Yeah, I used the word quintessential. I’m fucking smart. I used that word in a presentation in AP history my senior year of high school. My teacher accused me of plagiarizing in front of the whole class. Bitch. It’s one of my favorite words!
Both of my classes are online this semester, which has resulted in some interesting challenges. I knew it was going to be more difficult to do class online. It requires a lot of personal discipline. You have to dig deep to find that motivation. My biggest problem with finding motivation is that I’m now in on the big secret: They don’t fail grad students.
It’s rather dismaying, isn’t it? You pay a lot of money for a program and you put in a lot of time and effort and it doesn’t matter. They won’t fail you. Last semester, in a particularly difficult class, I was supposed to get a B. A hard earned B, but a B nonetheless. It was mathematically impossible for me to get higher than a B+. I’m in an interdepartmental program with the Departments of Mathematics and of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. You would think they respect the laws of math. But, no. I walked away with an A.
This revelation works both ways. When I’m sitting down to take a test and I’m super nervous even though I studied, I calm myself down by remembering, “They don’t fail grad students.” When I’m sitting down to study for a test and I really want to watch another episode of Game of Thrones (holy shit, new favorite show), I procrastinate studying by remembering, “They don’t fail grad students.”
I have a big research paper coming up, as I’m sure I mentioned, and I’ve been trying to find the best place to really buckle down and get this shit done. At work my schedule is on the earlier side, so when I stay at my desk and start doing HW at 4:30pm, people around me are still bugging me about work stuff. When I get home at 6pm, it’s 8pm by the time I’ve made and eaten dinner. That’s primetime TV! When I go to the library it’s too quiet, so I get distracted by the internet (a danger everywhere, to be sure, but it’s the worst at the library). Coffee shops are the best, I’ve found. But, they have to have good wifi, and then can’t be super busy.
Last night, instead of doing work (that’s a lie, I got in a good 2 hours), I came up with a list of my study area criteria:
- Has to have a couch,
- But no TV.
- Feels cozy.
- But no people I know.
- No freshman.
- No frat boys.
- Not so many people that there’s no where to sit and the line is super long.
- Free wifi, that works (I’m looking at you, JP Licks, where I can’t even open gmail – ugh!)
- On the way home – no additional transit time necessary.
There you have it – everything I need to get in a good study sesh. Now, I just need to STOP remembering that “They don’t fail grad students.“