Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Location: United States

Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

If it's so predictable, why do I feel so unprepared?

Okay, so it's Week Three of the Nameless Summer Program. Hump Week. Hell Week. The week in which, like clockwork, every single year, a whole lotta students just kinda lose their shit. The pressure of the intensive coursework and the realization that, nope, people weren't just talking about how the work that'll be expected from them at Big City U. is both different and tougher than what they're used to combine to make smart, hardworking people completely freak out. They become convinced that (1) some or all of the instructors and tutors involved with the program are sadistic jackasses who're just messing with them and/or (2) that there's no way in hell they can possibly accomplish what they're being asked to accomplish.

Sometime around Week 4 or 5, most of these folks will realize that (1) we're all really on their side, or we wouldn't teach for Nameless Summer Program in the first place and (2) that just because they haven't done something before doesn't mean they can't do it now. And then they will start to chill out a bit and trust both themselves and us more.

But in the meantime? Well, it pretty much sucks monkey balls, 'cause people are slacking off, lashing out, or acting up left and right, and it feels a lot like trying to close a warped Tupperware lid: everytime you push down one side, another one pops up.