It's THAT point in the semester, excuse me, term (the debate about whether semester or quarter is preferable will have to come at another point). You know that point....it's the brutal part of grad school, when it's hard to believe in the achievability of your dreams or, in the PNW, when it feels like you will NEVER see the sun again (vitamin D supplements here I come!).
You can also recognize it, because facebook status messages almost all talk about how the writer feels stupid/incapable/insert you favorite undermining head talk here. One of the comforting and scary things to me is that we ALL feel this way at some point. Including our professors/mentors. Comforting in that I'm not a psychotic weirdo, scary in that evidently this is something I/we will always have to combat.
Having already been in grad school for 4 years (starting the 5th), I can at least recognize the cycle for what it is. It comes after months of constant mental and physical exhaustion and the constant (mostly) constructive criticism that is so much a part of the grad school process. So whenever I have a day like today, when you believe you'll always be one of those people with unfulfilled potential or always sit on the musical or academic sidelines (can you tell I've been watching a lot of college football lately), I have started to ask myself, "What motivates that feeling?" Is it because I'm not really living up to my potential in some area, or is it because I (stupidly) stayed up till 2 am trying to finish grading 150 papers with 4 essays each, forgot to leave some bit of heat on last night so I woke at 6:30 am in a cold apartment, and walked outside in yet another day of cold and wet, to go to an 8am remedial aural skills class I feel a tiny bit disappointed I have to take in the first place? I may have a fear of not living up to my "potential," but more than likely, the girl from the Deep South is cold and tired and a little disgusted with herself for having to take remedial aural skills, and really wanting to make good music with other people.
Does that make it _feel_ any better? Unfortunately, no. But it does make me sit down, and move _through_ that feeling, because cerebrally I know I won't feel like this forever.
In other news, I have finally nailed down smaller concrete topics for the two papers I have to write: 1) Authority in Irish Traditional Music and 2) Gendering Accompaniment in ITM after the Revival.
Peace, Love, and Tunes,