Tuesday, November 8, 2011
She Leads a Lonely Life
I just posted over at the St. John's Department of English blog, which I write for during the school year. It's November so I'm feeling the post-midterm lull and trying to enjoy it while I can. But November also means it's a time to think about what we are thankful for in our lives. I wrote about how thankful I am for the graduate community at St. John's:
Perhaps you caught the Ace of Base reference in this post's title. (And yes, I am perfectly aware that I am dating myself with that reference.) It captures quite succinctly a lot of what I've been feeling since I entered this doctoral program. Graduate school is a lonely experience. Most of my friends and family have not the slightest conception of the work I am doing. They appreciate that it's important to me, which is itself a blessing. Even so, they don't really get it. Maybe they get upset if I forget to call one week. Or they feel snubbed if I cancel or if I am forever putting off hanging out by saying "I'm sorry, I'm just so busy." It's not a line. Really. I am just that busy.
Every other student in my classes knows exactly what I'm going through, because you all right there with me. We have hundreds of pages of reading to do every.week. We respond to these readings. We respond to other students' responses to these readings. And that's all before the midterm and final term papers even enter the picture. So, thank you to every one of you whether you are in class with me or you have already begun your terrifying comps list (insert my undying respect for you here) or you are churning out chapters of your dissertation.
It might feel lonely at times, but we're in it together and for that I am thankful.
It's hard leading a double life as full-time doctoral student and trying-to-be-full-time Artistic Director of this company. I constantly feel as though my time is split (which it is) and that whatever time I'm giving to one I am taking from the other (which is true, too, I suppose). So I also want to say how thankful I am to our extended ADK Shakes community who are understanding and flexible and patient as I juggle these two massive lives. Your support means a lot, and it does not go unnoticed.
As we sit down in a few weeks to a beautiful celebration with friends and family, I will be thinking of these two special and amazing communities. I am so thankful to have you in my life, however far away you might be.