11 December 2009

End of an era.

I've been in school since, what, 6 y/o? Earlier? There are a few stories roaming around in my family folklore talking about when they tried to send me to pre-school and I threw a shitfit until my grandfather came back. I wasn't the best kid growing up, either.

Enough Hx. I think the last few posts have been mostly about things I've noticed, not enough about me. Let's face it, news happens all the time. Stuff about me? Not so often. Except these days.

I will say - 18-19 years of classroom education came to a close an hour ago. I'm still in kind of a daze, but I'll also say a few words about what's been going on. If I've come to realize anything in the last month, it's that life is about Battles. Yes, bolded with a capital B.

Let's begin with a list of battles to fight. Daily.

1. Battle against coursework. Keeping up with ARTS / Genetics / EBSE. Keeping up with knowing it at a personally satisfactory level. The EBSE thing is an epic fail waiting to happen.

2. Battle against administration for my project. Currently to remain unnamed until things become more official. I suppose only a few people know. Come on, department heads, get back to me quickly. I do have Baylor's support for the most part, but an unnamed-department likes to run things independently. Lots of strings to pull. Lots of pitches to throw. Lots of people to convince. Convince them that the M1's actually need this. Convince them to donate time. And equipment. And moral support. And a presence.

3. Battle against research. Getting my proposal / grant / rec letters. Trust me, it is another shitstorm. Also, money is on short supply these days. Even getting everything in on time and perfect doesn't mean terribly much. FML? Yeah. F.M.L. I swear I've been given a new paper to read every week.

4. Battle against ongoing physical fatigue. I'll admit, I bring this one upon myself by not eating right, eating at odd times, allowing things to cut into my sleep. This has got to change. I've spent the entire morning coughing and I can feel it in the back of my eyes every time I cough.

5. Battle against personal goals. I haven't been able to work an ER shift in the last 2 weeks. Or do anything. I've been good about volunteering every week since Fall 2 started, except for recently.

6. Battle against personal obligations. Helping a few people through their careers. Through tough times. Probably one of the hardest battles, as I have very little control over what anyone else does. But I can hope. And that's important.

7. Battle for a certain countess. Well, this last one I can't really talk about.

Well, what's the solution? Sleep comes so easily these days. I've never quite felt the wind knocked out of me, except for these recent days. Sum up all those strifes, most of which increase as the day progresses, and you might get an idea.

I scarcely have time for meetings, only a few passing words to the silently manipulating Gold Buddha in the mornings.

I find myself saying "well, today was 3 parts crappy and one part awkward. Tomorrow will be better." It doesn't work the first few times you say it, but slowly after that. 

There's only a few things I feel I can do.

1) Stick to my principles and stand your ground. Remember all those sayings about principles? A man without them is nothing at all? It's probably the 3rd thing my parents taught me. The first was archimedes' principle (buoyancy). The second was that "energy is the capacity to do work". I remember the first day in Mr. Smith's chemistry class at Jasper. I sat by myself in the awkward table in the middle of the class since I showed up late. He asked what energy was, and I blurted that out like I had been doing that dance my entire life. Mr. Smith went on to expect a lot out of my sister when she went through. :P

That was probably one of the first realizations that my parents were right about many things. And back then, I really could do that dance. These days, I have to throw cutouts of feet on the floor.

2) Smile when things go tough. What else are you going to do? 

3) Take care of people. Again, what else are you going to do? I suppose this counts as a principle. A few people openly consider me profoundly reliable. That's always nice. 

A lot of these battles will end December 18. All of these battles will end on January 1st.

And on January 4th, if the silently manipulating Gold Buddha allows it, 2 months Ob/Gyn will start, and a whole new set of battles will begin, and you will know all about them. I should be good. It's time to start learning by doing rather than reading, by allowing streams of knowledge and consciousness to meander rather than inundating the landscape with information, and by finally being able to make a difference.

I relish that opportunity to fight, just as I relish the battles above. Not everyone has the opportunities to fight for what you believe in, or what you want.

A new kind of dance starts January 4. One I've been preparing for not for the last 18 months, but for the last 18 years.

Saddle up. Lock and load.

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