The Wall

It happens to each of us eventually. You’re trucking through the quarter, going to class, reading as much as possible, completing homework assignments and studying your tail off. And then you hit the wall. Maybe it’s burn out, or maybe a little apathy kicks in, but sooner or later you want to toss the books aside and call it a quarter already.

I slammed into the wall hard last week. It was midterms. I was studying rigorously for my tests, while the project work started to pile up. I began feeling like the broken bilge pump. More was slipping in than I could ever pump out. Perhaps it was time to work harder on the weekends? On the evenings I wasn’t in class?

This is where being a parent and taking classes gets a bit dicey. As an undergrad I could study all day Saturday if I wanted. There were no little faces waiting to spend time with me. Like memories of an old boyfriend, years had reshaped my memory of college. Before starting grad school, I remembered that college was hard work, but was it really all that time consuming? Didn’t I have afternoons free? Was it really that bad? In short, college was looking better with the passage of time.

Many classmates have talked about and written about how to budget their time. I don’t remember if any of these writers had children. We’ve all heard about working mothers’ guilt, well it’s just as strong when you’re a grad school mom. At times the push, the pull, and the guilt feel like walking through hell. Granted, that’s the sound of the wall talking. Most weeks I’m perfectly content–thankful even–to be here experiencing a new adventure in life and filling myself with new possibilities.

This week I’ve started to scale the wall again, so I can leap off it toward the rest of the quarter. After all, if you’re walking through hell, it’s best to keep walking.