Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas


"A scientist said, making a plea for exchange scholarships between nations, 'The very best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person.' That was what happened at Christmas. The idea of divine love was wrapped up in a Person."
-- Halford E. Luccock

We are inspired this Christmas season to practice love, to give and receive it regularly, and to keep practicing it until we become pros. The problem we have with this task is that our idea of love is so tainted - most love is conditional and contractual, at least in our experience. How can we love in a manner that is "agape" or "divine"? That is our quest, and we hope you are inspired to join us on this journey as well.

We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas Day and holiday break. It has been an odd one for us on this end, but we managed to make it fun and memorable. We (Brent, Jonathan, and Jess) actually just returned from watching a movie - that might be our new tradition - and now are all huddled around computers doing some research on history and conspiracy theories, as inspired by the 2nd National Treasure installment. There are so many good movies coming out soon - the next Chronicles of Narnia installment, the next Batman sequel, the next Indiana Jones - all very exciting for movie buffs like ourselves.

Anyway...sorry about that tangent...Merry Christmas! We will write again soon.

Love - Jess and Brent

Monday, December 17, 2007

Post-comps for Jess and Post-grad for Jason

Jason's mom, Robin, Jonathan, me, Brent, Mom, Colby, Jason, Will, and Dr. A

I cannot convey with words the experience that was comps. I could convey it to you by naming the physical experiences of muscle tension, migraines, eye strain, sleep deprivation, tears, spending the night at school with golf club in hand for protection, and a constant fear in the pit of my stomach, but I don't know that I have, or even want to find, the words.

I turned in my written exams, knowing there were errors and mistakes. I then had to continue working in the clinic and preparing for my fall class while trying to make the corrections in preparation for my oral exam and also while trying to sell the house, find a house for rent, and move. The day of my oral exam was 2 days after we moved - Brent and I cannot thank Colby, Jason, Jonathan, Larry, Susan, and Mom enough for getting us through that crazy time - We COULD NOT have done it without you!!!The day of my oral exams finally arrived. All you need to know is that I passed - thank you committee. You do not need to know that I got so frustrated that I cried during the exam, or that I've never felt so stupid in my entire life, but now you do...apparently both are a rite of passage. Dr. G put it in perspective for me - he said (I'm paraphrasing) that we are always supposed to realize that there are gaps in our knowledge - that is how we know what to research next - and that if I had walked in and out of there thinking I knew everything, that they would be concerned b/c that would mean that I had not learned anything at all!

The picture above is of the post-oral comps dinner at, of course, On the Border. I don't have any pics of the post-written comps dinner...I think my mom does, and I'm told that I look a hot mess. I had been awake for several days straight, was incredibly exhausted, had a headache, and was drinking a margarita and eating cheese dip (no, not at On the Border, actually at La Fiesta) and I think a picture exists of me looking quite...disoriented.

Jason, I mean, Dr. J

Jason and Robin

Jason and his work-wives

Dr. A and his doc students

THE AFTER PARTY - Robin, I could NOT have done it without you!!! I looked though all of Schawna's pics from the party, and I don't have a picture of you where you are not working behind the scenes to make the party so wonderful. Thank you.
Sharing a few laughs....can you hear the Count Chocula laugh?

Jason and Brent

Our gracious hostess, Dr. B. Her girls put on a wonderful princess ballerina concert for us during the party

My bro, hanging out with the old folks (yes, Jason, I'm talking about you :)

My mom's thunder was stolen this day. Jason's graduation and our celebration was on Mom's birthday. She was a good sport about it, though, and all was forgiven when I presented her with her AWESOME caramel cake from Cecilia's.

Me and Kobs

The girls - we have so many pictures of the three of us...and I think Schawna is ALWAYS in the middle! We need to change up our rotation ladies!

Jason and his ladies

Jess and the Thom's

Don't leave me Greeny!

Okay folks, Jess here, with a big favor. I need for you to NOT get hooked on the new show called "Duel". Understand, I don't have anything against this show personally - I'm not even quite sure what it is about. What I DO know is that "Mike & Mike" is one of my favorite morning shows, and I'm gonna need for the Greenberg part of the equation to stay in the picture, which means that Greeny needs to not do so well on "Duel".

I know - truly truly selfish and mean. I mean, shouldn't I want the best for others???? So, I guess what you want, but just think about it...do we really need another trivia show, or do we need smart sports talk? I say the latter...

And while we are on the sports talk, I must announce that the wifey in this household (that's me - Newbie) has beat out the husband (that's B - Mighty DRs) in our fantasy football league. I am now in the title game against Brent's old friend from Davis Monthan, Keith (aka #1 Stunna's). So, I'll be sure to let you know when I WIN OUR LEAGUE!!! (Though I must say that last time I talked smack to Keith, I lost very badly to him, so I guess I better tone it down a bit.)

Later - Jess

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Update on Jess

Hello there - Just sitting here listening to the bowl selection responses before I get back to work. I just wanted to write a quick note to let you know what was up on my end.

As most of you know, I am in the dissertation stage of my doctoral program. I am currently in the process of designing my study and writing my prospectus, and also continue to teach. This semester I have been teaching the Communication Neuroscience course, and it has been really interesting - incredibly fast-paced for sure, but also a completely different experience b/c I am teaching mostly graduate students for a change - wow, what a difference. Definitely less of an expectation on the part of my students for spoon-feeding the information to them.

The project that is currently getting the majority of my attention for the next several weeks is the second phase of my pilot study. This is to gather additional data for my poster (Richardson & Marshall) that is to be presented in Hawaii in February at the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) convention, and also to set the stage for my experiment for my dissertation. It is very exciting, but very time-consuming and stressful because it is an intensive treatment study, and it is definitely taxing my personnel management skills! But I am learning alot, and the participants are really enjoying the intervention process, and that is the whole point!

So, some of you may have noticed, but I have dropped off of the face of the earth again - not as drastically as during comps, but definitely lost in Aderhold for the time being. I hope to see many of you over the holidays. I know I am due up for a Griffin trip for a birthday party soon to see my other family (the Stewarts), and get to have a fun road trip w/ Kobs on the way there. My church is also putting on several Christmas concerts that I will be either attending or participating in, and you guys are definitely invited to those - I would love to see you there. Next Sunday eve is the youth group Christmas play called "Code Red", and the following Sunday eve is the Christmas Concert of Praise put on by our choir. After that Brent and I will be heading up to a Grizzlies-Spurs game and visit with Colby. Then it will be Christmas with the families, with a few birthdays thrown in for good measure, maybe a trip to New York, and LOTS of dissertation work. So, hopefully, I will see a lot of you during these opportunities.

Until then,
Love - Jess