One of the things I was not looking forward to when I started my Ph.D. three years ago (THREE??) was all of the time I knew I'd need to spend by myself. I don't mind being alone if I choose it, but when I MUST be alone in order to accomplish my work, sometimes it drives me crazy, freaks me out, no Ida wanna, help lemme off this ship, etc.
During my master's degree, a friend of mine and I would study together every Saturday morning and afternoon, at a cafe that sold good food, lots of coffee, and constant classical music in the background. We'd essentially be alone TOGETHER, studying different subjects but keeping each other company. We'd CRANK. IT was a good routine to establish.
I've not really established that here in this program, probably because I do spend much of my time studying at home. I enjoy my home office, and I like hearing my wife and child in the background. But sometimes it's easier to escape the notion of mowing the lawn or being distracted by other things I'd rather do by getting out of the house. Some of my beloved work colleagues study in our office. Now, for an office at a state university, it's not too shabby. We each get our own desk, our own computer, and our own phone. Some of us share small offices, but it's OK...better than a cube in a large room, and better than sharing a computer like many GAs do that I know. However, more power to them for the focus they have: it's still a cinder-block residence hall converted into an office. The place drives me nuts on the weekends: so quiet and isolated.
Here I sit in one of my favorite SCT hangouts, ALONE, but near others doing the same thing I'm doing: enjoying a sandwich for lunch, drinking the free refils on coffee, and connected to the free wireless service. Oh yeah, and I am going to crank out some work too, right after I'm done with this post. I LOVE this place, and I'm glad I've realized the way I learn, study, and spend time alone the best.
If I ever finish this degree, and when I get a high-paying job, I swear I'm gonna send a big tip to this little cafe.
Stress level: relatively high (lots of work today)
Mood: surprisingly calm & contented, probably because of the atmosphere around this place