A Day in the Life: Grad Student

 

A Day in the Life:  Grad Student 

10am  Alarm goes off.  Snooze.

11am  Alarm goes off.  Snooze.

12pm  Alarm goes off.  Snooze.

12:30pm  Alarm goes off.  Snooze.

1pm  Wake up.  Boil water for instant coffee before anything else as coffee is the lifeblood of my day.

1:15  Make coffee.  Drink coffee.  Make second cup of coffee.  Consider eating breakfast.  Eat a protein bar.  Get ready for school.

2pm  Go to class feeling self-congratulatory for finishing the book that was required for this week’s class.  Feel elated.  Start to think maybe I really do belong in Grad School.

2:30  Spend the first hour of class trying to look smart and engaged.  Spend the second hour of class working up the courage to say the smart thing I thought of.  Never actually say it.  Change mind about the certainty of belonging in Grad School.

5pm  After class is over say the smart thing to a few other students.  Say it loud enough for the Professor to overhear thus maybe witness I’m smart even though I was too shy to speak up during class.  Promise myself that I’ll do better next time.  Promise to start acting like a grad student.  Promise to start feeling like I belong here.

5:30  Think about going to Starbucks to get coffee.  Remember that I can’t afford Starbucks (as my parents just had to lend me money for rent, my student loan having already run out).  Make instant coffee instead.  Use the instant coffee that I keep in my office (my office being really just a cubicle in a room of 6 other cubicles with no window but I fucking love my cubicle).  I NEED MY CUBICLE.  My cubicle makes me feel like a grown up with a purpose and an office.  No man is a cubicle but this cubicle is me, man.

5:45  Realize I don’t have any milk for my coffee.  Sit at my desk in my cubicle and drink it anyway, stare at the stacks of library books and berate myself for not doing more research, for not being further along in your final research paper (thesis).  Wonder if my desk serves more as a place to put books than a place to do work.  Decide it does.  Decide I don’t care.  Realize that it doesn’t matter that my desk is small and my cubicle is in a shared space because I know the combination to this locked dungeon of cubicles that is specifically marked for grad students.  Feel proud.  I am a fucking grad student.  I earned this grad student space.  Realize it’s all I have.  Without this space I am nothing.  Go to the class I TA for.

6:00  Early British Literature.

6:01  Try to stay awake during this 1st year English class, which is most certainly on material I already know.  Listen as the Professor dissects Beowulf (which I haven’t studied in a decade, since I was busy not paying attention in 1st year English).  Realize it all seems like brand new information.  Feel like a sham.  Feel like a failure.  Doubt everything I’ve ever accomplished.  Wonder how the fuck I got into grad school.  Jump to the assumption that I’m an idiot and what the fuck am I going to do with my life.  Take a deep breath.  Realize that this just isn’t my area of expertise and that there is too much literature for me to know everything.  Tell myself it’s okay.

6:50  MUST.  NOT.  FALL.  ASLEEP.

8:00  Try to run the discussion group for the class.  Get more uncomfortable with each deafening silence to my prodding questions.  Feel like there isn’t enough time to accomplish anything meaningful.  Remember the comments of a student from last term on my evaluation who said “she seems rushed and kind of nervous”.  Hate that kid.  Hate the fact that he/she was right.  I am rushed, I am nervous.  Wish I could tell that kid that there is absolutely no training for being a TA except your undergrad and intelligence, none of which prepare you to teach.  Feel like a sham.  Feel like a failure.  Ask more questions.  Hear more silence.  Wonder if the students even read the text.  Wonder if the students are even awake.  Wonder what the fuck is the point of any of this.  Use my backup material and turn this into a tutorial on essay writing, which they desperately need.  Watch as their eyes glaze over.  Sweat.  Get frustrated.  Get exasperated.  Sweat.  Hate life.

8:50  Hand back the mid-term essays.  Watch them read their grades in confusion.  Most of them think they deserve A’s and B’s.  Most of them deserve F’s.  Give most of them C+s because I’m part of a continent wide broken educational system.  Try to remember what my work was like when I was a first year student.  Pretty sure I was drunk for most of first year.  Remind them about my office hours tomorrow.  Encourage them to come see me, to come talk about their grades, to come talk about their work, so that I can help them.  Know that no one will show up and I’ll sit for an hour by myself, in an office I share with all the other grad students.  Try not to become disillusioned with the whole system of education.

9:00  Walk home.  Realize I haven’t eaten since breakfast.  Stop at the grocery store on the way home and make impulse purchases that go well beyond my means, calorically and financially.  Use my credit card to pay.

9:30  Eat.  Worry.  Eat.  Worry.  Watch old episodes of Newsroom on my computer (I can’t afford cable, or a TV, or even to get my own wifi so I have to use the free wifi that comes with my apartment but blocks all the good websites like torrent downloading, youtube, and porn.  Eat.  Worry.  Eat.  Worry.  Make some coffee (I have a ton of work to do).

12:00am  Remember I have to read a 347 page book and a 44 page article for my class on thursday.  Start reading.

12:15  Calculate how many hours I have before my next class.  Figure out how many pages I can read in 20 minutes.  Multiply 20 by 3 to get how many pages I can read in an hour.  Calculate how many hours it will take to read 347 pages of a novel and 44 pages of an article.  Worry.  Fidget.  Worry.  Wonder if I should’ve gone into mathematics.

12:30  (stress) Masturbate.  Drink more coffee.

1:00am  Read more

2:00  I’m reading 18th century literature.  My eyelids are no longer my friends.  Drink more coffee, I  still have so much work to do.  Keep reading.

4:00am  Take a break to eat.  Watch another episode of Newsroom.  Eat.  Worry.  Eat.  Worry.  Eat.  Worry.  Coffee.

5:00  Read.  Read.  Read.

7:00am  Realize I see the sunrise too often.  Hate it.  Consider taking up yoga.  Consider becoming one of those breezy people who don’t worry and don’t get stressed.  Promise I’ll start fresh tomorrow.  Tomorrow, I will finish all my readings on time.  Tomorrow, I won’t go to class unprepared, I won’t skate by.  Tomorrow, I will wake up at a decent time and I will exercise and be at one with myself and the world.  Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

7:30  Try to sleep (hate myself for having to drink so much coffee to get through the day)

8:00  Try to sleep (hate myself for being a student when my friends have $$$ jobs)

8:30  Try to sleep (wish I exercised more, studied more, was a better person)

9:00  Try to sleep (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY CAN’T I FUCKING SLEEP!!!!)

9:30am  Smoke some weed and fall asleep.

 

 

Vancouver Dating Blog: You Can Always Come Home To Me

How to Write a Dating Profile

It’s been a long time coming.

I’ve been meaning to write it for ages.

But somehow I just kept putting it off.

Because it’s not really a dating post, or a humor post, or a sex post, or a poetry post even, it’s a post about me.  Little old me, and what I’ve been up to and what (not who) I’ve been doing.  Because admittedly, in this last year, it might have gotten a little confusing.  So I’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as possible and if there’s any questions at the end…well…that’s what the comment section is for, right?

In September I started back at UBC.

I was approached by a dating website who wanted to buy (like with real money) my writing, both past and future.  I thought long and hard about it and though I hated the idea of parting with my writing (not a first rights kind of deal, a complete selling of ownership type deal) I figured I’d always have more material and beggars can’t be choosers and a number of other considerations that had me agreeing.  And so that’s what I did (which is why, you may or may not have noticed, many of my old blog posts disappeared).  For the next 6 months or so things were peachy.  I mean school was insane and my own blog pretty much fell to the way-side but I simply directed all my readers over to the dating website I had been working for to read my posts.  And then sometime around the end of January-ish something happened.  I had to sever ties with the site.  Unfortunately, the owner and I had some very different ideas about the ethics of editing (much like the differing laws in Canada and the States) and that was that.  He owned my words and I asked for my name to be removed from all content.  Ties severed.

However, very close to the same time I was approached by an Editor at The Province who asked if I would like to blog for them.  Ecstatic, I, of course, agreed.  And that was that, I’ve been happily blogging for the Province ever since.  But, I mean, there’s only so much writing about sex and dating a girl can do, especially when I was still in school at the time.  So for the time being, I publish on The Province and shortly after the article goes up on my own blog, this one right here.  Now of course, there’ll probably be exceptions (like say with this post, this one has no need to go on The Province’s site, and posts that contain poetry will always only go up here).

Additionally, I’ve started blogging as a #SWEXPERT for a UK dating site called Singles Warehouse, along with numerous other bloggers.  And while I’m not certain how or where the relationship will progress too, like my work for The Province, it will eventually end up on my own site (this one, in case that wasn’t clear lol).

Now, here I am in early May and I’ve graduated from UBC with my 2nd BA.  I have been accepted to Georgia State University, North Carolina State University, University of Massachusetts (Boston), and University of Saskatchewan, and I’m still waiting to hear back from Concordia and George Washington University.

What any of this means for the future I don’t know.  Will I be moving from Vancouver in September?  Can I really afford to take on the debt of an American University?  What would it be like to live in Saskatoon, a place I’ve heard I would eat the boys alive, and what if there were no boys at all who wanted to be eaten?  Will I take a year off, work and save as much as possible, and then reapply to schools next year (because at least now I know that getting in is a likely possibility; to be honest, I had been bracing myself for an across the board rejection)?  Could I continue to write about “Dating Vancouver a Better Place, One Something at a Time” or write for The Province, if I neither lived in Vancouver, nor the province of BC?  Will I spend the summer writing a book?

Who knows.  I have no real answers.  Yet.  But I’m happy.  And the future is bright.  And when in doubt over where to find my writing, know that it will always come home here at Something She Dated, ready and waiting for your loving eyes with its open arms.

xoxo
~SSDated

Love Is: My House On Faculty Row

Hearts

[dropcap]People[/dropcap] have been asking me a lot lately.  If Mega Love proposed.  Right now.  Would I say yes?  And the answer is no.  Not a chance.  No hesitation.  Uh-uh.  Nope.  Nope.  *head shake*   No.  Because the thing is.  I don’t want a boyfriend.  I definitely don’t want a husband.  Right now.  I just want fun.  Breezy.  Fun.

Dating is fun right now.  Exciting and nerve-racking.  Like sour candy.  Caught in your cheeks.  Delicious.  Torture.  Bliss.  It’s up.  It’s down.  It’s novel and I’m learning.  Learning about myself.  About boys.  About other people and their lives.  By comparison to mine.  From their vantage point looking in.  From my vantage point looking out.  It’s kind of like shopping.  Can I help you, Miss?  No thanks, I’m just browsing.  And right now.  This very moment.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Because honestly.  I’m having the time of my life.  I’m being honest.  And selfish.  And I’m totally okay with that.

Being selfish I mean.  Because I don’t want to think about anyone else.  Have to look after anyone else.  Have to worry about anyone else.  Because for the first time in 16 years.  I feel good.  I mean really really good.  Like I’m finally not broken anymore.  Like after 16 years of a sadness that shakes you.  Takes your breath away.  Taints everything.  Poisons everything.  Is everywhere and in everything.  Suck.  Suck.  Sucking every last drop of hope and joy out of you.  It finally ends.  And now.  I get to be happy.  I mean really happy.

So you can understand can’t you?  How I wouldn’t want to risk it.  Risk this happiness.  On something.  On someone.  I mean sure.  In the future.  Possibly.  But not right now.  Not when it’s all still so fresh.  So new.  Still such totally uncharted waters.  And I’m not hiding from love or anything.  I’ve got tons of love surrounding me right now.  An amazing family.  Wonderful friends.  Life is beautiful.  And one day.  One day.  I’ll consider it.  Consider a future of team effort.

But right now I think.  I feel.  Like it’s quite likely I won’t ever want to get married.  Won’t ever want to have babies.  Sure.  The idea of baking up some little minions that are part me and part someone I love.  That sounds amazing.  Creating a life.  Growing something inside my belly.  Sure that’d be cool.  Really cool though.  Would be raising them.  Raising them how I want.  Teaching them things.  Giving them room to learn how to learn.  Showing them the world.  Watching them grow their dreams.  Loving them.  Helping them.  Growing old with them.  But that’s a lot of responsbility.  And I don’t even like the idea of having a pet.

Because in the life I picture for myself.  I live in some fancy professor housing.  On a university campus.  Of which I’m sure only exists in movies I watched as a child.  But nonetheless.  I’m living there.  And my life is gorgeous with Academia.  And writing.  Travel and friends.  Love.  Love.  Love.  I do what I want.  When I want.  And then I play with other people’s kids.  And get to go home when I’m done.  Quirky Auntie SSD.  She always tells the best stories.  And has the best snacks.  Took me for the morning after pill when I couldn’t tell my mom.  Listened when my dad and I were fighting.  Told me how he was just looking out for me.  Talks about equality and kindness.  Talks about doing the right thing and figuring out what that is for myself.  She believes me when I say I’m going to change the world.  Says she’ll help me.  Says she’ll always be there for me.  She makes me feel loved.  And safe.  Like the world will be okay for me.  Because she’s out there.  Waiting for me.

But even then.  I think about love.  And how one day.  That might be something I really crave.  Really desire.  Because I can imagine it feels good.  For someone to know you.  To really know someone.

Their favorite constellation.
The salad dressing they use on Sundays
The way your head feels resting in their hands
The shape of their ice cubes
The shape of their ice cubes
One day.  I’ll want to know someone.  So well.  That I know the shape of his ice cubes.

But not today.  Because today.  There are 3 weeks left till school starts back up.  And I know what my dreams are.  And falling in love.  And knowing someone.  Aren’t on that list.  Studying.  Learning.  Taking care of myself.  Getting good grades.  Like really good grades.  Higher than ever before.  Slaying the GRE.  Getting into Grad School.  Those are my dreams.  Those are my cake.  And the rest.  The rest is just icing.

Anonymous Dating Blogger: Should I Be Out and About in Vancouver?

Dating

Okay well technically it’s directed at you…but really it’s for me.  And I apologize in advance…because funny is riding backseat for this one for sure…I’m all business.

I need help.  advice.  okay really it’s more like how I always ask everyone at the table what they’re ordering before I can make my final decision.  is that your final answer.  what are you having? that is my final answer.  I’ll have the clubhouse.

It’s not that I’m a follower.  I think it has more to do with my psychology background or further behind that my rational nature.  I like to know all the options.  Weigh all the specifics.  I’m going to need to embrace every detail before I can make the right decision.  perfectionist much? yeah I’m aware.

So now that I’m back and ready to date and blog my summer away…I’m in a quandry and it’s all about privacy…or lack thereof.

Now obviously…I’m blogging about my dating…so how interested in privacy can I be…but here’s my concerns.

Pictures?
Facebook?
Identifiability?

So the first question is really…who do you share your blog with? or specifically not share it with?  So far I’ve shared it with some close friends and some family (my bro, and a cousin) and then of course the blogger world.  I go back and forth and back and forth about whether or not to share it on facebook.  Sure my facebook is set to friends privacy etc. but it’s not like I’m BFFs with everybody on my list…there are a lot of people I went to highschool with (my biggest concern) and the occasional ex (a lesser concern) and the potential to forget and add someone I’m dating or have dated who showed up in the blog (medium concern).

Most of the time I think the super embarassing moments (like the “meat” incident) are hilarious but there are other moments where I (try not to judge me) give a shit about looking super cool to people I went to highschool with/exes/other people.  How do you other bloggers feel?  I know a lot of you are even so awesome as to put up your REAL photo and/or have actual videos (you’re my idols)…are you just super bold and confident…or did you have this same above convo with yourself before you went balls to the wall?

Should I just take a leap and who cares…be freakin’ breezy if you will?

So what is your level of privacy?
How did you come to that decision?
What are your limits in what details you share on your blog (names, photos, intimate details?)
Based on what you’ve read so far in my blog how embarassed should I be if I go mega-public?

Sidebar:  I’m also well aware I could start letting people on facebook know and my readership doesn’t increase by a single person lol so this whole point could be moot

*Dating Vancouver a Better Place, One Something at a Time*