More than the end of the quarter, it’s the end of exams. I worked the last late-late shift tonight, and the room was almost empty; about 10 when we closed at 2am, and last night it was more like 30. When I went to punch out I found myself passing through a room flooded with loaded booktrucks:
Usually there are only about five back here, and not nearly as motley a collection as these are. My contacts in Circ tell me that last night they ran out of trucks and had to just leave some books stacked up in bins. With courses and papers and theses finished, suddenly all those little hoards of books start to come home. Looking at these, I can imagine the stacks in carrels and offices and apartments; there are few things more evocative of the workings of a human mind than a collection of books. And now they all find their way back up to their places in the towers to wait for their next big break.
Very sentimental; so be it. It’s the end of the year, the start of the summer, the cusp of senior year and everything that comes after. It’s big. And while I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful and exciting, and I’m sure I’ll be able to handle all the concerns that come up, I still have to bring those books back, so to speak. I have to bring those books back, the ones that have been occupying large quantities of space, that have answered my questions and kept me company and infuriated me, and they have to go back where I might not be able to find them again. And if I do, it will be in a completely different context, since the previous project will be done.
Enough with the lame book metaphors. It’s nearly four and my stuff is emphatically not ready for checking out at 10am.
You’ll sit alone forever if you wait for the right time
What are you hoping for?
I’m here, I’m now, I’m ready
I’ve started packing with the easiest stuff, the clothes. I seem to have acquired a lot of shoes since I moved in. And every time I look over at the mass of papers that used to be my desk, I get a dark foreboding feeling.
An email I just got from the department secretary, in its entirety:
Good afternoon, Seniors
This is just a reminder that there will be wine served at the end-of-the-year reception (see notice emailed on May 31) and that you will be carded.
The caterer’s bartenders have the right to refuse service if proper ID is not presented.
Do you want to know how long the spell check and I wrestled over this one today, before at long last I realized that the noun form of indignant is indignation?
No, you do not. Trust me.
Apparently it’s Spencer and myself against the world on this one. I still don’t quite believe it, partly because I can’t believe I’ve never used the word indignance before.
On Tuesday, I had to go see a professor to discuss my final paper topic. Waiting in the hall, I could hear that the person ahead of me in the office was handing over a first draft. When I was told to go back to the drawing board and develop a different (better) topic, my anxiety level skyrocketed. Knowing that someone else (not even in my class!) had a draft done made me feel like a real idiot for not even having a topic yet.
Today I brought the improved topic back to the same professor. This time, the person in the office was getting advice on a topic, while the girls waiting in the hall with me had vague ideas of what they wanted to write about but weren’t sure whether those ideas translated into topics.
Needless to say, when I walked out of that office with a greenlighted topic, I suddenly felt ahead of the game even though the paper is still due on Wednesday. It doesn’t take much to regain confidence in oneself; it’s just unfortunate how little control you have over making that transition.
Alas, alas, woe is me, etc. Once again my utter inability to come up with a decent final paper topic on my own rears its incompetent head. I like to think I’m not a moron, but my total suckitude at this very basic element of academic life makes that pretense hard to uphold.
I’ve been fiddling around all day, moping about my sinuses and avoiding writing the short summary that was assigned by one of my professors last week. It took several hours sitting here on the bed with my laptop, but I flipped over to Word just now, determined to write something and get it over with. That’s when I noticed that the due date is May 24, not May 22.
So, never mind that.