Procrastination – from the Latin “cras,” meaning “tomorrow,” and the prefix “pro,” meaning to put forth. Literally meaning to put something forward to tomorrow. (cited from the dictionary of me being bored in Latin class)

Yesterday, I graded 17 papers. Tonight, I will have graded 17 papers. Somehow that equals me being sick of the (poorly) written word.

Today, a guy in my Latin class (a classicist, and therefore an English/history major hybrid, with a bit more pretention added in) saw my stack of said yet-to-be-graded papers and remarked that he couldn’t wait to be a teacher, so he could have “that sense of authority.”

Chuckle.

I replied with the notion that the more time one spends grading, the less one feels authoritative, and instead mentally abraded.

He then said that I must really “bring the smack down” to seem more authoritative (and perhaps badass?) in my classroom, because I’m normally so nice (and blonde? in the sense of hair-color, not intelligence) and not angry-professor like. At that point the conversation shifted, but I smiled to myself knowing that classroom authority is a complex animal, and that at the end of the day, knowledge is authority.

It’s a thrill really, sitting in a classroom, as either teacher or student, realizing that you actually know something about what’s being talked about, and maybe knowing more than is even being discussed. When a professor mentions some specific moment in a text not being read in the class and you actually know what they mean, it feels like all that learning is starting to pay off (well, not literally – wouldn’t that be nice if it did).

As a slightly-weathered grad student I say that you should not feel pretentious or rude for giving evidence of your knowledge, or showing that you truly know something – such moments are much less common than the ones that make you feel like an undergrad wearing pajamas to a black-tie affair. Don’t be the know-it-all (there’s one in every class, you know who you are) but if you really do know a little, I say own it. Maybe you’ll get a little authority out of it, or at least some respect.

***

ZOMG: How awesome is it that this shirt exists in the world? Albeit the fact that it’s slightly dorky…

And if you were thinking that you would like to express your constant  state of mental-overload-by-grading without sacrificing your fashion sense?

warning_driver_grading_papers_bumper_sticker-p128875244845743505tmn6_210

Problem solved.

Oh blog, I have long neglected thy pages!

Do you ever have those moments when you really feel like writing, but there is so much going on in your life, and your head, that you can’t seem to even start? Thus is my life.thesis

But, thus will not be my life in a week or so, when I am done with my first year of grad school, and can retire to a summer of brainless loafing. Bear in mind, however, that my definition of ‘brainless’ involves reading and doing prep work for my thesis next year.

Add in the fact that my little, serene house is soon to be invaded by the men in my life, and will be rather crowded for the summer, at least. But, while my dad is up here taking up MY space, I may just have to flee south to his empty Irvine apt, to sit on the nice warm beach for awhile. We’ll see.

But good news! Picture me on Monday, quite exhausted from having writer’s block (or writer’s laziness, who am I kidding) till about 1am when I proceeded to write my recent article report for class, and stayed up till 4am doing so. (Why oh why do I get a second wind at about 12:45am? It freaks with my sleep schedule.)  Sitting on my bed, dripping coffee into my veins, and checking my email to find that SSU had finally made a decision about the teachers for next year. And I am happy to report that next Fall I will be joining the ranks of the ever-exhausted and underpaid grad student  who teach freshman comp, otherwise known as English 99!

Get me with my very own little group of resistant students and (shared) office hours. Am I excited? Does a bear…oh you know the rest.

Perhaps the best thing about this news is that I’m going to get the chance to see what I want to do with my life, to see if teaching is really going to be my future. Hopefully I will not be discovering this during the 8am class – I will be flitting between grogginess and caffeine highs, not so good.  Recently all my efforts to find a summer job have come to no success, and I was beginning to think that I was un-hirable. The crazy thing is that I could always find a simple job before, so maybe the economy is really that bad, or maybe the job market is being flooded. OR maybe no one wants to hire grad students? I rationalize that they just don’t want to be around someone smarter than them all the time (let me cling to my last shred…). But, thank God, apparently I’m not like the employee plague –someone wants me!

And really, I need the summer to decompress, because right now, my brain is being squeezed through the academic equivalent of a sieve.  So what’s left to do…finish my article on the history of medieval writing instruction (20 pages), write my last paper for the publishing and  politics class (6 pages), and write my paper for the English garden class (a very painful 15-20 pages). If in two weeks my next post is incoherent and full of stupid grammar mistakes, take pity on me. I gave at the grad school office.

But oh, the weather is calling me outside. The rain and fog has finally gone away, and the sun is predicting at 73 degree day. Now why do I have to go to class in a room with no windows? 

proc

Oh, Sunday, what shall I do with you.

A better question might be ‘what am I supposed to be doing,’ but alas, this question is no fun.

I SHOULD be …. reading the composition theory article I have to write a response paper on and present to the class, working on my application to teach English 99 in the fall, reading Horace Walpole and his theories on gardening (yawn), doing the massive collection of dishes in the sink (oh dear), reading a biography of Ralph Ellison, and being productive in general. Sigh.

Instead, I am … on the couch, in my pajamas, drinking coffee, watching the Cosby show, and typing this.

I blame the wind, the crazy creepy making-noise-blowing-over-the-hills wind. Did you ever hear of the Irish Banshee? She’s this creepy old hag of a ghost who makes the same noise as creepy wind. Oh, and she takes the souls of young women. Anyway, this morning I was up at about 10am, when I learned that the power was out. And seeing that I live in the country, and my water comes from a well with an electric pump, when the power goes out there is no water. Also no tv, no internet, no coffee, no fun. Thus I made the executive decision to go back to sleep. Being without clocks, I woke up three hours later.

And now, it is almost 3pm, and it feels like morning.

Thankfully, since the time change and the coming of spring, there is now more daylight, and thus more time to procrastinate without feeling like a slump.

So here is my new project (stolen from Holly- but aren’t most things stolen from somewhere else?): To write a post everyday in 100 words. It may be ‘artistic’ or complete tripe- you decide.

Today, I was again driving my car while the gas task arrow hovered below the ’empty’ line. Why do I do this? It’s stressful and I worry that my car is going to die at any moment. And yet I refuse to fill up my tank, depressed because it costs way too much.

Did you notice that this too was 100 words?