Monthly Archives: October 2011

One Month Into School

It’s been just over a month that I’ve been in doctoral studies.  Many things about my life have shifted.

I am averaging about an hour and a half less sleep each night than I used to. And when I have the opportunity to sleep more, I wake up at the usual time anyway.

I rarely get onto Facebook.

I haven’t even looked at my Google Reader in probably 2-3 weeks. I’ve all but given up on reading other people’s blogs, which is sort of a bummer, because I enjoyed that a lot.

I am reading novels on the train for pleasure, now that I can borrow them from a public e-library.  Before this I hadn’t read novels in ages.

I’m spending too much money on coffee and bagels and lunches at school, although I’m starting to shift into bring-from-home mode; just being able to make coffee at school saves me $50/month.

I have a favorite spot in the library to study. My table, my chair, my electrical outlet, three hours twice a week.

I am walking miles a day. My body hurts all the time. But now when I run for a train, I’m more likely to make it and not have an asthma attack.

I am that student who doesn’t mean to be a brownnoser but who gets so geekily excited about what we are studying that I can’t help getting into conversations with professors about tiny little details of research.

I made my first edit to a Wikipedia entry.

I found an error in the primary This Source Is God encyclopedia on music and musicians. (When the Wikipedia entry on a topic is more correct than the Grove, even before my small edit, that’s a sad thing.)

My tendinitis is back.

I spent about ten days feeling like an undergrad who knows exactly shit about conducting, because nothing was working (and my tendinitis was back) and the new technique and my old one appeared to be mutually exclusive. However, unlike when I was 20 years younger, I didn’t run from the terror and humility, I dove into them, yielded to them, let them beat the crap out of me, and emerged standing on the other side. Now I am preparing to beat the crap out of them.

And I also know something I didn’t know 20 years ago–that my success here does not depend on my being the best, being liked by everyone, being recognized as Fabulous by everyone around me. I know what I know, I know what I don’t know, and I am not afraid of my weaknesses. My success here depends on my working the program, doing my best, and completing the requirements.  When it is done, my resume will have DMA after my name whether people here love me or not.  I’m good at what I do. In two years, I will be better.

I am exhausted, beat down, perpetually half-stoned-feeling, and happier than I’ve been in decades.