My paper proposal is FINISHED. It is not the most stellar work I have ever done, but it is completed. I am turning it in tonight, marking the end of my first semester. This has all been harder than I expected. I did two semesters of graduate school in the English department at the University of Maryland. That seemed fairly easy to me. I did well, and didn't really strain my brain to do so.
In contrast, this semester saw me reading things that made me try to bend my brain in ways it doesn't go. I read some of the Gnostic gospels, and if you know me, you know that was a stretch in oh so many ways. I had to write several small assignments. It turns out writing blogs and email is really really bad for your writing style. I apparently think and write in snippets now, almost telegram style. And it turns out that writing critically is something you can fall out of practice with. Who knew?
It was also much harder to fit school into my life than I had anticipated. My son wanted my attention after school, and really didn't get the concept of "mommy is doing homework now." My husband was not too thrilled to pick up the slack with the kid and the puppy. The puppy tried to gnaw my laptop, and honestly did try to eat my paper proposal. And my office really really needs me to work some extra hours right now, but I just can't fit everything in. Thoughts of dropping out actually crossed my mind. I think the exact phrase was "you need this like you need a hole in your head".
But I think I'll stick it out. I do feel more alert, more mentally there. And I feel a sense of accomplishment that's different than what I get from work or home. I guess because it seems like more of a solo effort, and so the results are all me. I also feel smart, for the first time in a really long while. I even feel my vocabulary coming back. It has been a long time since I felt free to use ALL the words I know instead of the small subset of common, day - to -day language.