Friday, May 10, 2013

A school-anxiety daydream

The logistics of graduating - which I'm not even planning to do this spring, but one must plan ahead - are by far the most complicated aspect of graduate school thus far, including applying to graduate school. Some glitch, some typo, something with the margins, some problem I would never have anticipated is going to stand between me and a degree. Unlike Flavia, who "take[s] a geeky pleasure in reading through the copyedits and learning the right way to cite a particular kind of source," I enjoy the research (primary, secondary), the writing, the attributing... but footnote formatting, for me, is a necessary evil for getting one's point across. Or: I could see enjoying something along those lines as a copy-editor, if all that was needed was 'attention to detail,' and indeed have derived pleasure from professional interludes as a file clerk, bookshelver, cappuccino-frother, and yes, copy-editor, but if it's your own project and you're kind of sucked up in the 'creative' process, it can be a distraction.

Somehow, something will happen such that not only do I not get this degree, but the MA is retroactively retracted, as is the BA, as is the high school diploma. They're going to track down Mr. Bologna, the gym teacher who failed me (for lateness to his 8am class) for one marking period of gym, the beginning of second term senior year. (I then showed up so early the rest of the semester, and the rest is history.) And he's going to be like, you know what? Upon further consideration, Phoebe missed enough minutes of gym during those first few weeks that she really ought to have failed for the entire semester and not gotten the diploma, not gone on to college, and so on. The universe hereby takes it all back.

Why yes it is 3am, and I am indeed on the 9th floor of a certain Upper East Side girls' school, in a first-grade classroom. A friend of mine from fifth grade, the girl who really liked... was it Nirvana? Green Day? Smashing Pumpkins? Hugh Grant? - just stole my backpack, which contained both my laptop and my iPod but luckily not my phone because all of this is taking place now but not now. (This girl was super nice and frankly I had nothing worth stealing in my backpack, particularly not gadgets that had yet to be invented.) An anxiety dream come alive.

If nothing else, if nothing else comes of it, the three first paragraphs of my dissertation's introduction are, in my altogether unbiased opinion, spectacular.


Andrew Stevens said...

I generally find that one first paragraph is sufficient. Having three of them seems extravagant.

Phoebe said...

Clever! An error along those lines, I might as well give up my elementary-school diploma (if that existed) as well.

Andrew Stevens said...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Phoebe said...

Huh. I (hyperbolically, admittedly) voiced an insecurity (a typo or some such derailing my life), and you "couldn't resist" pointing out one in the post itself? I think this might violate the WWPD Commenter Code, Section 3: Don't Insult the Blogger, except that I didn't find it entirely not amusing.

Andrew Stevens said...

I couldn't resist not because I had any interest in pointing out the typo, but just because the typo itself was intrinsically amusing.