Sunday, December 22, 2002

What do I miss about graduate school? Nothing! Okay, that's not true. The one thing I really miss from the old days is the graduate reading group Todd and I sort of organized. All the participants were history grad students, but all from different fields: I was 19th c. British imperialism/colonialism, Todd was 20th c. American intellectual, Pat was Tokugawa period, Loyd Tokugawa? I can't remember. Something Japanese. Kristen was medieval Italy. Jeff was 20th c. Environmental/Native American. Every other week, someone would recommend an article, and we'd get together and discuss it over beer and pizza. It was great, because we got to read across several disciplines--anthropology, philosophy, gender studies--and different subsets of history.

That's the only thing I miss: A cohort interested in reading and talking about what we read. I undervalued it when I had it, I bitched and moaned about all the work involved in making it happen, but as it turns out, it was the only memorable part of the whole never-ending academic experience.

Since quitting grad school, I've slowly been weeding my bookshelves of books associated with my discipline(s). About once a year I dig a little deeper and add a few more into the stack to take to the used bookstore. I have almost no British history books left at this point. I've gotten rid of a large chunk of my art history books, and even some architecture books. I'm still holding on to a few philosophy books--Foucault, Kierkegaard, Said, Sartre--even though the longer I'm out of school the less ability I have to comprehend any of them. I don't know, maybe they're just there to remind that once upon a time my brain actually functioned on a reasonably high level, unlike now.

Anyway, tonight I very firmly closed the door on going back to grad school. I decided to get rid of not only The Return of Martin Guerre, but also The Epic of Gilgamesh. Two classics of world history, and I'm finally ditching them. That's a pretty good signal to myself that I never expect to teach History 101 ever again.

8:58 PM

Before anyone else sends me an article suggesting I'm not the best husband in the world, I would like everyone to know that instead of settling into my recliner to watch the NCAA volleyball championships today, as a husband should on a Saturday afternoon, I took myself into the bathroom and gave it a good cleaning. I scrubbed the tub, the sink, the toilet, the floor, everything. I missed two volleyball games in the process, but hey, at least I'm pulling my weight. Happy now, tocaya? :)

Blah...Stanford lost, anyway. And then we got to watch our men's basketball ball coach totally melt down on national television, taking what might have turned out to be a tied game going into over time and turning it into a definite loss by 7 points. I hope his mother calls him tonight and chews his butt good.

Our women won, though, beating South Florida. Not a snappy win, but a win just the same, so I'll take it. Cyndi Valentin is going to be a fantastic player, if she ever learns how to stop messing with her shorts while she's on the floor.

I'm going to rest and relax for the next few days and see if it helps me feel any better. I know I haven't been getting enough sleep or eating enough protein. I almost hit the floor tiles again today when I was at the used book store, and all I can think is maybe it's a low blood sugar thing, or maybe I'm anemic and just need to pump up my blood. I'll just say, the floor at Caveat Emptor isn't all that clean, and I don't want to have to sit down on it to keep from fainting again anytime soon.

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