Les Cinq Petites Choses #2

It has been a very difficult week for me due to Hurricane María’s devastation in Puerto Rico. However, there are some things I am grateful for.

1. I had cut back on caffeine this past Summer, but being away from my family during this difficult time has left me sleepless this entire week. Thankfully Mayan Super Dark from Just Coffee Cooperative has been a life saver this week. I love getting up in the morning and making a fresh cup of coffee.


2. Being informed has been the most important thing for me this week. I am grateful for facebook groups, American media, and Zello (the app).

3. When I’m under a lot of pressure, I definitely like indulging in some calligraphy. I love the perfect symmetry of lettering and the various combinations of it. Pinterest is my favorite place to find calligraphy inspo. Here is my latest work. 

4. I was in need of a lot of distractions from the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. I loved spending hours on end with my partner’s roommates watching The Great British Bake Off. I highly recommend this mindless and incredibly polite cooking show.

5. Amongst other set of distractions, I LOVE podcasts. My favorite podcast at the moment is The Tolkien Heads. The hosts are graduate students who specialize in historical linguistics, lyricism, Tolkien, and landscapes.

Summer 2017

Hello!

It’s been a while. It always surprises me how tougher graduate school gets. I just finished my preliminary doctoral examinations (six weeks of pure hell, three (two-page length) questions, 80 pages worth of essays, and zero relaxation time). Alas, I am done with the writing portion and am anxiously waiting for my oral defense. Summer this year, like many other years, will consist on taking in Madison: more kickball, yoga, sunset viewings, reading for fun, beer tasting, research, writing my dissertation proposal, academic meetings, and knowing that my Summers here are limited.

I cannot wait to see what my next adventure will look like. Right now my life revolves around my dissertation, my research, and self care. Until next time!IMG_3631.jpg

An Update

Hello fellow readers.

Yes, I do realize it has been a while since I last wrote/published anything. I guess you could say I am in a bit of a rut. Thankfully, life in 2016 has been mostly okay. Grad school, however, has been ridiculously hard.

I am currently in the process of wrapping up coursework for my PhD. This means I have been taking a series of class requirements that I am not particularly too thrilled about. From Latin to Early Modern French literature courses to teaching classes I’m not particularly fond of, I have started to operate mechanically in some ways. I wish I could work on my research instead of dealing with pesky tasks, but that is not really the case and it won’t be for a while.

I came to the realization that life is full of a lot of things that we do not want to do, but we still do them. Why?

  1. Because we learn something: As much as I complain about Latin or French Lit, I have learned so much this semester. Latin has taught me how to better understand languages and how to construct sentences and ideas in ways I had not thought of before. (It helps that the boyfriend patiently tutors me on all matters of scansion and the ablative absolute.) On the other hand, my French has gotten so much better after rereading a lot of early modern books. From reading Laclos to Molière, I have learned to write a pretty damn good dissertation in French and eloquently express my ideas about literature in class. (I have also randomly learned a lot of colloquialisms)
  2. Because we simply just *have* to: Obligations are a scary ordeal. The fact that you have to sit through a lot of things you don’t particularly care about in order to move forward with life is not pleasant at all. However, it gives you some sort of structured guidance. For instance, my PhD degree has a lot of requirements. From languages to PhD minors to breadth requirements, it gets to be a lot. Nonetheless, I love how well-structured my program is. I like knowing exactly what I have to do next (INFJ trait).
  3. Because the fun parts of life become more fun: Right now I barely have time for anything. I am wrapping up the semester (this blog post is my procrastination task of the day) and everything is ridiculously stressful. I try my best to take the time to be present: in the moment. I enjoy long walks to work, cooking a simple meal, brief quality time with friends, and doing work next to my significant other. Even if I am working with people, we always take the time to have a brief conversation, share our lives, and stay on track. Grad school is a hard, sometimes lonely place and family, friends, and fun make it worth it.
  4. Because it teaches us to balance things: The biggest game I have learned to play this past academic year is how to balance it all. How can I keep up with friends, schoolwork, multiple jobs, and all the extra academic work you have to do? These class requirements have taught me that there really isn’t time for everything…and that’s okay. All we need is time to reflect, to have fun, to work, to destress, etc.

If it isn’t clear from the blog post, I still struggle with all of these obligations. I have long, never-ending to-do lists, a mess of languages in my head (guys, I started teaching myself Ancient Greek!), a ridiculous pile of books I need to read, lesson planning, job hunting, and so many other obligations and responsibilities that will not ever fit into a simple blog post.

However, life is more than all of these things. Life is a rapid stream of water and, when you least expect it, the waters will settle and it will all be worth it.