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A Late Night of Year 3

October 19, 2010

Here is a day of year three. Woke up at 8am, after about 6 hours of sleeping. Made eggs, drank café, ran to graduate seminar. Lecture course till 12:30. Lunch. Prepare for discussion section (I run discussion sections for undergraduates). It is dark now. quick bite, jump in library and work on a grant application. Self doubt, stress, anxiety, with the occasional “si, si, vas bien cabron.” 2am, more stress, loud undergrads, loud library, time to go home.

I exit and run into a good friend who just turned in his prospectus. It’s been a long day for both of us, which only augments our ridiculousness. “I just can’t figure out the stakes. I don’t think I have a ‘thread’ that links the ideas.” I tell him. Then, 

“Cabron, forget about conceptual framework, I can’t even spell Foucault.” He laughs and loudly. I can’t spell for shit, but his laugh is sorta like an I know what you mean, and but can’t help you man. His laugher slowly stops and he looks up as if some brilliant suggestion is about to emerge and then utters: “Reza un padre nuestro o canta una ave maria.” Our conversation slowly descends into all the grants, post-docs, and jobs we are never going to get. That great book we are never going to write. We’ve succeeded in collectively venting and imagined the worst possible outcome. Then I hear “hey boss, hey boss.” I turn. It’s a skinny African American man who stands on a street corner near the meeting point of Harlem and Morningside Heights. I used to live near there and would always give him change or a dollar bill. Today, for some reason he is crossing the campus. “How you been man? How are you,” he asks. “Good, good, I moved man,” as I reach into my pocket for some change. “Yeah, Yeah, but how are you boss. You doing alright” we shake hands, I respond “I’m good man.” He isn’t convinced, “Boss be good. Boss maybe get a beer.” He slowly walks away. Happy and friendly as usual.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Elizabeth permalink
    July 19, 2011 4:19 am

    I read this blog and it made me smile:)…Boss…all your hard will pay off!

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