For the first time in my life, I am not taking classes. The semester started on Tuesday, and I remember the anticipation I would have at the beginning of each semester – which classes would be interesting, predictable, or surprising. But now, as a dissertator, I have no classes to anticipate. The burden of learning has been thrust onto my shoulders, something that I think is going to really challenge me throughout the coming months. My days are going to be full of sitting in libraries, cafés and my home, searching for that moment when everything comes together – I feel like I’m in A Beautiful Mind, when the patterns jump off the blackboard, but my patterns jump out of books, and are much fewer and farther between.
Of course, this semester is different for more than just the fact that I’m not taking any classes. I’m also not teaching any classes, something new and different; nor am I on campus, since I’ve moved 2,000 miles away from my university (though I’m not that far from any university).
For those still taking classes, or teaching classes, or just spending time on campus, cheers. Enjoy your proximity to the fonts of knowledge, because it’s hard to find the discipline to carry on without all of you motivating me to keep on going.