The Finals Countdown; Fall 2012

This is a drive-by.  Things are nuts; For the past three weeks I’ve been doing nothing but work, go to the gym, and sleep.  My brain is currently the approximate consistency of tapioca pudding.  And not even the good kind of tapioca pudding, it’s the soggy from a plastic container and tin lid sort.  And it’s likely been sitting on the shelf for too long so it’s just this side of “okay to eat”…

…this is not an invitation for zombies to come raid my apartment.

In that vein, I do not feel that I have anything intelligent, pertinent, or inspiring to say at the moment.  I’ve been communicating with my roommate and partner-in-crime using grunts and clicks (I’m past even the capacity for charade-like hand motions), and I don’t trust my own judgment right now as to what would constitute “intelligent, pertinent, or inspired” anyway.

Sooo…. I will re-assert a few basic truths about this point of the finals process, and then dive back to the turmoil of the ever-present grindstone.

Thing One: Proofreading saves lives.  Amongst the errors which, uncaught, would have proved outright embarrassing (mind you, in drafts that are far enough down the writing process that I even ventured to show one to my PiC the other day) are: several punctuation mishaps, misspellings of authors’ names, and (most embarrassing of all) several accounts of the correct Shakespeare quote attributed to the incorrect character in a play completely different from the one it was in in the first place.  Apparently, I can quote Shakespeare verbatim in tapioca-mode, but I’ll be darned if I can attribute these quotes correctly.  So far, I’ve attempted to put Touchstone in Twelfth Night (this is particularly puzzling since, of all shows, you would think that As You Like it would be freshest in my

my Sassy Gay Friend pretending to be Lincoln

my Sassy Gay Friend pretending to be Lincoln

mind right now and, indeed, it’s only my performance recollections which saved this mishap from making it to the final cut of the paper), and re-attribute a piece of Macbeth’s “sound and fury” speech to Hamlet (What, what, what are you doing?).

Thing Two: I am, as of today, T-minus two papers and four days from completing the last Fall Semester of coursework in my PhD.  My first paper goes down Monday, my second Wednesday, in between I proctor and grade a final for one of my TAships.  On Wednesday, I will drive to campus, drop off my paper, and drive directly down to NY for holidays with my family.  Because my life isn’t stressful at all.

Thing Three: It’s remarkable what slack people will cut you when you look at them with the glazed-over look of hopeless “good god, I don’t remember how to talk to a normal person because my mind is still reeling about early nineteenth-century draperies”.  Either that, or my friends are amazing.  I suspect a combination of the two.  Maybe I look worse than I think I do.  At least I’m bathing regularly (IMPORTANT!).

Here is a cute picture of a baby hippo I took at the San Diego Zoo... for no reason other than it is sometimes good to look at cute pictures of baby hippos.

Here is a cute picture of a baby hippo I took at the San Diego Zoo… for no reason other than it is sometimes good to look at cute pictures of baby hippos.

Thing Four: No matter where you are, I can assure you that if you aren’t done by now, you are very close.  If you, in the past few days/weeks have experienced the same jarring helplessness that I have experienced, I would like for you to take a moment, take a breath, and remember that the light is right there at the end of the tunnel.  I know you’re tired (“exhausted” might be a better word… actually “bone-weary beyond all possible means of human comprehension” might fit best), I know you’re frustrated, I know you’re worried.  But you will do it.  I have faith.  Hold fast, Horus.

Thing Five: I’m going to take a break and sit on my couch for a few minutes.  I haven’t actually sat on my couch in at least two weeks.  Since I’ve put in a good six and a half hours already, I think I deserve this.

Keep calm, and keep editing folks!  See you on the other side!

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