Post-MLA, post-interviews, things seem different on campus. Last week, when I was ironing out my bill in the administration building, I saw a person who was clearly a full adult with responsibility who worked in one of the offices with the open doors. I'm an adult too, I wanted to say to her. Don't look through me like you do with students.
Today, I had more paperwork to complete. I dragged myself to Grad Studies. I admit it -- they are as nice as can be there. But I don't want to be a student anymore. I don't want to walk to some office hoping that someone will sign the piece of paper I hold in my hand. My signature is not good enough. As a student, I must be advised. I had to get off campus. I called a friend and told him I was sick of being a student.
He said: "You're not a student and haven't been for a long time."
I don't know why that made me feel better, why the sight of campus makes me want to hurry and get off, why when I was walking onto campus on the first day of classes I longed for summer, already tired in a way that usually takes me until mid-semester. Perhaps it's just that I'm not teaching my own classes this semester for the first time in five years. Instead, I have a pastiche of funding -- a fellowship, tutoring, TAing with a professor in a class I'm excited about. I chose this as the best way for me to settle down deep into work on the diss. More likely, this is the kick in the butt I need to get me out of here -- the sense that I just can't bear being an impoverished student for one moment longer.
Do I even need to say that I've made a pretty good start on Chapter 2?