My title sums how I feel about my first semester. If you want to really torture or wear yourself down grad school is the perfect place to go. All you will do is read and write papers. Your whole existence for a semester will be that you have to read this book or that article by Wednesday and be prepared to discuss it in class. I don't know what I was thinking after a seven year absence from university level work I decided to go back for my Master's. It's tough going back. It's hard to pick up where you left off. I often wondered if there was anything left in my brain or if I could will myself to finish that ten page paper by next day's deadline. All in all life is about picking yourself up and not quitting. I can't tell you how many time I wanted to give up. One thing stopping me is I would be throwing a thousand dollars down the drain, and the other is I can build upon what I did this semester.
Case in point, I finished a 10 page research paper for class. I was methodically about the research. I looked at every possible angle. I checked out 10 books here, printed 5 articles there. Returned the ones no good and chucked the articles that were not relevant. I think I did this for a month. I then put everything down on note cards and came up with the outline. In the middle of all this I developed a cyst on my back and the thing burst. So I ended up in the emergency room and was sidelined at the moment I was about to write the paper. I was keeping my fingers crossed that I could pull out a decent paper. I nervously finished it on time and e-mailed the prof my paper. Got an e-mail from the prof the next day and I was shaking as I clicked the link. I was thrilled that he thought it was a good paper, thought the research paper was impressive and the only thing that he didn't like was that I needed to edit the paper better. I'm taking it, for me the whole experience is not about the grade. It's about learning and re-learning how to do everything all over again. For those of you who are thinking of going to grad school or are. I feel your pain! I'd love to hear your perspectives on your experience, but I have a feeling when we are at the end of this journey and at graduation in our cap and gown we're going to think it was so worth it!