“Help Support Our Graduate Students”

Sometimes I feel like I’m in a time warp.  I’ve been at this school for 6 years now, and I still have about 5 to go (hopefully just 5) until I’m actually “done.”  Granted, I have a degree to show for the first 4 years, and will qualify for a second degree at the end of this year… but it’s a little weird to think that I’ve lived in this place my entire adult life. Yes, I know I’m young. But still, it’s significant to me.

As a result of my being an alumna of this fine institution, I receive all of the usual alumni mail, keeping me up-to-date on the comings and goings while I am so very far away. 3 miles away, in fact. I get the shiny magazine telling me how great the U’s wide variety of academic and extracurricular programs are, the fliers and postcards with pictures of successful students on them (asking me to give the school money), and the forms for the alumni association telling me that my free one-year trial membership is about to expire.

Oh, and my department’s Alumni Newsletter.

This is the document which graced my mailbox this afternoon.  At first, I saw the “Department of Anthropology” letterhead and a wave of panic went through me. Isn’t most communication done over email? What would be so important that they would *mail* me something?!

And then I saw the department chair’s photograph heading up the first column. Oh hi, —-. Class was great today, thanks.

“From the Desk of the Chair” was the heading, and the letter was addressed to “Alumni and Friends.”  I skimmed through the news, noticing blurbs about my professors and fellow students and a lot of other people I’ve never heard of.  And oh hey! That’s my name listed under “student awards”! Cool.

Flip to the back, and there’s one of my undergrad students (the one who emailed me “thanks” last semester)– he’s doing a senior thesis project this year. Way cool.

Finally, the note I was anticipating with great angst: “Help Support Our Graduate Students.” The Department has conveniently included an envelope and postcard should I wish to donate to the Graduate Student Funding pool.

See, having earned a B.A. in Anthropology (and Spanish, and Latin American Studies) from this fine institution, they assume that I am now raking in the big bucks doing… something.

Someday, my friends, someday. After all, I’m in this racket for the big bucks (ahem. not.).

I conveniently put the newsletter, postcard, and envelope on the fridge, should my two cohortmates/ roommates feel generous.


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