At the moment, I am happily ensconced in my library carrel, enjoying the wi-fi and gearing up to start research for the next part of my degree. But just the fact that I finished--well, even--the part of my comps that was outside my comfort zone and am now left with nothing but the stuff I truly love and understand leaves my nearly giddy. Or maybe it's the sleep deprivation.
I spent the better part of the last week trying to balance extra studying hours with how little sleep I could get and still (more or less) function. Last night, after chatting with my host Lisa b for a bit, I slept hard for about 8 hours. And it was glorious!
Before heading to Lisa's, I grabbed some food with my two best friends from the department. I had spent so long writing that I could tell I needed something healthy with protein to get my head balanced, so we headed over to where we used to eat lunch all the time. I could tell I was talking very fast, a combination of more caffeine than usual and sheer exhaustion, but there was also a sense that we need to pack more chatting into each session than usual. So much to catch up on, a short time to do so.
The exam itself went better than I had expected, especially given that I basically skimmed the last author, half of that on my flights, after finding out, two days before the exam, that my supervisor had reorganized it so that there was no way I could entirely avoid one author. But to his credit, he designed an exam that was very close to what I would have chosen if it had been up to me (and I weren't avoiding the one author). As I had been hoping, I was able to remember a wide array of supporting details when I needed them, and so my answers were generally quite coherent and cogent--unless that's the sleep deprivation talking an it all turns out to have been ridiculous nonsense.
I flew Southwest into Buffalo--easy and cheap. The only downside, and this is true of most flights today, is that both flights were full, so it made it difficult to balance the various books I was consulting. Especially on the second flight when an older gentleman took the center seat (I was at the window) and proceeded to fall asleep with his elbows over both arm rests. On the first flight, I was the one who committed the transgression, bumping my cup and spilling ice on the tray table of the man next to me. A couple pieces also fell on his Utilikilt (I'm not really sure what to make of that, but feel compelled to share that tidbit).
And now to make some sense of the paper I am now undertaking. It is intended to be a chapter of my dissertation, and when I think of that, it becomes a bit more daunting. On the plus side, I really just need to copy stuff right now, not analyze or synthesize. My brain can take a couple more days of vacation and focus instead on the blogger friends I'll get to see in the next couple days!