Category Archives: Grad school

I’m tired.

I have now made it through my first week of grad school.

Two of my classes met this week; the third will start Monday night. I loathe the textbook for my research-methods class, but I like the professor, who has been very sweet and patient as I ease back into academia after a 23-year hiatus, so there’s that. Sadly, the textbook is a compendium of essays by writers who are, to borrow a phrase from my late eighth-grade lit teacher, “inebriated by [their] own verbosity.”

I’m fluent in several dialects of bullshit, including Late-20th-Century Professoric, High Mansplainish, and Old and Middle Educatorese, but this is the first time I’ve encountered Linguistics Philosopherian, which is basically self-important word salad. I finally figured out that the trick was to take notes on the essays first, then go back through my notebook and take notes on my notes. That second layer of note-taking yielded enough comprehensible material to use as the basis for my reading-response assignment; from there, I just had to translate the notes into Modern Professoric to crank out a decent paper. It’s only worth 20 points, and I managed to work in references to Keith Richards and the Infinite Monkey Theorem, so it’s fine, probably.

Thus far, I’m enjoying my Brit-lit class. The professor’s teaching style reminds me of my own, and the class is a mix of grad students and undergrads, so I basically sat around shooting the bull about King Arthur with a bunch of bright kids. The writing assignment for this week just involved reading something and then getting on the class discussion board and posting a 250-word response to the professor’s question. I was the first one to respond, so I’m not sure whether I hit the tone he was looking for, but hopefully he’ll let me know if I screwed it up so I can try again before Wednesday.

I have a couple of short stories to read before my fiction-writing class meets Monday, but I am otherwise finished with my homework, which is good, because I need to do some serious lesson planning this weekend, and Ramona could use a long walk and a romp around the park.