Residuals

I’d been needing jeans for a while…not the jeans I bought before, but jeans I could just throw on and walk out the door. I really wanted a pair of boyfriend jeans so last weekend I ended up at GAP and Old Navy swiping my visa.  Long story short, I bought a pair that was mismarked but they still fit! So today I’m doing a happy dance because I’ve gone down another jeans size.  I precede this post with this news as it is the greatest positive residual effect of being a Doctoral student thus far.

Let me just give you a rundown of my week, Monday I’m off work but I still have class from 5:30pm-8:30pm (and since its an off day most of my meetings get scheduled for Mondays), Tuesday I work 1-5 then class 6-9, Wed+Thurs work 1-5, Friday work 9-5:30.  Sounds simple enough right?  Well add to this schedule that I have to actually read and prepare for class (and by read I mean up to 200 pages per class per week) usually complete some sort of writing assignment, then my school loves a good mixer…there’s mixers and meetings, and meetups all the damn time.  All we do is mix and mingle…THEN when it comes to the weekend, there’s always a happy hour/birthday/dinner celebration.  I’m exhausted.  I literally have not had time to grocery shop.  Well…I went last monday (in between finishing a 9 page essay and having lunch with the Dean–see!) but I forgot my debit card at home buried in 50 pages of articles about perspective.  *sigh* I asked for this right?

We, and by we I mean I, cling to the fact that what we are doing will be worth it in the end.  I had a thought the other day, “what if I didn’t make it through this program?” First of all that’s highly unlikely.  My professors are way too concerned and supportive and I am way too determined for that to happen, but suppose it did.  Would I be able to know (not just cognitively but somatically) that there was a lesson in it for me and that it all happened for a reason?

I try not to get caught up in the American Dream of thinking that because I work hard for something that I am entitled to it.  This idea of working too hard is something I’ve already tackled socio-politically but personally I want to be purposeful here before I continue on in this cycle of nothingness.  Okay so why am I working? What is my intention in this work?  Well…so that I can be an educator of other great minds, so that I can inspire future generations of scholars and academics, and so I can be an authority in my field.  I’m also working hard for freedom.  You could slice that irony with a knife.  But no other part time job will afford me the lifestyle and benefits that being an adjunct professor/author would, and I know that I want to work minimally when my children are young.  So…I read, I write, I grind, and I forget to grocery shop.

I had another thought the other day about college; the whole lifestyle of a student.  We’re so broke, seemingly infinitely in need.  I wonder if that is purposeful.  So that these seekers of enlightenment, recipients of higher education and profound rhetoric may learn what it is like to live without, and in essence learn how little we need to survive (even in highly stressful environments).  Makes me think of the lesson from the survivialists… (from a blog post I can’t seem to find) but the one thing they said you need to survive is people around you that you can trust. You can’t  account for the unexpected, but if you have people you can trust then you can get through anything.  Thinking back to my college experience that’s what I got that I treasure most, Ken/Tiek/Ne/Ty/Tre/JMil/etc…they’re so much better than my degree and they will be there for me no matter what. That being said, I need to remember to have balance and to remember what I will really leave here with.

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