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, June 07, 2006


I am feeling both exhausted (as I have been for God knows how long) and weird (as I have for about the past three days). I'd like nothing better than to stay at home in bed with Mousie nestled up under my chin and sleep for a day or two. Maybe read something kinda dumb for an hour every once in a while.

But I have to go to campus and start grading one big-ass stack of papers, which needs to be ready, despite intervening office hours with students (thank God at least two of them are good students) by 4pm.

I am sick of this. I am tired of the endurance tests. I am tired of doing everything at breakneck speed. I am tired of being perennially behind on everything. I am tired of having to adjudicate about who it's least awful to disappoint on a daily--nay, an hourly--basis. I am tired of apologizing. I am tired of feeling like crap and not being able to stop to do anything about it. I am tired of forcing myself to get out of the bed three hours before my brain wakes up. I'm tired of having approximately three hours of real alertness per day. I'm tired of shifting pound after pound of material in and out of various bags every morning because I don't merit having an office to keep all this crap in. I am tired of meeting with students I'm trying to help and having them pitch temper tantrums because I'm not telling them I'll give them an A for their work as it is. I am especially tired of busting my hump for students who, at the end of the term, say things to me like, "It's only fiction." I am tired of hesitating to call students like that on their shit because (a) they're my sole source of performance evaluations and (b) most of the kids who act like this are so smug and view their instructors with such open disdain that it wouldn't make any difference anyway. I am tired of having to worry about making photocopies for my class because the departmental budget for copies is so weensy that I actually owe them nearly $200 I can't afford to pay for materials I need in order to do my job. I am tired of feeling like somebody in a Woody Guthrie song. I am tired of trudging back and forth to the bus. I am tired of sitting at bus stops for nearly an hour waiting for buses to show up. I am tired of running so late that I have to take a taxi I can't afford. I am tired of having taxi drivers question what I'm doing for a living (if they're not particularly nice people) or tell me that my "student days" are "the best days of my life" (if they are particularly nice people). I am tired thinking how much easier it would be to just get locked in somewhere on campus overnight in order to avoid the effort of getting home and back. I am tired of finally conceding that I have to go to bed for four or five hours and then lying awake thinking of all the things I haven't done--or done well enough.

In a week and a half, maybe I get to rest for a day. At least, I'll get to rest as much as it's possible for me to do that while I contemplate still having no guaranteed source of income after July 1. I may yet face the irony of wishing for most of the year that I could just stay home one day without having to work, only to get to the summer and be desperate to have work to do that would get me out of the house.