'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

the crazy swirl of the wrapping-it-up grad students

Such a nutty, exciting time it is for the grad-student gang, formerly of Tiramisu House, now of the unnamed retreat in the woods. Along with the low-level terror running through this time, I really do think there's a ribbon of hopefulness I know I'd be afraid to acknowledge, as if for fear of scaring off that tidbit of the very promising, or of jinxing it all through the hubris of not always assuming the worse.

I'm caught up a bit more myself this week in their mildly dizzy up-in-the-air "something's up" shit-may-soon-hit-fan feel cuzza doing some emergency copy editing (of very innarestin' stuff about scribes and authenticity in India) for one who's been summoned unexpectedly to send off hunks of the still-unfinished diss to 2 top-notch schools, toot sweet. But the whole housefull are at that nearly poised-on-the-brink point, and it's quite an atmosphere. Relaxed adult student household chill---an air still present, and even enhanced by their new quarters---with this other decidedly UNrelaxed air swirling around & through it, coming to the nose, at least a little, almost all the time.

Something in the air is definitely the right category of metaphor for the state.

I feel excited and scared and all that stuff for 'em, just thinking about where they are in things, and I fall into---even more than generally so when hanging with one or more of them---imagining being in such a pair of shoes as one of theirs (in the respect of those shoes being shoes of a student at this stage of the game, anyway). In addition to that, and to anticipation of their moving on (I shall miss them personally, of course, and the connection to that world as well), it also calls up my earlier imagining of grad student life, both as I thought about it when considering such a path for myself and as I imagined it was with the grad students I knew, and knew about, during my childhood---a few live & in person, some in stories going on at the time, and some in stories from the past.

One's very business being the world of ideas: that's maybe more of a candidate for #1 on my longstanding list of the main appeals of the academic world than I usually give it credit for--- the other two being (a) many fewer than 40 hours a week booked, and some big hunks of weeks with NO hours hard-and-fast scheduled and (b) built-in renewal: you can stay in one place, and the new comes to you, every semester, in the form (fundamentally) of new people with whom to talk about ideas.

The starry-eyed idealism that contributes so to the appeal of such a life, however, is hard-pressed to survive within it.

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