Skip to content

Mid-century Modernism

If the color is careless It seems that one of my ideas has been noticed by brass and now I will be traveling to the corporate headquarters for weeks at a time throughout spring semester. Which is really cool, because hello IKEA and Nordstrom and Trader Joes, but also sort of not cool because a) more work, b) not enough professionally fabulous outfits (although that is easily fixed by the proximity to the Best Shopping Ever) and c) I would have to miss at least four weeks of class.

Thus, my very happy first day of school on Tuesday became full of questions and surprises. First of all, I had forgotten that I HAD studied Modernism as an undergraduate and also that I really fucking hate Modernism. Apparently, I had blocked them from my mind because of all the hatred.

Blinders are beautiful things, but sometimes they bite you in the ass.

I was fully willing to plug onward, but looking at the syllabus and reading load and level of participation required, it was painfully obvious that my travel schedule would prevent me from giving the class the attention it required. And also, the Modernism’ oy vey, it makes me roll my eyes.

Dear Modernism,
Really, I’m sorry. I tried. It’s not you, it’s me. Stay gold.
Wendy Wimmer

PS. Your plums, they were delicious so sweet and so cold.

So, fine. Really, I couldn’t imagine any professor cheerfully allowing me to be absent for four weeks of semester. The clear answer would be an independent project. I asked a few professors, but everyone plead that they had an overflowing schedule. I talked with my advisor, Dr. O.Henry, and he too was slated for a miserable spring. He suggested that I take off a semester and work on my writing. Which would be fine for most English majors, but my goal-oriented Type A personality is already frustrated that I got into this program two years later than I should have and also that I only have enough time in my life to take one class per semester, thus taking double the amount of time to earn my Master’s. I’m the same person who took 18-24 credits every semester, plus full loads during summer and intersession, just so that I could blow through my undergrad work as quickly as possible. Take a semester off? Inconceivable. But then, maybe that word doesn’t mean what I think it means.

After sending e-mails to anyone I knew with letters after their name (including the nefarious Dr. Frank, just for grins) everyone said no. Yesterday afternoon, I went home and sulked into my computer screen for a half hour, despite my plan to catch up on housework and (fucking) laundry before leaving for the lands of flatness. If I’m going to be honest, there may have been a frustrated tear or two. And then, fine, I resigned myself to the reality that this is what happens when you try to have it all and that these are the choices I made when I decided not to sacrifice a paycheck to go to school and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to take a semester off. Because after all, look at all the (fucking) laundry I’d now have time to do.

Then I got an e-mail from my darling professor last semester. She mentioned that everyone had their back up against a wall and weren’t accepting independent projects, but if I was willing to truly work independently, she would work with me during her office hours. I assured her that I would be very low maintenance and she replied that I could go ahead and register. To which we jump up and down and scream and start crying like we just got a call from the governor with a stay of execution.

I’m not quite sure why my school stuff brings up such anxiety. I think something very fundamental in my psyche got damaged during the All Encompassing quest to get into graduate school. But thankfully, all is well and yay, I don’t have to take a semester off because of stupid work. I heart Professor Darling. She’ll probably never fully know how much.