metro mama

Friday, October 26, 2007

Membership Has Its Privileges

I’ve been doing some whining about grad school around here, but I haven’t talked much about the good stuff. Well, there is good stuff, and when I’m stressed and feeling insecure I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to be doing this, and tell myself to enjoy it while it lasts. Because really, it many ways it’s pretty sweet and I can see why people spend years getting a PhD they’re not sure what they want to do with (I am just a little tempted to do just that). But that’s another post. For now, here are a few of the things I’m liking:

A big portion of my “work” is to lounge around in my pyjamas in my comfy big blue chair, drinking coffee, reading books for hours at a time. Then I put on pants, and travel to the university where I sit in an uncomfortable chair, drinking coffee, chatting about books (or just nodding, cocking my head, squinting my eyes, and murmuring, “oh, that’s interesting” while other people talk about books).

I’ve finally found the graduate reading room at York. It’s pretty fucking sweet. It’s actually rather hidden and there’s a code on the door that changes each week, so it took me this long to find it and locate the code to access its riches. And riches they are! Windows!!! Sunlight!!! Clean, comfy chairs!!! Quiet!!! (grad students don’t chat on their phones in the library like undergrads). It’s too bad campus is so far away--the grad reading lounge could compete with my comfy blue chair.

I like the pub nights. I’m on the social committee, so my “job” is to make sure we have frequent social events (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it). Seriously though, with a commuter campus like York, it is easy to feel isolated, and it’s so helpful to unwind with a few pints and compare notes with your peers. My self-confidence is always a little boosted after a pub. Once we’ve had a couple of drinks, we ‘fess up to feeling like impostors, and finding the workload hard. It’s actually very helpful.

Finally, I am loving feeling challenged. I think I’ve underestimated my ambition, and need to be challenged. It’s coming to the surface now—what I’ll do with it, I’ve yet to figure out. And I’m still not sure how Number Two fits in all of this. Stay tuned.



Blogger cinnamon gurl said...

I think I’ve underestimated my ambition, and need to be challenged. It’s coming to the surface now

I'm not back in school, but I've discovered this at work too.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

Oh, that sounds like a dream - the reading room, the surfacing ambition... lucky you.

8:56 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

Sounds awesome. I always loved school, and also managed to find my niche at York.

I also can't help but think that what you describe sounds a lot like motherhood.

9:18 AM  
Blogger s@bd said...

almost makes me want to do the same ... OH WAIT.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

Oh, how you are making me itch to become an academic once more.

If the adoption doesn't happen (before I turn 40!!!), I think I might join the ranks.

11:43 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I found the greatest home among peers in grad school, though I think it's very different when you are in a "niche" programme of professionals like us librarians. I loved hanging out with them. It was like the mother ship had come for me.

I'm glad you're starting to hit your stride there, too, so you can enjoy it and make the most of it.

11:45 AM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I thought you were the type of gal who would like the mental sparring. Sounds exciting, I look forward to more.

12:11 PM  
Blogger jen said...

you sound so happy. so entirely content.

am smiling at you from down here.

12:39 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

Now I REALLY want to go back to school. Okay. One thing at a time.

Glad you're liking it.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Mamalooper said...

Glad you are loving it! Just tiptoeing back in myself and wanting more, more, more.

1:16 PM  
Blogger b*babbler said...

Oh, how I do love this post. I've been itching to go back to school but have waffled because of the Peanut and because I sometimes feel that I would be in over my head. But then this sentence:

I think I’ve underestimated my ambition, and need to be challenged. It’s coming to the surface now.

struck such a nerve with me, and I think perhaps I can't afford *not* to go back to school.

I look forward to more of these types of post. They are sort of like courage by proxy for me. Glad to hear that you're enjoying it though (and good for you, finding the reading room at York. It can be hard place to study if you don't find a quiet space. I spent four years of my undergrad there trying to find a space like that!)

4:22 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

You get to read for hours? Sounds heavenly.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

The reading room sounds great.
How do you get the secret code that changes all the time?

9:40 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

That sounds pretty wonderful, Metro. Glad you are enjoying yourself.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

Pub nights -- awesome. My grad school crew used to gather occasionally for happy hour -- or for peppermint hot cocoa when the weather was cold.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

I love the way you spell "pyjamas".

I know that wasn't the point of this post but still.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Nora Bee said...

Nice life, eh? My last year of school is here, I finish in June, and I will certainly miss the flexibility and challenge. And it's so nice to be grateful, doesn't it just feel GOOD?

2:10 PM  
Blogger allrileyedup said...

I miss school. And pub nights.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Staci Schoff said...

I love grad school too. What I need though is a sponsor, so I don't have to work all day before going to school at night! I would spend the next 20 years getting a PhD (or 2?) if I didn't have mouths to feed.

5:40 PM  

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