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.

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