Brand-New Grad School Brain Wrinkles

So, I’m four weeks out from the end of my first semester of graduate school, and I have to say, I still like it. I love my school and my program, my fellow students are nice, teaching is weirdly fun, exploring a new city is exciting and I still feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Cut to three weeks from now, and you’ll probably find me sobbing on the floor of my kitchen, but we’re not there yet. Of course, there have been some bumps in the road— for example, I unexpectedly spent $500 on new brakes for Nelly the Dream Wagon—but I’d give this semester an AB. As a tribute to my time thus far, I present to you Hannah’s Grad School Experience So Far…as illustrated by gifs.*

Every grad student thinks this at least once a day, especially if it seems like someone is getting ready to hand out $100 bills or cookies.

Me, at the beginning of the semester…


Me, a month into the semester…


Two weeks ago…

Last night (possibly…)

In grad school, you find strange things funny. Like dead Soviet leaders.

There’s a difference between what I say out loud during class or in conversation with a professor…

…and what I’m actually thinking.

When I first heard I was going to be a teaching assistant…

I was worried I’d run out of material to discuss, except, OH RIGHT.

Now, my students are surprised at 8am when I’m all

I try to avoid saying this to my students.

But I’m really proud when they say insightful stuff.

After a weekend of grading papers, my life is a mess.

Conversations with professors and advisors and fellow students sometimes can be depressing, when they remind me that the job market is awful, or tell me I should go into academia instead of museums. So then the following happens:

And then I use the wise words of Patrick Verona, aka Heath Ledger, to get me out of my funk.

Sometimes, conversations make me feel good though, and that’s when I know I’m going to be okay.

So, to the next 18 months of grad school, I say:

*My brain is so fried, I can only think in images right now. Words…not…working…ouch…monkey monkey underpants.


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