Friday, September 21, 2012

A Day in The Life of an Art History Grad Student

Because I know you all were constantly wondering what it is that I do with my days, I will enlighten you on the daily schedule (more or less) of a graduate student in art history. Get ready to be very, very jealous. 

7:45 - Alarm goes off. Commence to snooze for appropriate amount of time. 

8:15 - Snooze one more time.

8:22 - Get up too quickly and immediately get massive head rush and almost fall over. 

9:13 - Leave apartment to head to the class I'm TA-ing. Spend one whole minute trying to get the lock off my bike. 

9:15-9:25 - Constant prayer mode that I do not get sideswiped by a bus while riding my bike. (Yes, I have an awesome helmet, but how much can that do when up against a bus??) 

9:30-10:50 - Sit in the back of TA class and periodically tell people to get off Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/etc. Feel really bad about this because I do not like confrontation. 

10:55-11:05 - More prayer on the ride back to my apartment. 

11:10-3:00 - Read various philosophical or theoretical texts. "Wait!" You say, "I thought you were in art history, not philosophy!" Yeah, I was under the same impression. However, it's all lofty theory at this point - how to achieve absolute knowledge and true self-consciousness and stuff. I'm sure it will all tie in at some point. Otherwise I will be just a little bit peeved. Oh, and I also eat lunch in here at some point, often accompanied by an episode of Friends, because seriously. I need to stay sane somehow.

3:15-3:25 - Wonder how long I will be able to hold out before I no longer want to ride my bike to class. As of now, it is still charming and pleasant, but come 30 degrees and slush, I may change my tune.

3:30-6:20 - Class. Hey remember when those 75 minute classes at Valpo used to feel so long? Ha! Those were the days. Usually we get a break, but not all the time! So that's a full 2 hours and 50 minutes of me feeling a little dumber every time someone says something really intelligent, when all I want is a dictionary so I can look up some of those big words they're using. 

6:30-6:40 - Ride home dazedly on my bike. Feel as though brain has turned to mush. Not much time to recuperate though because ...

6:45-7:10 - Dinner of some sort, usually of the sandwich variety these days.

7:15-whenever I can't stand it anymore - Read, read, read! OK, I'll be honest, I'm not constantly reading the ENTIRE time. Sometimes when it gets to the point where I feel like I'm just "looking" at the page and no longer "reading," I'll take a break to check every social media outlet, hoping I can find some posts with improper use of grammar so at least I can feel self-righteous about that! Then I head back to the arena where I no longer feel I understand the English language at all... it's a balancing game, people. 

12:00ish - Fall into bed and complete one Sudoku puzzle out of my little book, because I find it's therapeutic to end the day under the theme, "And now for something completely different..." 

So that's basically it! I bet all of you are already Google searching the application requirements for art history, right? I thought so. In all seriousness, it's not too bad though. I have always been a nerd at heart and I enjoy school, even when I spend most of the time feeling very confused. As Papa Lange always said, "Think of it as a game! A puzzle you have to solve!" Granted, he was talking about math and I never thought it was very good advice. Worst game EVER, Dad. But I digress. As much as I complain, I like the challenge of a good puzzle. And I have been doing a lot of puzzling thus far. I suspect I will continue puzzling to some degree for the next two years. But hopefully at the end of it all, I'll be a much brighter person and also be qualified for some sort of employment. (That's really the true puzzle right now, right?) 

I guess I forgot to mention all of the procrastination I do, too. That should result in an influx of Sparlke, Sparkle posts. Now you're really feeling lucky... 


  1. Jim Gaffigan on the snooze button- "Nothing like starting the day with a little procrastination! As my first decision of the day... I will go back to bed."

  2. I really love reading Sparkle, Sparkle, and not just because I get to take a break from grad school reading to read it.