Dazed and Confused, Part V

The proverbial “pound me in the ass” week is upon us…and I’m sick. Somewhere, that God of ours with his sick sense of humour is having a good laugh at my expense.

If ever there was a time for me not to be sick, this was definitely it. Today, for instance, I have (had, rather–I’ve been forced to postpone) a meeting with my thesis supervisor. In order to prepare, I needed to have read three books, plus done some online research; I did the online research bit last night, but the readings–which were supposed to have been done this morning during the three-and-a-half hour nap I was pretty much forced into taking–clearly aren’t getting done. Instead, I’ll be spending the afternoon reading about Janis Joplin and Motown, all the while fighting a headache that would induce heroin addiction in a weaker man. Meanwhile, I have three books to read in preparation for next week’s classes–one of which involves a presentation, and as such requires me to lead class discussion and write a two-page handout that summarizes the author’s arguments and the book’s place in the broader French Revolution discourse (see, I told you it was fun). I have two twenty-page papers staring me down like Harvey Weinstein eyeing a jelly donut, I have a thesis prospectus to write, a French language exam to prepare for…and on Friday I get thirty-eight fifteen-page papers to grade for my boss over at Ryerson. Yup, just another typical week in grad school.

I should also throw in this caveat: last week was quite possibly the best and most productive week of my grad school career. In class Monday night, for instance, they couldn’t shut me up; I’ve decided I’ve got two months of relative silence to make up for and figured this week was a good place to start doing so. And I was working on four hours’ sleep, so there’s no telling how much I could dominate if I had a regular night under my belt. Yesterday I didn’t open my mouth a single time…which was only right, since I bought the stupid book and didn’t read it. But after class me and five of my classmates went out for lunch; it might sound like a straightforward enough post-class exercise, but if you’ve been talking to me in the past two months you’ll know how hard it’s been for me to meet people in this stupid program. To that end, it was awesome. It almost made me excited for next week…and if I weren’t feeling as bad as I am right now, I might even remove that “almost” caveat altogether.

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