Tonight, Jordan and I went over to the home of one of my classmates to watch a film for our class: Aguirre: The Wrath of God. As we walked up to their store front-turned-studio apartment (really…I thought it was an abandoned bookstore at first) I confessed that I was a little bummed about having to spend Saturday night watching a homework movie (I know, I shouldn’t complain about watching a movie for homework). But it turned out to be a lot of fun – mostly because we spent the majority of the film adding silly commentary and laughing at how unintentionally funny it was. Think German Monty Python Conquistadors riding rafts down a river in the jungle, and you sort of get it. Aguirre at times resembled an angry muppet, Igor welcoming visitors to Castle Frankenstein, and a Jack Sparrow type with delusions of divine authority.
We ate chips and salsa, doughnuts, macaroni and cheese (from Trader Joe’s frozen section; the best not-homemade mac and cheese you’ll ever have). S, the girl who hosted, often led the comedic banter. I appreciated being able to take schoolwork a little less seriously. Of course, I think it’s important to be serious about school, but I’ve had negative experiences in the past of letting schoolwork become more burdensome than beneficial.
My freshman year of college, I was in a rigorous honors program at a different university. I didn’t work, and my other classes were fairly easy and lower-level, so most of my time was devoted to work for my honors classes. It was not uncommon for me to spend three or four hours prepping for a single class session.
Now, however, I’m married, I’m taking eighteen credit hours and several challenging courses, and I’ve got a new, demanding job. I don’t spend as much time working on – or worrying about – any one facet of my schoolwork because I simply don’t have the time. It’s freeing to have these limits, and I feel less guilty about not spending three hours on a task because I know I gave it as much time as I could afford. I suppose that getting married and growing up a little bit over the last three years has given me a more realistic attitude about school as well: it’s important part of my life, but it’s not the only part of my life, and certainly not the most important part.
Know your limits, know your priorities; that’s what I’ve been learning and thinking about recently.