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Posts tagged metaphors

We all want you to go, so what’s the hold up?

Hurrah for game nights.  This was a good one!  It’s always lovely to have Heather and Kevin over… and I really needed it today.

I got up pretty early, but it was so cold outside I didn’t really want to get up.  Frost all over, and even at 9:00 it was still only 32 degrees by my thermometer!  Warmed up decently as the day wore on, certainly nothing like the big snow they’re getting back home.  I’d give just about anything to be stuck in Seattle inside a toasty house and surrounded by snow.  Listening to everyone get all giddy and half-assedly panicking about it is enough to make me pretty homesick.

I’ve been feeling a bit like I’m in a void lately.  I’ve sent out several emails about nothing important, but not heard back from anyone.  I started to wonder if my email was even working.  I made some phone calls, appointments, all that… but as soon as I’ve done it, it no longer feels real.  I’ve taken care of some business, but it doesn’t actually effect my life.  I just go on, through the motions, doing what ever it is I told myself I was supposed to be doing… not because I want to, but because some past me decided I was supposed to, and so that’s what I do.  It’s a little like I’m driving as fast as I can down the freeway with no destination, but with a series of directions that say “turn left now” and apply regardless of my location.  For instance, tomorrow I know I must send two packages.  I can’t remember what I’m putting in them, and keep forgetting whether or not I’m done shopping for the people they are intended for.  But regardless, the physical boxes with peoples names written on them will be sent and thus Christmas will be saved.  I guess.

Which is why we needed to have company over tonight.  To make me operate in the present.  To make me make decisions that had immediate real-world application.  To make me feel like I have my shit together even when I clearly do not.    Though sometimes I think that maybe I do have my shit together, but I just don’t know it, and that makes me feel like I’m losing it.   I feel like one of those tiny dogs who can chase its tail until it gets dizzy and falls over.  I’m getting dizzy, and I’m not doing anything more worthwhile than pursuing the feeling that what I’m looking for is right outside my vision.   If only I could turn around fast enough to catch it, I’d have hope and cheer and holiday joy.

Nights like this make me wonder if this is what’s hard about graduate school as a concept – not the workload, but the mental distraction and state of constant movement.  At this point in my life, with this focus on wanting roots and family, it seems like I should be working in some decent paying job so I could afford all the presents I wanted to send, and so I could spend the money and take the time off to see my family, and maybe even start a family of our own.  But all of that seems infinitely more put-off-able than postponing (i.e., never getting) your PhD.   And I’ve wanted a PhD way longer than I’ve wanted a family, though it seems callous to measure it by that standard.   Everything seems callous when you measure it against giving your everything for your children, even those of the future unborn type.

I just don’t know what it’s all about.


It was a fairly successful day, but I’m feeling rather cranky at the moment.  I just finished grading a section’s worth of homework and I found a little cheating action in there.  Nothing makes me more cranky than people cheating on their work!  It’s not like we’re demanding an unreasonable amount.  And if you hate the class this much, maybe you should have dropped it.  Sigh.  Anyway.  Let’s not talk about this.

Let’s talk about how Lewis built me a fire tonight!  I should have taken a picture; it was marvelous.  It made our living room all toasty and homey, and it was even nice to grade papers by!  We also got our veg box tonight, and it’s full of bounty.  Oh how I love our veg box guys, even if their website only works some of the time.  Ooh, and we also went to the Co-op and got some essentials.  I had wanted to go to Ace, too, to get some more bulbs to plant before it gets too late, but Lewis and I were both pretty crashed out by the time we were ready to leave campus.

Not much else went on today.  But we have a – blessed! – holiday tomorrow!  I’m going to sleep in, and get a ton of work done, I hope I hope!  I did do a little private phonology lesson this afternoon which went okay… turns out the more phonology classes you take, the more crap you get at explaining all the fun stuff.  But I think my student got the jist and hopefully the homework won’t be too much trouble.  I’m looking forward to doing phonology in sections this week!  Too bad this is the only week of it… I feel like I’m ready to teach phonology classes!

Ooh, I also wrangled Sallie Mae today, which should count as a week’s worth of success at least.  Somehow, calling them is always a huge chore.  I even got stuck in an infinite phone tree loop today… but I prevailed, with what I’m declaring to be at least 2/3rds success.  I have all my loans deferred now for at least four years, which is a start.  A four-year-long start.  In another three and a half years I can start worrying about that last third I didn’t get taken care of today, which is to make sure they defer my loans throughout my stay in graduate school, which is predicted to be six years as the moment.  But whatever.

It’s midnight already… I really should get some sleep!  So much to do, and time passes so quickly while I’m doing it.. it’s like the very act of accomplishing work always makes me further behind!  Reminds me of one of those spider webs where the more you struggle to free yourself, the more tightly bound you become.  But I guess that’s what it’s all about.  Graduate school, that is.