Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On Books and Being Better

So today seems to be a better day than yesterday, though I'm still on tiptoes because I'm not sure when I'll be blindsided by the universe again. Still, I'm functioning better - so far, there's no one thing that really set the entire thing off, although I'm now seeing, bit by bit, the insane workload that four modules will bring. But I'd rather take it one step at a time. Right now, I need to focus on one last freelance project that I have to write, and then throw myself into my books until there's no tomorrow.

My class yesterday was cancelled, and I'm still crossing my fingers if I get it or not, but at least with today's class, I am perfectly sure that I am enrolled - if the list of readings isn't enough, the packet for next week's meeting is enough to scream that the semester has started, that classes have started, and that I may just go insane this semester. I don't know what the workload is with the two othet modules, since I'm not even sure what they are, but with this one and the ISM, I already have a shitload of readings (and essays I have to isolate and photocopy for my supervisor), at least one presentation a week, and a research project to deal with at the end of the term. Not to mention three papers for my ISM, and a careful crafting of what I want to do. I mean, if I want to really gun for academia, then my target should be a publishable article by the end of the semester.

I'm looking at the pile of books on my table right now and I want to die.

But I mean, I'd rather be like this - busy, doing a million and one things at a time, and trying to accomplish something worthwhile. I know that once this stint is over, I can finally go back to living my life back home. And I mean, seriously, the universe has a tendency to put things in perspective: yesterday, walking back to the flat, I passed by this group of Filipino domestic helpers by the pool, watching the little Singaporean children that were presumably the children of their amos. One of them had a guitar and they were singing church hymns. And I thought to myself, I have it so much better than these women. And at the end of the day, my little dramas are absolutely nothing compared to what they probably go through. And I'll go through this experience probably for the better, but they - well, they don't even know how things will end. It was a refreshing thought.

Granted, it's so easy to be sad and lonely and wallow in your (usually self-centered) misery. But it takes so much strength and conviction to tell yourself, You'll be okay. And I'd rather be the latter. And I don't know how long this will extend, or if I'm going to be better or worse tomorrow, but right now, I know that I can be better than this, and I have to be. Because the books are piling up and my mind needs to catch up with everything.

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