Dazed and Confused

Ah, grad school–I hardly knew ye. If it weren’t for my supervisor taking a leave of absence from the University of Toronto with a view of making it a permanent vacation and then not telling me, I would be on the brink of finishing; my master’s thesis would almost certainly be submitted by now and I’d be awaiting anxiously for June 30 to roll around to see how I did. Alas, it was not to be–because my supervisor did take a leave of absence with a view of making it permanent, she did fail to notify me (I found out this information third hand at a mini social between classes), and for that reason I am nowhere near finishing my thesis.

Strictly speaking, I haven’t even started writing it.

If you’d have told me last September that I’d be four days away from my submission deadline without a single meaningful word committed to the screen, I’m sure I would have given you a weird look. But now that I’m there and have nothing but a series of notes to show for my work so far, I’m surprisingly calm. Technically, I don’t even know if I’ve got myself an extension or not–I submitted a petition for extension last week and am still awaiting the verdict. (If I weren’t to get it, I’d drop out of school–it’s as simple as that. My graduate coordinator assured me I’d be fine, but…still. If I knew there was even a slight chance I wouldn’t get this extension, do you really think I wouldn’t have been working my ass off during May and June? Worth mentioning.) In the meantime, I’m going to continue easing into the project–doing secondary readings, finding primary sources, basically all the stuff I would have been doing during second semester if my supervisor hadn’t pulled a Ricky Williams on me. Right now I’m reading an extended Rolling Stone interview with Jerry Garcia. I’ve spent the past ten months reading some of the most advanced theoretical works in modern academia–yet that said, I can safely say that none of them is more utterly incomprehensible than reading a Jerry Garcia interview. I suppose this is what happens to you when you start doing heavy drugs at age fifteen.

On a semi-related note, have I ever mentioned Robarts Library to you? The library was actually designed to resemble–I’m not making this up–a giant peacock. Seriously, have a look for yourself. I would love to meet whoever it was who decided that this was a good idea…I mean, it looks more like a giant turkey than a peacock. Robarts is ranked as the fourth best research library in North America; you’d have thought the people who built it would have given it a design that didn’t conjure up images of Mr. Bean.

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