02 October 2008

Gearing up for the most funnest debate of all time and how I've been totally neglecting you people in the meantime

So, hi! I feel this impulse to start this post the way I started every letter I ever wrote as a child:

Dear Reader,

How are you? I am fine.

But you deserve better, don't you? I know I've been shamefully absent lately, and honestly the most I can hope at the moment is that I have not been shamefully absent in the rest of my life as well. Have I? I don't know.

The point is this: thing are going well. Each of my classes is teaching me new and sometimes unexpected things (well, with one exception - the "intro to grad studies" is the biggest waste of my time, evah!) and I've even started cultivating a social life, and here's where the politics comes in: watching the debates with smart, literate people who drink beer and yell at the TV? Awesome.

Camp Grad School is fun. I have made new friends.

So besides watching the debate (and all of the Katie Couric interviews I can find online) what have I been up to? I'm working on a new story, reading lots of fiction, rediscovering the hilarity of Vladimir Nabokov, navigating departmental politics, figuring out what rhetoric actually is, making connections, tutoring in the writing lab, reading for a literary journal, thinking about teaching next year, exploring, and trying to find time for my family.

Steve and the girls are fine, too.
We're keeping busy.

One of the things that has thrown me into rethinking just about everything is the scope of this whole grad school/career in academia thing. I'm not much of a planner. I realize this may sound odd to some of you know who know that I almost always have a plan, but what I mean is that this thing that I've undertaken now involves a kind of long term plan, a looking ahead, that I've never been particularly good at or inclined towards. It seems to involve a kind of shaping of my life that is both a retrospective analysis and a projection into the future. It's made me realize that in the past when I've "had a plan" what I really had was the beginning of a plan, the first steps. The plans I made never had an end, or even a middle, and they certainly never extended more than a year or two into the future. More like a direction than a plan, per se.

Whatever happens next, it will be an adventure!

I don't know where all of this planning and thinking will lead me, and I have a feeling it will all come full circle and I will realize that I'm doing what I want to be doing and I should probably just stop over-thinking and get on with it already.

Meanwhile there are plots and counterplots, politics and fluff, school work and family, elitism and absurdism, hell in a hand basket and whatever the alternative to that is. (Is there an alternative to that?) It's much easier to focus on how Sarah Palin apparently reads everything and somehow knows nothing and how funny that is, than to take anything seriously.

How about this crazy election, huh?

And I'm afraid after all that, all I have to end with is:

I will write soon.
(Which I think we all know is a lie.)

and:

I miss you. (Which is true.)

Love, Nell.

7 comments:

*mary* said...

I too am awaiting the debate. It should be good fun. I love a comedy!

Krista said...

So, I'm curious. When you watch those debates with people screaming at the TV's... are they all screaming for the same party or is it at all balanced?

Tracey said...

News from home:

Mel is divorced. Your insurance company received official documentation from the RMV before the 1st that you don't own the grey car . I have a Wii in my house, which is so easy and user-friendly that even Sarah Palin could play it. It is also a lot of fun. And guess what? None of my/our friends want to come over and play with me. I have a cool toy and STILL no one in this state wants to play with me. Am I no fun anymore? I have fun toys. You and Steve would play with me. Did I mention that I have a really fun new toy? Also, I drove by a road today named Swimming Pool Road, and another named Satan's Playground or something like that. Seriously, it had the word Satan in it. Can you imagine trying to sell a house on a street with a name like that? Anyway, I miss you too. And Steve. And the girls.

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

So if I want new friends, I need to go back to school?

Momma Magpie said...

So glad you're enjoying school! One day I may join you getting edumacated and maybe making some friends. Sounds wonderful.

I haven't watched any debates. But I heard one VP candidate got teary and one told bad jokes. Gag me!

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

I want to go back to school. I was sorry to leave when I graduated and I still miss it and I'd like to go back and stay there forever.

I'm jealous.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

Well apparently I'm behind as well, seeing as this posted Oct. 2.

Glad to hear that things are going well. Your letter sounds really happy.