I've been stoked for the past forty-eight hours after my successful thesis defense, but in keeping with my m.o. of dualist dyads, I've been simultaneously flustered by free time. What am I supposed to do when I'm not sitting in the library working on that paper every free moment? What am I supposed to think about without it pressing on me?
I was feeling exceptionally panicked when I got up Tuesday morning. Finally I told myself that I was being ridiculous, and put on the orange Illinois tie Dad had gotten me as a gift. It acted as my talisman for the day; when I got nervous, I told myself, "Who cares if the professorial Trinity hates your work? You're already in grad school."
One of the critiques has stayed with me, although I've interpreted it differently, I think, than Prof. F. meant it to sound: "How are we going to make this poet into a historical analyst?"
If I can choose any part of my future, I hope that when I'm standing before a dissertation defense committee, the critique they have to say is, "If only we could have made you more of an analyst than a poet."
10 months ago