i'm that person

hi. i am so immersed in school stuff right now that i can't even talk like a normal human anymore. all i do is think about my classes, whether i can get in, i obsessively check waitlist counts. i worry about being assigned to the wrong section and how i can change, and when. i worry about whether all this will even be worth it. i wonder how crushed i'll be if i don't get in, again. i go on trips to tahoe and i bring a small pile of schoolbooks and i hide in corners, reading. yeah, i'm that person.

also i added a class which is taught by a professor with whom i arranged a meeting this summer for feedback on last year's (failed) application to the ph.d program. and advice for the upcoming one. who basically told me i might not want to bother because i might still not be ready yet, this year. and who made me cry...not in the meeting, i was a grownup & everything & said "thanks for your time, this has been helpful" and shook his hand. and went home and cried like a stupid kid who dropped their icecream on the floor or something. i was mad and i thought "i should just take his stupid boring class in the fall and ace it, that'll show him." and through a somewhat complex series of conditions and conversations...that's what i'm doing. although it's not as boring as i thought it would be.

so for those of you playing the home game, that's two classes and an audit. plus 30h per week at my job. plus ~10h per week at the research institute, if that works out.

i look back on where i was & what i thought i should be doing last year when i applied. and i can't decide if i want to cringe or laugh, i didn't understand ANYTHING and i totally get why i wasn't accepted. i mean, aside from the fact that it's one of the top programs anywhere and crazy competitive...i just wasn't a very good candidate. i thought i was, but i was not judging myself by the correct standards. academia isn't like the real world and you can sit there and think that it SHOULD be, but that is like shouting at a mountain. the mountain isn't going to care, or move, or even notice you. i could say that you have to just put on your gear and start climbing, but that would probably be overextending the metaphor. the point is, academia is a closed system with its own rules and protocols. at least now i know a little bit about what it looks like on the inside.

you know that part in donnie darko where he can see visual representations of the future, the paths that people will take? they bulge out from each person's torso like shimmering long balloony things and the person walks the path which they describe. i feel like that. six months ago, taking these preparatory classes seemed neither necessary nor possible, and now it's everything. one week ago i would have laughed at the idea of taking this newest class. but once you realize that you can and you should...then you sort of HAVE to. it doesn't matter if it's hard, it doesn't even matter if it's too hard. once you've thought it you can't unthink it, and then you can't fail to follow through, not and continue to tell yourself that you're doing everything you can to make this thing happen. the question is: is everything i can do...enough?

i keep asking myself that, because i'm that person now.