Friday, October 22, 2010

Hobo Fo Sho

If time were money, I'd be broke.

When I was in undergrad, I would go to school full time Mondays through Thursdays, then work part time Fridays through Sundays. Mondays were my admin days - the day when I would go grocery shopping, change my oil, go to the beach (um...I mean, do local research?), and the like. But then, to offset the costs of graduate applications, I started working Mondays before school. It was tough, but I did it.

Now that I'm in grad school (thankfully), I still go to school full time, Mondays through Thursdays, but my part time job is grading papers for the school. Officially, this is called an "Assistantship". Officially, this is also what friends and family call "When are you getting a job?"

In case you are one of them, or are dangerously close to becoming one of them, I will take this moment to let it soak through your unusually troubled scalp that my assistantship IS my job., trust me, you still need more time.

Are you with me now? Same page? Same page. (s'allright? s'allright.) The trouble that arises with such a flexible, yet equally demanding part time profession is that - when your family and friends come to the conclusion that your weekends are free and that you have absolutely no homework despite a full time course load - they start to plan your weekends for you. And the worst part is that it's almost always stuff that I can't say no to without feeling guilty about it later. I mean, it's one thing if it's a party with friends - in fact, I look forward to taking those breaks from the monotonous drudgery that is my monastery-style life at the moment (at least Quasimoto's friends sang the occasional jingle, even if they were made entirely out of stone and bird droppings). But, it's usually some other somber event that I would typically rather avoid - that I somehow successfully avoided in most of my undergraduate years.

Meanwhile, everyone's surprised that I'm not making a ton of friends here. They're actually shocked that I have my plate full with school and family obligations. They just seem so far left field in their assumptions about my life and my free time that I hardly even know how to begin to redirect them.

School is hard, I say. I have no free time.

Oh. That's too bad... is the reply. Can you come for dinner next week? I need you to x/y/z for me because a/b/c prevents me from doing it myself.

It is truly by the cruelest twist of fate that the only graduate program that accepted me was in-state, instead of 1,500 miles away, as it should have been.

*Holds up cardboard sign*
"Will Work for Free Time."

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