I had a lovely lunch with a friend today, during which we discussed, among other things, the disconcerting experience of getting a PhD. We’re both nearing our Qualify Exams Phase, which is both exciting and daunting. While we chatted, we came to the conclusion that graduate school has fostered in us a sense of prolonged adolescence. For so long we’ve wanted to get to this phase (and beyond it, to the dissertation and, eventually, tenure-track phase), and yet we’ve worked on it for so long that it’s kind of shocking that it’s here.
I know that, personally, I still struggle to feel like a grown up sometimes (an experience I’d imagine is found in many professions). I can’t believe, for instance, that I’m now married; that I’ll be 28 in a few weeks (the same age my mom was when she had me); that I’m no longer a “kid” but an “adult.” These are exciting changes, and probably came for my friends in other fields much earlier; while they are buying houses and having children, J and I are still enjoying a relatively responsibility-free lifestyle without children or dogs or a mortgage.
Before the wedding, however, I took a step toward growing up. As I near the comp/dissertation phase, I’ve realized it’s time for me to make a big purchase: a laptop. I’ve resisted having one for some time, but have come to realize that it will be incredibly useful not only in my classroom note-taking and my writing, but also in my teaching. I like to encourage an inter-disciplinary learning style in my classroom, and constantly want to show my students things I’ve found online, borrowing J’s laptop every time. Finally, we’d both had enough, and J stalked the Dell website until he found me a sale.
I wanted a case for my new toy to keep it nice and shiny, and being who I am I refused to buy one. I did some searching and came up with this tutorial, which produced this lovely laptop case in one afternoon of cutting/ironing.
I know it’s not perfect, but I do really love it. I improvised the little design on the front, which I wanted to look like the sun peeking behind some clouds. I also freehanded the wavy edge, which I like due to its imperfection. I wrestled with the double faced fusible interfacing a bit, but I’m sure it’s one of those things that will be much easier once I get used to it. I can definitely see where it would be nice and handy in many crafting pursuits.
Yes, I know the colors have become predictable for me, but I just don’t care. My love for heather grey knows no bounds, and the yellow looked so nice with it at the wedding that I thought I’d apply it to my case. The case is really quite useful, and provides a nice layer of protection not only while in my bag, but also when I use the laptop. It’s actually double layered, which you can see on my Flickr page. I like protecting my laptop from whatever grossness is on the tables in the classrooms and coffee shops where I use it most, and I also love that the case, when open, doubles as a very handy mouse pad. Overall, I highly recommend this tutorial. I hope someone finds it useful!