Friday, September 16, 2005

busy busy busy

Saw Vonnegut on The Daily Show a couple nights ago: reminds me that "busy, busy, busy" is the phrase invoked by Bokononists in Cat's Cradle when "a lot of mysterious things are going on."

So things have been busy.

First, there are those damn comps looming on my mental horizon. It's hard to explain to people who aren't facing them, or who haven't undergone them, what they are and what kind of awful pressure they represent. So I don't expect y'all outside this tiny little corner of the world to really get it (and you should thank God for the "bye"). But here goes. Basically, there are 5 exams: Ethics, History of Doctrine, Philosophy, and Systematic Theology; and one dissertation-topic-related paper. In less than a month, I am taking the first three: October 5, 12, and 19. I will go into a little room with a computer and an envelope on which are some questions, and I will then sit and write my answers to these questions for 6 hours or so.

I have a feeling that after the first, say, three hours, things will degenerate and I will start making a lot of obnoxious puns and inappropriate jokes and asides. That's assuming I make it that far; I might lose it long before then. I don't really know.

So, there's that. But a lot of my time this week has been absorbed into other activities (time, of course, that I have in increasingly diminishing and precious quantity as October draws nigh). This was the first week of the fall semester. So, now that I'm done with coursework, you'd think this wouldn't matter. But alas, I am involved in stuff. I am TA'ing (known for some arcane reason around here as "precepting"--I heard a professor this week admit that he didn't know why we call it that, which made me feel a lot better), for one thing, which meant attending a couple hour-long lectures, but even worse, I volunteered (never, never volunteer) to be the Blackboard coordinator for the course. Now, it's not that I don't know Blackboard; but troubleshooting for a course with 168 people enrolled in it, and 2 profs that don't know the program, turns out to take a lot of work.

So there's that. I've also, not exactly volunteered, but rather reluctantly consented, to be the female co-moderator-type for the PhD student organization. Mostly this means that I sit back and let my co-moderator, bless his little pea-pickin' heart, do all the work. But this week, even though I didn't do a whole lot of the prep work, required a physical presence and a lot of socializing. So I've spent a lot of time this week chatting and pretending I have the time to take a break from studying for comps and that I'm not worried about them in the least. In short, I've welcomed people to the PTS campus with a smile and 2 great big whopping lies.

So there's that. So, my advice, don't be checking this blog every day. It'll just sour your cheery optimistic dispositions with continual disappointment when you see the same old screen every day. But believe me, you really don't want me blogging my interior monologues at this point.


Martin said...

I also chant the Bokononist mantra, but take heart that your epitaph may read "Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt."
By the way, that's not to imply comprehensives mean your imminent demise. You are, after all, a jenuis.
And no, that's not bad French.
On that note, YES I want the hat so's I can send you a photo of me wearing it in Lebanon (not TN) or somewhere. But it's too valuable to mail to Egypt, so I'll pass along my parents' address and pick it up at Christmastime.

JTB said...

Perhaps I shall end my comprehensive exams with this phrase. Although I'm not sure how many profs around here would be up on their Vonnegut allusions.

send on the address. maybe i'll even include a Christmas card.