I have finally managed to craft and shape my first Erdrich paper into something I’m proud to put my name on (though, at 16 pages, it has managed to stretch to twice its assigned length); it’s typed and ready to go for Wednesday. Now I’ve got exactly a week till the next one’s due. Alas, fall break, I hardly knew ye.

A week after that second paper, I have to give a presentation on a poem I’ve not yet chosen demonstrating a literary critical approach of my choosing – that I’ve also not yet chosen. I really want to do New Historicism – I feel compelled to champion it, since the rest of the class (professor included) seems to find it lazy and somewhat irrelevant – but then I’d have to choose a co-text in addition to the poem and I’m not sure I want the extra hassle. Somehow, October became absurdly assignment-heavy.

November brings a short, informal talk on Indian reservation life and a longer presentation on Victorian spiritualism and a story I have (again) not yet chosen. Hear ye, anyone more familiar with 19th century lit than I: I’m open to suggestions for really good short ghost stories of that era. Bonus points if written by a woman. (Think along the lines of Since I Died, by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.) After all that, I will likely seclude myself to churn out the ~40 pages’ worth of papers that are due the first week of December; with luck I’ll emerge with brain and hands intact.

I’ll settle for getting through till the end of this month, though; a break in assignments, a first annverisay (Eee! I’ve been married for a year! Eeeee!), and, with any luck, some answers in a currently troubling situation that could determine the next few years. Waaait and see, I guess.

So, there it is. I’m tired, but I’m happy. When I come home after 8 or 12 hour days spent teaching and learning, my mind and body are exhausted, but my soul has wings. This twelvemonth has given me a lot of very precious things.

Accidental Sandwich

To the person whose lunch I inadvertently wandered off with:

I am so very sorry. It was loud in there and I really thought the Roly Poly counter girl said my name. It wasn’t until I got all the way back to my office and sat down to eat that I realized I had your Thai cashew chicken wrap instead of my pesto chicken wrap. Incidentally, it’s wonderful (if a bit spicy) and not something I would ever have thought of ordering myself; I hope the situation turned out as nicely for you, poor person whose lunch I stole.

In my past two months of “radio silence,” I’ve been to two weddings, two ren faires, and more doctor appointments than I care to think about. Long story short, I hurt. A lot. All over the place. Since January.

And more medical stuff.

Christmas in…April

Dr. L brought in some goodies a week or two ago and left them in the break room for everyone. Two bags of cookies and a tin of brownies – and it should be noted that these were Christmas bags and a Christmas tin. For those not aware, it is now April. So most of us were already warned off, but a few brave souls decided to try the cookies. Priceless facial expressions of foulness were made, and someone snatches up the bag to read the label.

“Merry Christmas, Dr. L! Hope you enjoy these homemade dog biscuits!”

Cue horrified faces, and a stampede to Dr. L’s office.

Nurse: *shoving bag at Dr. L* Dr. L, read this! (It shoud be noted that Dr. L is in fact a neuro-opthamologist.)
Dr L: *reads bag* Holy crap, I ate half the bag already! No wonder they were so awful I had to wash them down with sherry…

I don’t know why his lovely Irish lilt made this funnier, but it did. 🙂


“I cancelled my son, Emma’s, appointment with the doctor on Wednesday and you’re calling me to reschedule for him.”

Except it was her daughter Emma. And this lady called me.

(I would’ve thought it was a slip of the tongue if she’d just said “son” once, but she referred to Emma as “he” and “him” and “my son” throughout the conversation, even when I said she.)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…

overheard in the office

“Neurology, this is Ashley.”

“Good morning, how are you?”

“….fine, and how are you?”

“Doin’ okay. You guys have ice there yet?”

“Um, no, not here.”

“Well, we do, they just cancelled school for today…”


“So, what do you need first?”

Um…an explanation for you’re calling a neuro clinic to discuss the weather?

‘Anyday’ is today, I guess. :)

I had no idea how prophetic “any day now” would turn out to be. I got an email from Tara in the graduate office just an hour ago; I’m a graduate student now.


I’ve applied for the graduate assistantship too, but that isn’t announced until August, insofar as I’ve been told. Which presents me with a little difficulty.

There was a sleep department schedulers’ meeting today. Dr. M talked about how we are one of 15 hopsitals specifically treating/researching children with autism. Lately we have kids coming in from out of state to be seen in the sleep clinic. Dr. M had a lot of praise for those of us on the phones (which, as of next week, will just be me. Again.), stressing how she feels that a significant portion of her good reputation as a caregiver is dependent upon how we treat the patient – in other words, the entire clinic experience from scheduling to treatment, not just the time the kids and their families spend with the doctor. I’ll say this for Dr. M: however badly frustrated I may become with the nature of the job and office politics, she never fails to make me genuinely proud of what I’m able to do here.

Which will of course make me feel like a complete heel when I have to tell them I’m leaving.

Although the actual dilemma is not giving my notice, it’s when to do it. Timing is everything and that assistantship position ain’t exactly set in stone yet.