- Have a party, but then:
- Come up with an extremely disciplined writing and research schedule and stick to it perfectly (ha)
- Come up with a pretty workable writing schedule, complemented by the occasional all-nighter to meet a deadline
- Bake more
- Start my own Great British Bake-Off (working title: The Kate British Bake-Off)
- Skate more
- Re-learn how to land an axel
- Come up with a skating routine that I can do right after I defend my dissertation and my whole committee will watch and clap and cheer and be like THIS IS THE HEIGHT OF INTERDISCIPLINARITY
- Shoot my own version of I, Tonya where I am Tonya
- Get sued by Margot Robbie probably
- Work on my memoir
- Meet Reese Witherspoon
- Meet Nicole Kidman
- Befriend Nicole Kidman by becoming her dialect coach for a movie where she’s playing a German lady and then we travel the world and do yoga together and she tells me all about Tom Cruise and Scientology
- Hopefully write a dissertation
Let me get something out of the way: I fail at being kind. I say mean things about people, sometimes to their faces, more often behind their backs. I think bad things all the time. I am full of Schadenfreude.
But I do aim for being kind as much as I can. And honestly, when we have a president who is a literal bully and a figurative fucking asshole, let’s aim for a little more kindness in this world!
This spring, I got depressed, and I spent the summer finding my way back out of it. I’ve now had some distance from it, and I’ve started talking to more people about it, so today, on World Mental Health Day, I’m writing about it.
We are eight weeks into the spring semester, and I am so tired.
Maybe you’re looking at the title of this post and thinking, “how is this academic? This is just some girl mad about some pop culture thing!” A) You’re sort of right but also B) It is VERY academic, and here’s why: Since learning about Tonya Harding at an early age – I discovered her name on a list of people banned for life from competing in USFSA-sanctioned events – I was obsessed, and I researched her thoroughly. Any time I had to do some kind of biographical presentation in school, it was about Tonya. In high school, I found out my figure skating coach was IN THE RINK when Nancy Kerrigan got hit (he heard the screaming!!!), which only made me feel closer to the saga. I have seen the 30 for 30 doc on Tonya a whole bunch of times. If I could find some remote way to connect her to the German Studies world, believe me, I would, and I’d write a dissertation on her.
The Unbearable Like-ness of Bae-ing is a semi-regular column where we write about whatever baes we like at present. We will not apologize for the name.
Right now I’m taking a course on Werner Herzog, who is possibly my favorite figure in German cinema – not necessarily for his movies, but for his pop culture presence. He has inspired a parody Twitter account. He was in an episode of Parks and Rec. Paul F. Tompkins does a regular impression of him. His documentary filmmaking, and filmmaker persona, are parodied in The Penguins of Madagascar. Most Germanists I know can do a pretty serviceable impression of him: just say some stuff about the brutality of nature and the chaos of existence in a vaguely Bavarian accent, and you’re good.
Grad school can at times be a stressful, sad, rage-inducing, isolating, and occasionally boring experience. I’m glad I have a great support system – my family, friends, cohort, mentors, and colleagues – to get me through it. Pop culture is a big part of my support system, too; it’s a good way to escape the world of academia, and sometimes finds its way into my research. Here is a list of some of the things that have, thus far, gotten me through my MA and PhD: