Thursday, December 19, 2013

That Grad Grind

I'm not really sure how to pass this energy.

I mean, I could do lots of things. And I'd be lying if I tried to say that I didn't cry while listening to "The Climb" by the old Miley Cyrus like a giant baby defeatist. Mostly, I've been driving and consuming and resting on the couch, watching and being inspired by a plasma screen full of people who made it. 

And me, on the other side of glory, soaking in the opportunity to fail. Guys, I'm in trouble.

But I was told recently by somebody very wise and very wonderful, that I am not powerless.  That perspective is everything. And during this horrendous albeit incredible beginning to my graduate career, I felt powerless in every way. I worked so hard, couldn't pass the tests. I explained the fundamental fabric of astronomy as eloquently as I could, my students can't tell the moon from a wheel of cheese. I have a deep love for learning, I can't fit anything else inside my head.

BUT (because there is always a big BUT in my life, always):

This is not defeat. Nor is it complete failure. It's failure all right, but not completely. Because I know that I couldn't have changed anything about this past semester to make myself magically more test-savvy. I was asked to "change everything" about the way I study and learn, and I won't. I'll always be me, babe. Sorry.

Instead, I'm changing my perspective. This is affording me the opportunity, for the first time in a while, to assess. Assess, reassess, and rework my entire grand plan for my academic life, as it were. I'm not particularly interested in staying where I am forever, nor am I particularly psyched about doing everything at light speed. I'm more of a sound speed kind of gal. Just because I'm always on the run doesn't mean I'm always running. Come on. I'm tired. What's the damn rush? I'm twenty three years young, and I want to feel and do and see everything. I'll take my time, thankyouverymuch.

So if I can survive next semester, maybe I'll just try at a Master's. Take it slow. Soak it in. Graduate education is a blessing; a unique opportunity. I don't want to rush it, squander it, glaze it over. I want all of it.

All of it, in my own time, on my own terms.

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