Thursday, September 27, 2007

Leaking is Bad.

I went home last week to attend a wedding. It was a fantastically-timed trip. I had just submitted two papers in two weeks, and I was finishing up a camera-ready version of a third. For a few days, the panic attacks subsided. At the wedding, I saw some old friends, including one civil engineer who was very excited to hear that I was living in GradShitTownVille,

"Do you know that GradShitTownVille is the leader...THE landfill liners?!"

I didn't.

I also got to go camping.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Signs from an Overcast Sky

The advisor speaks,

You have made great progress on [ponies in edifices] and published accordingly. I would suggest you starting to prepare your prelim based on your current and planned publications

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

"I Just Knew"

I see this in movies all the time:

Scene: A 110 pound daughter and her equally thin mother, probably played by Diane Keaton, are rummaging in the attic when they come across the mother's wedding dress.

[Daughter]: "Mom, how did you know dad was the one?"
[D.K.]: "I just knew"

Or it's like in Sleepless in Seattle,

[Mrs. Reed]: "It was like magic."

In movie life, and sometimes in real life, there is this "just know" part of people's brains. They know how to jump to the next step in life: husbands, wives, new jobs, kids, cross-country moves, trips to Hawaii.

It's similar to the "always know" group or the "since I was little" group.

I always knew that I wanted to jump out of a plane while eating peanut butter so I could break the world record in tryptophan consumption at 5000 feet.

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to get married the same hilltop as my grammy Ada.

* * *

I have no "just know" ability. I have no idea how to move into the next phase of life. I slept on my college futon until this year. I was with a guy for five years, but never got married. I think the only time I ever "just knew" was when I picked up my dog 8 years ago from the Humane Society.

This is realy bugging me right now because I'm trying to figure out when to graduate. May? Next December? Next May? Many of my friends, also sixth year graduate students, are getting their C.V.'s and teaching statements ready to apply to academic jobs in the next few months. They seem quite confident that they will be done by May. But since I have no "just know" gene, or brain cells, or whatever, I ask this of the blogosphere: How do you know when you are done?