I think that I’m developing ADHD these days. Seriously, I can’t do something for more than about ten minutes before I’m on to something else. Then I’m bouncing back to the first thing, and then — ooh, look, shiny! I don’t know if it’s a function of teaching kids for whom attention is an issue almost by definition. I don’t know if I just am truly losing the ability to focus. I don’t know if I do it to myself, because I allow it to continue rather than forcing myself to just shut up and, Eddie Izzard would say, “pay a-bloody-tension, all right?” I do it in conversations; I topic-hop like a madwoman. I have a hell of a time finishing knitting and spinning projects because I focus for about ten minutes before I remember something else I need to do or want to look up or have to say to someone. It’s rough. (Seriously, it’s taken me half an hour to write this paragraph because I stopped twice to look for that icon of Louie the Llama over there and then thought I didn’t have it so I went to make one and then I remembered that I did have it but had saved it as something else, and while I was at it, I really should organize my icons on LJ itself, huh?)
…Where was I going with this?
Oh, yeah. As you can imagine, this really makes a lot of things a little more difficult than they have been for me in the past. Grad school applications, for one. Because no one in a position of power has realized yet that a good deal of the application process for grad school (regardless of school or program) is the same, there’s no common application. That means that even though I’m only applying to four schools, I need to register for four different online app systems, and fill in my name, address, contact information, residency information, GRE scores, and resume/CV stuff four freaking times. Of course, none of the online app systems have the same requirements for username and password length, so I have four different usernames and passwords I have to keep track of. All four schools have different personal statement requirements and prompts. Everybody has different requirements for letters of recommendation, even!
That’s the piece I started with first. I have time yet to refine my personal statements and answer all the specific little prompts, but the rec letters are out of my control as soon as I pass them off to my letter writers. I’m a control freak, so that makes me nervous, especially because the last time I applied, I had a flaky professor who almost didn’t submit letters for me because she forgot. I don’t think I’ll have that problem this time, because two of my letter writers are my bosses and the third one is my very favorite professor from undergrad who I know is responsible and thorough and who I’ve been in touch with since I graduated and will even be invited to my wedding, whenever that show gets on the road. What worries me is giving everybody enough time to write my letters and fill out the crazy specific forms for each school. So what I’m doing today is printing out all the forms, filling in my portions, addressing envelopes, writing up instructions, and putting it all together. Sounds simple, but it totally is not. One school wants them submitted online. Another one wants them mailed with your application; a third wants it sent directly to the admissions office. Somebody else needs a cover letter included.
(Oh, and did I mention that the official forms for three out of four of my big-name schools contained typos? Not mine, but the administration’s. I’m pretty sure that the only reason the 4th one didn’t have any typos is because it didn’t have a form. That’s right up with UPenn’s “Dear Appliciant” letter, or the UC San Diego debacle, where they sent a congratulations on admission letter to students they rejected. If y’all expect my personal statement and CV to be typo-free, then please get your shit together and spellcheck your own forms. Kthnxbai. Applikayshun cat is irritated.)
I totally don’t have the organizational skills for this anymore. Part of it is that I cannot focus just on the rec letters. Along the way, while I was printing out forms, I also printed scholarship/assistantship applications for two schools, changed my mind about which program to apply to for one school, looked at faculty research, and tried to make decisions I totally am not equipped to make and truthfully don’t need to make right now. I’m kind of convinced this is the reason that I slept for maybe 60 minutes total on Friday night. There’s a reason “2000 Watts” has been looping on my iTunes this weekend:
2000 watts, 8 ohms, 200 volts, real strong / too much of that, fuse blown / be careful what you say, don’t overload
– Michael Jackson, “2000 Watts,” Invincible
Indeed. Fuse blown.
Good thing Rhinebeck is next weekend! I need a weekend away from grad school and paper and applications and forms. I need some hobo-hunting with my Lloyd, driving in the country with the volume up, yarn-buying, and llama petting!
Mirrored from winged orange.