Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

It's been ages since I last posted, and now I'm going to semi-wimp out by posting a Thursday Thirteen. But really, that's all my brain can handle right now.

1. Because grad school? It's insane. And sometimes I really wonder if the nonstop craziness is really worth it. This week, I've been ready to quit so many times. And I'm not even halfway through this term. But I've spent the past two weeks---including weekends---doing (almost) nothing but work, and I really just want a day---or even just an evening---when I can watch a movie or knit or go to the park with Rowen or whatever without the constant guilt and stress of knowing that I'm going to regret it and really ought to be doing schoolwork.

2. One result of all this craziness is that three weeks after starting to paint my living room, it is still only 5/6 finished. Thanks to some HUGE help from my friend C., the front hall, back hall, and most of the living room are now an absolutely gorgeous shade of yellow. I love the color! (Lighthouse by Benjamin Moore, in case you were wondering) But I wanted to paint one wall and the understand of the kitchen island in an accent color---something in a reddish-orangish-brownish color---a sort of cinnamon or rust color, maybe. But in the past three weeks, I haven't even had time to think about picking a color, nevermind actually painting those spaces. Or repainting the bookshelf or the end table. Or putting pictures up on the newly painted walls. Or doing any other sort of home decorating. So six months after moving in, I'm still semi-moved in.

3. Of course, the reality of not having any free time has not prevented me from indulging in the delusion that I could, maybe, someday have some free time. And when that time comes, I need to be prepared with plenty of fun reading material. So even though I can't even find the the time to finish an Entertainment Weekly, I've bought several books in the past few weeks, including

* Five Roundabouts to Heaven by John Bingham
* Songs Without Words by Ann Packer
* Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
* Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
* No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman

I also checked out Madame Bovary from the library because I keep running into references to it, and although I know what it is about, I've never actually read it and I feel like I really ought to read it.

4. And, even though I have no time to knit and I already have no fewer than four works in progress (including my sister's wedding afghan, which is now more than a year late), I bought a new knitting book, The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits, and immediately cast on for a sweater. I'll post a pic if I ever actually finish it.

5. Another thing that I'm not doing is running. I was doing so well---3 miles, 3-4 times a week. And now it's been nearly two weeks since I've run. Bah!

6. I have been better about practicing yoga, though. Every morning, I at least do a couple of sun salutations. And I think that my practice is about the only thing keeping me sane at this point. I'd like to take a class once a week, but, well, see 1 - 5 above.

7. Poor Rowen is totally neglected. She's lucky if she gets to go the park once a week.

8. My friends tried to get me to take bellydancing lessons with them. I tried one lesson, because I am intrigued by the idea of bellydancing. But the class is on a Tuesday night, right after a 2.5 hour seminar class, and I just have so much else going on right now. Plus, the class was really crowded. I'd estimate at least 60 people were at that first class. Even if half of that drops . . . I just prefer a smaller class so that I can actually see the instructor and the instructor can see (and correct) me.

9. The leaves are already changing color here. I can't believe it's October already! And we've had fantastic weather---warm and sunny. And, of course, I'm not getting to enjoy any of it. I'd love to drive out to some of the state parks that are a just a little ways out of Madison, but . . .

10. On a happier note: I baked cookies last night! I had to do a brief presentation in Swahili today---basically, I had to talk extemporaneously on any subject of my choosing for 3-5 minutes---and I had no idea what to talk about. So I baked cookies to give myself something to talk about (and to distract the professor and other students from what I was saying). The cookies weren't my best, but they were still super yummy. And I think I did okay on my presentation, too.

11. My Swahili class is my hardest class this term. The professor is a tough grader. Which has me worried. Not only because I'm a terrible perfectionist and hate to see anything but As on my transcript, but also because so much rides on my GPA. I have to keep an A- average just to stay in the program. And my GPA affects my standing for fellowships, grants, and teaching assistantships. So I have all this stress about this class---and it's not even the language I'll actually need for my fieldwork! But I can't take courses in the language I need, so I have to take a "related" language.

12. I have managed to see one movie recently---watched over the course of several nights, though. I'm totally hooked on the Nick & Nora Thin Man series, and I just finished Shadow of the Thin Man, which is my favorite so far. Mostly because Asta (their dog) has so many completely adorable scenes.

13. I've also gotten hooked, via DVD, on Bones. Even though I object to portraying anthropology as a science and anthropologists as socially inept, culturally ignorant, intellectually arrogant freaks (although the latter is probably a little more accurate than I'd like to admit), I can't resist a slickly produced crime drama (unless said drama involves David Caruso or Vincent D'Onofrio, in which case, I really really can resist). I'm even rethinking my position on David Boreanaz. I couldn't stand him on Buffy or Angel---too much brooding and an absolutely unforgivably bad attempt at brogue. But as a non-brooding, non-brogueing tough guy FBI agent, he's not so bad.

Anyway, I should get back to the books. *Sigh*


At 5:18 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

That does sound like a lot of stress. It's cool that you're doing yoga, though

At 8:43 AM , Blogger Artemisia said...

Oh, Lisa!

Grad school is SO STRESSFUL, and at least once a day I wondered, "Why the hell am I doing this?" You are not alone. Really. Think on the bright side: at least you are getting a degree in a field people have heard of! And! It is even employable. There is a good thought!

I know it is hard not to feel guilty whenever you are involved in something other than studying. (I'd feel guilty that I had to go to the grocery store. You know, to GET FOOD.)

My suggestion is this (and you are welcome to take it, leave it, or tell me to quit offering unsolicited advice!): Try to gently intercept those thoughts/feelings of guilt when you take a few minutes for yourself and remember that taking care of yourself is just as much a part of the grad school experience as is hunting up an obscure reference rule in that beast known as the Chicago Manual of Style.

Hang in there! I'll be thinking of you!

Here is one more exclamation point, just because!


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