So THAT, it turns out, is more or less IT.
Though I barely noticed it happening, I have survived my first year of grad school. I know, I know: I still have some papers to write and some meetings to attend and some grades to assign, but as far as the daily slog goes, I have survived.
I had my last class on Wednesday. I invigilated (I have also heard it referred to as ‘proctoring’, but that always sounds strangely medical) an exam this morning. Now I’m slogging over a hot computer trying to get the papers written, but all-in-all, the daily grind is behind me.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. The initial impulse is to run around wildly shouting “I’m freeeeeeee!”, tossing books and papers willy-nilly while giggling madly. Not HAVING to read anything, and not HAVING to be anywhere, reading to discuss that reading is, one could argue, cause for celebration.
But I fear there’s crazy responsibility in great freedom. Classes, after all, give graduate student life much needed structure. Classes encourage us to read and think about things that we might not otherwise be exposed to. They provide forums for valuable, mind-expanding conversation. They give us a reason to get up in the morning.
NOT having classes could potentially mean all sorts of unstructured craziness. For one thing, the fact that my course work is done means I now have to face the prospect of GETTING ON WITH IT. I have to start thinking realistically about what I’m going to do for my thesis project, and HOW the heck I’m going to do it. I have to create some kind of real work-schedule. I have to set myself some goals. I have to be more careful that my time doesn’t get frittered away in coffee-drinking, novel-reading, and movie-watching.
The other downside of classes being finished will be the loss of regular rendezvous with my Cultural Studies classmates, all of whom have made my life here at Queen’s infinitely better. Sure: there will be potluck dinners and other outings – but those guaranteed, no-organization-required meetings are suddenly a thing of the past. More than a few of us were feeling sad about that last night when we took ourselves out for a celebratory dinner after class.
Yep, it’s definitely been quite a year. Can’t wait to see what happens next.