Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ends and Beginnings

For many years, as a graduate student, I have marked the passing of time by the beginning and end of semesters. Most semesters are hectic and stressful, trying to balance school work, teaching, and family life. Two semesters have been marked by births (not very prolific study-wise). Sometimes I work for a spell in the summer, but summers for the past few years have been largely spent at home with the kids. During these times I vacillate between savoring the sweetest moments of infancy and wanting to tear my hair out… that’s just how it is.

When people wonder, amazed why I didn’t wait until finishing my studies to have kids, I always think how perfect it has been. I get to spend a lot of time with them (summers, winter breaks, spring breaks, and many afternoons or mornings), but at the same time, (and not because being a mother isn’t enough, but because I personally need it) I have something else to focus on-- something that causes a similar contradiction in me: it is both immensely satisfying to do something so academic and intellectual… but at the same time I often want to pull my hair out.

It is the end of the summer (though not the heat unfortunately.) I am both sad and relieved that tomorrow I will take the kids to their care center…

… and I will go back to work. I only teach part-time, but I will have to work HARD to finish my dissertation. If I am lucky, this will be my last semester… ever…

(or until the next learning itch—which will hopefully not be as monumental.)

I guess there is a slight possibility that I will have to finish up in the spring, but mostly, I am dedicated to getting it done before December. Can you imagine? I hardly can think of what will become of my life when I am no longer a graduate student? I don’t know…

The only thing for certain is that you will have to call me Doctor.

I can’t cure disease or find alternative fuels and I may not even be able to find a job. But after all this work, I should at least be able to demand to be addressed properly, right?









7 comments:

Amanda said...

Your children are so incredibly adorable!!!!


I've actually heard from quite a few people that grad school is a good time to have babies if you're good at time management because the schedule is somewhat flexible. I know that at least with my puppy I can spend a lot more time with him now that school's back in session and I'm not doing 8-5.

I'm just beginning to wonder if there's ever a "good" time to have kids if you aren't a housewife. Maybe it's just picking the better of options.

PS we should meet for coffee sometime! I'd like to officially meet you! Maybe our esposos would enjoy meeting, too!

mosey along said...

Yes. And that's all I have to say other than goldarnnit your kids are cute.

I'd like to meet you for a coffee too. ;)

Wendi said...

I love, love those pictures. The second one is fantastic.

Eileen said...

spitting kids! adorable. BTW, I finally got you on my blogroll, where you've belonged all this time. (It only shows the ten most recently updated at the moment). Welcome aboard, and I look forward to calling you doctora one of these days!

Sara said...

The pudding pictures at the end are adorable! Well, good luck with your final semester ever! When you discover the secret to this time management thing will you tell me?

Margaret said...

OK- so you're in the home stretch... You can DO IT!! Now's the time to leave the rest of us ABD's in the dust!

Danielle said...

I do hope you get your dissertation finished so you can move on in your life. I know it will be wonderful. I know what you mean about needing something else to focus on. I would pull my hair out for sure if I focused on Mckayla 24/7.
The pics are so dang cute! I'm glad your camera isn't collecting dust. The first two shots are great with the water. Keep it up :)
I think that is the same chair...mine is heading into a food caked state as well.