A lot has happened since the last time we chatted.
1. I made it through my first month of the program
2. I got my first stipend check.
3. I got my first paper back (sigh, it was a good result).
4. I made some progress on the apartment.
5. I met up with some wonderful old buddies who ended up here after college.
All of the aforementioned progressions have been positive. I don’t want to gush all too much about how wonderful things are. I don’t want to paint a rosy picture that will doesn’t reflect the copious amounts of reading and work that are required of us, or the fact that I am 15 articles behind on my editing as a research assistant. But when I sit back on my chocolate covered brown couch and take in the fact that I get to edit articles and read and analyze novels and films for a living, I have to say I am still in a state of shock. I do what I love for a living for the very first time in my adult life. And I would lie to you, loyal readers, if I didn’t say that it felt great. Work or no work, I am happy. I am almost afraid to say it, to write these words down for fear that everything will vanish into thin air. But I also feel it an obligation to proclaim this to you all, my dear readership who knows very well that there has been many an unhappy ‘job post’ prior to this one. Not even unhappy, perhaps. But blasé, detached, disengaged, despondent. I can say that I no longer characterize my life with any of those adjectives.
For fear that I may be casting too-rosy a filter over my graduate school life I will let you in on the minor bumps along the road. As you may know despite my tuition being fully covered and receiving a monthly stipend, you don’t become a PhD student for the money. Your stipend, particularly in a large city, is just about enough to get you through the month unscathed. Oh, and did I mention that we don’t get paid during the summer? Yeah, ouch. I’m already looking ahead to teach in the area or work at the library. I’ll keep you abreast on all of those progressions. I also am in the ‘new girl’ phase of my life here. I am lucky to know a handful of people in the Greater DC area, as I find my way in the new social circumstances of my life here. But I’m also a student so my schedule is totally different from the 9-5ers. On the other hand, I don’t only want to hang-out with other doctoral students. That said, I’m confident that I’ll get there. One month at a time.
What else? Oh, I don’t have a car (I guess I never really did, though). This can be problematic on occasion because I don’t live too close to a metro. Transporting stuff can be a pain. A big one. Luckily I have a grocery store a block or two away, a post-office, and a wide variety of other restaurants and stores at my fingertips. I’ve also been forced to walk more, which can’t be a bad thing. There are a few other bumps, which I’m sure I’ll blog about soon. For now, though, dear readers, I want to reiterate that I am doing well. I am constantly amazed at how lucky I am to be here, to be doing what I’m doing, and to be paid to do it.
Hugs from a living-in-the-moment Ms. Musings!
PS- Enjoy your holiday weekend, all!