anxiety, and some minor jingling

December 21, 2007 at 2:17 am (grad school)

Point the first. Looks like some people actually wander by and read this blog every once in a while. Darn you. I might actually have to start proofreading things before I post them.

Point the second. I suspect about 70% of hits to this blog are from undergraduates coming via Google. Dearest students of medieval lit, I get all excited every time I think about yet another person out there in the world learning of the wonder that is Malory. I truly do. It makes me happy. I hope you find my bibliographies and annotations useful, and I hope you feel perfectly free to use said bibliographies and annotations as starting points for your own properly formatted, researched, and cited papers.

Point the third. I turned in my last paper of the semester yesterday, and I can see that this academia business is really warping me, because when I went out the door on errands today I grabbed the MLA _Profession 2007_ to read in case I got stuck in line. I read a few articles. I am now sitting here with my hands over my ears singing “la la la I can’t hear you” over and over and over and….

There must be some fine line somewhere between “forewarned” and “having faith,” but I don’t know where it is. I can’t get through this PhD business without a little faith. I’m just wondering how much of it has been blind. However, I’m pleased to see that the little bell in heaven — you know, the one that rings whenever a medievalist gets a job? — is ringing a little more frequently lately.

Not really a point, but a moment of weirdness… I found myself missing my students this week. Yeah, those students I don’t have. I’m not trying to complain about this teaching-free year, not one bit, nosirree, because I was quite busy enough with my own coursework and adjusting to a new city. But for the last two years, I’ve had this end-of-semester scenario that goes like this: scramble to finish my work, then scramble to meet with student over drafts, then scramble to get them all graded before the deadline for grade entry. And it was always driving away from grade entry where my brain and body said, “Aaah, that’s it, we’re done for the moment, let’s relax a bit.” And now I find that, without that moment, I don’t know quite how to communicate to my body that it can stop with the adrenaline that has been its constant companion all semester.

Also, having students really gave me a sense of perspective that I did not have this semester with my head shoved up my since I was so immersed in my own work.  I had a class from hell last spring, but I also had one of the best classes ever, and it was truly a pleasure to read their final research papers, and … well, I guess I kind of miss teaching.


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