It took a couple of weeks to get settled after the holiday break, but I’m back in classes and into the swing of the second semester.
This cute little cat with the tasteful beret (come to think of it, it’s kind of a raspberry color…) really epitomizes the spirit of those first two weeks. I’ve been in a state of constant vigilance since the start of the semester, and it has been a little trying. Getting used to new classes, expectations and a fresh schedule has required my full attention. But I think I’ve come down with something. A few other members of my cohort have shown symptoms as well. I’m not sure what the prognosis looks like, but I think I’ve got a little thing called “Graduate Student Guilt”.
GSG is described as, “a hyper-vigilant state in which otherwise reasonable graduate students are irrationally and illogically anxious and nervous about phantom commitments, imagined assignment due dates and fictitious upcoming exams.”
GSG is most common in first year graduate students, however it has been diagnosed in 10th year All-But-Dissertation (ABD) doctoral students. While the sufferer tends to believe a steady diet of caffeine and Tostino’s Hot-Pockets to be the cure, GSG has best been treated through a series of rational discussions with a significant other (also known as “talking off the ledge”) and long hours of rest. This condition is more frequently diagnosed at the beginning of academic terms.
I’m still in the early stages of this affliction, and my outlook is uncertain. I’m remaining positive and we’ll see how it progresses. I’ve got a great support system. I’ve actually been lucky enough to encounter many individuals who have successfully made it through their battles with GSG. Overall, they still seem pretty neurotic, but I remain optimistic. Wish me luck, friends…
Have you ever experienced GSG? Any advice for current grad students who occasionally feel the crushing pressure? Share your insight in the comments!
Friends, what have you taught me?!?
A few weeks back, I posted A (non-)ode to Bad Coffee (which you should read for context before going on), a tongue-in-cheek gripe session about the chalky, bark-flavored swill I’ve been drinking during graduate school. It’s sold as “coffee” but I think it was mislabeled.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. So far, the non-ode has yielded six pounds of delicious, high-quality, free trade coffee beans. Is more on the way? I’ll have to wait and see.
Attached to a pound from Durango’s Raider Ridge Cafe was a response poem, reprinted here without any form of permission:
An ode to Good Coffee:
Here is some coffee that is not shitty,
It will wash away your sad self pity.
It does not taste of bark or soil,
It will not make your tummy boil.
It is 100 percent Fair Trade, you see,
The beans are roasted locally.
It has the most delightful aroma,
It would even wake you from a coma.
The taste, oh my! It will make you swoon,
You may choose to add cream and stir with a spoon.
So toss out that cheap bad coffee swill
And dig out your trusty coffee mil.
Don’t fret about saving your hard earned dough!
I think by now you already know:
That some thiings in life
Are not worth such strife.
Special thanks to my bean providers, Dave Noir (from Kaladi Coffee), Mother Dearest (hooking it up with Camp4Coffee) and Tracey and Jarrod (of the aforementioned Raider Ridge Cafe). You’ve all reinforced the notion that I should bitch and moan until treats arrive to shut me up. I appreciate it!
Now, about the shitty beer I’ve been drinking…