Anthroanalytical lens syndrome: AKA Overworked and underpaid

Posted: March 1, 2011 in anthropology, School Daze

I can hardly believe this is my first post of this semester, and here the semester is already half-over as of this week!  That should tell anyone who reads my blog how busy and hectic these first 8 weeks have been.   I don’t think I ever stop reading or writing papers. If I had to guess, I would say I’ve read around 900 pages since the semester started, that’s 4 entire books (Origins of the Second World War, The Best War Ever, Waltzing in the Dark and Distant Mirrors: America as a foreign country) and around 25 pdf articles on American culture.   I’ve written about 15 papers for one class so far.  Now maybe you can see why I’ve not been wanting to blog on top of writing constantly about the pitfalls of American culture, the Second World War and Social Psychology.  Strangely enough, Religion is the one class where I don’t have to write, and one would have expected lots of long papers about eschatology and (for me) Mormonism.

How can you tell if you are having a nervous breakdown? I feel like I’m being punished in some way for being a good student for the last four years.  I’m not blaming school entirely for this feeling, but it certainly does take the lion’s share of my stress.  It’s work work work and read read read and write write write for 12 hours a day four or five days a week, sometimes six.  What’s worse is that I’m paying my professors to work me like a dog so I can get that all important piece of paper. The stress of not taking breaks in my haste to finish the rat race is beginning to show up on me.  I’ve taken 3 of the last 4 summer semesters (I skipped the first summer and then found myself so bored I couldn’t stand it) with as little as 3 weeks between class changes.  I haven’t taken a real vacation in years, but that is soon to be rectified.

I’m returning to New Orleans for a few days in two weeks. Spring Break finally begins for me on March 9th, and I am looking forward to several days of no school work (if you don’t count the book I have to read during break and the paper that is due the day after I get back – what kind of bitch gives homework over a break?!)  in some place that isn’t home.  Some of my readers might remember my New Orleans Fairytale blog, which is based loosely on my life during the time I lived there. That is part of what prompted me to go back after 13 years: that and I’ve truly missed the place.  I decided that it was time to take a new, objective look at my life there, at the people who were around me (some of whom I will see again, if things work out right), and at the places that I came to love.  I’m also hoping it will jog my memory and I can finish the rest of the damned story.   Maybe wandering Prytania Street, First Street and Magazine Street will stir up the forgotten past and give me some food for thought.

Consider my life right now as a precautionary tale for people who like to overwork themselves, as I know I do: you have to take vacations or you will go noisily insane.  I can’t stress that enough, haha pun definitely intended.  I only have to get through one class, one exam and another week. For now, the endless paper writing has slowed to a manageable amount, and if I’m lucky will cease altogether this week until the hated day-after-vacation paper is due. I’m still stuck on that! What professor gives homework over a break?  Do you think she will be doing school work during Spring Break? Not bloody likely.  Oh well. It’s almost over….for now.



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