Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finding me...

Today I stayed home to wait for an electrician, nothing major, the task was completed in a short period of time and then I had the rest of the day to work on some things. Have a paper due on "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" on 11/14 which should be a piece of cake. I enjoyed the book and had some great outside readings to add to the paper. Am also working to finish David Halberstam's "The Fifties". It's an 800 page book chronicling the people and events that made the 1950s. It's a fantastic book and I really appreciate that the chapters are short which keep my interest throughout. Great reading about Oppenheimer, McCarthy, MacArthur, Korea, television, discount department stores, Holiday Inn, Truman, Kefauver, and a whole host of important goings-on of the era. I need to read more, as I should have this book completed by end of next week and I'm only a third of the way through it. If I could get through just three chapters a day I can make it. And then...I've got to get through that damn book about the Hoover Damn and the Making of the American Century. Now THAT is a long book but the chapters are so long it just doesn't keep my attention. Note to self: when I write my book, be sure to keep the chapters short and entertaining to maintain the readers interest. 

Some positive news today in regards to my thesis research. I wrote to a half dozen faculty in the History department last night informing them of my interest in writing the honors thesis and I gave them my topic. A few wrote back they were far too busy with doctoral candidates, another was just plain overloaded, but I received an email from the former chair of the department, who is on sabbatical after five grueling years as chair. He said he'd be willing to take me on in fall next year. Well I'm in no hurry, er...I am but I can't finish before December 2012 unless I come into an extraordinary amount of money which allowed me to leave my position. I am excited because he is very well respected and revered in the department and he wants to work with me. He told me he can see how serious and passionate I am about my topic. I think it will be a great match. He and I have communicated via email before, so he knows of me. He understands too that a 41 year old woman is serious about her education. He won't have to chase after me to make sure I'm on track. This is where age, maturity, experience work for me, my professors always take the time to get to know me (as I do them) because they know that this degree is serious business to me.  Why is the thesis important? Because it's going to be one of the most in-depth pieces of research I'll do during my career, I want it to count. And I want it to be the lead-in to my book.

As it stands this semester I'm registered for nine hours but only actively working on two of the three classes. The US History 1939-1960 is really a fantastic course and I'm learning a lot. It helps that I already know quite a bit about this time period thanks to my parents, grandparents, old time radio and films and books I've read. That combined with what I've learned through my genealogy research has really helped give me a good background on the culture of the time. I'll earn an "A" in that class for sure. I do the readings, score great on quizzes and the papers I nail every time. The History of Journalism Senior course is also very fascinating, in fact parts of it overlap with the other course, not intended of course. My professor is outstanding, she's funny, witty, and intelligent and I love her lectures, never boring. She really likes her students and you can tell. She's always willing to help. Our class is in a wing adjoining my building so on occasion we'll walk back from class together. We love to talk about old films, she loves John Wayne. We enjoy the same movies too. She is really a great person and we have promised that after class is through we'll remain in touch. I do hope so, she is a fascinating person!

I've got to get some sleep. I spent way too much time today thinking. Thinking about school and work and everything in between. I was a little depressed today but don't know why. I hate being up then down, hot then cold, but that's the way it is when we get older. With me it's constant. And I don't think there's anything I can do about it. I also thought a lot about my future today and how I longed to be free. Free of what I'm not sure. It's not anyone's fault but mine. Sometimes I wish I could leave and not come back. It has nothing to do with DH or mom or work or anything or anybody. Just a feeling I have. But being the responsible one, I know that I can't just walk away from everything. I wish I could sometimes but I can't. I know the grass is always greener but your problems follow you wherever you go. And it's worse if you are the problem. In this case, "I" am the problem.

I told a good friend the other day when he told me I should take a vacation, that if I left I might not come back. He said he was sure I would, but I don't know that I would want to. Even though my family and friends, my work and my education are here, something is missing. I cannot tell you what it is. I cannot describe it, it's more like something I feel.  I just keep telling myself that I am on the path to finding it. Just take one day at a time to get there. It's a funny thing--I used to laugh when a person would say "I have to find myself" (I'd say "you're right here silly!") but now I know what they meant. 

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