Monday, March 7, 2011

What am I doing?

It happens every 10 weeks or so.

It's happening now.

I'm talking about the part where I'm looking at these books and these highlighters and these stacks of index cards and I'm thinking, what am I doing?

Just what in the name of Lord Alfred Douglas am I trying to accomplish here?

People ask me all the time about my master plan. Enquiring minds wanna know...why did you decide to get a master's degree? Why Literature? Why now?

My answer: Because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Do you want to teach? Not particularly. Do you want to be a writer? Meh. So what are you going to do when you're done?


Truth is, I like learning. I love it. I love it better than new clothes and IKEA and taco bell. I love a good pen and some paper and a professor who knows what she's talking about. I love that homework requires a blanket, a highlighter, a good book, and NO pants. Anything I can do sans trou, you know what I mean?

Problem is, I hate school. I hate worrying about final papers and exams. I hate being assessed. I hate the prospect of getting a *gasp* A minus. It's like the academic equivalent of a Juno Award. You know, nothing to be ashamed of but still not particularly impressive.

So right about now, in the middle of "writing" a paper that in a few days I'll hand to a professor who will then decide whether or not my weeks of toil measure up, I ask myself, why oh why do I do this to me? Is it because I have no master plan? no ambition? no babies? no better things to do?

Probably, a little.

But is it so bad not to have a plan? I mean, I have wishes. Someday I'd like to have a dishwasher and cable. A laundry room. You see, I'm incapable of looking too far into the future without inadvertently inducing a mild panic attack. I'm talking uncontrollable weepiness, irrational instant messages to my spouse, foot stamping, and such. Like Paula Abdul, kind of. It's ugly. So I take it one quarter at a time. It's safer that way and much more flattering, I can assure you.

Ask me what my plans are for the next 10-12 weeks. Now that's a question I can answer.


Angela said...

I get you on the whole "love learning but hate being graded" thing. I have yet to study for the comps (I know, I'm a bad student!) and it's starting to freak me out. Thank goodness for pantless weekends soon =)

Gretta said...

@ Angela Pantless weekends is a good name for a band, I think.

Cliff said...

GREAT SHADES OF ELVIS! You and I are exactly the same. I have no master plan...I'm getting a master's degree, but I turned down the Ph.D. program...why? Because I have no master plan. And because I have no master plan, when I think about the future I end up buying canned goods at walmart and single-burner propane stove (really, this happened this week) in case we find ourselves homeless either because of my lake of a plan, or because of the tornado warning that was issued throughout the panhandle this week.
When I comes to school, and life, I freak the heck out. If I think of finding a job, I too end up in tears, and become the personification of the little black raincloud that rains on anything that remotely resembles healthy optimism. The only way for me to pull out of this funk is to seek reassurance from my wife that I don't totally suck at everything and then she has keep my head on her lap and stroke my impossibly intensely furrowed brow while we watch an episode of Community on Hulu. And if there is no new Community on that week, then God help me, I am done for.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that it runs in the family. <@;).

Gretta said...

@cliff thanks, psycho. I feel better.

Smart said...

I'm totally the same way. Especially that last part. :)