Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Crunch Time

Jenn Tatum

I just took a look at my planner, sifted through syllabi, and realized: THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME. The end of the semester is here, and I’m not sure how it crept up so fast. Cue Eye Twitch.I have several catch-phrases or perhaps overly-used phrases that will creep into any conversation at the end of the semester.

1.)The Eye-Twitch

This is an involuntary spasm that starts to happen at the outer crease of my right eyelid. It’s annoying and very noticeable. It’s stress related and in full-swing at the end of the semester. Physical annoyance aside, the phrase, “My. Eye.” is easily worked in to conversations about stressful-end-of-semester-grad-school-to-do-lists. I am, of course, familiar with this phrase being used as a kind of, “yeah right,” or “I don’t believe it,” or “you’re full of crap.” statement, but here is how it also works: “Oh hey Jenn, how’s your final essay coming along.” Response: “My. Eye.” And then there’s, “How’s the thesis coming along? What will you be submitting for workshop.” And there you have it. The appropriate response is always, “My. Eye.”

2.) Febreze

I’ve blogged a significant amount about Febreze—an embarrassing amount, actually—but Febreze is a staple in my end-of-semester conversations. “Oh, how’s your day going?” Response: “I don’t know. Can you smell the Febreze?” Or, “Hey guys, it’s a Febreze kind of day.” It’s an all encompassing, two-syllable word that basically let’s everyone know that general self-maintenance has ceased to exist and you probably peeled loose-leaf notebook paper or dog-eared pages of a book from your face this morning, because chances are you fell asleep face-down in a book at 4am, and when you woke up at 6am, there simply wasn’t enough time to wonder if the sweater you put on was clean, so you reached for the Febreze. It happens. There’s no judgement. Nobody is doing laundry during the last week of school.

3.) Winter is Coming

Yes, I do love Games of Thrones, and this phrase is often met with the look of doom in anticipation of bad things and a bitter cold, but when I say, “Winter is Coming,” I mean “Winter Break”. I mean ten days in sunny San Diego, time spent with my family, time spent with my boyfriend, time for leisurely writing in coffee shops, time for brunch (goodgod do I miss brunch). Sweet winter break—I mean THERE’S ONLY TWO WEEKS OF TO-DO LISTS LEFT, AND THEN I WILL READ THE LONG LIST OF BOOKS ON MY AMAZON WISHLIST. Yes folks, Winter is, in fact, coming. And, I couldn’t be more excited.

The end of the semester gets hectic. It’s stressful. Your eye will twitch, and your clothes will be dirty, but keep this little tidbit in mind: at about mid-way through January, after the holiday cheer wears off, when all your clothes are folded and hung and they’ve been washed in an actual washing machine, that’s when you’ll start to hear this . . .

I can’t wait for the semester to start. I’ve been so lazy, I could really use a deadline. I miss workshop. I miss my class.

And then it begins again.

Crunch Time

I just took a look at my planner, sifted through syllabi, and realized: THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME. The end of the semester is here, and I’m not sure how …

Creative Writing - Nonfiction MFA Jenn Tatum, jtatumcotamagana@colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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