Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First year of Grad School

So now that I've had a decent break from school (right before my summer class starts, haha), I thought I'd do a little reflection on my first year of grad school. 

In a lot of ways, it was what I had expected, but in some ways it wasn't. My first semester was far better than the second. I had an American Lit class and an editing class and enjoyed both of them. It got a little stressful at times, but I managed. And I got A's in both classes. I was proud of myself for accomplishing that in addition to the stress of moving back in October and adjusting to much, much longer days and a really long commute. It was exhausting. But I made it work. 

Second semester came around and I was a little nervous. I took poetry, which I was excited about, but I also had to take that dreaded research class and I had heard many, many terrible, horrible things about it. And it lived up to just about every one of them. It wasn't a particularly hard class, but it was extremely time consuming. Which meant for me that I spent all day Saturday and sometimes Sunday doing homework for just that class, plus occasionally making trips to the library during the week. 

That class was horrible and stressful and made me consider quitting a couple times. And, as it turns out (and as most people had warned), the class was pretty useless. Most of the people I heard that from were people doing a creative thesis. Which meant that the class was even more useless for me because the editing project I'm going to do is brand new so my teacher really didn't know what I should do or how to help me. That made it even more difficult for me to stay focused and put in all the effort I needed to in that class...why should I if it isn't helping me in any way? 

But, I did. I worked my butt off all semester--now not only did I have long days and a long commute, but my night classes were back to back (Wednesday/Thursday) which was even more exhausting, plus I had a puppy who really got a kick out of interrupting my homework time with all her shenanigans. 

In the end, I got A's in both classes. And I'm proud of myself. Toward the middle of last semester I had to really figure out what I'd be doing for my thesis. I went back and forth for a while between doing a creative thesis or doing the editing project, mainly because the editing project hadn't been approved yet, and I didn't want to get started on it only to find out I couldn't actually do it. 

Eventually it did get approved, so I decided to be the pioneer of the editing project. Seriously. I'm the only person currently in the program who is doing it. No pressure. So I have the book that I'll be editing. I've done a little research (which I had to do for that god awful class last semester--about the only thing that class was good for). Now I just need to actually start it. I'm having trouble motivating myself to do it though. After editing and stuff at work, it's hard to want to do all that work on my project later when I'm at home. 

Plus, my online class starts next week (I should probably figure that out for sure), and I'm working from home on Fridays. I'm guessing what I really need to do is just pick a specific time(s) each week to work on it. Part of me wants to wait until my class starts to see how much I'm going to need to do for that, but another part knows that if I do that, I'll just make more excuses not to get started on it. 

I have until Fall of next year to finish it though. And I know the longer I procrastinate, the worse it will be later and I'll have to become a hermit just to get it finished in time. Yikes. The good thing is that I'm not taking an actual class next summer. I'm taking my "thesis hours" so I get credit just for working on my thesis all summer. That should help a little. 

And I'd like to thank you all for taking time out of your days to read about all this nonsense. I do appreciate it! :) 

Copper loves her blankies :)