Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Scott Wylan, Eat Your Heart Out

Why is it, that I haven't updated my blog since handing in my thesis? I'm not sure I have a good answer for that, although there might be some truth to be found in this conversation I had on the street with a former professor.

Prof: So are you getting ready to graduate?
Me: Yeah, I'm finishing stuff up. Just finished my thesis. Handed it in today.
Prof: Cool! Are you glad to be done?
Me: Yeah, but not that it's done, I'm not quite sure what to do with my free time.
Prof: It's called post-partum depression, I think. It'll pass eventually.
Me: Heh, something like that.
Prof: Well, good talking to you. I'll see you around
Me: Yup, sounds good. Bye.

Likening a thesis or any work of writing or art to giving birth isn't the most original thing in the world, but damn it, I really don't know what to do now. I mean, I have physiology, but I don't really care about bio classes at this point. I just want my degree, damn it. So this thesis was really the last thing I had to do. And now it's over.

I returned my books, all fifty or so, and now the only physical trace of the thesis is the bound copy that I got to keep. And I'm almost afraid to touch it.

I stress about the potential that there were grammatical errors, and that I didn't footnote enough, and that I might have forgotten to include a source in the bibliography that I parenthetically document in the text, but for all intents and purposes, it's over. I'm moderately concerned about that last part, and also that I might not get the requisite grade I need in order to actually get the honors credit, but there isn't really work involved with that. Just mindless paranoia.

I really am detached from this thing now, and I don't know what to think about it. I was working on this for over six months, really. My proposal went in a year ago, and I was doing (some) research over the summer. This fall and winter, I was literally living and breathing John Milton Studies. Sure, that sounds boring to most people, but I was immersed. I'd wake up wondering if my chapter on the Son of God's formation of subjectivity made any sense. I'd go to sleep trying to remember the name of a critic that wrote some article in Milton Studies. But no more.

Unless I go to grad school for Early Modern Studies, there's basically no reason for me to read Milton Studies or Milton Quarterly or anything like that again. I might go back to Paradise Lost or some of Milton's other stuff, but I don't need to concern myself with the criticism anymore. But the funny thing is, I liked concerning myself with the criticism.

The scariest thing of all? I don't know if baseball and Spring Training is necessarily going to make up for it. I mean, watching a Sox game on NESN or a Mets game isn't going to have the same immediacy and significance of writing a part of my senior thesis. I can live vicariously through Pedro Martinez's arm all I want, but in the end, I don't get anything besides emotional satisfaction out of baseball - that is to say, no money, nothing tangible.

The only thing I can think of to get over it is to keep writing. Short stories perhaps, or just random thoughts in this blog. I need to get over the end of the thesis and just move on to something else. It's hard. So here goes.


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