Tuesday, August 17, 2004

musing on basic training

The first year of graduate school is designed to be difficult, no matter what program or field you're in. Obviously some of this is a weeding-out process, as faculty figure out which gambles by the admissions folks unearthed some fantastic students, and which shoo-ins with full rides really need to find another line of work. During the long-dark tea times of the soul and this chapter, I keep trying to remnd myself that I've outlasted all of the shoo-ins from my year, just by having taken (and passed) my qualifying exams.

It's the unanticipated "basic training" part of that first year, in which students discover what they can (and cannot) do, that really deserves closer study, by someone with a lot more patience than this very frazzled lemming. I entered grad school knowing that I can write all night long, but that if I am to retain what I read, I must close the book by 10:00. I mentioned this to a friend, who had discovered that while he could read at any time of the day or night, he couldn't read more than two hundred pages of anything in one 24 hour period.

I've cleared most of the backlog, found the water bill (holding my place in a book, of course!) and if no other distractions present themselves, I might get some more written this afternoon.

Actual quote from a student essay: a foretelling sign of future events yet to come."

Words Written: zero
Lessons Graded: twenty-eight

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