Today I went for lunch with my supervisor, and we didn’t talk about my thesis project. Not at all. Not even once. We didn’t talk about the defence. We didn’t touch on my subject matter. Now that my M.A. is virtually in-hand (I guess, officially, it’s not in-hand until I get the diploma, which doesn’t happen for another few weeks) we were able to sit together at a table and talk, adult to adult, instead of supervisor to student.
It was nice!
I had a cheeseburger. She had fish and chips. And she bought (it was a celebratory meal, after all!) And the conversation was pleasant and the meal was nice. But we were able to chat without any of the weight of supervisory responsibility. We didn’t discuss what I was reading. We didn’t look at anything I’d written.
Instead we talked about life – relationships, work, kids – the stuff that people talk about when there is no grading-dynamic. It was, I suppose, the formal end of a chapter.
Next week, I start working at CBC Radio in Ottawa. I would by lying if I said I was feeling totally comfortable heading back into full-time, 9-to-5 work. After living a leisurely grad student life for the last couple of years (stressful at times, but my time has been, for the most part, my own), it’s going to be weird to return to sitting at a desk for a set number of designated hours every day.
I will be doing a job that may involve jetting out into the world to gather tape or to conduct an interview – but at the end of the day, there will be set hours and I will be expected to deliver work on a set schedule (ie. not doing work = nothing to air on the radio = bad news). It will be nice to be able to turn off my computer at 5:30pm, if I want to, and to go home and do things like read novels and chat with friends, rather than always feeling that “uh oh.. I’ve got stuff I SHOULD be doing.”
But I’ll be giving up stuff too. I won’t have time to meet friends for lunch or coffee on weekdays. I will have to wake up at a set hour in the morning in order to be at work by 9am, ready to go. I will, of course, get a pay check in exchange for my efforts — and that’s a nice thing.
So we’ll see how it goes. I am going to continue writing this blog for a little while longer. My convocation is set for November 15 and I plan to keep writing here until then. At that point, I’ll be turning things over to a new crop of writers (details to come).
Happy weekending, all — Until next week!