Sunday, April 15, 2007

The end in sight

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Sorry about the last post--version one got published too early by mistake, which explains some of its incoherence. Or it could have been the martini. Martinis.

The end of the semester is two weeks away. I would be looking forward to it, except that means final exams are only two and a half weeks away, and I haven't started outlining yet. Not one damn line. And another weekend is shot, as GF's father, who I have never before met, has come to town on a whim. Which means long meals and NO martinis (alas, those Mormons).

I hate outlining. I can't do it. I have never in my whole life been able to outline, and now my entire GPA depends on it.

It's the variety. I get dazed by variety. Too many choices. Too many things to pick and choose and edit out. I like the details. I like them all. I have been rescued by people in supermarkets who comb the entire store in exasperation only to find me slack-jawed in the same aisle where they left me, staring at soups.

So I have to sit down and go back to the beginning of courses that are now ending, and review and organize all the material, in detail, in the vain hope that I will have it all at my fingertips for the exam.

I hate exams. Some people love them. I hate them. I like papers. Long, lovely, detailed papers.

What am I doing here? How did I end up in law school?

I am maybe the mellowest person around. I walk slowly. I linger and luxuriate. I take baths. I am calm (mostly). I seldom was a hardass as a teacher. In fact, the thing I hated most about teaching was working for the Man as his Gatekeeper. Why did Bobbie have to get a "B" on a paper he worked really hard at, just because he's stilted and organized rather than organic and creative? Bobbie knows how to outline, which is why his English papers sucked. He controlled every damn word. Nothing new ever popped out of Bobbie's prose. I would sigh, and comment on his perfectly anal organizing skills, and note his hard work, and give him a B for boring, but with a plus.

Bobbie is kicking my ass right now in law school. Bobbies do very well there. The worm turns.

So that's my life, as I prepare to pack my things and leave after a day and a half home with my gf, who I didn't really see at all because her father is in town.

I don't get to blog or read blogs much these days, but gf does, and she tells me about people out there not getting renewed in their jobs, academic jobs they have sacrificed everything for. I don't know what to say, except that the world is vast and it will really be ok. GF has a theory that this is all part of the larger plan where life gets to be about more important things, and while that doesn't comfort anyone skulking around their department feeling like a Dead Man Walking right now, life will get better. I am more and more convinced that people who make it in academia do so despite the horrendous people around them, and the ones that don't make it really are lucky insofar as they get the chance to get the hell out of there and make some real choices in their lives. Academia is all about giving up choices for The Job. The Job tells you where you can live. The Job determines if you and your partner get to be together. The Job will let you know you really can't afford to have kids right now.

Screw the job. Make some choices. It's really an incredibly giddy, strange feeling, after spending decades having no choices, to have nothing but choices.

Go ahead and gape at the soups for a while. Look at the salt content. Remember the joys and drawbacks of Ramen noodles. Laugh as you remember your mother's recipes she made with cream of mushroom soup. Wonder if corn chowder in a can is any good.

Look, marvel. Buy them all.


What Now? said...

Amen, sister. I keep being brought up short by the miraculous feeling of weighing my options about what next ... which implies that there are actually options, not just "take whatever job you're lucky enough to get, and be damned grateful that we even acknowledge your existence." Sometimes getting kicked in the gut is a wake-up call (hmm, weird mixed metaphor) through which one finally recognizes that it sucks to get kicked in the gut and that there's really no call for it.

Best of luck on your exams! And does your fab summer internship allow you to live with GF for the duration?

GayProf said...

In upper level classes, I only assign papers. I don't believe in exams. If it weren't for the impossible number of students in lower-level classes, I would never give exams, ever.

Weezy said...

Sending you positive end of semester vibes. Keep kicking ass girl!!!