Today was very close to a perfect day. This, in spite of the many many things that seemed to conspire to make it less perfect, including:
-The severe cold in my apartment this morning, due to all the windows being open all night during the 40 degree weather.
-The five hours of drunken sleep I got the night before (congrats TGD on the ABD).
-My dissertation chair's note that he'd have to leave after the first hour of my proposal conference, but that he was sure we'd keep the conversation going without him.
-My continued confusion as to how exactly The House of the Seven Gables fits the traditional Romance genre in the way that my instructor seems to think it does.
-My students' confusion in lecture as our instructor seemed to assume they had read the entire novel already.
-My state of near exhaustion throughout most of the day.
Yes, in spite of all that, it was nearly perfect. For the following reasons, each of which is ok in its own right, but together conspire to make the day great:
-I had perhaps the greatest cup of chai ever after lecture. The kind where you're cold, tired, sore, and slightly hungover, and the hot beverage just seems to seep into every bone in your body and take away the pain and the lethargy. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I imagine this is how they feel every morning.
-I set up a CLC listserv, which makes me look both helpful and important, increasing my status in the department ever so slightly (very, very, very slightly, but hey, take what I can get).
-I booked the room for my proposal conference and filled out the appropriate form, after a flurry of e-mailing during my office hours.
-When the sun came out on my walk home, it was absolutely gorgeous to walk by Lake Mendota. Because I'm a pretentious midwestern academic, I really like walking along in the fall carrying a jacket slung over my arm. It's one of the few times I actually feel like a professional coming home after work, not just some bum who can't get a real job. Plus it's got this whole scholastic/aesthetic feel to it. Or at least it does in my mind. Don't take it away from me.
-It was really really windy, just cold enough to feel the chill, but sunny enough to take the edge off. The wind made the lake all choppy and white-cappy (or as much as it can on a lake the size of Mendota--I still miss Lake Michigan sometimes).
-What can I say? I love the fall. Love it love it love it.
-I took a nap. Just an hour, but still.
-I watched quite an intriguing and entertaining film called Metropolitan, on loan from T. It's all about snobby preppie college age kids during the debutante season in New York (Quantum's people, in other words). It's mostly a lot of talking, a kind of Jane Austen-esque intellectual romance set in the early 90s. The acting takes a bit to get into, as they are all largely unknowns, but not in a jarring way. There isn't really much plot, just a lot of character interaction. And it's loads of fun. Thanks to T. for the suggestion. (Though I now have an overwhelming desire to read Mansfield Park. I hate it when movies make me feel culturally illiterate, despite having read several other Austen novels.)
Oddly enough, I think my tiredness was the exact precondition I needed to really appreciate both the weather and the movie. In my sleep-addled brain, I was in just the right state to really stop thinking about school and my dissertation, and just enjoy what was going on around me. Today, in all the good things that happened, the day was about celebrating sensation, from the hot chai to the cool breeze to the sound of the leaves rustling madly outside my window or over my head as I walked. And I think my near exhaustion was just the right way to approach a day like today.
So huzzah for fall! Down with the tyrrany of summer!
Next post, I outline my new conspiracy theory. In brief, I'm fairly certain that my roommate is Batman. More to come.