Grad Student Brain

In the midst of articles too theoretical to understand by skimming and more late nights at the library than you knew you were capable of, there washes over you a quiet realization that you are almost through your first year in graduate school. For me, this meant giving up my obsession with dishes that took 2 hours to prepare, sacrificing my protest against fast food (hey, I gave it up for lent), and learning how to be a more whole version of myself.

Apart from introspection, in the last year, the world has truly become our oyster. Spring at Korbel comes with news of internships with the State Department and FBI, jobs with international big 5 NGO’s like Care, BRAC, and Partners in Health, fellowships with Presidential Management Fellows and Boren. Alongside these exciting professional accomplishments is the buzz of underground ventures- mobile tech stuff like students purchasing bandwidth to be used for beepers in the developing world, or apps that will hold people accountable for taking medication  as well as serve to inform epidemiologists about local statistics or let IDU’s find out where the nearest needle exchange is in Vietnam. The outcome of events like CENEX are fresh on everyone’s mind- the victors stand as an example of fun-loving, ambitious, aspiring diplomats-in-training out to use their new found acumen to make the world a better place. In other words, typical Korbel students.

As graduation nears, I can’t imagine how different campus is going to be when I return in the winter of next year, after State Department, before Peace Corps, to be greeted by a gaggle of fresh graduate geese. I can’t even imagine how different life will be after saying goodbye to the friends that are graduating in a mere 5 weeks. I guess the same way those of us who fancy ourselves world travelers say goodbye. Jean Dubuffet said it well, characteristic of his humanity,  “Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction”. And this brain sketch said it well, characteristic of the cheap internet search that found it:

grad-student-brain

I’m not really down with extinction. And that brain doesn’t have room for missing people.  I am, however, down with the Pygmalionesque transformation I’ve watched myself and those who have come to mean so much to me go through. Steinbeck (ironically the book is titled In Search of America… acknowledging that we’re an international school, we move on) said, “There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I.” So heres to our opals changing. (?… in all of my egotistical rants, I forgot to mention my brain is too full of anti-neoliberal opinions currently to write a funny and poignant blog). A final quote for the road…”Good enough is good enough.” from yours truly, dear reader. Over and Out.

 

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