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It’s been another rough week. I’m still not caught up with all of my reading, blogging, studying, OR sleeping. Last night I got only four hours of sleep, in fact. I try not to be bitter, but I don’t try hard, do I?

Today is the dawn of the living dead. I had class last night until 9:00pm and read until 1:00am when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer without the help of toothpicks. I slept for about four hours, guilty-dozed that is, until about 5:00am this morning when I crawled out of bed and studied some more until I had to leave for school around 7:30. My 8:00am Capstone class was doing mock interviews in the library with our intrepid teacher, and did I mention she is the same professor that I had last night at 9:00 for my comp class? I don’t know why the two of us don’t save gas and time and just slumber party in her office. Yes I do, we’d both miss our hubbies and our kitties!

My 10:00am class was a lecture on the history of Christian thought with a discussion group thrown in for good measure.  You can sound really smart by saying what I did during discussion; here’s how.  Put your index finger over your lips and move it rapidly up and down while emitting a low tone.  You should hear gibberish. I’m pretty certain that was all I was capable of.

I was dreading working this afternoon for a friend and co-worker at the hospital so that she could leave early to watch her son run a cross country meet, but I owed her, and no good deed goes unpunished as “they” say!  (Who IS “they” by the way?  I’ve always wondered.)  I can’t even say I’m running on fumes anymore, because I didn’t eat anything to produce any fumes. Probably a good thing in retrospect!

My one light-in-the-darkest-day moment came at our weekly “Knit and Lit” meeting in the College dining room at noon. Originally planned as a service project for Sigma Tau Delta members to come together and make scarves to sell for worthy causes while listening to good literature, it has evolved into an “anyone is welcome to come and craft with us while listening to good books” break in the day. A few loyal students, like myself, show up weekly, but many of our faculty has begun to join us as well. Today, we were twelve women strong. We pushed three tables together in an unspoken sign of solidarity and settled in. At least three of us were PhD’s with me being the PhD wannabe. Our academic student affairs dean read from her well-loved book of women’s world poetry to honor the first two Nobel Prize winners announced yesterday. She read everything from Haiku to French love poetry, as the binding from her book slowly disintegrated on the table it was resting on. Well-loved, indeed.

Listening to her beautiful, musical voice read age-old poetry, all my cares fell away. I sat peacefully knitting with my comrades. People who I’ve had the pleasure of learning from. Women I admire and want to emulate. Professors who were once tired overwhelmed students just like me and who once functioned on four hours of sleep at some point, maybe less. They probably STILL have those nights. After all, it follows that a sleepless night writing a paper would result in a sleepless night grading it, especially during midterms and finals.

You know what I learned? I’m not alone. These amazing women achieved their goals and dreams through hard work and perseverance, and I will too with their help, experience, and nurture. It takes a village to raise a PhD. Thank God mine consists of the wonderful women it does. Sure, I’m tired and cranky, but on days like today, I also know that I am truly blessed. So pick up a good book and a skein of yarn for yourself; you’ll be feeding your soul and recharging your battery. It works even better if you do this with the strong women in your life.