28 September 2008

bitching, hurrah.

Can I just say that I am having the hardest time getting into this semester? With a month of classes behind me I still feel like I am wading in, getting accustomed to the feel of water on my swimsuit yet at the same time completely not giving a fuck about the whole ocean before me. Ugh. With week after week of procrastinated research and feeling completely disengaged from my readings, I can't help but wonder that anything will ever get done-- and when it inevitably (despite my doubts) does get done, if it is going to be anything all that meaningful.

It's not that being a historian in training doesn't have its fun times-- I love getting around the table with my American West class every week to haggle over what's Turnerian and what's New Western History. I love those moments when I am actually digging into my thesis and I can be like, "Oh, Phyllis" because there she is again, stirring shit up. But those rare moments of satisfaction during the week do nothing to slake my yearning to simply go to work, work, and then be done with it when I go home. I seldom feel expert. I rarely feel the motivation to keep going through this process for at least 5 more years, and then the added seeming eternity between then and retirement. Shouldn't I care more? Shouldn't I be more excited by this? It's not boring by any means-- and I am completely aware that lifestyle-wise, grad school is hard to beat-- but I am starting to wonder if this is really the best thing to be doing, you know, forever.

And Utah, Utah is really starting to get under my skin. I love the climate and Salt Lake is ultimately a really nice city, but I am starting to feel so ground down by local culture. But that's another post entirely.

So what do I do? I suppose first, I go home to Tacoma next week for some much needed R & R with my fam-fam. Hopefully that will help kick me into gear for the rest of the semester. Second, I am thinking that I could just can the whole PhD thing and go to library school.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok, R&R is probably much in order to recharge with the help of some microbrew. But remember what the wise sage of Manderscheid (Heinz)said "Step on Step!" Best to see the future in terms of baby steps (check out baby steps in Tacoma!) and let the future sort itself. Remember - a PhD can be a golden ticket to a great future and even Charlie Bucket didn't throw away his ticket but went on to run the whole damn Chocolate factory. As far as a PhD...just make sure you pursue something that truly excites you. Cheers from the UK.

Anonymous said...

That's it...I really must go and dig out my "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", the real deal from 1971 and not some dark Depp moment. Yeh, dark would be good but only if it's Hachez. As for future pursuits, there's "so much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it." How classic. How apropos.

melanie said...

For the number of astute cultural and personal references in those blog comments, I am nominating you for psuedo-step-dad of the year. Brilliant!

Big Brother said...

"Oh, you can't get out that way. You'll have to go forward if you want to go back. Better press on."

"Time is of the essence; never waste it."

"A little non-sense now and then is relished by the wisest men..."

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, more wisdom from another connoisseur of fine films. WW must not merely be watched, but savored. BB's well versed in this philosophy of life & happiness.

jim.hortis said...

library school?! that's my plan, and i'll not stand for plan-stealing. will you be in tacoma before the glorious fall social? we could discuss the merits of various educational paths.

melanie said...

Jim! Glad to see you around these parts. Sadly, I will be missing the HGSA par-tay. Bros before historians, as the saying goes. I am however always amenable to occasions of life plan chatting because my life plan changes with the lunar cycle.

Michaele said...

I'd say go for library school - seems like the job market is better (says the girl working on her phd). And then you can always get a phd after if you want to be in school forever- hell I might get a second one just so I can stay out of the job market longer. (I have noticed that people don't seem as obsessed by the whole job market thing here- not sure what to make of that- but it is nice to get a break from the gloom and doom- so maybe I should apologize for all the gloom and doom I'm spreading or maybe I shouldn't post this early in the morning).