As I had mentioned in my previous post forever ago, you might be seeing a lot less of me in the next few months. This is because, as with all other entering UMB grad students, I would be taking something called The Core Course. And it has proven to be all that I thought it would be: it is both tedious and simultaneously terrifying. It has consumed all my time and energy and soul. I am so physically, mentally, and emotionally spent, and yet I find myself with still another month to go. But there comes a point (or many) in every grad student’s life where she hits a wall. Where fear turns to ambivalence. Where my brain has literally begun to hurt from overuse, and I worry that I may be giving myself a tumor despite several hours of lectures a day reminding me that this is not scientifically possible even though, as it has been reiterated to me many times, there are always exceptions in science (and it seems I am responsible for learning ALL of those exceptions!). Where the presence right now of a chainsaw-wielding psychopath in my living room would be met with nothing more than an apathetic “m’eh”. And apparently, for me, that time is nigh!
So, since my wall has not corresponded with the end of this course as I had planned and because I do still need to pass it, I have decided to take a weekend (or a day this weekend) and replenish my soul. And I decided this shall include a brief blurb on my blog, before WordPress discontinues it for inactivity.
Now, what does your typical overworked, underpaid hippie/nerd do with her day of rest? It begins with yoga class, which starts at 11:00am yet I barely make it there on time…because my day actually began with beginning it WAY later than they make me most days now. I find my inner balance and expel negative energy, something that has become a desperately needed respite right now. Then it’s coffee and lazy brunch with the Greek and tons of fresh fruit; today this involves the two of us going through the accumulating piles of our respective catalogs that have arrived in the mail when we were too busy to read them. For the Greek: Pottery Barn, Franklin Covey, and REI. For me: Athleta and Knit Picks. I dog-ear pages as if I’m going to go back and buy these things…in a world where my desire for nice things is treated as currency by everyone else. We both thumb through Consumer Reports (a.k.a. my Bible)…because in the same make-believe world where we fake-buy things, we want to be conscientious consumers. Then I completely nerd out, and my late afternoon is spent starting a new knitting project and watching Tosca on PBS (the combination of knitting, public television, and Italian opera (in my fuzzy slippers) causes the Greek to call me Grandma for the remainder of the afternoon). And yes, I’ve finally started a new knitting project! And now I have a helper:
As evening approaches, I find those previously dog-eared pages and buy everything I marked, because screw you student loan debt. I will not allow the fact that I have no foreseeable income drag me back to my college days of Ramen and Sweet Tarts. I’m a grown-up, dammit! Why? Because fuck you, that’s why!!
For dinner, vegetarian Indian food and sustainably sourced wine, naturally. Not for the Greek, though. He has goat curry and a Coke because, well, goat and sugar drinks is perfectly appropriate and almost a requirement if you’re a Greek American man-child. This is the man for whom I must buy an annual ice cream cake for his birthday and who, after my obligatory single piece on the day of, will eat the entire thing himself over the course of a week with, I kid you not, a scoop of ice cream on the side. Seriously, ice cream cake à la mode!
The night was spent with the Greek watching bad TV, mostly Japanese-inspired game shows and wild police videos (<– man-child), and me reading until I drifted off to sleep. Because I have joined my first book club. An unofficial one, really, but a book club all the same. Upon the departure of one of my dearest girlfriends back to her Northeastern roots, my circle of close women decided to keep in touch via the internets with a monthly video chat, with only mild delays due to my technical issues. I am not good with the technology…how I intend to make a career in the sciences is anyone’s guess. And we decided why not start a casual book club while we’re at it. We’re reasonably young, verbally gifted, well-informed intelligentsia; surely we can read one book a month and come up with valuable things to say about it. And let’s be honest, the only way I was going to keep such a commitment is if I can do so from the comfort of my sectional sofa, in my sweatpants, whilst swilling wine.
Sadly now, the weekend has ended, but I am happy to report the heavy bleakness has, I think, gone with it. That was what I needed: a whole lot of glorious nothing. I think I shall make it after all.