Yes, it’s finally over. I still haven’t seen one of my final grades, but barring some unforeseen disaster, I think I can safely say it’s over – grad school, that is. What a strange feeling not to have constant overlapping and infinite looming deadlines, ill-defined professorial expectations, nausea-inducing pressure, and a calendar packed with meetings, appointments, classes, tests, and study groups for the first time in, oh, six months or more. Those who think graduate school is a serene, monastic environment where calm, deliberative intellectual exchange is the highest goal are sadly deluded. I know I myself was afflicted with that delusion not too long ago—until I started grad school, that is.
It didn’t help matters, admittedly, that asthma chose the last six months of my time at SI to really put the boot on my neck. Of course, when you’re a grad student, things like medical appointments seem to become secondary. You keep your calendar (if you have time to keep one) on the basis of the next assignment or paper due, the next study group meeting, the next test, the next presentation. So I let things get somewhat out of hand. Fortunately, I have got the right meds now to deal with the problem, and the asthma is pretty much under control.
So what now? Well, I’m working part-time at the Government Documents Center and the Scholarly Publishing Office this summer and beyond. It’s going to take some time to get used to the new routine, but it’s something I’m looking forward to.