I think the thing I like best about not working full time is the way I only rarely have to wake up at what most people consider a decent hour. Or, more accurately, I can if I want to but if I don’t, no one yells at me but me. This is akin to that feeling you get when you’re an adult and no one tells you not to have ice cream for dinner except yourself when you’re starving an hour later or when you see the scale that next time. I have no problem telling you that I often had the kind of boss who after you got to work ten minutes late a few times, called you into his office for “the talk.” Most bosses are like this and I guess they should be. I’m more of a “as long as I get the work done, who cares?” kind of person. I was lucky enough to have had a few bosses over the years where this worked out fine, but it was rare.
Now my life is like that. My classes are all at night so if I hope to get the schoolwork done I have to get up in time to do it. And if I don’t actually go, I only get in trouble with myself. My work time is flexible except for one meeting I must attend one morning a week. It’s pretty awesome.
I’ve mentioned that most of my doctors are in Westchester and what I’d have to do to see them under the old “must be at work at X o’clock” system was to wake up at the crack of dawn, take a train to Westchester, see the doctor, and get back on the train with all the regular commuters to the city who hadn’t lived half their day already. Now I don’t have to do that! Last week I booked a 12:15 appointment…. what heaven! No fight for seats, no, “OMG, I’m waiting for a Metro North train and the sun hasn’t even risen,” and no paying the pricey peak fare.
A funny thing happens, though, when you’re not the first appointment of the day. Life happens to other people and they get shoved in before you. 12:15 turned into 1 turned into 1:30. Then I got moved to an exam room and waited some more. Now, I’m aware of this and it has happened to me at other doctors’ offices, but I never had the opportunity to see exactly how far behind this particular office gets before. I may have to go back to the crack of dawn method.
When you go to school, making friends is a little on your mind. It’s strange, but work is not like this. If you start a new job, you hope that you get along with people, but you don’t really imagine you’ll see them in an extra-curricular fashion or hang out with them on your own time. In school, it’s different. I’ve said that I really like my cohort, which is good because I see them often. I have my classes with mostly the same people and we run into each other in the departmental office and ruminate over why no one ever participates in That One Class. I’ve made one particular friend and we went out for dinner the other night and then coffee. It was supposed to be just dinner (where are you? 2nd floor library. Where are you? Lounge. Dinner? YES.) but at one point late in the meal she got this strange look on her face and indicated to me that the professor we had just been talking about was one table over. This is the trouble with going out to eat right near the university. So we hastily got our check and moved onto one of those arty coffee shops every university has where we proceeded to each get the most basic coffee and split one pastry. I could see the waitress mentally roll her eyes. Students! Then we proceeded to go back to talking about the professor from the previous restaurant and, oh yes, what the hell we were going to do with the rest of our lives
Right now, I’m going out of my mind as the semester comes down to crunch time. But as I scanned my calendar to see final due dates, I happened to notice a funny thing: there is no school from mid-December to mid-January and I have nothing to do for a month! My job is at the university so I don’t have that to do either. I’m not really sure the last time I had a month off from commitments. High school? First year of college? Weird! I’ve had a kind offer of subsidized travel to Israel but it’s still mostly beyond my means at the moment. I’m considering my next most exciting offer, laying on the sofa for a month with several DVD boxed sets, my laptop, and a case of Pop Chips.
Can’t think about that now, though. According to my calendar, I’m ten minutes late for starting my Java project!
In honor of this post, I’ve started a new tag I should have added a while ago: Student Life. Oooooh. Aaaaah.