Wow, last post was back in December. I've definitely been slacking off on this whole blogging thing. I think, initially, I had grand designs of becoming one of those blog geniuses who live grand lives, filled with excitement, and tons of fun details to blog about so we can live vicariously through them. I wish that were my life! I was on the right track. People always seem impressed when I tell them "what I do". I get asked that question a lot, and I certainly sound like I have a cool life (and I do, really, I realize that). So, what do I do? For those family and friends of mine who have been reading this blog, or following me on Facebook, here's the recap. I'm a full time grad student at ASU in the English Department, working an an MA in Rhetoric & Composition (don't ask me to explain what rhetoric is, that's another blog post entirely). I also work part time (nearly full time) as an adjunct instructor at a local community college where I teach 3 classes (4 is considered full time, fyi). On top of all the teaching and studying I'm also heavily involved with a local organization, the Arizona Costume Institute, which is a lot of fun and an incredible opportunity but definitely a lot of work, and all volunteer. I also am getting back into costume design and helping to set up the local chapter for the Jane Austen Society of North America (details to come).
By the time I fill people in on these details they look a bit tired and ask me, "when do you sleep?" Amazingly, I do sleep. Not as much as I used to but I manage. I love my life, but it's definitely busier and more full than I ever imagined it would be.
When I went back to school I imagined it would be something like this:
Smiling, happy, friends (including a relatively cute guy) to hang out with. Of course, 3/4's of the way through it's more like this:
Most of the time I'm exhausted, buried under a mountain of books to read and papers to write (or grade), no time for friends or family (it's a good thing most of my friends live out of state, I wouldn't see them anyway).
People ask me, "Why did you go back to school?" With the above visual examples, you might be asking me the same thing. I guess because I like torturing myself. Just kidding. Well, sort of. I suppose it does take a bit of insanity to subject yourself to the rigors of grad school. It doesn't end with the degree. After this degree (a Masters of Arts) there will be a PhD (God willing, I still have to get accepted). Then after that comes the long process of trying to get a job, and with the tenure system being what it is who knows what it will mean for those of us who will be entering the job market in five years or so. This whole process is not for the faint at heart.
But seriously, I went back to school because I knew I wanted to teach, and I wanted to teach at the college level, particularly at a university or liberal arts college. I love working with my students at the community college but with education taking such a hit right now with budgets community colleges seem to be preferring part time/adjunct instructors, and I would like to move out of my parent's house at some point.
As tiring as it can be, I love it. I may not always seem like I love it, but I do. There are certainly points in the semester, (and I'm entering it about now) where everything starts to hit, proposals for final papers are due, long hours are being spent online looking up research or sitting on the floor in the stacks at the library hoping the book I need will magically fall from the shelf into my lap, and the last 10 charges in a row on my bank statement are for Starbucks.
God bless my family for dealing with me during the last 6 weeks or so of a semester, I'm no picnic. You never know if I'll be angry, frustrated, crying hysterically or laughing maniacally. Overall, it's best to just keep your distance and just ignore the screams of frustration and expletives coming from my room. And if there's silence? Don't worry, I've only passed out from hyperventilating. Ok, not really. Really I've just given up for a moment and have probably turned on North & South for the millionth time and fallen into a Richard Armitage coma for an hour or so until it's time to change the DVD discs.
So, as I enter the last several weeks of my second semester (of more semesters than I care to count right now) I just want to thank my friends and family in advance for their ongoing love and support. You all are awesome. My friends who text and post messages on Facebook so I can stay in touch, even when buried under a pile of library books, and remind me that even if I don't go out an party every night I do, in fact, have friends that aren't figments of my imagination. My family out of state who send me messages and let me know that I am loved and supported. My parents for not kicking me out of the house by now, especially my Mom for not making me cook my own meals, without her I'd probably starve (or be surviving on poptarts and frozen dinners). I love you all and thank you for your support and encouragement. I couldn't do this without you.