Hello GSAS blog readers! Happy May! Boy did April go fast; I hope you enjoyed the blogs over the past month and the past semester. Indeed, it is the the last couple of weeks of our semester here at the GSAS, and likewise in most graduate schools around the country. And tomorrow, May 3rd, is the GSAS Awards Ceremony to be held at 4pm in the Duane Library. Congratulations to all award recipients, fellows, and achievers of all kinds! You've really outdone yourselves this year! Don't forget to send your achievements in to the Students Achievements Submission Page by Friday, May 10th!
Although it is spectacular outside today in the NYC area, I myself today am not feeling well... which prompted me to think about a "sick day" in the life of a graduate student. While most professionals have sick time built into their schedules -- albeit not always easily taken -- graduate students do not have this same structure. For graduate students, a sick day usually means a day when you are not well enough to do any work. And this often puts the said student behind the schedule of where she may have wanted to be in terms of coursework, seminar papers, research, teaching, grading, or dissertation writing. In the scope of a semester or an academic year, a "sick day" in grad.life might not mean too much or make too much of an impact. However, think about a sick day coming at the end of the semester when seminar papers are due!! Or when grading must be done and grades entered! The structure of our semesters have many of us relying heavily on the few 24 hour periods leading up to our end of semester due dates. A day of being sick -- I mean, literally too ill to do work -- at this time in the semester could be devastating and highly stress-producing.
Another thing that graduates worry about in relation to being sick is money. While insurance may apply to some graduate student illnesses, often a run-of-the-mill sick visit or a trip to Duane Reade to get over-the-counter remedies means an extra wallop taken out on the meager paychecks that we receive. All this adds to the stress of getting sick.
Yet, in the grand scheme of things, getting a cold or a 24-hour stomach bug or a migraine headache is not the end of the world, and actually may put things in perspective and make us realize how precious and fragile our health and clarity is in our lives. There are much worse things that could happen to us than a 24 hour stomach virus. Hopefully, I will be on my feet again soon, doing the usual grad.life stuff: running around the campus, grading, writing, researching digital archives, scanning, post-it-noting, copying, typing, and dropping off and picking up I.L.L. books (<--which eerily spells out the word "ill"!!!) ;)
Whatever the case may be, I wish you health and happiness on this beautiful May spring day.
And, of course, here is the May edition of the dissertation blues:
The Dissertation Blues
By Joy Zitelli
May is a month of memorial
this project is gonna need a tutorial
on Monday there is the town parade
as I keep up my ambitious charade
on my porch I'll fly a flag
a sort-of patriotic jet lag
colors of red and white in leiu
of dissertation blue!