Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let the Sunshine In

I drafted out a really whiny blog entry last night around 10 p.m, because I was feeling the stress of the semester already descending on me, because I was sure that this is the Semester From Hell, because I had too much syntax homework, because I was supposed to do 100 pages of reading on phenomenology and I don't even know what that is, because I was reminded, knowing that I was exhausted but still had several more hours of schoolwork to do, of my undergraduate years, when I worked far too hard for far too long, and spent far too many nights in the library testing how long I could go without eating. I even went to far as to quote a tidbit I read in Harper's magazine once, a heartbreaking suicide note from a Japanese fifteen-year-old: "because I am already tired."

I don't have the internet at home, though, so I couldn't publish my self-pitying reflections until the morning. And, because this is just the way things go, when I woke up in the morning the first thing I saw was the pattern that light filtering through trees outside my window creates on my wood floor, and by the time I had showered and eaten and dressed, I was awake and ready to tackle a little before-school syntax, and by the time I left it was eight o'clock and the sun was up and the fog was burning off and the bus was on time, and by the time I got to school I had thought of an elicitation topic for my afternoon session and decided how to coordinate volunteers for the conference, and by the time I got to class there were soft ginger cookies and a view of the entire East Bay from the window, with the sun sparkling on the unloading cranes in Oakland, and I felt positively Frostian in my change of mood.

It's still the Semester From Hell, sure, and on the one hand I'll never get to do anything but study without my internal guilt trigger going crazy with all the work I should be finishing, but on the other hand, sometimes the light streams in through the window and life, even phenomenology, just glows.

8 comments:

skylark said...

I love this. Like a lot a lot.

It's truly amazing what a little sunshine can do. I know from multiple experiences. And then when it gets involved in photosynthesis? I mean wow.

I know you're insanely busy but just wanted to let you know that I'm teaching this Sunday and it'll probably be my last in SF. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if I ended up with a teaching calling in PA, though, so if you miss this one no big deal. We can still be friends.

Th. said...

.

I do not remember that Frost poem.

It's very nice.

Logan said...

Yeah cause this blog totally demonstrates how you're Ms. Never Gets To Do Anything ...

Katya said...

So, is this the life of all linguistics grad students, or have you signed up for more than the minimum requirements? (I don't mean this in any sort of "you made your bed" kind of way, more along the lines of "if this is a Berkeley linguistics graduate degree, I want none of it.")

Diane said...

Thank you for reminding me of that poem. I had forgotten it- like remembering an old friend you hadn't thought of in years.

Annie said...

hey, i saw some glowing phenomenology the other day too!

seriously though, thank you for this post. it's a testament to "seeing how you feel in the morning" and your awesomeness and brilliance.

sassparilla said...

i'm jealous of syntax homework. is that weird?

KathE said...

I loved this post. Way to go!