My first graduate class is tomorrow at 9am. I turn 23 on Wednesday. I am writing this post from my new apartment, not the first place I have lived without parents, but the first place I have lived without roommates, and the first place I have lived that is not in Tucson. I am writing this after having done about a third of the homework required for my first criticism class, which is next Monday. The Jewish New Year is in a few weeks. New things all around.
It is now most clear that my lifestyle is going to change drastically now. Obviously daily life changes when you live in a more urban area, from grocery shopping to errand-running. For one thing, I have to start remembering to take canvas bags with me everywhere, because it seems like you can’t leave your apartment without buying something before you get home again. But more significantly, this new stage of life is going to demand from me more focus, more dedication, and more self application towards outside study. I’ve gotten good at reading this year (103 books since January 1, though I’ve been slowing down now and catching up on magazines like Lilith and The Sun), which is helpful, but seeing my homework load and my interest in lots of new television shows starting this season, I know I”m going to need to learn to apply myself to school first, health and wellbeing second, and entertainment third. Time to manage my money, manage my time, and manage my body. My apartment is furnished, clean, mostly tidy, and my bed is made; I would like to continue to make it every day, because clutter is my way of life, but it also makes me stressed out. I fit into the shorts I’m wearing today; I would like to keep it that way. I’m doing my reading for school without also flipping to blogs and Facebook; I would like to always do my homework in that way, without interruption. I’ve read four of my twelve assigned readings, so I felt like I owed myself a little break. But only a little one. No watching “Mad Men,” no running out to the store to buy potato chips. Back to work soon.
Having never been particularly studious before, I am struck by how quaint and novel this all this. All the critics I’m reading reference each other, and they reference my other assigned readings. And then I start wanting to read more criticism, and more, and more. It’s funny; I thought I would just be reading novels and poems and reading a couple selected essays related to them, but this is much more serious than I expected, and much more intense and intensive. And now I see why people in grad school just read all day. I need to read more to understand my reading assignments, and I want to read more to feed my own curiosity. It’s fascinating, scholarship. I think I like it.