“Benign self-absorption”

I just got off the phone with my mom. I mentioned to her that I was going to get unemployment benefits, saying, “I didn’t think I’d qualify, but I do, so that will be really helpful.”

Her response: “Yeah, under Obama everyone gets everything they want, all they have to do is ask. Doesn’t matter if you’ve earned it or not.”

I have been through enough therapy at this point to know that my mom’s personal judgments often come at the cost of civility, and it doesn’t help the situation for me to take it personally. So I ignored her unintentional implication. But I was genuinely confused because I knew she’d made the tortured decision to collect on her benefits a couple of years ago. “Well, you got unemployment too when you were looking for work.”

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Feeling better

I’m feeling a lot better now than I was the other day.

First, I found out that I’m eligible for unemployment benefits. I applied a couple of weeks ago just for the heck of it, figuring I never made enough at any part-time jobs to qualify for anything. But a couple of days ago I got a form in the mail including the details of my weekly and maximum benefit amounts. Just knowing this has made a big difference for me–it’s not tons of money, but it’s so much more than $0, and I won’t have to feel like a total drain on my partner’s income.

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Unemployment Blues

Job hunting is as bad as dissertation writing. It’s different, because I am more motivated to find a job than I was when I was writing most of my dissertation. But job hunting is, like my dissertation, much more than a full-time job. Even when I’m not actively working on application materials or networking or informational interviewing, the foremost thought on my mind is I don’t have a job and I really, really, really need one. It’s gotten particularly bad lately, and I’ve been asking myself why. I only defended my dissertation a month ago, and I only graduated a week ago. Yet the trajectory of my pessimism has gone sharply downhill in that last week.

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Virgin and Child, and Snake

For dissertation-related reasons, I’ve had the Genesis account of the Fall on my mind lately. If it’s been awhile since you’ve thought about it, here’s a recap: Adam and Eve are innocently enjoying paradise and close communion with God when Satan, in the form of a serpent, comes to tempt Eve. He persuades her to eat the fruit from the one tree she’s not supposed to eat from. She shares the fruit with Adam. Once he eats it, they both realize they are naked, and they cobble together some fig leaves to cover themselves. Then they hear God, who has come to the garden for a walk. They hide, but when God calls out to Adam, “Where are you?” Adam reveals his location. It’s pretty obvious that they’ve disobeyed the one rule they were supposed to follow, but when he’s asked for an explanation, Adam blames the whole thing on Eve. Eve blames the whole thing on the serpent. God summarily damns him:

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