Some thoughts on grad school

Ugh. I miss smoking.

I don’t have any profound words about grad school, really. I’m ending my third year of the PhD after two years of the M.A. and there are moments when I have trouble finding the energy to keep moving forward. I’m at that stage now where I need to get back into my routine, but the will is not there. I’ve been looking outside of myself for inspiration and motivation but–and I know this and, if you asked me I’d tell you this–that’s not where those things come from. Being off campus is a drag. Being on campus can be a drag too.

yeah, this is where I check my privilege. I get it.

I have to remind myself what I’m doing this for and that answer is fuzzy right now. I enjoy working with students and their writing, that hasn’t changed, but I think this semester is just a culmination in constant fatigue. Am I supposed to be dedicating all my time to trying to make classes engaging? All of my time? At $20K a year?

The lack of contact with my colleagues convinces me that I am the one failing. That’s a lie, but I wouldn’t say I’m thriving.

It’s difficult to reach out when everyone is going through similar pressures and anxieties. Those that always say “we can talk any time” are overburdened, as far as I’m concerned. And, to be honest, I don’t want another goddamned Zoom meeting in my life. I’m tired and discouraged, and I think that’s reaching my students.

Is that a bad thing though?

Is it bad for them to understand that the unending timeclock, inseparable spheres of life, constant ennui are not unique to their experience? Is it good for them to understand that we’re all kind of hating all this shit together?

I don’t know. I guess my end of semester evaluations will tell me. That’s fine.

Perhaps the problem is I am just completely uninterested in the course topic this semester. Perhaps I am just completely uninterested in moving forward with the program. I have no answer, yet. Just the semi-annual re-interrogation about why I do this?