Wednesday, December 10, 2008

once again, a bird

You'd think that I wouldn't want anything to do with my laptop, seeing as though it's been stuck to me like an extra appendage since last week. That's the thing about graduate school. You and your laptop end up in a pretty significant relationship with one another. Sometimes you fight, sometimes you swoon, and sometimes you just get plain ol' sick of each other. I almost hit that point today. After writing for days on end in what seemed like a non-stop way, I almost picked this thing up and threw it across the room. Something happens when you're trying to write (notice the word "trying") and you just Can't Get The Words Out. But you have to. Because your advanced degree and your reputation as a scholar are at stake. So you push. And push. And puuuuuuuuuush. Tonight, I pushed my final push of the semester. I finished my course paper. After days of having words like "intertextuality" and "phantasmagoria" (don't worry, it's not as sexy as it sounds) flying from my fingertips and up onto the screen, I have finally finished. Fifteen pages, which really isn't much at all but sure-as-hell-feels-like-it-anyway, focusing on the ways in which (are you ready for this?) the female body functions to allow and/or disallow agency in the intertextual and extratextual space of gothic drama, sit in my flashdrive, my hard drive, AND my email (when you've work this hard, you can never be too safe) ready to be printed out and turned in first thing tomorrow morning.

I am done. With the semester. And I can finally breathe. One more to go. After five long years, I have one semester left. Thank you, Jaysus.

It's been a long, rough semester. I have pushed. And pushed. And pushed. But every grad student does. It's part of your degree requirement. The whole "pushing" thing. And, boy! Are my arms tired!

So, as I sit here in bed, lights out, and apartment quiet, and down the hall my kitchen table is covered in papers and notes and books and more papers and notes and books, I take a deep breath and exhale. I am free. I am free of the weight of expectations for yet another semester. I am free from the weight of thesis statements and critical arguments and deadlines. I am free from heavy theoretical frameworks by Butler and Foucault and Kristeva. I am free from long nights of reading and reading and reading while simultaneously trying to stay awake. I am free from working the full-time job from 7-5 and then going to class from 6-9. I am free.

At the end of yet another semester, I am free.

With love from Pittsburgh,