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Did you miss me? You know you missed me.

I’m back on campus for real now. Last week was dedicated to meeting people, the people I’ve been used to hang out with around school having gone home at the end of our masters program. (Of course, we don’t actually graduate until November, but it’s not stopping me from starting my doctorate.) Today, however, I bagged a desk in my PhD office, which so far contains a nice mix of empty (though colonized) desks and really friendly, yet un-noisy, fellow scholars.I met with my adviser to set the agenda for my next two weeks.

When I say “agenda”, of course, what I really mean is “reading list”. And do you know who’s really excited about that? I am. I get to read about linguistics for pleasure and my own edification for a while, instead of skimming for text bites and key-points-in-five-words-or-less. This is what academia is like when it isn’t 14-hour days and panic. This is the autumn rush, the pleasant glow of confidence with which a scholar greets every school year. 

I also, with great effort, picked up my laptop. Not that the line was particularly long or the process difficult. The laptop, a MacBook Pro, just weighs a ton. (It’s a hard life.) Since students who are seldom in the building don’t keep permanent desk space, PhD students are allotted loaner laptops for the duration of their program. We get macs, presumably because they dual boot with macOS and Windows, and are thus reasonably user-neutral. The three other PhD students in the room  all boot Windows most of the time, calling into doubt the adage that “once you go mac, you never go back”. I always did have my doubts.

The rest of my day has been spent in administrative details. Exit counseling for student loans is terrifying. I tell you, it’s traumatic. Although no more traumatic than actually living in the real world for three years. Sadly, the insouciant cluelessness that graces one’s college years does not bother with grad students. We’re like grown-ups, but without the income. The work is better, though.