Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hard at Work or Hardly Working?

It's difficult to believe that this first semester of grad school is almost over.  Two of my classes only meet two more times, while the third meets either two or three more times (the prof still hasn't decided).  I only have one major paper left to write!  The big one that I've spent all semester working on is nearly perfect now (according to my professor) - in fact, my rough draft received the highest grade in the class!  I just want to add a few more things to it so that it can pass my standards as well as my professor's.

In my European military history class tonight, our very dear professor announced that he is canceling the last two book reviews, so now I only have to read the remaining two books, not write about them.  Book reviews have gotten to be easy for me (I mean, sheesh, they're only three pages long - I can churn one out in under an hour in a pinch now), but it's still nice to no longer have to do them for that class.

In another class, however, I am growing ever more concerned.  I like the professor personally (he's brilliant), but I am frustrated that I have no idea how I'm doing in the class. Plus, I keep feeling like I'm somehow not grasping the full point of the books. I just don't seem to like them as much as he does.

Since my work is nearly done in two of my three classes, I am suddenly aware of a strange phenomena that will be occurring in my life this week:  free time.  I actually have the time this week to read for fun, rollerblade, sleep for a full eight hours, cook something complicated . . . wow, the possibilities seem endless!  Knowing me, I'll probably just use it to get ahead on my reading and research for one of my summer classes.

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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"