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This semester I decided to try to keep my sanity by taking a slightly lesser than full load of teaching and coursework so I could function and do everything necessary to graduate on time (things such as declare my academic committee, work on my reading list, write my dissertation, etc. etc. etc.) and what I have realized is—my God, graduate school is exhausting.

I am in my last year of course work. I have this semester and next to take before I can take my qualifying exams and then (knock on wood) declare my self ABD. I don’t understand how some people are able to balance this all. Graduate school is a full time job, I know. But some people are doing it while working, raising families, starting families and doing other non-academic pursuits. I know one person who started at the same time as I did. She took 3 graduate courses every semester, worked full time as a bartender, taught a few classes here and there, and still would travel, and have a social life. She is now going to graduate early since she reached ABD status a full year before I did and I am in awe of her.

I guess it comes down to how bad someone wants something. I want to get my PhD. I am working hard at it and I have made significant sacrifices in order to get my degree—but seeing some of my cohort makes me wonder if I want it hard enough.

I will be posting in a few days what my reading list is and what some of my research things are, just to keep me accountable. I think it’s interesting and I think that some of you who read this might be interested in it also. I just need to keep on task and keep focused, because I want this. I am so close to the end, I can do this. I know I can.

If only I would stop falling asleep in my theory book.