Jason and I were musing on the fact that most of my spring break was spent sick. Long gone were the days of the rage – the party – the mini dress. As I parade around old town in my skinny jeans and soggy flats I scold myself for thinking twenty six were twenty one. They are distant cousins, barely speak the same language, they are strangers. I crawled into bed and passed out and developed a fever. It was the universe telling me that it was time to check out.
As the fever slips away and the sunshine breaks through the traditional Portlandian cloudset, there is a ding. There are a lot of dings lately. Internship dings. Blog dings. Friend dings. I sleep with my phone in another room these days.
ATTN: Serious business. Very important school stuff. Click if you want to graduate.
I paraphrase, alas. I enter the black orb of doom. One six page syllabus detailing one thirty page paper. Fourteen sources. Please think critically about what you’ve learned over the past x number of years and tell us what you’d like to expand on. I imagine a girl somewhere with every paper she’s ever written, nicely tucked in a stack in a file folder in her desk. Named, dated, gently sticky-noted with her thoughts. I draw a blank glaze and spit runs down my face.
I have written a paper before, I know I have. Certainly I can remember one thing I’ve written about in the last 8 years. Eight. Years. Can I have my degree, now? Could you call this a draw?
I’ve written about abstinence education. I’ve written about sexual fluidity. I’ve written about masculinity, surely… but what else? What was the thesis? Did I ever really write those papers or did my fingers do all the work, click-clacking with whatever strings of letters they thought made sense?
So the sickness fades away and next week the last term of college appears over the horizon like the final battle. That’s the question that remains. What did I learn, and what did I like learning about so much that I want to write thirty pages about it? What am I so interested in that I could bare to spend ten weeks researching it and fine-tuning it? What will I breathe life into? What will breathe life back into me?