I’ve been feeling increasingly behind in my material (and consequently, increasingly inadequate as a student and an intellectual), so I confined myself to a nearby library for a few hours to do a little catching up. My effort was mostly successful, though I would have liked to accomplish more. The entire jaunt gave me a little faith in humanity. I needed some color paper to use as dividers for my lecture notes, and the clerk and Kinko’s didn’t charge me. Then, in the library, not only were my personal effects not stolen when I left them unattended to smoke (as I smoked, I read a poster relaying tales of stolen personal effects…), but I overheard someone listening to Jamiroquai near my study area. Normally I’d be slightly incensed if I could hear someone’s music so clearly through their headphones as to be able to identify not only the artist, but the song and album, but not Jamiroquai (it was “High Times” off of Travel Without Moving, incidentally).

When I left the library, the rain had resumed, and I was suddenly struck with the reality of my situation. I’m a grad student. In Pittsburgh. Studying some very difficult material. I’m going to have a lot of nights like tonight, and it’s not going to get easier. This is not a complaint, just a statement. Like “just get used to it.” It actually felt kind of cool — I just remembered why I was doing this all in the first place. I wonder if other students (or people in comparably difficult situations) have similar moments. It’s not (by any measure) all downhill from here, but at least I know why I’m climbing the fucking hill.


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