Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My sulky post

The post below is fun, I promise. I encourage you to read it instead of this one!

I've taken to working from a little coffee shop a few blocks from my house in an attempt to break up the monotony of the past month.

This summer doesn't feel much like a summer at all. Sightings of the sun have been few and far between-- this is the gloomiest June this city has seen in ages. It may seem odd to let the weather really determine one's mood so much, but spending time outdoors, especially when having to be a self-motivated worker, is my respite and rejuvenation. I look so forward to the summer semester because it is my time between working that always seems so magical-- walking on the ocean, adventures to corners of the city, drinks on patios, BBQs, lazing in the grass during my lunch hour. And that simply hasn't been happening, despite my attempts to make the best of it.

It doesn't help that none of my work projects are especially intrinsically rewarding these days. The bulk of my time is spent writing manuscripts and reports. I took on a side job working to help with the clinical program's reaccreditation, but translating our university's equity policies into understandable language and compiling research lab square footage is hardly inspiring work. I've had yet another delay in getting a new client, and I'm still waiting to hear back about whether the practicum placement I really, really want will be available in the fall (I held off taking a placement this summer to see if this one might pan out). I'm really trying to hold down a regular schedule, to try to pretend like it is just a regular summer job, but I have a hard time getting motivated some days, which means that the job leaks into other areas of my life in an attempt to stay on top of things.

I'm sure other grad students recognize the frustration of feeling like you are the only one working while everyone else in the program is relaxing or on holidays. I recently spoke to a student who hadn't completed a brief (5-page report) in about the month since it had been assigned because she was, in her words, "just slacking off". Working at intake shift at the clinic last night, I was in the middle of a conversation between two students, one who had returned from a month in Italy the day previously, the other who was leaving for Europe in two days. I then realized that a full eight people that I knew of in the graduate program had been to Europe in a month period! I'm perplexed-- I'm actually one of the most funded students in my cohort, and I can't dream of affording that! My big summer holiday is my trip to Austin (which, don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about), for which the bulk of it I will be in a classroom. I actually tried to get out of town for the long weekend, and found I had way too many demands to escape for the times in which a ride was available.

I'm also bitter about my lack of a car. I've performed many miracles of mass transit in my time, but my inability to get out of town when I have some free time is becoming frustrating. I know it is the decision I made with regards to living by myself-- a car becomes out of the question. It just sucks that I have a long weekend off, and feel constrained in this city, when I watch everyone go to see friends, new cities, cottages on the lake, etc.

On top of everything, I just found out that my superstar of a landlady is selling the house. She says the realtor said that he is 80% sure the new owner will just want to continue will the current tenants, and rent can't be increased because we are all on leases. However, there is a chance they might want to develop, which means I would be out of luck after just having moved in May-- this is not so out of the question considering that condos in slummy areas of town go for nearly half a million these days. Also, given the frustrations and lack of consistency that occurred when management switched in my last apartment, I am feeling a little apprehensive about the whole thing.

Ahhhhhh, grad student blues.

I'm thinking that mid-afternoon drinking would be in order, if I didn't have to be on campus until 8:30 tonight.


psychgrad said...

I'm definitely affected by the weather. The short days in the winter are really draining.

I do see students slacking off, but I'm more motivated by finishing school. I just want to get out of there at this point.

Mid-afternoon drinking is definitely in order!

Heart Of Darkness said...

God, I'm so with you on this!

I remember back at the Uni - every freaking project seemed to be designed to get the worst out of me... our professors were high on doing "group work" projects, putting together groups of people that should never have met, and watched them blissfully wander off, each in his or her own direction the moment the project was on... yet, somehow, the project got done. The powerpoint presentation was professional done. The que-cards were done...

Yes, I usually did all of that, and yes, they rode on it all of them... but I got in a few good swings myself! ;)

Now I'm just glad I'm working instead. But some days, I feel like going back to school. And get that Ph.D. I dropped out right before getting... then again, MSBA isn't so shabby, right?



Now I've got the student blues...

eric313 said...

It is just fine to let it all go like this, Princess. The lack of a car would be especially taxing on morale.

iFreud said...

Holy crap, if you are ever looking for a drinking-on-the-patio buddy, you know where I am!

I am sure that all your dedication is going to pay off BIGTIME one of these days.

I am envious of you and the fact that you are not a slave to a car. They are sometimes the biggest pain in the ass, and money-pit. Personally, I wish I didn't have to rely on a car.

LMizzle said...

You know, I know you didn't want to keep this post up since it's sort of a first world rant, but you know what, we live in the first world and these are our problems. I would be complaining about all the flies if I lived in a third world, but hey, I don't. Such is my first world complaint about women wearing too much makeup! Sometimes the developed world gets to us, but I don't think it's always something we should keep to ourselves because of guilt. Sure, someone in Africa doesn't have the luxury of maybe even primary education, but it doesn't mean that the industrialized world doesn't blow sometimes too!

Psycgirl said...

I'm constantly baffled by how other students go on insanely long vacations to Europe and I can barely afford my cell phone bill... is there something wrong with us, or are we just more responsible with our money?? I hope you have a good time camping!