Introspection

I was going to post much earlier this afternoon, while riding one of the many lulls that invades the division office during the summer.  I decided on a whim, however, that I would wait to write until tonight, by which time I would hopefully have something interesting to say.

Lo and behold, I was invited by a housemate to go to dinner at a friend of hers’ house.  I had never met the friend before, and was thus a little wary, as I tend to be when I sense a possibly awkward situation is on the horizon, but it turned out to be a really nice evening.

We had caramelized pineapple, roasted asparagus, strawberry and almond spinach salad, good bread, and cake for dessert.  It was ten times more delicious than anything I’ve cooked for myself lately (think pasta and tuna salad on toast).

It was lovely just to sit on the porch and chat, and to hug everyone goodbye at the end of the night.  I’ve been needing such a distraction; the grad school decision has been looming darker every day.

I met with my advisor (an English professor) today to talk about the decision, and he told me that when people come to him about grad school, he usually starts by giving it to them straight; telling them the bleak facts of the matter.  Then, if they come back after that, he knows they’re serious about attending.

The bleak facts were bleak indeed.  My twenties will likely be spend alone, poring over research and writing papers in a basement corner of a library.  The odds that I will actually get a teaching job after I graduate are slim.  In fact, he said that if one attends graduate school for English, one can’t do it for the job at the end.  One has to attend for the sake of attaining a Master’s or PhD.  Everything else is up in the air.

And I don’t know, folks.  I love English, but what I want to be is a professor, not a PhD-holding-hobo.

So I’ve been walking around Morris rather introspectively as of late.  This is the next eight years of my life, and if I throw myself into something that I don’t believe fully is the right thing for me, I will be miserable.  On the other hand, what have I ever been more passionate about than this?  I’ve loved to read my entire life, and I’ve loved to write for almost as long.  If given the chance, I could analyze a piece of literature until the cows come home.  I adore research; it makes me feel like Nancy Drew in the best possible I’m-now-going-to-ride-off-into-the-sunset-in-my-baby-blue-convertable kind of way.

But still; is this what I’m meant to do?  Is this the life’s work I’ve been dreaming about for twenty-one years?  Is this going to be my mark on the world: writing articles discussing the Freudian undertones in Scott Fitzgerald’s novels?

I have absolutely no idea.  I hope I will soon.

 

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