On a brief writing break from my comps at the moment. Did I mention that comps started 5 days ago? I’m needing a little free-writing to get back into the swing of things. This turning 25 pages into 3 pages and adding 25 more pages is a little cumbersome.
Comps/pre-lims/whatever other institutions call them is the next step to my moving forward in my dissertation process. I’m not officially allowed to discuss anything related to them for this month, suffice it to say that I have 30 days to write a journal article and submit it to the grad department at my institution. And, having not been in writing-intensive courses for a little while, my writing game has been thrown off. I have a stack of books in front of me, my dual monitor, a case of diet mountain dew, and I am doing what I can to keep writing on this.
The week leading up to the start of comps was a bit challenging for a few reasons. Last Sunday night, Mount Vernon had the storm to end all storms. For a variety of reasons, we had rain starting as the sun was setting and that rain continued throughout the entire night. My split level house is located in just the wrong part of town so that when this section of town flooded in ways that haven’t been seen for years. My neighbors were apparently all up in the middle of the night and a friend sent a text message at midnight asking about water in the basement. I slept through it all.
Monday morning, I woke up and stepped into water. My master bedroom is in the basement and so when I stepped out of bed I noticed the water which continued as I walked throughout the basement. So, at 5:00 in the morning, I found myself figuring out how to get water out of the basement. I found myself thankful for the shop vac that helped suck the water up. I was happy the previous home owners had tile or cement throughout the basement. I emailed my parents and asked them to call me when they woke up. It was a mess, but one I was able to clean up overall. By the time I left for work at 7:30 I had a lot of the water cleaned up.
That afternoon I came home from work, started washing all the towels that I was using to dry up the corners I couldn’t quite wet vac when the tornado sirens in town sounded and power began flickering. We were getting more rain. That night, the power went out as the rain continued, with warnings of it being out for 24-48 hours. I found myself sleeping in my jeans in my guest room. Luckily, I was woken up in the middle of the night last night because the power came back on. The sump pump started working and I needed to do a little more clean up with the wet vac and the towels Tuesday morning and evening. I didn’t need to have a grill out with my frozen meat nor did I get to eat ice cream for breakfast.
In addition to what happened inside, the water swept throughout the neighborhood. I was pretty lucky overall in terms of the water in my house. Some neighbors had over a foot of rain and a faculty member from campus had four feet of water in his basement.
Needless to say, I now have a dehumidifier. I’m considering getting a bigger wet vac. I have more confidence in my homemaking abilities and know I can do a lot on my own and that my instincts are often pretty darn good. My container garden has been reduced by half because all but two pots of Brussels sprouts have disappeared in the flood waters. Someone in Mount Vernon has my Brussels sprouts and will hopefully enjoy them.
But we make it through. I’ve started writing my comps. I’ve just proven to myself that I can write about a page of non-academic writing in ten minutes.