It’s been a long time since I posted! Sorry for that… I’ve been trying to focus on schoolwork, but I'm back after coming to three important realizations:
1. If I don’t take time off for myself, my body and mind take it for me by totally shutting down. It turns out that the mind was never made to shred through hundreds of pages of reading, writing, and editing for 10 to 12 hours on end. After about 5, I stare at my computer screen in this sort of vegetative haze trying to dredge word after word out of my flat-lining brain, sloppily pasting them into something vaguely resembling a sentence… whether or not it means anything becomes irrelevant after a while. Either that, or I unexpectedly conk out for 12 hours – dead to the world.
2. One of the benefits of this plan would be staying together with my husband; as important as my education is to me and as grateful as I am to have this opportunity, it is pretty empty if I never see Leo.
3. Even working 24/7, I have more work than I can finish by the actual deadline. Moreover, working 24/7 I produce crap and drivel (refer to the first point in this list); the good stuff takes time… and time off. (I seem to be alone in this realization, however…)
But I think I like grad school.
I know I don’t like that the ulcers are back. I know I don’t like feeling even more stressed out than when we were in the States, and I assumed a call could come at any second telling me that some overzealous cop had carelessly dynamited our dreams; or when we were Brazil, waiting on a Canadian visa, and running out of hope and money; or when I was alone in Canada with doubt as my only companion while Leo languished half a world away. I don’t know how this can be more stressful than that, but it is. And I don’t like that last Friday was the only day off I’ve had since December (and not because I could afford to take it; I was just at the end of my rope).
But I think I like grad school. I sure do like the perspectives. Geography is full of unorthodox perspectives, and it has made the world shimmer like a prism.
Hopefully Geography likes me back. This Friday I have my Spring Review, and I have to admit that I’m terrified. I don’t think I would be but for a terrible experience in one of my classes a few months ago… I presented some work that I wasn’t happy with but also had neither the time nor the neurons to make it something I could be proud of (see numbers 1 and 3 in my list). My peers smelled blood in the water, and what ensued was nothing short of a feeding frenzy. I’d trusted in a comradery that doesn’t actually exist, so now thinking of Spring Review with (gulp!) professors makes me a little queasy. I’m trying to focus just two days beyond it to a list of things I want to do but haven’t had the time... I’ve been compiling it for a few months:
- Plant an herb garden
- Have a picnic
- Buy some art supplies and use another part of my brain for a few hours
- Go for a walk
Of course, the blog belongs on that list, too. I’m going to try to neglect it less. I don’t know if I’ll be able to write that much. Often, when I get two seconds off, I try to be anywhere BUT on my computer. Still, there’s plenty of news I can post because – if anything – the immigration picture is getting more and more absurd in the US. So that’ll be the plan: intermittent updates with lots of news! I also know a lot of good folks who are in bad situations with immigration, so I may see if there’s some interest in “guest posting” their stories. I’ve said it before: our situation is about as close to normal as you can get, and that means that anyone looking at our story likely assumes that exile is a walk in the park. Bullshit. There are countless women (and handful of men) who’ve made truly humbling sacrifices to keep their families together. I am deeply in awe of them.
Some have started to blog for themselves recently, so I’ve added a few more links to the right!
So there you are. I'm alive -- if barely! And now there are some un-read chapters calling my name...