19 06 2008

I’m in a funk. A serious, dark, gross funk. An I-left-my-keys-in-the-door-for-two-days kind of funk. I don’t think I’ve felt this down in a real long time but I also don’t think I’ve been this terrible about managing my free time before. There’s the rub: with massive amounts of free time comes massive opportunities for funk to creep into the corners and slowly take over. Suddenly, I find myself sleeping in until ten or eleven and spending the rest of the day watching Daria on Surf the Channel. The killer is that there is a ton of stuff I could be doing: working on my IRB proposal, cleaning out my filing cabinets, knitting that second mitten, learning to make bread… but I don’t. The funk becomes compounded by the guilt of everything that I could, that I should, be doing.

The lack of routine aside, I’m struggling with coming to terms with graduate school. It goes something like this: I moved to Bloomington a week before classes began. Within that week, I had to run around and do all those things expected of a first-year doctoral student while preparing to teach my first college class on my own. There wasn’t any time to experience fallout, to mourn the immediacy of my friends who were now five hours away. I’ve been moving so quickly through this year that I don’t think any of it has hit me until now: the distance, the cost of coming to grad school. I’m not entirely sure that I made the choice best for me. I miss the classroom, I miss kids, I miss being in the thick of things. As a researcher / scholar / whatever, I will always be removed in some way, shape or form from the classroom. Had I thought this through a bit more, I probably would have waited for acceptance from a school closer to my classroom, simply so that I could continue teaching. This would have, of course, slowed my progress and it probably would have taken me two years to accomplish what I’ve done this year, but I can’t help but wonder if I would have been happier.

Like Erica Hahn, I don’t make friends easily. Acquaintances, yes, but friends are a little more difficult and I haven’t reached that point with anyone here yet. This doesn’t panic me; every time I have moved, it’s taken me a good year or so to build a peer group. It doesn’t help the, dare I say it?, loneliness.

Yep, it’s a funk. I will break out of it. I always do.




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