29 December 2010

Travel Day

And that, I figure, is the cost of having one's own life: the moment you are in one space, you begin missing another. It's a constant state of longing that, while painful, reminds you of just how lovely your life really is.

28 December 2010

Putting It Off

I had grand plans for these days of vacation: books were going to be read, articles written and sent off to their respective journals, interviews transcribed. While the reading has happened, there has been little else going on. I am a horrible graduate student right now, which is why I put off traveling back downstate for a day to spend today in front of my laptop, working through some of the things on my to-do list. 

There has, however, been a flourish of crocheting. (Crocheting? Is that how that verb works?) My mom's best friend taught me how to put together a granny square on Christmas day and I find myself sneaking away from holiday presents-yet-to-be-knit (yikes!) to work a round. Addicting, it is. I'm hoping for a granny square afghan, especially after seeing this beauty. A full-size granny square for the end of my bed, please and thank you. 

However, now I must transcribe. Two hours of transcription. My reward will be a trip to the antique store on the edge of town. 

26 December 2010


I watch him from the couch, fiddling with the scooter, attempting to maintain his balance using his walker while wanting so much to ride the scooter his brother received under the Christmas tree just yesterday. Every so often, he loses his balance and the scooter crashes into the floor. He looks up, nods his head at me, giggles, and leans down to try again. It's a ten minute ordeal for him to work his way through the palsy, to make his body do the things he wants it to do. I get up off the couch to help him and he sees me. The scooter drops to the floor again and he waves me away. I sit back down and he works for the better part of a half hour to turn the bike upright and place one foot on the platform. Here, however, he is stuck, unsure of what to do next. 

I am finally allowed off of the couch and I place his other foot on the platform and hold his hands over the handles. Together, we wander through the house, his squeals of laughter causing Craig to chuckle. As we turn the corner of the kitchen island, the most absurd thought enters into my head: I wish I believed. I wish I bought into some sort of system of belief that supported reincarnation because this laughing ten-year-old on the scooter deserves some grace should there be a next time around, to be able to move his body as a dancer does. 

But I don't believe in a next time around and unfairness of the situation is almost overwhelming until he lets out another squeal and I find myself brought back into the moment. And in this moment, he is flying on his scooter and neither he nor I need any more grace. This is enough. 

24 December 2010

The Merriest

There is a moment while driving home, normally once I realize I haven't seen a coffee joint in 100 miles, that I begin questioning why I make the fifteen total hour drive home, especially as I grow bored with the CDs I have packed and find myself facing a wall of Christian music stations. Nothing wrong with them, just not for me, thank you. 

And then I get home and the little brothers are bouncing up and down before we all end up crashing in bed together, a giant sleepover. 

I'm frantically knitting, consuming massive amounts of coffee, and watching reality television with the little bros. It's delightful. Hopefully yours is as well. 

06 December 2010

Our Story Thus Far

I have no idea where the fall went, yet when I arrived back in Bloomington last night from Chicago, snow had fallen. The fall, it is over. It seems as though I did things and yet nothing seems to have gotten done. I don't like this feeling and suspect I will be spending the next two weeks hurrying through tasks to remedy the feeling that this semester hasn't been a complete wash. 

And it hasn't, truly. It just feels like it. 

Between this post and the last, a lot has happened. I've travelled to Orlando for the NCTE annual convention (and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!), spent Thanksgiving in Michigan, and just got back from a weekend in Chicago. I've also worked through a pilot of my dissertation study - actual data collection to begin in January! - and have worked through several fellowship applications for the coming year. To top this flurry of activity, I've been seeing DF (Dear Fellow) for about three months now, which eats up what little free time I have. Life, all in all, has been delightful, though. Busy, but delightful, and only getting busier as the holiday gears up. My knitting isn't anywhere near completed and I'm feverishly trying to finish it. 

It all gets done. Thinking: it all gets done. 

04 October 2010

Now Containing Actual Knitting Content

Oh, Monday. How I love you for starting the week off. I returned last night from a weekend in Michigan, where I got to eat donuts at the apple orchard, watch soccer games, and wander around a flea market... good times, I say. I also finally got around to taking a few final photos of the Lizard Ridge, which I am officially declaring done. 

Overall, I love how this turned out, aside from the fact that it took so long to actually finish. It's a great in-between project, however, as the blocks were ultra-portable but something of a pain to seam together. I really love the edging color - Cascade 220 in Como Blue. It's a simple garter stitch, but it makes the colors really pop. I've spent several cold afternoons cuddled up beneath it on the couch and it was worth all the time and energy. 

This is actually only the second thing I've knitted for myself and I imagine it sticking around for a while. Oh with the holiday knitting in these spare moments of fall. 

Oh, also? I am in love with the fall weather. IN LOVE. 

24 September 2010


This is the big box of clothing that arrived on my doorstep yesterday. I was actually giddy when the UPS man left it on my doorstep, having gotten to the point where there is barely anything in my closet actually fits anymore. A few sweaters, a couple of polos, and a great cardigan. I tried the sweater on: too big. All of the clothing, save for a polo I had ordered in medium, was too big. I have never been a medium. Ever. 

It was a bit of a boost, really, although it's sad to send the box back and wait for their replacements. 

22 September 2010

Linky Love: Bad Blogger Edition

Indiana can't seem to make up its mind: does it want to be summer or fall? I forget, every single year, how long the summer waits it out here. While I'm jonesing for sweaters and hats, the climate has a very different idea. The semester is in full swing, but no semester like I've ever known. There are no classes: just meetings and writing and perhaps even a little procrastination. I'm in high gear now, however, as my data collection is set to begin in, oh, t-minus four weeks. Yikes! 

I don't have an actual post, so I will leave you with some links: 

Even though I haven't finished the first pattern I bought, I'm excited at the prospect of there being more Gera designs coming in October. She's kitschy and fun and well worth the money, methinks. 

I totally dig Palladium's series on Detroit, Detroit Lives. There are some pretty amazing things doing on in that city. 

SlagsmÄlsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

I'm all about this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.

This could very well be the longest scarf EVER.

10 September 2010

Linky Love: Randomness Edition

Not going to lie: I did fall in love with New Orleans when I was there last weekend. It never really felt like a city people actually lived in and much more like Disney World. I felt the same way about Venice, Italy. Regardless, I did happen to find my way into The Quarter Stitch, the yarn store in the French quarter, and snapped this photo of their needwork yarns beautifully displayed on the wall behind their counter. I was tempted to buy a canvas but resisted. I don't need another project. (I am still, however, very much in love with these Charley Harper needlepoint pieces... one day.) 

In project finishing anticipation, Carrie Strine's blog has given me the inspiration to finish up some of the holiday sewing I've been putting off. This particular picture sealed the deal. Now to see if I can follow Anna Maria's directions and get some quilting done... 

Cornelia Fine's new book, Delusions of Gender, is on my list of things to read in my free time, whenever that happens to be. Salon has an article here that is both enlightening and fun. 

In other book news, I finished Julian Comstock on the very long plane ride some (Thank you, Hermine) and found it delightful. 

Hungover Owls will most definitely get you kicked out of the library for guffawage. Or perhaps that is just me. 

Strangely, it's the weekend already. I'm not quite sure I'm ready for it. I didn't get all I needed to get done during the week... 

03 September 2010

Off for the weekend

Off to Baton Rouge for the weekend. Only bringing two skeins of yarn with me, but this is the beginning of the holiday knitting.

01 September 2010

Kind of in Love

Life is so much better when edits are written in turquoise Stabilo. I'm actually all kinds of in love with turquoise at the moment, seemingly behind the curve. It figures. I never caught onto anything until it's almost cliche anyway. I'm okay with it. 

31 August 2010

Holiday Manifesto

It's August 31st, which reminded me of two things this morning: my parking permit would officially expire at midnight if I didn't purchase a replacement at some point in the day and that the holidays were a little under three months away.

Three months. One-fourth of a year. It seems like a decently long amount of time, but really it's not. I've taken to making my holiday gifts for the past few years, an endeavor that has required massive coordination over the course of the summer and fall. Here it is, the eve of September and I have nothing knit or sewn for the holidays. I'm a little nervous, not going to lie.

I have assessed the situation, though. I have materials, bins of yarn and of fabric that can be made into useful items for those I love. I just need to get a move on and in an efficient manner as there's a lot going on in those three months between now and Christmas. I have thought up something of a holiday manifesto for myself, a set of guidelines to keep myself focused on the task at hand:

(1) I will use the materials I have on hand. I am a hoarder of crafty goodness and have amassed a lovely collection. Time for them to be put to use, especially since the reason I started making my gifts was because I was tired of the commercialization of the season. Use what you have, Nick. Use what you have.

(2) I will be efficient in my use of time. I envision huge blankets and cabled sweaters being unwrapped and that's just not reality. I need to be cognizant of my time, my resources. In other words: I will be giving many hats this year.

(3) I will be reasonable about the number of people I gift to this year. My gift-giving list is always expanding. I need to contract this a bit and remember that notes of good cheer are as welcome as a small gift in the mail. At least I hope they are.

There's so much work to be done, but my calendar is color-coded and I am feeling prepared. Now to knit. Like the wind.

29 August 2010

Do you see that? All those loose ends to be woven in? 

It's already been done. Pictures coming soon. 

It's the night before the first day of fall classes here. There's a certain electricity in the air as everyone gears up for the start of the fall semester. I find myself at a bit of a loss. I don't have any classes. I'm not even teaching classes. I'm a research assistant this fall, a role I'm fortunate to have but one that keeps me out of the classroom for a semester. 

Gone are syllabuses. In their place is me, structuring my own time, reading about my own interests. Gah. So much to do this semester, so many things to attend to.

But the possibility. The possibility is amazing. 

I Wish I Had Said That

"How do you even reason with people who believe that, when something bad happens to you, it's God's wrath, but when something bad happens to me, it's God's pop quiz?"

- Dan Savage, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, p.166

26 August 2010


Yesterday was move-in day here in Bloomington, with flocks of anxious parents descending on the vehicularly constipated city to drop their children off in front of their dorms, bid their tearful good byes, and then travel back to their cities of origin. I normally shy away from driving in the city on days such as these, when a combination of anxious parents, one-way streets, and frustrated townies create unfortunate conditions for traffic, but couldn't this year. I had tutoring and needed to be at a certain place at a certain time. 

It was after leaving that place that I stopped on one of the busiest streets in the town and, while waiting, was hit from behind. I think I remember seeing the Subaru in my rearview mirror and thinking, "she's going to hit me, what do I do?" but am unsure whether that actually happened or if that's simply me constructing the story of what happened after the fact. Regardless, her Subaru SUV collided with the back end of my Saturn, propelling me into the gentleman ahead of me. I remember hitting my brakes, thinking that I might be able to avoid hitting his Honda, but to no avail.

After it all happened, I sat in my car, dripping with the diet soda I had bought at McDonald's just moments before. I was shaking and breathing heavily. I had never been hit before, much less inflicted vehicular violence on someone else. There was so much to process: what was the next step, what just happened, was everyone okay? I could see the woman behind me walking around her car, the man ahead walked around his. They both checked on me. I was shaken, but fine. Flashing lights and sirens and badges and the handing over of papers. I stayed in my vehicle for all of this, not climbing out until we cleared the road, in anticipation of the 5:00 rush. 

"You stopped. I saw you in my rear view. You were stopped," the man driving the car my car collided with told me when we climbed out of our cars after pulling onto a side road. I breathed, having run through the scenario in my head repeatedly, attempting to conjure up the appropriate emotion: shock, guilt, exasperation? 

I landed on fortunate, feeling fortunate that everyone was fine. I kept thinking back to the moment I realized what was happening and how fragile I felt, at the beck and call of forces of physics as force moved through metal structures. Fortunate that, in the grand scheme of things, the only thing that needs to be healed is the hatchback and front end of my car. These things are replaceable. 

Oh, life. How delicate and surprising and tricky you are. 

20 August 2010

Linky Love: Lizard Ridge Edition

With qualifying exams behind me and proposal breathing down my neck, I've been attempting to relax at the end of the day with a little knitting. Well, not exactly knitting. More sewing than knitting as I've continued to make progress on the Lizard Ridge. All the blocks are officially seamed together. I finished it at 1:30 this morning and promptly did something of a happy dance. All that is left to do is to pick up the stitches on the edges and knit a border... after some sleep as I was wide awake at 6:30 this morning. Why does my body hate me?

Yet another project nearing completion. Not so good for my motivation today, so I leave you with links.

I want to collect every single one of these My Little Ponies For Geeks, but would totally settle for the My Little He-Man and Orko.

These photographs are testaments to creativity and Mila's ability to sleep deeply.

If only news media actually used such warning stickers.

I can't help but take some glee in these photos from Westboro Baptist Church protests.

To try and be productive now...

19 August 2010


It wasn't until I finished eating my ice cream last night that I realized I was a PhD candidate. No longer a student, I was a candidate. Crap. I need to make things happen now, don't I? 

14 August 2010

I Wish I Had Said That

"The structures, the physical objects of our days, shape our thoughts more substantially than we often realize. A really comfortable chair makes reading better, of course, but more significant than the overt and recognized impact of structures is the fact that inanimate objects can be so influential as to seem almost animate, as if some force works through them."

Michael Ruhlman, House: A Memoir, p. 28

13 August 2010


I totally fibbed. I told myself I wasn't going to break into the pasta sauce until cooler weather descended but I couldn't resist. There was a zucchini and a summer squash sitting on the table and it was just calling out for pasta. And sauce. And it was delicious.

Other fibs I have told myself lately:

I love Denyse Schmidt. My love for Hope Valley is deep. My desire for Flea Market Fancy epic (though unrequited as I cannot afford $40 for a yard on eBay...). I happened upon her website last night and noticed her new collection, Greenfield Hill, was coming out this fall. At first, I was a little put off - it's a very different aesthetic from Hope Valley, calling forth vision of my English great-grandmother and her house filled with art deco treasures. On second glance today, it's growing on me. I might need a fat quarter. Or ten.

I am also in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald. I discovered him in high school when Mr. Krznarich, my social studies teacher mentioned the book in class and I realized it was something I hadn't read yet and should. I devoured his books, biographies about the man himself, and something of an anti-hero in him. I have several copies of his books but Coralie Bickford-Smith has redesigned hardbacks for all his books and my heart is a-twitter. I told myself I wouldn't buy any more books but when these come out in November? I will be collecting them all.

Okay. I feel better.

12 August 2010

Basil Tomato Sauce

The moment canning tomatoes arrive at the farmer's market in large boxes, I begin dreaming of canning sauce.

I tried out a recipe for basil tomato sauce this year from Ashley English's Homemade Living: Canning and Preserving. I've yet to actually taste said sauce but if the smell that filled the house while it simmered is any indication, this is going to be amazing on pasta. I bought a small farmer out of all of his Roma tomatoes picked up an onion from another stall, and was given a lovely bunch of basil by a professor in my department. I love the idea of these materials coming together to become sauce. 

After peeling, before simmering and an attack by the immersion blender. Meaty deliciousness. 

And the simmering continues. I am always a little shocked by how quickly tomatoes simmer down, especially as they simmer for the second time. The smell, however, continued to be amazing. 

Oh, yes. Little jars of summer sunshine ready for the winter. I can't wait to get into these when the temperatures drop.

I am continually amazed by the reactions I get from people when I stop to buy canning supplies. In preparation for this canning excursion, I stopped at the local hardware and bought new jars. The lovely woman behind the counter, to her credit, asked me what I was planning to fill them with. This is normally a conversation about what my wife will fill them with, which always makes me giggle a bit. After explaining my plans for said jars, she commented that I was really young to want to can. Unsure what this means, but entertaining nonetheless.

More canning adventures to follow. I still need tomatoes in their own juices for chili and would love to can some apple butter. After my quals defense, of course.

10 August 2010

They Tend Not To

I had the opportunity to watch a dear, dear friend defend his dissertation yesterday after watching him write furiously all summer. It was amazing. He was amazing. His work was powerful and meaningful and, well, amazing. It makes me excited to begin my own work in the fall. Oh so much to do before that happens, though. Decisions. Writing. Ugh. 

At a soiree afterward, I saw another dear, dear friend who is returning to her classroom today, teaching fourth grade after being a reading specialist for several years. She was relating an exchange she had with a researcher at a conference she attended this summer, during which the researcher shared that "lots of PhDs want to return to the classroom, they really do, but they tend not to." 

Just something that has been marinating in my brain the last few hours. 

07 August 2010

I Wish I Had Said That

"The working-class children we once were are in our bodies, even though we have moved on. We occasionally still feel physically uncomfortable in some privileged social settings, keen to escape rather than engage, afraid that we will be exposed as imposters when we make some kind of verbal or physical wrong move." (Comber, B., Thomson, P., & Wells, M., Critical Literacy Finds a "Place": Writing and Social Action in a Low-Income Australian 2/3 Classroom)

04 August 2010

Linky Love

I love Detroit. I love it even more when it is written about in a positive light.

Why would you need a college degree? I bet he's got a degree, though...

This reminds me to revisit the plagiarism policies in my syllabus.

I kind of all sorts of love it: Transgender camp.

I enjoy this more than I should:

31 July 2010

The Fall of the House of Whelmed

It wasn't until this morning, as I listened to this song in my car after seeing Liz and Don off on their multi-state adventure, that I broke down and cried. It's not that moving has been hard - physically tolling, yes, but really nothing I haven't done before - but that this last year has been so good. It's hard to imagine it ending. Even writing this now in my new bedroom, filled with boxes waiting to be unpacked, my brain thinks I will eventually go back to Clark Street. My gosh, that's melodramatic.

Regardless, I am all moved into the new digs. My roomies are diligently working through their first weekend of qualifying exams while I'm attempting to be quiet while unpacking. I'm being partially successful.

I was brutal with this move, culling the collection of stuff in ridiculous ways. I'm a sentimental hoarder: I keep things because someone made it for me, bought it for me. Items that I don't use but hold onto because I feel I have to. My fourth move in as many years and enough was enough: I dropped two carloads of things at Goodwill, which, judging from the line of cars at their donation door, had a very good day today. So much schtuff.

Schtuff that needs to be unpacked. I should go do some of just that.

26 July 2010

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

I've noticed I have a bit of an orange obsession going at the moment:

The first tomato from the plants I bought back in May. Delightfully orange and delicious on a sandwich. This could also be considered more red than orange. I'm claiming it as a hybrid of the two.

A stack of fat quarters from my local fabric store. Orange seems to be the dominant color - who can resist Heather Ross? And imagine my delight when I found some stray Hope Valley! Slowly but surely collecting a full set of fat quarters from that fabric line. The orange basket weave might be one of my favorites ever. 

Zinnias from the Farmer's Market. These are a little bittersweet as they remind me that summer is coming to an end. However, this also means that sweater weather is close and, really, who can resist how cheerful they are? 

25 July 2010

Small Graces

There's nothing better than a cup of coffee (much milk and some sugar added, please) and a morning project. Other things I've enjoyed this week:

(1) I've been tutoring in the public library for a few weeks now and it's totally reminded me how much I love teaching. I can't imagine not doing it and am kinda freaking out about not having a group of undergrads in the fall. After a tutoring session on Tuesday, one of the librarians approached my table, patted me on the back, and told me, "I love watching a great teacher. You do such a good job with these kids."

(2) The Lizard Ridge seaming is almost done. So freaking close. Then to knit on the edging, block, and use. Once the fall sets in, that is.

(3) I've been packing boxes for about two weeks now. Moving is sad, especially when you've been lucky enough to have an amazing set of roommates. It is also filled with possibility. I'm trying to dwell in that possibility. I'm also attempting to clean out some of my crap. How did I collect so much stuff?

24 July 2010

Of Pickles and Pick-ups

Last weekend, Sarah and I began the yearly tradition of putting up some of the local produce for the winter. Every year it seems we can a little more, try a few more techniques. This particular summer we decided to give pickles a go. During my recent trip to Michigan, my aunt gave me my grandmother's recipe for bread and butter pickles, a deliciously sweet and tangy condiment that immediately evokes memories of summer for me. We canned pickles last Sunday, working in shifts in her kitchen.

Perhaps a sign of the general number of projects I'm working on at the moment, but I realized that I was sans wide-mouth lids on the way to Sarah's house. The jars clinking together in my backseat would do little good without lids to seal. After calling to inquire about other items, I stopped the Kroger, which does a fairly good job of keeping a variety of canning supplies on their shelves and well stocked at that. While reaching for said lids, a mustachioed gent, whose cart contained three cases of jars, asked if I canned. What proceeded was a fifteen minute conversation about supplies, recipes, and the personal preferences of canning. It was his first time canning, having found a bumper crop of cucumbers in his garden, and he would spend the rest of the afternoon turning them into pickles. I told him of my own impending pickling of the cukes.

"That's cool. I wish I had someone to can with so I could ask questions. Hey, do you think I could have your number in case I don't know what I'm doing?"

I wrote my number on a scrap of paper, wished him the best with his canning adventures, and didn't realize until I reached the car that I had just given out my number in a grocery store. Strange.

He called the next day; all of his jars sealed and lined up on his shelves, as were mine.

14 July 2010

Lizard Ridging Along

Prior to leaving for the weekend, I spent a few nights weaving in and trimming the ends from the Lizard Ridge blocks. A few episodes of Mary Tyler Moore a night and it was done rather quickly. Brainless activity. That's a beautiful thing. I even started sewing them together but, after a weekend away, ripped it out last night and started again.

Part of the glitch was how the blocks were laying. I was seeing one of the cast-off edges and it just bothered me to no end. I also wanted to think of a way to seam as continuously as possible. I took a note from quilting and chain-pieced the bottom two rows of blocks together. It's a little awkward to handle, but I like the idea of stitching together all the horizontal seams in one general movement. It's also turned out to go a little faster than I thought it would. I pieced the first twelve blocks together in the course of two episodes of Family Guy.

I'm unsure I'm in love with the gray as a border, but I'll have to wait and see what it all looks like put together. I refuse to pull any more sewing apart so the gray stitches, they stay.

06 July 2010

Note To Self: Qualifying Exams

Our department allows us to write our own questions for our qualifying exams. While I thought I had prepared adequately for them, I wanted to quickly jot down a few thoughts about the process so that, should I ever find myself working through the same process (hopefully from another perspective), I have some insights into how to make it a better process for all. 

Throughout the thirty days, organization was key. The above? It's what somewhat worked for me: piles of books based on what conceptual material they were dealing with, a file jacket with articles organized in file folders along the same lines, and a Mendeley database. Toward the end, it did get a little dicey, but I'm unsure any organization system can survive me caught within the violent thrust of a deadline. 

When composing these questions, I was primarily concerned with the material to be covered within them. I should have paid attention to the products that were expected as well - I was constantly struggling a workshop question that I really had no clue what was actually expected of me. I did too much and fear I did none of it very well at all. (This fear has since been disbanded. It was fine - just not as complete as I would have perhaps liked.) 

Set realistic guidelines for how you will spend your time with your questions. I thought I would work through one question a week but spent the first week reading. That killed my week of revising, really, but I had the opportunity to cover a lot of material I hadn't covered in my coursework. It forced me to shift my plans, though. Also: make sure you know how and in what format your committee wants your materials. 

I keep thinking of these exams, this body of writing as a beginning point for the work that will begin in August, a space to begin thinking about the ways in which the kiddos and I will engage in making meaning through technology. It doesn't have to be perfect but I need to know what those spaces are where I have no covered something. For me, this is an undertheorization of power, a generalized sense of identity, and an awkward wielding of standpoint theory. All things I will read up on and form opinions of before my defense. It doesn't need to be perfect. Just workable. 

Above all: if you're in the middle of your exams: breathe. What you have learned will come together in surprising ways. It's do-able despite seeming totally ridiculous while you're within them. 

Linky Love: Gratitude, When Video Games Attack, and Quilting Crushes

Every once in a while I run across a blog that completely captivates me. Leah Dieterich's THXTHXTHX does just that. Her daily notes of gratitude often make me pause to consider my own state of life, usually accompanied by a giggle. Yes, a giggle. 

The roomies and I are selling our Wii soon but I kind of want to keep it, if only to play this game. 

Speaking of video games, when Pixels attack! 

I missed the golden age of Domino magazine, so I'm thankful some of the archives are being made public. One can never have too much aesthetically pleasing house porn to procrastinate to. 

In the midst of packing, I find myself in this very predicament. 

I could spend hours on Google Maps. Luckily, the Huffington Post has collected the most bizarre and strange photos for my, and your, entertainment. 

I really must read more about the man behind Charlie Brown. 

Everything about her is just lovely: her fabrics, her inspiration, the tools she uses. Denyse Schmidt, I think I have a little of a crush on you. 

And, lastly, chucks tend not to fit me very well as I am afflicted with the WIDE feet but I might have to suffer for a pair of these

05 July 2010

Life, Post-Quals

Quals were due Friday. By 11:59pm at the latest. Due to a formatting snaffu - and I mean a formatting snafu of the oh-crap-what-just-happened-why-did-my-computer-suddenly-turn-off sort - they actually didn't get turned into until 12:20am Saturday. Twenty minutes late. Crap. Regardless, they are in, my computer is still functioning (although I'm beginning to question the stability of Mendeley), and the rest of the summer can begin.

I somewhat expected that moment where I hit the send button to be something like a fireworks moment, the pure oppression of thirty days of intense writing to be lifted from my shoulders. Perhaps it was the last minute insanity of reformatting 93 pages of writing or just sheer exhaustion, but I honestly didn't feel a thing. Nothing. Not even an itch in my nose. Rather, I packed up my materials and went home to sleep.

I awoke the next morning and was instantly filled with dread: all 93 pages of dangling participles and incomplete sentences. Over the course of the weekend, I slowly talked myself into knowing that, while not the written masterpieces of my life, these essays weren't the messes I was making them into. These exams, they are works in process. Breathe. Relax. Read a non-acadmic books. (This, by the way, is amazing. I've always loved McCracken, but her writing here is beautiful and painful and optimistic and enjoyable. I devoured it.)

The weekend was spent catching up on life, all the errands that didn't get done while in the midst of writing. Planning projects. Running miles. I'm exhausted, still sleeping at least eight hours a night. Rare hours of sleep for me. Yet, surprisingly, I find myself ready to jump into the next phase, the planning of my research, the launch of my study.

I think this is as close as I have ever felt to being an adult.