The first year of this PhD business is coming to an end. It’s been a challenging one and I’ll be happy to proclaim it when I’m in the second year of the program and not the first. That’ll happen by the 18th, so stay-tuned. I’ve learned a huge amount, have jumped through many a hurdle, and can say that this year was undoubtedly the most academically rigorous of my life (yes, I’m including the two other Master’s in that calculation). They push you to the point of questioning your own intelligence and meaning of existence so you can piece yourself together and come out stronger (I’m assuming :). PhD programs seem to be quite different from Master’s degree programs because the end goal is also different. They are not looking for teachers, or advanced professionals, but academics. Questioning, critical, neurotic, self-inflective, paranoid academics. And it turns out that’s what I’m becoming 🙂 Kidding! Kind of…
After wrapping up classes, I made the mistake of trying to immediately start a desk-job. It paid $17/hour, which is great for a campus job, so I jumped on it. Unfortunately, my level of overall exhaustion, plus the fact that I had two final papers and a project looming over my head at various dates in May (the 10th, the 13th, and the 18th) turned out to be a tricky combination. I went there, but my mind was elsewhere. Luckily it was a gig lasting only a few days. Note to self-> know thy limits.
As of last weekend, I’ve been back to my original work—> papering. So far I have 9 pages of the first one done. It’s only a 17 page requirement, so I’ll easily have ‘er in by Tuesday. Then just two more assignments, a drop in the bucket compared to the year.
I’ll be done.done by the 18th. Here’s a little fun list of things I’ve learned this year.
1. Time managment.
2. Money management (i.e. bringing frugal to a WHOLE new level).
3. How to speak Portuguese.
4. How to be a wife.
5. How to doubt everything I say/write 🙂
6. How to teach a 2nd language.
7. How to analyze a medieval text (it’s pretty sweet!)
8. How to have a great dinner party on a budget (it’s a fine art and involves a very good cheap bottle of wine that shall go unmentioned)
9. How to have out of town guests (we’re talking multiple) in a studio apartment occupied by two adults. Gotta love the old air mattress!
10. How to let stuff marinate in your head and not expect immediate writing results. It turns out half of the good stuff written ferments in our heads whilst doing none academic activities. Food for thought (see #8).
Obviously the list could go to 100, but for the sake of a concise post and a quick snap-shot of life lately, I’ll press publish and hope for the best.
With love from this-nearly-done Muse,