Friday, March 19, 2010

Drive Me Back to Old Virginny

Jasper and I are hittin' the road again tomorrow. My little car has once more been loaded to the brim by my concerned parents ("Here, we got you some ham to take," "Oh, here's some of those peppers you like," "You needed more bottled water, right?"), and the suitcase is ready to be added to the heap. I spent every day of my spring "break" working on coursework, and there's still a load to do over the weekend. It is going to be a very exhausting next few days . . .

For one thing, I'm driving for about 12 hours tomorrow to get home. Since I can never sleep before traveling, I'll be exhausted when I finally get there. Jasper has another ear infection, so I've got to take him to the vet as soon as I can. (Honestly, it's almost like having a kid!) Plus, he's due for another flee prevention treatment and another vaccine (against Lyme disease, since Virginia has oodles of ticks). Of course, there's the monstrous, horrendous sociology paper to write (it's for a history class, but the topic is clearly sociology and not history - blech). The worst part of that paper is that it requires the use of ALL the horrid books that I have read and despised for that particular class this semester. Also, I need to finish the 25-page rough draft that's due on my research paper, which has been hindered by the fact that I significantly altered my topic . . . three days ago. Much of my research is now for nothing, and I have to go on a source-hunting expedition. On the bright side, I have a very good argument now, so I'm expecting to impress my prof on that paper. I managed to get two book reviews written over my break, but the third one could not be done because - you guessed it - I forgot to pack that particular book. I have to prepare a presentation that I'm giving on one of the books. All that has to be done by Tuesday (most of it by Monday, actually). Wasn't there something else . . oh yes, I need to get some work done on the 30-page paper that's due on the 29th.

Oh, and did I mention that my new future-roommate is moving her furniture in on Saturday and I still need to clear the boxes (from when I moved - yes, I should have done it sooner) out of her room? I also promised to help her with lifting and such.

I have very exciting plans for Tuesday night and Wednesday. As soon as I get back from class, I am going to take a sleeping pill and sleep for at least nine hours. Then I'm going to lecture myself on wasting time sleeping when I should be studying. Then I'll write my next book review and work on my 30-page paper. If I have time left over, I may indulge in taking a few deep breaths.

Academic Masochism, thy name is grad school.

And I am clearly a hopeless case, because in spite of the panic-inducing stress, I still love it.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"