October 14th, 2017

The Benefit of Being a Grad Student

One of the good things about being a grad student in Political Science when you work for a U. S. Senator is sometimes you are studying the Senate and the readings your do are relevant to something happening right now.  That happened this week and it felt good. But I still have decisions to make.

I am fully expecting to fail my Political Methodology midterm.  My graduate advisor said he liked my certainty on that.  You have to expect the worst and prepare for the best.  If you recall, I failed my methods midterm last year and ended up with a B- in the class. So how can I do that here, expecting the worst and hoping for the best?

Here are the options.  I stick it out no matter what the test score. That comes with a lot of stress, my Crohn’s disease is already flaring up, but the final is paper and pencil and I will do better on that and I’ll turn in the homework every week and participate in class.  It all the stars line up, I can make it through.  And since I’m considering stepping out to help on a campaign next year, if I make a C in the class, I can come back in in the Spring of 2019 and pick up where I left off.  Logistically, this is the best alternative. Or, I can drop the class and start over again next Fall. Decisions, decisions.

Of course, I have split advice on this.  My professors (I’ll be meeting with them again next week, not just emailing, before the withdraw deadline) and colleagues who’ve finished the class want me to stay in the class. I’m meeting with the new dean next week, also, so I’ll get him to weigh in. My family and friends, most of which have advanced degrees and know the level of work involved here, think I should withdraw, regroup and start over next year. Literally, my gut is churning just writing and thinking about this. It’s a conundrum.

What’s in store for this weekend? Reading, writing and email and then math homework, math reading and hair pulling. I will work in a little family time but I will be sending out for dinner and not cooking. I will spend a little time with God and ask Him what he thinks.

Oh, and UGA plays Missouri! Go Dawgs! 7-0!