As August winds down and the summer comes to a close, I am nearing the completion of my study-time. I’m also nearing the completion of my list of things to study.
Lately, when I talk to people about the study process, pretty much everyone has the same thing to say about it: “Well, it’s almost over.” The smart people then revisit this statement, look at me with a wide-eyed sheepish gaze, and add “…which is both good and bad.”
It’s both good and bad that I’ve, at this point, combed through every chapter in Brockett except the one devoted to contemporary theatre (which I might not get to and, honestly, that’s probably okay given the amount of contemporary theatre I see and have lived through). It’s both good and bad that I’ve been through every section of my reading list and ordered/read the books from each of them (I’ve just done the last round of book-looking for the “North America” section; I’ll be picking those up at the library tomorrow). It’s both good and bad that I’ve even started to return some of the beginning-of-the-summer ILL acquisitions (ILL books tend to have a sooner due-date than those borrowed from my home institution, and they are unavailable for renewal so I don’t have much by way of choice here and with 135 books sitting on my floor and more to come I can probably use the cycle-out time; if I haven’t gotten to them by now chance are I won’t get to them anyway).
I’m feeling oddly serene these days (though exhausted). Granted, it is the beginning of the week and I tend to be more at peace with the universe before Thursday morning. However, there is a consistent feeling of calm; I’ve learned a lot this summer. I know a lot of things. I’ve forgotten a lot this summer, but I’ve scheduled review time into my study habits. I continue to look at old exams and think “well, it’d be a struggle but I think could manage this”. Perhaps it’s just that I’m getting used to the stress load (there’s only so long you can run around feeling like Atlas before your shoulders become stronger). Whatever it is (and I don’t want to say this too loudly in case my body figures out that I’m onto it), I am grateful for the respite from the physical symptoms of stress.
I’m definitely experiencing the trifecta of exhaustion (physical, mental, and emotional). I’m definitely still in the weeds. But, for whatever reason, the end of summer isn’t (at least at this moment) causing blinding panic and paralyzing terror.
I’m looking forward to the start of the semester. I’m looking forward to teaching my acting class. I’m looking forward to taking the next step on the journey towards Doctorhood. I’m looking forward to returning the book fort only to re-model it with shiny new books. I’m looking forward to doing something new and different with my days. I’m looking forward to boots, sweaters, scarves, and the return of my favorite seasonal jacket. I’m looking forward to pumpkin flavored treats.
Autumn is coming. You can try to run from it, or embrace it. And I, personally, look great in fall colors.
I hope your semester-start prep is going well; keep plugging! We’re nearly there!