Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

Actually, I don't think that title is appropriate at all. For one thing, I certainly hope my thesis defense is not going to be a "storm." For another thing, my trip to Florida probably won't be calm, as there will be several children under the age of seven.

But I'm tired, and I can't think of anything else right now. You'll have to forgive the cliché.

I am flying to Florida tomorrow. I have relatives there--it's where my mom spent her teenage/college years--so I'll be spending most of my time in the West Palm Beach area. I haven't visited since...2012, or possibly early 2013. I'm looking forward to seeing family, relaxing in the pool. Although I can't go swimming-swimming, as my France & Morocco passport stamp tattoos are still too fresh. But that hot tub. I am in that hot tub, already, in my mind. I can't wait to be there in person.

My cousins are bringing their many children, and one of my cousins will have a friend there who's bringing her children. I love it when my cousins have children, because then my mom doesn't bother me about having children. Have more children, cousins. Please, feel free to singlehandedly reverse the trend of population decline in the U.S. I'll just be over here, reading a book.

Seriously, though, the kids are really cute. Smart, too. My brain has been in grad school mode for so long that it'll be nice to spend some time with a few wildly creative, silly sprites.

In Florida I'll try to rest, because when I get back, I have to defend my thesis. One week from today, assuming all goes well, I will be a Master of Fiction. I mean, technically. Minus the paperwork. Minus the fact that no one can ever truly master the written word. But I'll get my degree, at any rate. It's always strange when you're on the cusp of achieving a goal that you've been pursuing for a long time. Once you succeed, you have to find another goal. Or, I suppose, you could choose to live a goal-less life, but I think I'd go nuts. That's one big reason I decided to apply for MFA programs in the first place. Just having a job and doing that work to no clear end bothered me.

Anyway, so many other people are defending next week, and I'm going to try to attend as many defenses as I can. I love these people, and we've worked so hard together during the past three years. It's wonderful to see the culmination of that. Brett defended on Tuesday, but I was unfortunately teaching at that time. However, Olivia defended today, and I was able to attend. She's a doctor now! Doctor Clare! Couldn't be prouder of her. She was so eloquent and poised during her defense, too. She set a high bar for the rest of us.

I ought to go. I have to teach my composition class, and I have to pack. But I'll talk to you all when I get back from the Sunshine State.

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