i made cupcakes last week for my material constructions seminar.  i only took ten of them to school because there are only seven people in the class.  i kept the rest for myself.  a typical day last week went a little somethin like this:

8:00 am   drag myself out of bed
8:01 am   eat cupcake
8:05 am   shower and get ready for school
8:40 am   eat cupcake
8:43 am   brush teeth
8:45 am   eat cupcake

and so on until all cupcakes were extinct.  i now feel like a cupcake myself, but not in tastiness.  only in circumference.

but i deserve some cupcakes, dammit, because this semester is a practice in frustration. 

i have read for hours and still attended class half-prepared.  i have sat for many an afternoon working at SEL wishing i was at home working on my own projects instead of copyediting an article on a topic i really don’t care too much about.  i have spent far too many evenings pawing through class notes and marginalia attempting to pinpoint a paper topic for my victorian family class.  as of this week, i have researched and abandoned three topics.  i’m on number four.  i’m crossing my fingers.

tonight i have spent about four hours trying to write a three-page and completely unimportant response paper for my milton seminar.  around hour 2.5, as i stared at my mess of half-finished sentences, i decided to take the low road and write something bordering on absurd.  our professor assigns a “hypothesis” for each small writing assignment that is essentially a less-than-subtle hint that we’re to read paradise lost against the grain, making claims that would make most white-haired old-man milton scholars gasp, scoff, and generally wipe their monacles disdainfully (because, in my imagination, all milton scholars are white-haired monacle wearers).  so, unable to find an argument marginally subversive in my reading of adam’s first speech in book 4, i came up with a response paper that, in its conclusion, compares eve to the soles of adam’s feet.  it’s a stretch, ladies and gentleman, but it’s written.

while i have a stress-crisis ever semester, this one seems particularly long and horrible.  and if something doesn’t come easily soon, i will resign myself to life in a cardboard box in a metro station in dc.  preferably friendship heights… although that one is already staked out by the homeless woman who wears shoe polish all over her face.

i’m looking forward to next semester, when i will not have made the amateur mistake of doing more than is expected of me.  and hopefully i’ll score a TA position with my material constructions professor, who is (a) the nicest professor alive, (b) brings plenty of snacks, (c) runs a classroom that is both low-key and insightful, and (d) insists that no one stress over anything.  one of the grad students told me last week that an undergraduate wrote “deranged soccer mom” in his evaluation of her class.  this made me want to hunt down this undergraduate and punch him in the face. 

insulting this professor is like cutting in line at the DMV.  it’s just not done.


One thought on “

  1. yay for boxes in dc

    Hey I am so in debt from grad school and spent so much money on a cat tree this weekend (don’t ask) that we could be box-neighbors. Maybe we could have a food network show “Sewer grate cooking” and “A Carnival of Cardboard”

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