I have another post in me about training PhD students, but I just can’t do it right now. Right now, I’m so dumb I left my yoga mat (My $100 Manduka Pro special edition black cherry mat that I would rush back into a burning building to save) at the yoga studio. I’m so tired that it’s 9pm as I write this and I can’t wait to go to sleep.
To sleep. To sleep and perchance to dream. It’s early December, it’s late in the term, and the sugarplum visions–you know, the ones that begin with me submitting a tidy spreadsheet of grades to the Registrar–well, they’re dancing in my head.
I swear, it’s only the daydreaming that gets me through this final slog of final essays. My students were all so relieved to hand them all in–their work is done. Now mine … doesn’t begin, of course, because it began that first day of class in September, but continues for another week or so of solitary, thankless grading.
My daydreams are simple: filled-in spreadsheets, time to read a novel, staying in my pyjamas, doing some Christmas shopping, drinking a leisurely latte with a friend without laptops taking up the entire table between us. Of having a little more patience in the morning with my family because I”m not gearing up for class. Of sleeping a little more soundly because I’m not worried about the handout / the lesson plan / the computer podium key and where I may have put it.
Many of the graduate students I interact with talk of Christmas breaks full of reading ahead, of thesis projects started, of daunting paperwork addressed. That’s the wrong attitude, I think. Term is hard. It’s long and intense if you’re taking courses, or teaching them, or studying for comps or preparing a thesis proposal, or if you’re writing, or especially if you’re on the job market. Take a break.
Do something selfish and decadent, even if that means something as simple as watching TV in the morning, or as elaborate as leaving town for sunny, warm climes.
My sugarplum visions include slipper socks and staring at the lights on my tree, mug of Holiday Tea in a Santa mug in hand.
What do yours look like?