Well my friends…I did not get the fellowship. But I am fully funded (with health, dental, and visual insurance of my very own) so I’m a happy camper. In fact, I think it’s better this way to be honest (and I’m not just saying that to make myself feel better). I really do believe that I need to break out of my comfort zone. Thus far in my ever-lengthening graduate career I have been on fellowships many a time. I’m comfortable there. But truthfully, it can also be an isolating experience: while the rest of my cohort would talk about their classes and students, I had nothing to add. Moreover, in my past departments, being one of the select few on a fellowship meant that many people were rather pissy with me when the issue of funding arose. It’s not fair, because I worked my arse off to get that money, but there you have it. So in many respects, I’m rather looking forward to being right on par with everyone else. I’ll get great teaching experience, my tuition is paid for, I’ll get to know my fellow students a lot better, and….I have an excuse to leave my current position (huzzah!).
So all in all, I think I have been incredibly lucky and the best is yet to come. Thankfully, the “best” includes spring break next week. Although I still have to show up to work every day, I have a whole week to dedicate to my research projects (one of which is floundering a bit) and to catch my breath. Hah! I say that now, but I can guarantee you, in a couple of weeks I’ll be shaking my head in a bewildered fashion, wondering where all my time went. For now, I’m getting ready to dive into the second half of George Meredith’s The Egoist (I have to finish it by Thursday); Edward Bellamy’s rather trippy novel Looking Backward, 2000-1887 (pub. 1888); and Pope’s Rape of the Lock. The fun never ends chez Loose Baggy Monster!