I am now registered for classes. This means I can now access my course syllabi. HOLY COW. I am both excited and terrified.
I am taking 3 courses: Introduction to Research & Teaching, Communication Theory, and Relational Communication Theory. The latter two courses are taught by Dr. Leslie Baxter and Dr. Steve Duck. For those of you outside of Communication-land: This is where you say “oooh, ahhh”. But equally important is our incoming group of people and senior students, who are fabulous!
The reading lists are incredibly intense (if an undergraduate saw one they would probably (a) faint, (b) drink themselves into a stupor before curling up into a fetal position, or (c) hurl themselves off the nearest bridge) but include *exactly* what I’m interested in. So for now, I am rejoicing in what is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I’m currently in the “awww” phase. But not long from now I’ll be in the “awww, shit!” phase, in which reality sets in and I realize the true and serious price that one must pay to academia in exchange for a graduate degree. It’s kind of like in “The Little Mermaid”, when Arial stupidly decides to give up her voice for a man. Only grad students give up THEIR LIVES for a degree.
Sim and I recently went for an evening walk across the pedestrian bridge on campus that runs across the Iowa River. The sun had set and it was quickly getting dark. And loud. I’m not sure exactly what it is here, but the bugs and crickets get really, really loud at night. Like loud enough to disrupt conversations. Anyway, Sim handed me a penny to make a wish with. I thought long and hard about this. Wish to survive graduate school? Wish to present X amount of conference papers? Wish to get a job in X state someday? But really, none of that matters as much as retaining my marriage. This is probably the biggest gamble and hardship of them all when it comes to graduate school (aside from retaining your own personal sanity, that is). Even the most understanding and supportive spouse would be crazy not to notice the unfair amount of time and energy they receive. I’m not talking about wrapping up with work around 9 to have a late dinner together – that would be fantastic. I’m talking about working until 2 am while listening to the sweet sound of your husband snoring in the bed that is calling your name. And doing this night, after night, after night to the point where you find yourself thinking “Hey, you look familiar” in the morning and then realizing “Oh yeah, that’s because we exchanged vows 5 years ago.”
So back to the wish. You can probably guess it, but if I told you I might jinx it. So you’ll have to stay posted for the next 4 years to see what happens 🙂