September 09, 2020

I Forgot to Mention that I"m in a Ph.D Program Now

I forgot to mention that I was accepted into a Ph.D program in American Studies.

It's all very exciting. And exhausting. And overwhelming. I regret that my first semester is removed from campus, and that I don't get to stroll around campus or have coffee-study dates, or meat my cohort in person. But I'm very grateful to have the option to stay home during the pandemic and take online class and not have to risk my health. Oh, did I also forget to mention that the world is under pandemic?

Brian and I started our quarantine March 16. The country (the state?) was supposed to shut down for two weeks. Fourteen days seems to be the amount of time it takes for symptoms of Covid-19 to manifest. After the two week period, we were supposed to begin a reopening phase, but here we are six months later and case numbers and deaths continue to rise. I think we're close to 200,000 deaths in the country. Last I checked we were at 180,000, but I'm sure it's gone up since then.

So Brian and I have been strictly quarantining. Which means, we only leave the house to pick up groceries, which we have brought to us curbside: we order groceries online and when we drive up, the staff loads them right into our truck. It's as contactless as we can get without having them delivered directly to our door. The once a week trip is a nice venture from the house.

If anyone still reads this thing that I no longer maintain, I know you are aware of all this. But I want to put it down anyway for one day when this is hopefully over. I have meant to journal about all of this over the summer as we were experiencing it. I guess it's not too late now-- I find it unlikely that things will improve soon.

I do enjoy being in school again, and it's so nice to be able to do so without working multiple jobs. It's a wonderful thing to be fully immerse in school. I do have an assistantship that overwhelms me slightly, but that's mostly because my role is a little unclear and this is the sort of thing where I would prefer absolute clarity. But I think it's going alright. I thoroughly enjoy two of my classes. One is simply an intro to American Studies, which is taught by my advisor. I adore her, already respect her so much, and can't wait to just absorb as much wisdom from her as possible. The other class is Environmental History. I feel like I'm on shaky ground taking this course, but I like it well enough, too. Both instructors have an emphasis in Native Scholarship, so I count myself lucky.

The third class is absolute trash. The subject material should be interesting, and I've thought most of the readings thus far were fine. But the instructor is trash. For someone that is supposed to be an expert on the nuances of ethnicity, she certainly has no ability whatsoever to discuss race, and in fact seems to willfully ignore instances of racism that arise in texts or misreads it. When we push back against her, she just continues pushing back and I truly think she does not understand what the problematics we try to address are. It's actually quite upsetting, especially given our current moment. I found her class this morning to be so especially frustrating that I cried a little bit during the break. Just a few stray tears of frustration escaping my eyes because I don't understand how it is she does not understand. But then again, any analysis she's offered so far has been very surface level regardless of whether or not she's trying to discuss race. If anything, she has proven to me that I at the very least am capable of earning a Ph.D if she managed to earn one. I should look to see what books she's written. I can't even imagine.

I should be reading right now. My days are literally consumed by reading and Zoom. The reading I don't mind so much, but being on Zoom all day makes me too tired to read. It's quite the conundrum. I've been trying to convince myself to open up my next book for at least an hour. I guess I really should leave it at that.

Life may be weird right now, but it's also pretty good all things considered.

scullerymaid at 8:32 p.m.

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