The chapter! It has been submitted!
According to one of my readers, I can now claim that I don’t have any more chapters to write. True, I have to write an introduction, but that’s not the same as a chapter, apparently. This might be semantics, but I’ll take it. Because sweet baby Jesus in a manger it would mean that I am done writing dissertation chapters, and I am happy to live in that illusion.
It’s sort of like Alice’s Wonderland and Looking Glass World, except without the creepy twins or trippy snack cakes and with more time in front of a laptop.
In other news, I am leaving tomorrow afternoon for a trip back to North Carolina to attend my ten-year high school reunion, to see my family in Charlotte, to visit my awesome friend Lilian in her new Asheville digs. Despite the looming thundercloud of Job Market Morbids, I’m pretty excited to get out of the STILL ONE HUNDRED DEGREE Houston weather and head eastward.
Bee and I were talking yesterday about the phenomenon of the high school reunion, and that no matter how nonchalant you try to be about the whole experience — and no matter how great it is to reconnect with old friends — these events inevitably make you evaluate where you are in your life, ten years after tossing your cap and heading off to college.
I’ve seen and done and accomplished some pretty great things. I learned how to navigate DC by myself, heading to xando with friends on the weekends, researching the archives at the NIH and the Library of Congress, and buying quirky photographs of the monuments at Eastern Market on spring weekends. I therefore earned the right to get annoyed at the glut of tourists and eighth graders who flooded the orange line in May. I took a poetry workshop with Henry Taylor and, by coincidence, his wife. I volunteered with Americorps for a year. I sent my fiance off to Iraq and greeted him when he came home. I got married. I learned how to swing a golf club. I survived a pseudo-hurricane and an actual hurricane. (The former was much worse than the latter.) I taught Midnight’s Children to undergraduates. I toured Loch Ness. I earned a (very anti-climactic) Masters degree. I reconnected with my brother.
Some things definitely weren’t amazing. I lost my mom.
And then there are all of the things I haven’t finished. Stupid graduate school. My dissertation defense is scheduled for March, and right now that seems so impossibly far away. BUT! It’s really not. (No more chapters!) Seeing my high school girls and Lil should also put things in perspective. Because, as every CCHS Cougar knows, you cannot stop that red machine.
Also: new pick by carrots.