When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would never apologize on my blog for sudden drop-offs in blogging activity, seeing as I do this entirely in my free time and largely for my own amusement. However, in order to assuage that shame-ridden people-pleasing, neurotic part of myself, I feel the need to apologize for the recent drop-off in blogging activity. There was a flurry of dissertation productivity. Then I got angry with the internet. Then there was Christmas, which was partly held at my house this year and was basically a three week-long parade of family events. After that, I needed to detox from, well, humanity for a while. Oh, and I got sick. But I think I’m back in action now and do, in fact, have a backlog of post ideas I want to get out, including a follow-up to my last one.
While my holidays were mostly quite wonderful (though exhausting), I was reminded that being in graduate school and having to interact with friends and family who don’t really have a concept of how long it takes to write a thesis can be pretty demoralizing, judging by the horrified looks I got when I told some people I expect to finish in six to nine months, which is actually making pretty good time. Furthermore, after trying to explain my dissertation, which does have to do with religion, to the fundamentalists I grew up with, I started just saying “it’s about Mark Twain” (which is sort of true) and moving on.
My sister who is a sophomore in college and I decided we should print cards for students to hand out to people who ask this sort of stuff. Mine would read:
Yes, I’m still in grad school.
Oh, about a year.
I have three and a half chapters done. Out of five.
It’s about Mark Twain.
No, we’re not having kids any time soon.
Hers would say:
I’m a psychology major.
Yes, I love ____ College.
No, I don’t have a boyfriend.
Yes, I’m fine with it.
I feel like there’s a fortune to be made here. Or perhaps I’ve simply misunderstood the whole point of small talk.