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Late Spring To-Do List

  • Read scholarly book #1
  • Read scholarly book #2
  • Catch up on professional journals
  • Administer evaluations
  • Grade seminar research papers
  • Write two final exams
  • Grade final exams
  • Compute final grades
  • Order books for fall
  • Find apartment in New City
  • Attend INRU Commencement!

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Friday, May 27, 2005

Mo' money, mo' problems (although really, I'd like to HAVE those problems)

So I've just completed yet another FAFSA, hopefully my last. This is the third summer in a row in which I've had to take out loans to make ends meet, given the whole nine-month stipend business that my grad institution believes in. (Last summer I actually received two separate grants--they just weren't enough to live on & take a research trip to the U.K. with.) I don't know for sure when my salary at Big Urban University (henceforth, BUU) begins, but I'm hoping no later than Aug. 31. I might just be able to make it until then with my part-time job, several weeks mooching off my parents back in my hometown, and the ever-accomodating credit cards.

Remember that great line from Six Degrees of Separation: "Who was it said, 'when artists dream, they dream of money?' . . . God, I must be such an artist!"

Yeah, feeling that.

Sometimes I wonder whether I'll ever be in the clear financially. The credit cards and the summer loans aren't unmanageable--in theory, I could pay all that off in two years with an asst. prof. salary--but the undergrad loans and ESPECIALLY the $35K my M.A. ran me are daunting. This was brought home to me this past weekend, when the boyfriend and I spent two days out in the suburbs with a collection of my college friends and their sig. oths. Of the twelve of us? Eight either already owned or were in the process of purchasing homes. And another college friend & his wife are currently house-scouting, and a high school friend--who is a POET, for God's sake!--recently mentioned that she and her (film school!) boyfriend were looking into buying a place in a cheaper nearby city & becoming landlords.

Now, these six friends represent only about half of my closer-friend pool (most of the rest of whom are nearly as poor as I am), but they still signal an ominous trend: the inexorable march toward an adulthood I sometimes don't think I'll ever reach. And I'm ambivalent about whether I want to reach it. Don't get me wrong: I love being 30 and I love feeling as though most of us are starting to figure out our lives; it's just a lot less hysterical and anxiety-filled and I don't miss all those not-very fun parties in tiny, too-hot apartments thrown by a friend of a friend who went to Amherst with some other friend's former roommate. I'd rather go swill gallons of wine with the Fergusbergs at their chateau, with people I know from way back, or chill at a bar with a friend or two. But . . . I left the suburbs for a reason, you know? And if my current apartment were a somewhat spiffier version of itself (i.e., if I didn't get mysterious leaks, ceiling collapses, etc.)--it would be pretty much my dream single-person apartment.

Maybe it's just my natural resistance to change, or to excessive complications. I still like to think of myself as having options, and being able to just pack up and leave--and go live in Egypt for a year! This is true enough, I guess, but not really any truer for me (I'm deeply attached to my friends and to this city) or any less true for my friends with houses and kids. And who knows? Maybe I'll get a JOB in Egypt!

In other news, my aunt is arriving tonight from out west & staying for the weekend; I'm not sure she's ever been to Major Eastern City before. She's in her 50s but has never had kids and so has always felt more like a cool older sister or cousin. Anyway, she's promised to bring lots of wine & will be taking me to the theater, buying me meals, etc., and so though I regret the interruption of my diss work, ALL such interruptions should be so good.

link | posted by La Lecturess at 8:04 PM |


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