On not being able to concentrate

Skim latte also thinks these people suck at life

Skim latte also thinks these people suck at life

So now that my (second)* comprehensive exam is over I have to get back to the heart of a PhD program: writing stuff about things nobody has about written before but that I hope some group of people presumably care about. This is the real test of PhD students: can you find the motivation, concentration and drive to write this when nobody is watching over you?

I can. I am sure I can. I never, ever quit. So here I am at Bar Dupont proving to the world that I can concentrate and do all this without deadlines or supervision. My laptop is charged. I have coffee. One of my best friends is with me. I am ready to go.

And then the people in the next table start talking. You can tell just by looking at them that they are on a date. They are one of those couples where you can tell they each think they are as hot as the other person. Which is not very hot at all. I just looked at them again. I would like to emphasize the not hot part. Not even a little. But they are equally bad-looking, so good for them.

I avoid looking at them and instead focus on data on spending on eductation. But they start talking and my focus shifts so it’s maybe 75% on the spending data, 25% on their conversation. Their conversation sounds like a job interview, which is one of the things I dislike about DC. They each say “I work” about a dozen times. Then they talk about their savings. Then their education. Then back to their jobs. Then he mentions campaigns. She mentions her savings. He mentions campaigns again. Ugh.

So my focus drops to maybe 50/50. In the time they have been talking I have added about two dozen rows of data to the file I am working on. They have yet to find a topic of conversation that actually takes off. Nothing. Zero.

I email my friend. Subject line: “Urgent and Important.” I ask her if she thinks this interaction next to us is a date. She says it is. We agree that it is painful. VERY painful.

In the time I have been writing homeboy has mentioned about twenty times that he went to law school. Homegirl countered with some story about how she went (is going to?) business school. I look again. They’re drinking water and eating free peanuts. I hate these people.

I want to turn around and suggest an actual topic of conversation for them, but since I think that could be perceived as inappropriate, I think I’ll go home and work from there instead. Now they are talking about sick leave. Really. Ugh!

Happy Saturday in DC.

*Second for this program, third overall. That’s a six hour test, an eight hour test and a six hour test. And a one hour oral exam. Fun times.

PS: If you want to read about more horribly bad dates in DC, you can check out my friend’s blog here.


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