Friday, November 16, 2007

day in the life of a student

The pumpkins are roasting (finally) and the boy is bathing. The girl practices violin. We finished the last of the ice cream for dessert and Scott should be home soon. And we finally have a new floor, which looks GREAT.

In two weeks I need to produce a five-page critical paper (my first literature paper in twenty years) and four book annotations (which means I need to first READ the four books) plus twenty-five more pages of creative writing. I just turned in nearly fifty pages of fresh creative writing in the past month.

In the past five weeks, I traveled 2000 miles by car, with children, then disassembled my house for two weeks. I was named “contributing editor” for a gorgeous magazine. I’ve yet to catch up on laundry. And I’m about to complete my first quarter of full-time graduate work.

It’s going to take some time to figure out to do this well—I’ve not touched knitting or spinning, and I only crafted one felt project under duress. I need to MAKE THINGS, and I need to read fiction, and in this three month quarter, there’s been no time for either. I’m not volunteering at the children’s school fair, and I’ve made nothing to sell, for the first time in a decade. It’s okay, on one hand, but I miss the satisfaction of handmade things, and my tiny wallet will miss the satisfaction of Christmas spending money.

When the door opens, Scott will man the kids, the stove and laundry for awhile and I’ll rush to help set up the candle-dipping room for the fair. Tomorrow, whether or not I am signed up to volunteer at the holiday fair, I know I’ll be cutting wicks and listening to musicians in the warm little room with the melted beeswax. Each year I wonder how I could write of such intoxication, and then I don’t even try—it’s too sweet, too quiet, too sedative. We will eat pumpkin soup (not mine) and fresh bread, and children will shop for gifts for parents and friends.

Then I’ll come home and read, and write some more.

On my turntable, by the way, is We Walked in Song, Innocence Mission, highly recommended.


Nancy said...

Hi Denise,

Good luck in getting everything finished by next packet due date. I know you'll make it and you'll do well. It's quite demanding isn't it? I look back now and wonder how I made it through. Last week I picked up a quilting project that I last worked on over two years ago--you guessed it, pre-program. Happy Thanksgiving!


Rock in the Grass said...

Sista - courage and fortitude seem to be the wishes I give you today

Denise said...

Today I wrote a murderously bad first draft of The Critical Paper, just to have a first draft out of the way. At least the draft-writing reminds me how much I loved these bits of writing to begin with-- a night's sleep and I'll have more ideas how to approach it.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Carine said...

alright Denise! A contributing editor and grad school,plus a moderator. Would you sprinkle some of your karma my way?
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.