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Privileged juggling

November 5, 2011

When I started this blog, I hoped I’d be able to post daily, or at least every other day. Not always something terribly lengthy, but just anything with a little more depth than a tweet or Facebook status update. Life, however, has a spectacular way of laying the best intentions to waste.

Now that I’m midway through my third semester of a four-semester grad school program, the overall intensity of my life has kicked up a notch. I’m taking a full course load (two literature courses, a research colloquium, and a thesis seminar), I’ve just started a new teaching job which is technically part-time but requires a lot more time than that, I’m helping one of my professors organize a conference on a volunteer basis, I tutor several hours a week, and of course I have a thesis to prepare. We won’t even discuss the PhD proposals I should be writing or the conference call for papers deadlines that keep popping up in my Google Calender like little devils in a box. When I add all of this up, I’m currently working 70-80 hours per week. It’s no wonder that I’m left with little time for blogging or other writing.

But despite my current schedule being slightly overwhelming, I’m also incredibly privileged. Every single deadline I have to meet or responsibility I need to live up to is related to something I love to do. I love to read. I love to work on papers. I love doing research and literature reviews more than is decent. I love to teach. I love to think about teaching objectives and class activities. I love organizing events and feeling like I’m applying my skills not just academically, but practically. I love to set goals for myself and above all I love reaching said goals. I’m in grad school. I’m employed. I have friends who understand that they won’t get to see me much over the next few weeks and are okay with that. I have a comfortable home, a pile of good music that soothes and keeps me motivated, a few choice TV shows I get to lose myself in during stolen hours of downtime, and the skills to cook and bake myself the best comfort food in the world. Sure, I’m currently paying for a gym membership I’m not using and I don’t see my family as often as I’d like, but it’s all for the greater good.

I’m busier than I’ve been in years and I’m incredibly lucky. And on those mornings that I find it a little hard to get up and kick off yet another action-packed day, I play Rilo Kiley’s “A Better Son/Daughter” and remind myself that every day I work hard at being better, smarter, and kinder will pay off in the end.

“Your ship may be comin’ in. You’re weak but you’re not givin’ in. And you’ll fight it, you’ll go out fightin’ all of them.”

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