Friday, August 13, 2010

Another Day, Another Excuse

Okay, tomorrow's going to be the day that I FINALLY buckle down and start working on my dissertation! Then when my dissertation committee asks me about my progress, I won't have to lie! I'm not going to waste another summer day sleeping in, watching crime dramas, and making excuses about not working.

6:30 A.M. Wake up. Decide that it is too early to be awake since have been waking up at least an hour later every other day, and don't want to screw up body clock. Then I might get sick or something and won't be able to work and we can't have that, can we?

6:31 A.M. Go back to sleep.

7:45 A.M. Wake up to the sound of drivers leaning on their horns in the street outside my bedroom window. Consider yelling out the window at them like I used to, but decide not to. Congratulate self for not yelling at anyone in public for almost a week now. Except for at the mean lady who tried to cut in front of me when I was trying to get on the bus. Yeah, you want a piece of me, lady? Didn't think so. Hmmph.

8:30 A.M. Go to nearby coffeehouse to have breakfast and work on manuscript. Can't help noticing a 250-pound guy standing outside, dressed in a miniskirt. His dog, for some reason, is also wearing a skirt. Think that guys who wear skirts should shave their legs, like girls do.

9:30 A.M. Feeling happy because I just wrote several pages. Writing is always a good way to start the day. Good feeling ends when step outside and see a shirtless guy with a hairy chest AND and an even hairier back jogging by. Now THERE'S someone who needs a shave! Go home to surf the web to find information on whether it's possible to erase scary images from brain because I NEVER WANT TO GO OUTSIDE AGAIN.

9:45 A.M. Okay, now I'm really going to start working on my dissertation. I pick a book from the stack beside my desk. Feel guilty because spent more time reading chick lit this summer than critical theory. But it's research for when I write my own chick lit novels, right? Right. Start reading critical theory.

10:30 A.M. I have NO idea what I just read.

10:45 A.M. I need a break. Read Odd News, which is my favorite section of Yahoo! news, and has such insightful, educational stories about topics like the prison inmate who ate another inmate's glasses and the restaurant chef who was fined for licking two toads while he was working.

11:00 A.M. Feel guilty because not working. Go back to reading.

11:30 A.M. I STILL have no idea what I just read.

11:30-11:35 A.M. Berate myself for not understanding this stuff and for spending the past several years of grad school pretending to know what I'm doing but actually knowing nothing. Everyone else in my class is presenting research at conferences, publishing articles, and have probably spent all summer working on their dissertations. They'll probably all laugh at me when they find out I spent more time watching Law and Order than I did studying.

11:35-11:40 A.M. Think of witty comebacks and insults to throw in the faces of smug grad students.

11:45 A.M. Decide to make lunch. I'm not going to buy takeout today; I'm actually going to cook! Yes. I'm an adult and I should be cooking.

12:15 A.M. And now my lunch is on fire. AAHHH!

12:30 P.M. Buy hamburger and fries at a nearby restaurant. Break my no-yelling-at-strangers-in-public rule when a mean girl my age literally shoved me out of the way when she was refilling her soda. But congratulate self for not throwing drink at her.

12:31 P.M. But I WILL next time, lady.

1:00 P.M. Sit down again to work on dissertation. Decide to work on mansucript instead and type out the pages I wrote in my journal this morning.

2:00-2:15 P.M. Fantasize about going on the Today show to promote my book, and then turning to the camera to all the people watching, including every guy who ever rejected me and every grad student who acted all smug at me and say, "So how do you like me NOW, huh, LOSERS? PPBBBPTH!"

2:15 P.M. Feel tired. Decide that I can't work on my dissertation until I take a nap, because I don't want to write anything incoherent and end up embarrassing myself.

4:00 P.M. Wake up and watch Law and Order. Sam Waterston never gets old. Even though, technically, he is getting older. But whatever.

5:00 P.M. Contemplate going back to work, but decide to work out instead. Convince myself that it's okay because exercising is good for the body. Bring along library book so can study while exercising.

5:30 P.M. Only read two pages because got distracted by cute guys with muscles lifting weights. I should really only come here when the gym is less distracting...I mean, less crowded.

7:30 P.M. Go home and put frozen dinner in the microwave. At least I can't ruin that.

7:35 P.M. And now my dinner is on fire. AAAHHH!

7:45 P.M. Eat peanut butter sandwich and Froot Loops.

8:00 P.M. I can't go back to work now. CSI is on!

10:00 P.M. Read other people's blogs. May not be relevant to my graduate work, but it's educational nonetheless.

10:30 P.M. Attempt to go back to work on dissertation. Feeling too tired. Decide to try again tomorrow.

I do actually feel guilty, because I didn't spend nearly as much time doing graduate work this summer as I should have. I was busy, though, because I had two jobs and I spent a couple weeks taking care of my parents' dogs. But compared to the school year, I actually had more free time this summer, and I spent a lot of it doing stuff that I wanted to do rather than stuff I was supposed to do.

And I think that's why I didn't get a lot of graduate work done. During the school year I'm working two jobs and attending graduate school, so I'm always on the go. I'm lucky if I get more than five hours of sleep a night, and I'm always stressed out and overworked. And this is my one chance to relax before I have to go back to grad school. So maybe I don't feel THAT guilty.


  1. You sure had an interesting day!
    Was the man in the miniskirt wearing 1 of these? Utilikilts

    Oh, for some really weird news, try this: News of the Weird

    Don't feel guilty! You work hard & you deserve to sleep in & have fun. Plus, you wrote! :)

  2. So been there, done that! When I did my Master's Thesis it was the last thing I wanted to do. I think I gained 10 pounds - I'd eat so I could avoid researching and writing. Good thing I wasn't writing manuscripts back then. I find manuscript writing a treat.

    Why does your food keep going up in flames?! Do you need me to send you some simple recipes? Non-flammable ones?

    Glad you kept yourself from punching that woman. If you had, it probably would've thrown your schedule off, and you wouldn't have napped.

  3. Hi notesfromnadir,
    Come to think of it, the man may have been wearing a skirt that looked like that; that's an interesting concept. I wonder if everyone's going to start wearing one.
    I like News of the Weird too; it definitely illustrates that saying, "You can't make this stuff up."

    Hi Theresa,
    Manuscript writing is definitely a treat; unlike writing my dissertation, I actually enjoy doing it.
    I'm not sure why my food keeps catching fire; it's probably because I'm a bad cook. I'll have to take you up on your offer for the recipes sometimes, but it'll probably have to wait until the next school break; once school starts up again, I'll become obsessed with school, as usual, and will be too tired/lazy to cook. But thanks for the offer. :)

  4. Loved this! You surely see some interesting things in your day - hope you get some work done on your disertation soon!

  5. Hi Talli,
    I'm definitely going to start working on my dissertation. No more excuses! I think I work better under pressure, actually.

  6. i don't know how I got to your blog....but oh wait...the poodle skirt with a dog :) I got interested coz this is exactly how Im feeling today! Sunny Sat in MO and was going to try to work on my final paper-MBA, 7TH class due Mon. midnite! but all I got is a title page with one page of research, double spaced. so, was searching more info and why dog pic showed up...hmmmm. I think i'll have breakfast and coffee where there's fresh chilly air :) maybe then I'll be more focused....well've finally finish dissertation! Congrats either way! and thanks for writing how I feel :-) I miss NY...

  7. Hi, titaems,
    I like that picture of the dog; I think it's so cute! I'm not done with my dissertation yet; that'll take more than a year at least. It's hard not to procrastinate, especially because of the Internet, which provides plenty of distractions.