Monday, November 25, 2013

Are we there yet?

And by there, I mean: the end of this semester.

For the past, oh, six weeks I have had some major school burnout. Which is unfortunate because it was only a few weeks into the semester when it began. Between my required "field seminar" class which sounds way cooler than it actually is (it does not involve anything having to do with being outdoors) and my skipping ahead a year in Arabic, it's been a pretty non-stop grind of reading, reading, reading in Political Sciencese and then some more reading in Arabic. The field seminar is about 1000 pages a week, plus I have a book (300 or so) pages for my other seminar and then 20 hours a week of Arabic. I've become quite adept at "enlightened skimming" --

But! The end is in sight (snow! on the ground!) and I have about three more weeks until we board the plane(s) to Utah and spend three glorious weeks semi-relaxing but actually catching up on reading and working at my (maybe) new job (translating Arabic comics, but I'm not sure I will take the job yet). I like school because I'm a perfectionist (not necessarily a good thing, but that's another blogpost to come) and I love how my brain is expanding a thousand-fold in newly-acquired knowledge with every passing semester. Though at the same time, it can be debilitatingly frustrating because I expect myself to do as much work as my classmates and I have to remember that I have another full-time job at home they don't have (or two, technically). When I hated the first few months of grad school and upon reading Lean In, I told myself I would stick with it for 18 months until I decided whether or not to continue. I am nearing the end of that 18 months with next semester, and we'll see where we are at that point. But so far, not so terribly bad. I have an awesome advisor, a great fellowship (and one already waiting for me for next academic year), wonderful cohort friends, interesting and stimulating seminars, and a grant to go to Tunisia this summer. We love our community, our church, and our group of friends.

This brief update brought to you by: procrastination of finishing Varieties of Feminism: German Gender Politics in Global Perspective. See why I love grad school?

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