 2 classes

A full load, and i am excited and can't wait to share with you the good news by the end of the semester. Indeed, God has been faithful to me! That's all for now folks, but before i leave, I want to encourage you with these words that i have held onto during my trying time when i felt like giving up. Whenever, you are clueless about how to handle all the tasks you have ahead of you:

1) STOP complaining, rather thank God for making opportunities come your way.
2) Giving excuses for why you didn't perform is NOT an option
3) NEVER ever compare yourself to anyone, u're unique in ur own way
4) DON'T focus on the problem 'cos if you do u get intimidated & what God can do diminishes in your eyes
5) BE DILIGENT- Keep at it constantly & steadily apply yourself towards doing 1 thing at a time towards finishing
6) Commit to the Lord whatever you do & your plans will definitely succeed- Proverbs 16: 3
7) JUST WHEN U FEEL LIKE GIVING UP, Isaiah 40: 29- 31- Call on GOD 'cos he gives strength to the weary & increases power to the weak!

These are the 7 things that have kept me sane these past couple of weeks. Later, peeps1

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where did the year go & LV moves???

I can't believe it's October already. My wonderful people, i am still alive and kicking. Where do i start from? God has been really good to me. I am still in school... 3rd year now. Can you believe it??? I know what topic i want to do the BIG D on, kinda exciting and surreal at the same time. I had the BIG D first committee meeting this week to let the JURY know what my plans are & when i'll take my comprehensive exam (comps). Going back to our analogy, after i take my comps which should be next year March or so by God's grace, then i'll be ABD (in other words, my name would be written in ink). I thank God for how far he has brought me, 'cos it's not by my power or might.

So what did i do this past summer??? I travelled. I had the priviledge of meeting one of my blog egbons, the one and only Temmytayo! Sweet lady, i tell you. Nigeria is still the same, nothing has really changed in that country. This was my first time going back home in 8 years. On to more interesting stuff, so ELVEE moved to another part of town for pharmacy school that is about 6.5 hours drive from me. I miss him sooooooooo much! There's nothing much to report except that i'm loving life and doing my thing. By the way, my friend started a blog, my good people, show her some love.

I just wanted to update this blog, just because it's been a while. Till i come your way again, remember to live life responsibly and live each day like it wasyour last. Remain blessed, folks.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Hello people, happy new year to y'all. I pray this year is filled with all that u want it to be and more. I'm not one to make resolutions and all, but i've decided to do so this year, and all of them are related to school stuff. I've decided against putting the 3 of them all up on this blog, 'cos u never know who's reading stuff. So i've them etched in my brain (will still write it down on paper) and i am praying and working hard towards achieving the set goals. I want to be able to look back at the end of the year and thank God for accomplishing them all, so help me God- AMEN.

On another note, my birthday is coming soon and i have no clue what to do. I am not one that's big on celebrations, we'll see what happens on that day. I had a nice vacay with family and friends and i am dreading going back to my cold/ snowy zone tomorrow. I have no choice anyway, gotta do it. I wonder why i feel so guilty when i am on vacay? I have been away from school for 2.5 weeks and i am already feeling guilty that i have not done any school work since then. I wonder why i have this guilty feeling all over me?

What else is there to blog about? On some random musings, don't u just hate it when ur siblings gf/ bf meddles in a family conversation turned feud/ argument? I believe that when u're still a gf/ bf u should be seen at family gatherings and not heard especially when arguments/ fights are going on. In fact, like i always do whenever LV's siblings are arguing, i just "evaporate" from the scene, talk less of interfering. I think that's one skill my younger siblings bf/ gf need to learn, esp. my brother's gf.

Anyway, school starts on Monday, and i prophesy that this semester will be the most productive and best semester ever. Later people.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The end of the semester & the MALE EQUIPMENT

Hello people, I know i have been a very bad blogger, but blame it on the S..S...S....C...H..O...O...L... Did you get the drift of what i was trying to do? A blame it on the A...A...A...LCOHOL kinda thing. To say i have been extremely busy, would be a serious understatement. Thank God for life, love, family, good health and everything in between. Whew! It seems as if this year just flew by.

So what has been happening in my life lately. Thank God, I passed my candidacy exam this semester. WOOHOO!!! So you can now call me a PhD Candidate or a Doctoral candidate, i'll let u decide whichever you prefer. My analogy for this is that my name is now written in pencil. Lemme break it down for you:

When you 1st get admitted to a PhD program, ur name is written in chalk meaning when a strong wind blows or something, it can be wiped off in an instant, then when you pass the candidacy exam, your name is written in pencil meaning it can still be easily erased, but by now u've become used to the strong wind so that the wind cannot blow it off easily. Then when you take your written & oral comprehensive exam in your 3rd year and pass that's when your name gets written in ink and is difficult to erase, then when you are ABD (All But Dissertation) and you successfully write and defend your dissertation, that's when your name is etched in permanent marker which cannot be erased. Gerrit?

To say this semester has been challenging wouldn't do it justice at all, but in all i still thank God. I wake up everyday (scratch that everyday part) with a renewed love for what i do, and ever so thankful to God for choosing this program for me. To tell you the truth, i don't think i could've chosen better and to think that this program was a last resort thing for me seems interesting now that i look back. God does know me and my abilities better than i know myself.

This semester, I was a teacher's assistant (TA) for 2 classes, at the same time taking 3 intense classes and being a part time unofficial RA. Thank God next semester, i don't have to TA. I'll be a full time RA, which will give me enough time to write and publish. I pray and plan to have at least the 2 papers i have been working on published by the end of next semester. On a lighter note, the things i have heard from students and experienced while TA'ing, i can write a book on. Lemme share one of such:

Task: Write a scientific term paper on sexuality. Student writes in term paper (paraphrasing), a disadvantage for men is that when doing it, the male equipment gets tired and the male has to rest. The girl may assume that the man is not capable or that his equipment doesn't function well. What the heck is THE MALE EQUIPMENT??? Is that supposed to be his moustache, beard or what? If so, then what is the female equipment? What is "doing it?" For crying out loud this is a scientific paper and a 400 level class and you don't need to be shy/ uncomfortable 'cos u're writing it, not saying the word to me. Anyway, let's leave the school thingie alone for now.

The holidays are here, but i have no real holiday plans, maybe i'll just take a week off and then back to work. I need to sort out a few things and clear my head as per what exactly i am going to be doing for my dissertation. I have ideas, but nothing i am set on yet. This break will be spent editing for the 5th time ('cos i'm anal like that :) the 2 papers i have been working on. The plan is to submit them for publication by the end of January- Amen.

The bf (aka Mr. ELVEE) has been very supportive and understanding. I love that boy more and more everyday. I just thank God for bringing him into my life, 'cos whenever i get all wound up in the fabric of academia and all, he reminds me and helps me put in perspective things that are more important. Academia isn't the beginning and end of the world. In all of these, my family has been awesome and very supportive.

I really shouldn't be on this blog now typing this, considering the amount of things i have to do before the end of next week, screaming for my attention. But, it will all get done by God's grace even if i will have quite a number of sleepless nights. AH! The life of a student. I just pray and i am trusting God that everything will pay off eventually. I know he will not and has never brought me this far just to abandon me. That's comforting, that i have a father that will never ever fail me.

Have a very merry Christmas and always have a thankful spirit, 'cos no matter what situation u're in always remember that someone has it worse than you, and that where you are right now is still a prayer point for some others. Enjoy the holidays.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

YAY! School has started

Hello people, how're you? School started on Monday and i am excited 'cos i really did not have a vacation from school. Anyway, i don't know why, but i am just excited. So i went to Baltimore on Thursday for the weekend. I decided to leave early in the morning to attend a 9 am class i was trying to register for. So i left Bmore at 5:30 am and was about 13 miles to Happy Valley, when the Popo pulled me over. As in, i was shocked! In my almost 5 yrs of driving, i have never ever been pulled over in this America by a cop for speeding. Mr. Popo asked me if i knew what the speed was around that area and i told him i thought it was 65mph, he said it was 55mph. I was doing like 75mph, but as soon as i sighted oga police i slammed on my brakes, so i think he really did not catch my speed. He asked for my documents, and then gave me a warning. Omo, i was happy o. Infact i almost hugged uncle police. Nobody told me o, i was gentle all the way to Happy Valley.

So i am a teaching assistant for 2 classes this semester. The most interesting one is the 400 level sex class. Today was the 1st day of class, and the prof asked them to write down the 1st thing they thought about when they heard the word SEX. Omo come and here responses o. I almost fainted and died of laughter. Some things i have never ever heard in my 20 som'n years of life. Let me share some with y'all: 69 (what's that?), moisture, STD's, AIDS, past gf's, present gf's and future one's i want to f*&k ... Abeg, let me keep this blog PG13. Please if anyone knows the meaning of 69 pls tell me. I will kuku come hear to gist y'all about the class 'cos i am sure it will be so much fun. The professor sef, she's so cool.

Looks like i will actually be a full time research assistant in the spring semester. I am so excited! You know what that means??? I am not going to be teaching for a while. Bliss! One thing i know for sure is that when i am done with this degree, i don't want to teach. It's bad enough that they say i already look like a professor/ school teacher/ school principal! That means, i have to start thinking, looking and networking on opportunities after i graduate.

By the way, i just realized that God willing, this time next year i should be done with my classes, and should be working towards my dissertation (the BIG D). I have an idea what i want to do for the BIG D, 1) it will be about women/ girls 2) it will be in global health 3) i will travel somewhere in Africa to collect my dissertation data and 4) it will be a qualitative study. I am sure more things will unfold as i continue to explore.

My Oga reviewed my paper, and he thinks i am doing a very good job so i am excited about that, glory be to God. Now the part i hate is this, having to revise the paper and then resubmit. Now i have 2 papers to revise and resubmit. By God's grace i want to submit those 2 papers to 2 different journals. God willing, my goal before i graduate with this degree is to have at least 4 papers on which i am the first author- AMEN.

Did i tell y'all that i am now a senior gal in my office? There are 2 new students in my lab. I have to "train" them according to my oga. Phew! Huge responsibility, 'cos i have my plate full already. I need to sign off now 'cos i have had my jumpdrive stuck in my computer's USB port for about an hour now. Work calls. Till we yarn again peeps, DEUCES!!! (That's my new slang, from "THE GAME").

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thank God for life

My people, how una dey? I thank God for the gift of life and most importantly good health. I have been down with a nasty cold for almost a week now. Thank God i am alive and well. So what has yours truly been up to? Chilling and working. I move to my new apt in less than 2 weeks, and i haven't even started packing (not like i have a whole lot to pack anyway). Besides my bed, futon, a sofa, TV, TV stand, computer desk, microwave, toaster, small fridge, books, clothes, i am done. Voila! Anyway, so i have been on a 1 week self imposed bed rest, 'cos that cold really had me on lockdown o, if not for God on my side.

On another note jare, i have been travelling to Baltimore like every weekend since summer began. It's not as if Bmore is next door to me like that o, it's at least 3 hours (~170 miles) away from me. So now i am sitting my behind in my village till school starts. I attended praise nite on Friday at Jesus House Baltimore, it was an awesome experience. I have missed undiluted praise & worship like that so much. The worship led by Pastor Paul Irabor and his New Breed International church choir was off the hook, dynamic. It was really an hallelujah good time being in the presence of God. I enjoyed every moment.

My paper's coming along fine, and my Oga has made some revisions to it, so i will proceed. Hopefully, by God's grace i can have it all written and done by the end of summer. Summer break is almost over, not like i really had a break sha. Anyway, it's all good. Take care people. Remain blessed.