Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Four Weeks

I’m into my fourth week of my doctoral program. So far, so good. And so busy. No surprise, I guess, but it sure didn’t take long to feel overloaded and behind on everything. I’m taking three classes, all of which are just one day per week, but two of them in particular require quite a bit of reading. Combine that with my GTA responsibilities and there isn’t much free time whatsoever. As a GTA, I am grading just over 60 multiple choice quizzes per week (not so bad) plus just over 60 one-page essays per week. Sure, these essays are short, but it takes a decent amount of time to go through that many. As long as I stay constantly busy, I am managing, but I’m not sure what will happen once I start having my own essays to write. I don’t know how those can possibly fit into the picture.

Commuting isn’t so bad here in Tallahassee. I was used to an hour (average) commute in Atlanta, so the 45 minutes it takes here doesn’t seem bad at all. I have a lot less distance to go than I did in Atlanta, but now I’m riding only buses instead of a bus and a train every day. Regardless, the buses seem nice enough. Most of them run hourly, which initially worried me. It would seem that, if you missed a connection, you could be in real trouble. Fortunately, Tallahassee is small enough that all of the bus transferring takes place at a downtown depot at the same time. You don’t need to worry about missing your connection because all of the buses wait until all of the other buses have arrived before they take off again. In fact, I was talking to a Tallahassee woman on my first day of riding the bus and asking about potential missed transfers. She said that if you miss a bus, someone who works at the bus depot might just drive you home in their own car. She said she knew a couple of people who had had that happen. Now is that a small town or what?

I have driven to campus a few times. Parking is notoriously bad at Florida State, but I’m not sure of a major university where that wouldn’t be the case. Fortunately for me, there is a newly opened parking garage very near to the philosophy department, and I’ve never had a problem parking there as long as I get to campus by 9 a.m. or so. I figure it’s just because people are still learning that it exists. I keep thinking one day I’ll show up and there won’t be any spots. This is not irrational to suppose, for the other student parking lots and garages that are fairly near to this one are always completely full by 9 a.m., and a swarm of cars is always circling about waiting for someone to leave. It probably doesn’t help the parking situation that FSU gives every student a free parking pass. Of course, if it weren’t for the free parking pass, I wouldn’t be trying to drive there, so I’m just part of the problem, right? Once in a while, anyway.

So that’s my update. And this is my abrupt ending.


  1. Sometimes I sit and wonder how I ever managed school and work. Granted my schooling wasn't as involved as yours is, but it was so busy.

  2. You sound so out of breath and busy. Mama used to say "It's the best time of your life." I still haven't figured that out, but, oh well, it's something for you to meditate on when you have a minute.....just teasing. Hope you are happy, anyway.

  3. Wow!
    Glad for the update. Good luck with it all. Will we see you at Christmas time?