Whipping post

“You want this. You chose this. You waited for this for years. You’re insane for starting with 12 hours. I’ve been tied (doo, doo, doo, doo, doo), yes, I’ve been tied (doo, doo, doo, doo, doo)) to the whipping post.”

These thoughts compete constantly in my head the past few days as the reality of 12 hours of grad school has set in. Don’t get me wrong. I love it.

It’s TONS of work, but I love it. I don’t have much time to read Newsweek, Mother Jones, O and Rolling Stone, all of which are piling up, (though I still take time to read the daily news), but I love it.

Movie-going has taken a hit (though I will see Contagion this week, come hell or high water), and my pile of pleasure reading will just have to sit for a while. But, seriously, I do love it.

I just was a bit underprepared.

My daughter told me I’d be fine with 12 hours, but that my biggest problem was that I’m a “social person” with lots of commitments. She’s right.

My mother tells me I’ll be fine. “You love to learn and you can do it,” she says. “Just remember to eat and get some sleep.” She’s right. (And aren’t I lucky at 56-in-a-few-days to have a mother around to reassure me of that?)

My Diversity and Oppression professor (LOVE that class) tells us that in grad school we should expect to spend two to three hours outside of class for every hour in class. So, three in-class hours times four classes equals up to  36 hours + the 12ish in class.

Nine hours is full-time. Now I understand why.

Textbook/notebooks are taking over the kitchen.

Oh, and there’s this thing called Blackboard that takes a lot of time, though it is pretty fun. You get to chat up a storm on issues that matter, but you also have to check it constantly for extra assignments.

Blackboard, a huge part of college in the 21st century

College has changed.

But life goes on. Yesterday I took time to have a very fun lunch with a few members of my high school graduating class, and last night Cathy (little sis) and Paul and John and I kept the babygirls during the Razorback game. The girls were angels and we had a ball (I’ll spare you the extreme poopage story that had Cathy and me almost falling down laughing), but I couldn’t have made it without baby sister’s help.

I came home to a pair of bifocals broken into tiny pieces, courtesy of Zuzu, who was letting me know she hadn’t had enough quality time in the past few days. But Cathy and I took the doggygirls on a long walk this morning and they’re properly crashed on the floor now, so I don’t have to feel guilty about all the homework/studying required this afternoon.

Mom, I’m bored. You’re always on that computer.

I made it through my bachelor’s degree – while raising two toddlers – on coffee, chocolate chip cookies, apples and no sleep. This time I hope to do better nutritionally (though a large iced coffee in a Rubber Soul glass is at my elbow as I type, and wine and dirty vodka martinis, shaken, straight-up, are nice coping tools).

As for the sleep, that remains to be seen.

Mainly I hope to stay sane. (Music helps – and my son gave me  Drive-By Trucker’s Greatest Hits last night for my birthday!) Time will tell. And time waits for no one – which means now it’s time for homework.


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