Day 89: Primal scream day.Posted: March 30, 2011
Yesterday morning I had one of my moments of despair — an hour or so of gnawing, crushing hopelessness, of absolute certainty that I will never be able to get done all the things I have to get done, and will therefore be politely asked to leave the PhD program that pays my bills and makes my life worth living.
I have one or two of these a semester. They’ve gotten easier, in some ways, because I know that they will come and pass; I can usually see them coming, even, and sort of brace myself. Of course, each time there’s more to lose, because I’ve invested another half a year each time.
It all got done: the paper proposal, the reading, the writing of the response to the reading, the grading, the writing of the response to the paper presented in class today by the dude who’s teaching the class (which went well, so that’s good). Didn’t sleep much, and by that I mean I went to bed at 5 a.m. and got up again at about 7:45. Listened to the final round of presentations my students did, handed back their papers – some of them freshly graded – and called that unit of the course over, finally, and good fucking riddance.
Anyway. A long two days, at the end of which I was tired and drained, and in need of some primal screaming (I had, in fact, been looking forward to it since Monday morning, when I flipped ahead a bit to see what the week had in store).
I like a primal scream now and then; I do them almost exclusively in my car, and usually when I’m stuck in traffic. They’re usually of the “AAAAAAUUUUGH” variety, though there’s also an occasional “FUUUUUCK” that is mostly the “uh” sound.
I expected traffic, today, since I was driving home at rush hour; I needed it, really, to give me the energy to let out a few primal screams, because I was content to just zone out and smoke my pipe on the way home. There was no traffic, though – amazing! stupendous! wonderful! – so I had to make a conscious effort: take a deep breath, brace myself with both arms against the steering wheel, and scream.
It felt great. I’m going to start doing it more often.