School is Hard, and I’m Not Yet a Robot

I am old enough that I am not surprised that my hair is going gray, and I am young enough that I am still annoyed by it. When I got my last haircut, the barber was nice enough to say to me while she had me at the mercy of her scissors “Oh, you’re losing your hair,” and she was also so kind as to point out that not only was I losing some hair, but the hair I was keeping was slowly being drained of its color. That was a while ago, but the conclusion I came to then is the same that I’ve come to now. I am dying.

This is my new roommate, and he says I should have seen this coming and also drank less

It’s my fault really. I’ve begged for death for reasons as varied as losing my favorite pen to being debilitatingly hungover at a tea shop. “Guess I’ll just die then” is my internal mantra of unhealthy conflict resolution, and now it’s caught up with me.

I’ve heard them called ‘the grad school grays’ which, upon further research, is not inspired by scholarly aliens visiting college campuses and is actually just what people call going gray during grad school. Still, I’m annoyed that I can see my mortality so clearly in the mirror. I’d much rather see nothing in the mirror and confirm my suspicions that I am, in fact, a vampire.

my role model

I remember in high school when one of my English teachers was giving the class a serious talk about the nature of death and the path from innocence to maturity, bildungsroman stuff that bored me then too. Still, my reaction to the idea of death has not changed a whole lot since I was an innocent little doofus. When I imagine dying, when I think of everything just being over, of joining the collected dead of humanity, of being nothing, I have always responded by really wanting to be a robot. Even now, I cannot deny the appeal of abandoning my moist flesh casket for a sleek, metallic, fully-customizable and eternally viable robot body. I could abandon my shitty hairline for a literal chrome dome. I could forsake my potential to be a silver haired for the possibility of being literally silver. I could live forever, and I could finally be the equal to the appliances I respect most: the toaster, fridge, even my kettle.

It’s strange to think that I am voluntarily, eagerly even, participating in something that is forcing my body to an early decay. School is hard, and so is teaching, and I’m enjoying the prolonged adventure of watching my body waste away in direct proportion to how much better my resume is getting; for every gray hair, I get a little more employable. Though school and work are generally fun and worth doing, they do leave me with a lot less time than I’d like. Ideally, I would never have to sleep, or eat, or stop working, and there would be an extra 6 hours tacked onto every day devoted specifically to petting cats. But there is no 6 hour cat time, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t stay awake for much longer than a regular human, and my attempts to abandon my humanity have not been met with success as proven by my inability to recharge at a power outlet.

I’ve wanted to stuck my finger into an outlet during exactly two stages of my life: childhood and grad school.

This is all to say, unfortunately, that I’ll be writing a bit less here. It’s weird to say that I’m cutting back on writing when I know just how much writing I’ll still be doing for school, but I think this is more a cut back on the writing I do to keep myself sane, and the writing I’ll be doing instead is to keep me employed. Sanity and employability are not always compatible.

On a lighter note, this may be my last lapse in writing. After this year, I’ll be hurled into the workforce–at least until I decide to really hurt myself and go in for a PhD. For the next few months, I’ll try to post a few times a week, and I’ll try not to forget about the decent people who live in my screen who have made writing a little more fun lately.

Thanks, everyone,

– Nes

14 Replies to “School is Hard, and I’m Not Yet a Robot”

  1. I will keep my eyes out for your posts whenever you can find the time. As to your hair issues, my advice is to deal with it. Either that or look for the local chapter of the Hair Club for Men. I’ve heard they’re holding a membership drive.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Doh, I’ve just found you too, but you gotta do what you gotta do! I love your style of writing and have really enjoyed what I’ve found so far. I’ve recklessly nominated you for an award. Paying forward my own nomination to those that have made me giggle/think/filled my heart. You can ignore it, accept it quietly and graciously, or throw a party and show off 🙂 Either way, tis done and forgive that I’m commenting with these exact same words on my other nominations as I can’t find a better way of putting it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’ll miss you, but the knowledge that you are accruing additional post fodder during this time of trials will sustain us…at least for a while. Wishing you the best as you beat those students into submission and remember that bald is sexy…unless you are a cat. If you are a cat, being bald would be sad. Unless you are a hairless cat. If you are a hairless cat, carry on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keep at it. Write your blog when you need a dose of sanity, because we all need a dose of your humor! But, on a more serious note, thank you for realiziing that teaching/grad school and writing your blog, or a book for that matter, might be incompatible. At least you realize you need to pay attention to your professional life and your students. I know some who don’t and just keep on writing, keep on writing, keep on writing…….If I were this person’s administrator, I’d be looking closely at that classroom. Sorry, I digress. Venting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was sad to realize I had to slow down on my own writing, but if I don’t give as much time to my students and my classes as they need, everyone involved will suffer a lot, and I’d end up even grumpier than I am now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You could decide to have yourself frozen in liquid nitrogen until technology can bring you back to life ; its big business now but quite expensive. It could be that very soon, according to Ray Kurzweil; your mind might be downloaded to preserve the real you, the very thoughts you have. Just think about it there is no need for your blogging to ever end , and by that time there will be huge memory reserves handled by Google on the moon. Ah immortality is possible but I suspect the rich may corner the market so Mr Average will have to be content with a suitable carved epitaph.

    Liked by 1 person

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