It Came From Outta Nowhere

Week 8 of Graduate School and Teaching Comp


            Today I bid thee hello from my cozy bedroom in Spring Creek, which is now Belizean flag free for a fantastic reason, which I shall reveal in our next installment. Now though, there be lukewarm tea within arm’s reach, favorite books, painkillers for the achy back and a new winter blanket on my bed that I have a date with after my date with Netflix and an egg sandwich (what can I say, I’m a playa). It’s strange to be so comfortable right now only forty-eight hours after one of the most stressful days of the quarter so far. And like most tales of grad school stress, this one stars procrastination.

            See it went like this. Teacher assigns a paper, asks us to turn in a proposal, returns proposal with tips on where to look for sources or how to increase topic specificity, man reads tips, man puts little star to mark email important in Gmail, feels really good about assignment, man acquires sources for paper, man scan sources, man gets dinner, and then man comes back almost two weeks later surprised that a draft of the lit review is due in two days. A real cliché this one.

            You got all the tropes. The moment where someone is rude to another person for absolutely no reason other than to be upset at someone other than himself. The moment when he spends much too long making an “elaborate” dinner (curry rice with stir fried vegetables) the night before the deadline. The moment he’s made some progress through the paper well past midnight and decides he’s earned a 10 20 minute music session, deciding he can’t quit at it until he’s listened to just the right tune to get him pumped up enough for the last stretch. The moment twenty minutes after he’s resumed when he realizes he’s typed the same word twice. The moment when man decides maybe sleeping would be a good idea, culminating with man submitting subpar draft that is wordy, often uncited, and unorganized. Of course, that’s then followed by several self-deprecating conversations about lack of effort put into assignment, passing off lazy as too cool to care.

            Meanwhile, elsewhere in anxiety town, man has ten papers left to grade and a micro thesis left to write, and he’s still not sure if his students know wtf to do on their final assignment. However, class discussions all week have been stellar, students were cool with class day before thanksgiving, and I think a lot of it has to do with my reservoir of enthusiasm that somehow can only be used while in a classroom either teaching, learning or most often with the former teach-learning.

            Fortunately, mild conjunctivitis has paid me a visit last night, and now I’m forced to do things like rest, and close my eyes. I’ll give all that a shot tonight, but I’ll try not to make it a habit. Laziness got one over on me once this quarter. Let’s see if I can make it through the last stretch without giving it another win.


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