Create-A-Day: Queen of Books

October 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

So I’m in grad school now, pursuing a Master’s degree in Art History with a Concentration in Museum Training. as usual my exceedingly high expectations for myself and my “stages in life” are unreasonable and unreachable. I’m working 20 hours a week, but I’ve been travelling for work every weekend as well, so it’s more like I’m working 40 hours a week (or more, depending on my travel schedule and how much my itinerary gets messed up) and taking a full course load. now, really, I’ve done crazy shit before and had schedules that are mindblowing to normal people, so this shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is taking its toll. I look like a zombie most of the time, I drink coffee instead of taking meals (I joke about it because I know it’s not healthy, but it’s the best I can do), and I get up earlier on the days that I *don’t* have work than when I have to go into work. sometimes in the mornings when I get up at 6am to do homework, I’ll spend a good ten minutes staring into the mirror examining the growing circles under my eyes. it’s fascinating, really, watching the changes to my body when it’s under this kind of pressure. paleness of the skin, dullness of the hair, losing a bit of weight even (woohoo! there’s always a bright side). but it’ll be worth it in the end. I don’t want to draw out my degree longer than two years and of course I don’t want to work less than 20 hours a week (um hello, rent doesn’t pay itself), so this is what my life is going to be for a while. just call me the queen of books:

don’t be silly — I had to buy more books than that just for this semester. at first I felt terribly intimidated, not so much by my classmates (yeah, right… they’re the same as undergrad kids practically), but the workload and the expectations of our teachers. their expectations are pretty high, and I had a bit of an adjustment period getting back into the swing of things, after all I had been out of school for a year. the trick is to be super duper organized, which luckily for me, I am naturally! I live my life by my planner, which I update weekly, double- and triple-check, and color code. I’m often left with the feeling/paralyzing fear that I’ve forgotten something important, but I doubt there’s anything I can do to fully alleviate that.

it’s nice to be using my brain again, I have to admit that. I used my brain a bit for work, but it’s like a very different way of thinking than how I think in school. the interest level is different too, as well. that’s to be expected, I’m sure, since I’m at the bottom of the totem pole in our company and my job is fairly limited as far as expanding my responsibilities goes, so the need for my brain to be super-engaged isn’t urgent. so my school brain is switched on now, and I think I’ve finally settled into the groove of school. I would even go so far as to say I’ve really been carrying at least two of my classes if not all three. when the prof asks a question I count to five and look around the room to see if anyone else is going to answer, and if no one does then I do. so I’m not exactly like hermoine, really, I’m less jumping up and down about knowing the answer (besides, half the time I just have a good guess). but it’s frustrating when I have this insane work schedule and I get to class and no one else has done the readings. I have about an hour a day when I’m not at work and not in class or doing schoolwork. just an hour to myself. what are these kids lives like without jobs and with the same courseload as me? it’s quite frustrating, but as always, my expectations are far too high for my classmates. but maybe I’m just not being fair. I don’t have the time to gather the necessary info I would need to make a fair judgment.

anyway, so I’ve been complaining a lot about yet another stage in my life where I feel disillusioned. you’d think sometime I would let go of the ideals I have about the world and just go with whatever is there before me. people say I’m too serious about things. people say I plan too much for the future. people say I have too vivid of an image for my life in ten years. people say a lot of things and pretty much my entire life I’ve never listened. I think things have turned out okay for me, and I always feel better, even when I make mistakes, knowing I did things my own way. it’s something about taking responsibility for my actions, but it’s more than that too. something to ponder I suppose.

and it’s not like I’m rigid. I am committed, definitely, but I’m also flexible (believe me, moving to DC was not my original plan, but I’m SO glad I did it). I’m currently working through some things, some future-related things. do I really want a phd? it’s going to be a lot work and a lot of expense (phd stipends are significantly less than what I make at my current job, and I would really just like to move up in the pay grade area). and would it really be worth it? I really just want to be well-educated. but I also have a very strong desire to have a house and a yard and a dining room table. that requires money. money I may or may not get after my phd, and money I certainly won’t have while I’m earning my phd unless I’m married to someone rich (yeah right). so my life is at a bit of a strange place. I want to plan for my post-Master’s future, but it’s hard when I can’t decide which future is more important, or at least which one I want right now.

of course my biggest goals right now are: 1. rock grad school, 2. rock work, 3. try to be happy with what I have while I have it. because everything in my life right now is temporary. everything.

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