So after a weekend of denial that I'm back in graduate school, spent making homemade spring rolls two ways for dinner Friday night, then roasted red pepper and spinach pasta with homemade foccacia bread for dinner Saturday...
...when Sunday afternoon rolled around, I finally had to crack the books (or rather log onto the campus article retrieval system as books are passe apparently). As I hopelessly plowed through or skimmed 10 academic articles, I began to see my crafting and cooking and outdoor life slip away.
So of course I stopped reading for about 20 minutes and made a little something. A small notebook to keep a running wish list of projects. I made the book to help me realize how many projects I have in the works, as even I can't keep track of them. It's genetic. My mom and grandma have the same, shall we say, creative process (i.e. zealously gathering materials for future projects). I'm glad they blazed the trail for me, because guilt just doesn't belong in the realm of hobbies.
So even if these projects never get done, maybe the notebook will just keep me sane, to remind me that there is and will be again, life outside of article reading. A place to dream up other things I could be doing, before moving on to the business at hand.
After making a little place to keep track of my daydreams, I was feeling a little more accepting of my new role as a student. A professor who studies immigrant youth reminded us today that we're just going through a period of acculturation. Gotta appreciate academic jargon for its ability to make things sound so very important.
In the same class, another professor was going over the course content for each week and said casually, "Next week we'll be meeting together with the other students because Piven will be here." No first name needed. It was the first time in my two weeks of graduate school that my jaw almost hit the table. I felt like, "Oh yeah, this is definitely why I'm doing this and why it's okay I'm here at this school in Boston, even though I still wish I was in Michigan at another school (and I should be way over it by now)."
So later I told Matt what my professor oh so casually said, like it was just an everyday visit from an everyday person. He replied, "Who? Piven? As in Jeremy Piven, star Entourage and of one of my favorite college movies, PCU?"
"[Big laugh] No, sweetie. Piven, as in Frances Fox Piven, whose work provided half the background material for my master's thesis." Not just on what she wrote about, but what she actually did.
Every field has their rock stars. She's one of them for my field. I'm pleased that a celebrity visitor is going to smooth my transition into graduate school. Who doesn't want to meet a celebrity, even of the academic sort?
And for those of you not in the know, even scrapbooking has major celebrities. And yes, they're referred to as "scrapbooking celebrities". Cathy Zielske, one of the scrapbooker bloggers I read, had a Q&A a few months ago on her blog. One woman asked, "Do people 'recognize' you on the street? I know if I saw you I'd probably stutter and say some stupid things then scream like a 12 year old little girl when you were out of earshot while jumping up and down," to which she replied, "Rarely do I ever get recognized. I’m not that famous, people."