Boogers, and other things

There’s an expression my father uses, “that booger off the finger.” I don’t know where he got it, but it refers to taking care of something unpleasant that you can’t wait to get rid of. Unfortunately, these boogers are sometimes harder to take care of than others. Loans are one of those. Thankfully, most things, if one puts one’s mind to it, can be taken care of within a few days.

The problem comes when it’s someone, like me, who procrastinates and despite being super organized, still pushes off doing certain things in favor of doing other things… like blogging, until the deadline.

There’s two ways I keep track of boogers. I have tabs open in my internet browser or notes on the dry erase board at my desk. Most recently, I had browsers open for my school applications. On my board, I had notes for replacing the spare tire in my car, friends whose e-mails I wanted to reply to, blog posts I’ve wanted to write, and the website log-in info (not my password, though!) that I need to go to repay my loan.

Keeping track of my unpleasant things helps make sure I get them done, but sometimes I wonder if I am too concerned about getting things done. For example, should writing friends and writing blog posts be things I can’t wait to get off my list? I know they shouldn’t, but I also worry what will happen if I stop reminding myself to do them…

On the other hand, I know that keeping track of the application was a good reminder to make sure I put the work into it that it deserves. It’s a lot of work. I applied to U.S. and German schools for PhD, and both have their own expectations- see the breakdown below:

U.S. PhD application German PhD application
expects GRE scores expects high school through post-secondary transcripts and diplomas
costs 85-100 dollars to submit


expects letters of recommendation

expects writing sample

expects potential as a teaching assistant expects potential as a successful dissertation writer: this includes a fully developed proposal for a PhD project (10-15 pages with a timeline)

Financially, the German applications are much easier. There’s no GRE test to pay for and no application fee. However, the work is a lot more. U.S. students show up for their PhD studies and still have 1-2 years to figure out what they heck they want to do. German students show up and are expected to know what the heck they’re doing. There’s a huge difference. I worked on my application for the German school since the summer, whereas the US school application got done along the way.

So, I was happy to get that booger off my finger today. This past week, I’ve taken care of many other boogers as well, the car has a tire (in case we ever get a flat, we don’t have to be ridiculous and call AAA), the friends have been written (with some friends who’ve already replied, waiting for my second reply), the monthly payment for the loan is out… I’m fairly free as far as Fall 2016 goes, and got a start on Spring 2016.

There’s two other things I need to take care of, which are some bills to doctors in Germany that my international insurance may or may not have taken care of since my study-abroad trip ended. I have to  check that tomorrow. I have a few thank you letters to write, too. But then, I’m done.

This is how I like to end my year. I have aspirations and goals for the new year, but usually don’t base them on the Jan. 1st starting date. Some of my goals I’ve already started working on, or have the beginnings of a plan to start working on. It has less to do with the time of year, though, than with the phase in my life I’m at. However, what’s important to me, at the end of the year, is to have the boogers all gotten off my finger, so that I can start clean into the new year and be ready for whatever is to come. In that way, the 31st of December always has been a deadline for me. It’s my favorite one of the year.

Hope everyone wakes up feeling just as free on the 1st, without too much hangover and ready for a fresh start.


This image has nothing to do with that thing I kept mentioning throughout this post, and it’s better that way. 

Happy New Year! – Dorothea

p.s. those annual reports are kind of neat, from WordPress. But I won’t bother you with the details. 😉



  1. The annual report from Word Press — it doesn’t automatically turn into a post does it? Okay, now on to the boogers — I think it’s great that you set up time lines in which to get things done, and lists, and so on and so forth. That shows you’re highly organized! I have finally learned to set reminders on my phone for things that are important to me so that I won’t forget. And about that spare tire — good job replacing it, but if you got a flat, would you actually know how to change it? I was thinking about that in the past few months… if I got a flat, I think I would be at the mercy of a kind stranger. I used to know how to change a flat, but I don’t think I remember these days. It’s one of those “if you don’t use it, you lose it” pieces of information. I think they should offer flat tire changing courses at the local tire shop to stay on top of things. (I think I really like to ramble when I’m commenting on your posts, lol) And I’m not sure I realized you were thinking of going back to Germany possibly for your PhD! Whatever happens, I wish you the best of luck on both of your applications! When will you find out?? It’s going to be a great 2016! Congratulations on getting that booger off your finger and those applications in the mail! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your ramblings 🙂 and your good wishes! Yeah, I’d like to be able to go back to Germany, but also don’t mind being in the US.
      Also, I think you’re right. People should be taught how to change a tire! I do know, courtesy of my father.
      Hope it’s a good 2016 for all of us. I was thinking, in light of all the things going on in the world, how petty my worries are, but I’m grateful that I only have my smaller worries. I need to remind myself to be grateful more often.
      Thanks for your comment 🙂 it’s always wonderful to have feedback on a post

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your worries are your worries, and they affect your day-to-day life, so while you don’t live in a war zone, don’t minimize what concerns you. You know full well you can’t solve the world’s problems, but you can absolutely solve yours. 😀 (ahhh, that motherly advice coming out again… I think it’s because you humor me, whereas AJ doesn’t, lol)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very hard decision. If I got the financial support in looking for at each institution, I think my heart says Germany. Honestly though, I have better chances with a degree from the US. I have to wait and see, and then confide. Thanks for the interest and posing the good question!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Desk days are always good to have. It feels good to get things done. 🙂
      And it’s a new expression to use! It’s kind of off-putting to hear, but the expression describes the situation well.


  2. Happy New Year, all the best for 2016, and Good Luck with your Phd applications. My daughter has just been accepted on a study abroad program in Japan! So much excitement will be forthcoming in September, perhaps she might do a blog on her experience too!!

    Liked by 1 person

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