Trying to post something before I run off to get my son from daycare. I'm at that awkward beginning point of the semester when I'm not yet buried in work, although I have plenty to do, and I haven't yet found my rhythm since everything's just getting started. It's taking a lot of my mental energy just to keep track of where I'm supposed to be when.
I have a large backlog of topics I've been meaning to tackle here, but right now most of them exist in fragmentary draft form, if they've even made it that far. As I mentioned yesterday, academic work tends to sap my creativity, so it will be interesting to see if it has a similar effect on my postings. Although my summer included a certain amount of school-related work, the volume was nowhere near what now looms.
A result of the lack of rhythm and onset of creativity-suck is that I am in the middle of Doubting What I Am Doing. As I come out of a new seminar, I say to myself, "Is this really what I want to spend a semester on?" As I stand in front of my class, not yet knowing their names, not quite into the meat of the subject yet, not even knowing how many of them will stick around, I think to myself, "Am I reaching them? Can I actually teach them this stuff?" As I look at the assignment I have for a class I have not yet attended, I wonder, "Can I stay motivated to keep on top of this?"
I look at all of the new graduate student in our program, dewy-eyed, professing how excited they are about this year, putting a positive spin on every aspect of the program, pontificating on their love of the intellectual pursuit. I know some of this is the novelty and some of it may be posturing, trying to say the right things. I also know some of them truly mean it and academia is their lives. So I have to remind myself that this is not me, that I know what I want out of my program and have come to terms with the fact that my subject is not the end-all, be-all in my life (oh, so far from it).
In another couple of weeks, my schedule will be etched on my brain. I will have my rhythm and move between classes and activities without too much thought. I will move past my doubts and forget what it was like to have enough free time that I slightly resent losing it.