Tick Tick Boom

My roommate sent me a Snapchat this morning: a somewhat grim selfie with soft natural lighting, captioned with a deadpan “My 20th first day of class.”


My first day of class was Monday, actually, because I am enrolled in an ASL course at a local community college whose semester began earlier. But today, on the first day of instruction at my home institution, I find myself in my pajamas in my kitchen, sipping tea and reading blogs, because I have nothing scheduled this morning.

I am in the third year of my graduate program (Boom! You’re passé // What can you do?), which means I can generally ease off on the coursework and focus more on my own research. Fewer than eight hours a week of class currently in my planner, and no teaching obligations… so what will I do with all of my free time? It’ll be nice to have so much of it, but I’m also a bit worried, since I know myself well: my productivity is at its highest when I have a full schedule. Give me five hours of unstructured time and I’m likely to end up watching TV for four of them, know what I mean? In fact, even though I’ve already begun classes, my mind is still on summer break mode and is letting me sleep in with impunity. I need to make up some excuse to be on campus at eight in the morning in order to actually get up at seven, as I was doing last spring.

Well, I’ll start with the academic goals. Goal #1: wrap up my summer research, start and finish the second half of the project, and write a qualifying paper on it by December. Goal #2: submit to a few conferences here and there. Goal #3: bring up my proficiency in American Sign Language. Goal #4: write more regularly, including academic writing, blog writing, creative writing, and letter writing.

Seems simple enough. I’ll check in again in December to see what I’ve accomplished, although between now and then, there will hopefully be quite a few more posts, per goal #4. I have had plenty of ideas of things to write about, but never the time, not until now.


Word of the day: zumbooruk (or zamburak) is a type of gun or cannon mounted on the back of a camel that was used by Persian, Afghan, and Indian militaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. This word has nothing whatsoever to do with the theme of the post, I just heard it used in a hilarious podcast called The Incomparable Game Show while driving up from SoCal last week.

Oh, wait, maybe I can make a connection: today, the first day of the school semester, is a Wednesday… otherwise known as Hump Day, because it is the most difficult day of the week to get through and/or it’s a downhill coast from here (Thursday is basically Friday, and Friday is basically the weekend). Camels have humps. There we go! So, dear readers, where are you aiming your zumbooruk today? Keep your eye on that target and blast it to pieces!


About Andrew C.

I'm a grad student at UC Berkeley.
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