Sunday, December 14, 2008


As I sit here at the library typing my seminar papers for this semester, I can’t help but wonder at how I made it this far without crashing and burning.

Simply, I’m tired.

I’m trying to hold down multiple jobs, all in this crazy sub-culture called academia, trying to complete three graduate seminars, and trying to be the perfect wife (which I’m slowing discovering is a fantasy). Because I’m torn—yanked, prodded, pulled, you get the picture—in so many directions, I’m not really doing any of them justice. I do not get to spend enough quality time with my husband. I do not keep a clean house. I do not have a perky get-up-and-face-the-day attitude in the mornings. I do not love my jobs as much as I appreciate having them.

No, unfortunately, our townhouse is a mess. This isn’t because Scott or I are particularly messy people, but because we are so busy that we are never home. And, when we are home, we are usually only there long enough to throw down our backpacks, books, and papers, change clothes, pick up another stack of books and papers, and run out the door again. When we finally collapse with each other at night, we have some amazing moments of solidarity and companionship. And then we sleep far too little before we have to get up and do it all over again. Ah, grad school.

Scott has been my rock for the past four years, and every part of me wants to make him proud. I never would have been emotionally stable enough for grad school without him standing behind me, reminding me of my strengths and cuteness. I want so badly to excel at my current jobs and graduate studies so that, once we (if we?) finally finish, I’ll be able to get a job that is both financially and emotionally satisfying. That way we’ll be able to appreciate each other more and appreciate all the work we’ve been killing ourselves for out here. We’ll be able to look back and know that these hard years of our Ph.D.s were 100% worth it, no regrets, no what ifs.

Here’s my grateful list for today:

  • husband’s fuzzy pajama pants
  • yummy cheese and cracker snacks
  • other harried-looking students in the library, proving that I’m not alone in the world
  • my CGU partners in crime, Jan, Stefani, and Sharone
  • Holiday Blend coffee
  • hair long enough to braid so that I don’t have to think of anything original to do with it
  • free food in the library
  • husband’s warm hugs after chastising me for wearing his fuzzy pajama pants
  • books about hair, black hair, long hair, African American hair, literary hair, kinky hair, political hair, and Janie’s hair
  • our nice apartment manager who keeps trying to give me free lemons
  • the thought of sleep tonight, however short it may be

I’m almost halfway through one paper, with one more to go after this. Earlier this semester, Sharone and I turned in our 80-page Jazzwomen project, which was half our grade for our Jazz Transdisciplinary course. I’m glad I am finished with that class and only have to complete two more. Two more. Two more. Two more.

To be continued…

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