Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Playing the Waiting Game, Part 1

Observe, an exercise in attempting restraint.

I have the sweetest coworker. She is smiley and friendly, and once made me a cup of tea when I was feeling unwell. She is a marshmallow Peep personified. Every day she asks me how I'm doing and utters those terrifying words, "So...what have you heard from those schools your applied to?".

She is genuinely interested and means well. She is seriously aiding my descent into madness.

A fellow applicant proposed that after your apply to graduate school you should have the option of living in a cave for the next 2-3 months or going Survivor-style on some remote island. I countered that the application packet should have arrived with Xanax. The bottom line is, none of us know anything, and some of us are pretty close to losing it. I mean, my friend would rather roast rats for food than wait any longer. That isn't good.

So when I respond to my coworker, "No, nothing yet," she cheerily replies, "Oh, don't you worry, I bet you'll get in everywhere!". This is the nicest of the mandatory comments, since Option B often sounds a lot like, "Oh, yeah, well, this year is going to be bad because of increased applicants/lack of funding/the massive waitlist/that antelope incident".

The key to surviving conversations with Over-Interested Parties and their Alternative Inflated/Deflated Responses is to try to keep yourself distracted the rest of the time so you only have to think about this exchange for a few moments per day. I aspire to one day be able to answer her, "Huh? Applications? Oh yeah, those things!". So I bring you, 5 ways to keep your sanity and pass the time.

1. Bubble Shooter

This computer game will absolutely help you pass many, many hours in a fun and painless way. All you will be thinking about is how to obliterate all those colorful bubbles.

2. Volunteer

I pet cats and throw Frisbees for dogs once a week. It is quite wonderful. Good for them, good for my blood pressure -- everybody wins!

3. Law and Order

It is on all day, every day and whever you require distraction, Lennie Briscoe and Jack McCoy can deliver. Doink Doink!

4. Read Pages out of the Dictionary

The dictionary is long, absorbing, will amend and augment your abiility to use abnormal or affecting words in an amazing manner. It also improves your talents at alliteration, and every so often you come across a doozy like agonistarch (a coach) or aspectabund (having an expressive face).

5. Bake

I once brought cupcakes to my historiography class and it was great. Worst case scenario here, you're going insane, but you've got cookies.

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