Yeah, you read that right. Writer’s block. Me, Ms. Verbal Diarrhea, has writer’s block.

I figured I’d write about writer’s block here to, you know, conquer it.

It’s because I have this paper due. It’s really actually this-paper-block. This paper instructs me to “create a theory-based intervention using a selected theory in its entirety and design a study that will allow [me] to determine the impact of [my] intervention”. See, the thing is, I just DID that, for a study in real life (IRL) to evaluate an intervention for onchocerciasis (river blindness) and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). And I *even* used a theory! (For this, I was quite proud.) HowEVer, this professor is not a fan of last-minute changes, and, in fact, even worse, this paper was due on Friday. Yeah, like 2 days ago. I got an extension on it because of the complete and total breakdown I had after DB left, which was much needed and a huge help, but now I am still having issues.

See, the thing is, the topic I chose for this paper is a topic I’ve had to write about for the last 2.5 months of this class, and I’ve hated every.single.minute. of it. In fact, feel free to peruse the effects of that decision (the paper-topic decision) on this blog here, here, here, and here. Yup. Every Thursday, I would sit down, stare at the computer, and wish I’d picked another topic. I felt my ass burn from the bite of this horrible topic choice alllllllllllll semester. And now, at the 14th hour, I am paying for it for the last time. You’d think I would just hurry up and swallow the pain already, huh?

So my chosen topic – preventing sexual perpetration among adolescent boys – *used* to be *very* interesting to me. My job pretty much focused on this topic, and I was fascinated by this topic, and I worked with said perpetrators of said sexual violence, etc, etc, etc, etc. And then I moved, and got a new job, and decided that topic wasn’t so interesting. However, I have *lots* of research on the topic, so when I’m forced to pick a topic for a long research paper and I’m feeling lazy, that seems to be my default. So basically this is punishment for being totally lazy.

(There are some other issues surrounding this topic that I cannot share with the broad readership of this blog without protecting this post. I’m quite certain that this post will be one of my least-traffic-happy posts, because it is COMPLETELY boring, but I don’t want to protect it, so suffice it to say this: I have a knack for picking up crazy people and having them rule my life and my decisions for years afterward. That’s enough about that. If you happen to be someone who knows specifically about my experiences with the crazy people that have to do with my wallowing about this paper topic, feel free to drop me an email; I’d love to connect with you. There are three of you, none of whom I think read this blog, but if you decide to read it and read this post, I think you live in the southeast, midwest, and northeast, but I could be wrong, cause people move.)

Anyway, so here I am, looking sadly at this paper, wishing I picked a better topic, a better theory, and designed a better intervention, or had the proverbial balls to speak up and talk to the professor about how much cooler my design for preventing NTDs was (CB, wouldn’t it be so awesome to flesh that out more, just in case?!? Sorry you don’t get more of a shoutout – it would be yet another argument to PW protect this post.)

OK, off to start my paper. In the meantime, I’ve managed to come up with the following deep, probably controversial thoughts (that will probably get picked up by Go0gle and will increase the traffic to this truly boring post):

1) I would like to drop out of this program and go to med school. Those of you who know me know this is only the 87th time I’ve considered this path. No, you’re never too old. Especially if you delay the decision each time it comes up by 2 or 3 years, so by the time you matriculate in said med school, you could have parented most of your preceptors and certainly most of your colleagues. (I’m not that old…yet.)

2) If I made it into med school, I’d be an internist or a family practice MD. I know a *lot* about medicine. It’d be nice to legitimize what I know.

3) I’d convert the doctorate to another masters.

4) Because it would be so. nice. not to have to take the written exam for my doctorate.

5) No, because it would be so. nice. to be Dr. Rachel and have my own radio show. Or TV show, and I could yell at people and tell them to “just lose weight already” or whatever that Dr. P*hil does. (I don’t want Google hits for that one.)

6) That was a joke. Actually, they were both jokes. ‘Cause although med school has no major written exam, it has enough other hoops to make up for it.

7) Domestic adoption scares the crap out of me.

8.) Because I simply do not know how we would be able to compete with other people who are trying to “market” (that is in quotes because it actually IS a quote from several of the websites) their parental prowess to potential birthmothers. I mean, I think we’re pretty cool (are we?) but we live in a city, in a small place, with one spare bedroom. Compare us to the young couple who is wealthy and lives in a huge suburban mansion with 5 bedrooms in a gated community with a private pool on a pond that is pre-stocked with fish. That is a great place to grow up for many kids, although that wasn’t either DB’s or my reality, and maybe more saliently, we will never have that *be* our reality as adults or as parents. It’s just not how we roll. We’re more urban, we like small spaces, we like urban green spaces, we like public transportation, we like smallish cars (although it’d be nice if they retained their oil), we like eating out, we like urban diversity from ALL sorts of meanings, we don’t fish, and (shhh) DB really hates swimming. And I really hate gated communities. Sorry if that offends anyone.

9) Although…I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to be unexpectedly pregnant and scared and trying to make decisions about what to do. I mentioned before that I pray for the birthmother of our future child every day. I seriously do. Because I really can’t begin to imagine what that’s like.

10) So…I put myself in her shoes. (This is how I avoided my paper.) I put myself in her shoes, and searched for families who put “any child” for the ethnicity, because that would be what I’d want if *I* were carrying a child. Even if that child was, oh, say, caucasian, I’d want the family to be open to any race, cause I’d want to know that they’d love my child for being my child and not try to make them into something they want them to be. (Projection much? I know.)

11) BUT…see, then I start thinking. I start thinking that there are very good reasons for some people to choose not to be open to any race, like having a terribly racist extended family, or planning to live overseas in countries where racism is worse than it is here.

12) BUT…that would not appear to be the case for 95% of the birthparents out there looking for babies. Or maybe it is. Who knows?!? That isn’t one of the questions, although I kinda think it should be: “How do you plan to raise your children with respect to diversity?” or “What are your thoughts on discipline?” or “What are your thoughts on education?” or…those types of things. But no. Instead, we have…

13) Some agencies, like, oh, say, this one, who want the PAPs to include why they “are unable to have children”. I find this repulsive. Because these families are ABLE TO HAVE CHILDREN, they are choosing to ADOPT to have children. I am one of the least anal-about-semantics people I know, and this irked me beyond belief. Why can’t people just CHOOSE to adopt? Why must it be assumed that biological children are everyone’s first choice?!? I mean, ok, a lot of people come into adoption after trying to conceive biologically; some come into adoption after trying (or succeeding at) assisted reproduction. But seriously, come ON. That means that the child who is eventually adopted using this agency will potentially see their adoption as their adoptive parents plan B, or second choice, or backup family expansion choice…that just doesn’t seem fair. I understand that many parents choose to start growing their families the old-fashioned way – I’m not denying that – and I’m not denying that many families who do adopt have experienced infertility. I just think that by the time families are arriving at a decision to adopt that they should have embraced the concept of adoption as the best option for their family’s expansion – not as their last option.

14) The homestudy should have addressed this issue; that’s part of the reason we have home studies. (At least, this is how I justify the homestudy. I won’t lie – a small part of me feels a little bit affronted that any teenager can have a child without a third party coming into evaluate her ability to parent, but if you choose not to procreate biologically, you must prove your worthiness to raise them.) I justify this in my head by saying that it’s to make sure that adoptive parents are prepared to raise an adopted child. Actually, I justify it in my head a lot of ways, but this is one of them.

15) I think I’ve killed the writer’s block now, don’t you think?

And on that note, I will stop. I think I’ve said enough controversial things today. Feel free to enlighten me or disagree!

Back to the paper…