Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And . . . It's Over (Almost. Really, Really Almost.)

The hardest semester of my academic life has at last drawn to a close. Can you hear the peasants' collective sigh of relief? Whew; I honestly thought at one point that I might not make it. All those migraines can make one think some crazy thoughts. I went off the preventative meds in order to be able to concentrate better last week (the side effects are really strong on the current mixture of pills), but I've gone back on this week, so I'm hoping to make it through today without a migraine.

All that's left of my semester is one presentation, which I'm giving tonight. I'm presenting my research on colonial diseases, which apparently impressed my professor much more than I thought it would (considering the duress under which I finished the paper). I was going to bake a cake shaped like cholera to give my presentation some pizzazz, but I was too tired last night. So, instead I created an interactive presentation with music, pictures, and a game for the class to play. I figured, it's the end of the semester and the end of my graduate classes, so why not have some fun?

Yup, you heard me right a second ago: this is my very last day of graduate classes. It's all over; nothing left now but thesis. That terrifying monster is supposed to be finished by March 31. Somebody hold me! Ah well, as my mother is fond of saying, I seem to thrive on stress.

I hope.

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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"