Exclaim or murmur or think

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim, or murmur, or think at some point, “if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” Kurt Vonnegut

Early in the semester, a returning grad student and I were talking about what we planned to do with the degrees we are currently earning. I said—PhD, no question. Can’t imagine anything else. She said I’d know for sure after a semester. Because people start out not really knowing what’s involved. Not knowing that you’ll be so tense your muscles hurt. That there is no such thing as a social life. That you’ll schedule every minute and still be overwhelmed at the end of the day.

It’s almost December. I have two weeks left of my first semester of grad school. I have a 15 page paper to write, a 20 page paper to write and I need to come up with a kickass abstract for a fancy conference. So much to do.

But. I get to spend the morning reading about women and writing and self-expression and Possession. And then I get to read about the ubiquity of desire as possibly the only true universal. And while my reading list and writing obligations are daunting, to say the least…

This is the moment. Cup of coffee, bowl of pears, Paganini concertos, feminist criticism.

The moment when I exclaim, or murmur, or think: Happy.

1 thought on “Exclaim or murmur or think”

  1. I love the Kurt Vonnegut quote. A fellow grad student and I were commiserating on the 15 page and three 6-8 page final papers that we have to write in the next few weeks, along with grading 40-odd undergraduate essays from the classes for which we’re teaching assistants. “But,” I said, “It’s great to think that we’re getting paid to read and think and write.” That’s much better than working retail during the holidays.

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