Man Is Not Made For Defeat

Here I am again, after taking way too long to update my blog. It’s going to be a short one today, so buckle up. I just want to get everybody caught up on my adventures.

So, where do I begin? The part where I finally started graduate school as a full-time student and graduate teaching assistant? The part where I was recommended 9 hours of coursework to balance out my 20 hours of teaching but chose to take 12 hours so I can get on with graduating in May? I’m told that’s equal to a 68-hour work week but that I’m capable. How about the part where I’m also taking two versions of the GRE in less than a month and applying for Ph.D. programs all over the country? There aren’t enough hours in the day for this, but somehow I’ve made it work by sheer brute force. At least up until now. The jury is still out on the rest of the semester where I will presumably crash and burn in a tragic but epic ruin. It’s only been 2 weeks and I’ve already made peace with the fact that I may never have free time again.

I signed up for the task and although I’m beginning to feel the effects of taking on something so daunting, I don’t yet regret doing it. Yet. I’ve planned every minute of every day until the last day of the semester. I’ve entered assignments into my handy schedule app (I use P. Schedule, by the way), I’m waking up at the crack of dawn, and I barely have a moment to myself until Saturday rolls around. My phone is glued to my hand at all times because it will tell me where I need to be, when I need to be there, and what I need to bring besides my slowly deteriorating sanity.

Saturday mornings feel a bit like I’ve been hit by a train, mainly because the lost hours of sleep throughout the week eventually stack up and I don’t fully realize how exhausted I am until Saturday. Even on Saturday, I spend a considerable chunk of the afternoon doing assignments and planning for my classes at the local coffee shop. I strongly believe that a change of scenery helps with productivity. If you take your work to the coffee shop and you have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, you’ll either do the work you brought with you or you’ll browse Reddit until you’ve exhausted every link on r/all and then you’ll do the work you brought with you. This is especially effective if you and a friend both commit to the plan. Now you’re in it together. Nobody leaves until you’ve both yielded some amount of work.

While I’m here giving advice, I may as well give you a few more tidbits that I discovered through my own trial and error amid this swirling vortex of a semester. I would print this as a pamphlet and hand it out at orientations, but I haven’t the disposable income to print copies of articles for my own coursework, much less a stack of pamphlets that to everyone else’s eyes will only say “Here, throw this away for me.”

To save some trees and save me even more money in the process, I will instead post my wisdom to this blog, for all my gentle readers to digest. I hope you enjoy.

(The following advice has not been approved for pregnant women and individuals with heart conditions, high blood pressure, insomnia, or severe anxiety. Please consult your doctor before attempting any of the suggestions listed.)

Bex’s secret to productivity and time management, in five easy steps!

1) Wake up at promptly 6:00 am. Drink pre-workout to stimulate the part of you that activates the ability to give a fuck about all this in the first place. 

2) Spend at least two hours per day staving off the existential dread by reading plenty of books written by better people.

3) Forget to eat lunch. the 1:00 pm hunger pangs will compel you to purchase a bag of peanuts from the vending machine for $0.75. This strategy will not only save you money in the long run, but it is also the most amount of nutrition you can consume (330 calories and over 20 grams of protein) for the least amount of money.

4) In the evening, drink plenty of wine to counteract the effects of the pre-workout and mitigate the night terrors. Bedtime is planned at 10:30 pm to make efficient use of R.E.M. cycles, but be mindful that sleep won’t occur until midnight.

5) Don’t cry. Your eyes are already puffy from the sleep deprivation and you will want to look your best for the people who think you’ve got your shit together.

Tip: Do not mix pre-workout into your wine as an attempt to the stack the effects. While it makes for quite a cardiac adventure, it does not necessarily result in increased productivity.

“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.” –Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

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