Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lesson Planning

In a conversation that revolved around life, careers, and what makes us happy (or not), Kili commented that she was pretty sure she is currently learning valuable life lessons, but she just isn't sure what they are yet. As vague and as floundering as that sounds, she is absolutely right.

I am not nearly self-aware enough to keep in mind all the lessons I am currently learning. And that's the point, really. If we knew we were in the midst of a lesson, we'd probably zone out, nod off, text a friend, or doodle aimlessly, much like my freshmen were wont to do during our 8 am class. I, for one, am able to pay far more close attention by accident than I am on purpose. Perhaps, as a graduate student who intends to be a lifelong academic, I should not admit to that, but I'm frank here. You all knew that already.

Given the wild changes that have recently occurred behind gauchedroitgauche's curtains, I am using this summer to take stock. Before leaving for the summer, a friend told me a few weeks ago that no matter how superfluous (or supercilious) it seemed, we all needed to figure out how to answer the question of "Who am I?" (Or perhaps he enunciated "Who am I?" or "Who am I?" but no matter where the emphasis lies the question remains the same.). At the risk of carrying a metaphor a bit too far, I am reviewing lecture notes, figuring out what all these lessons are about.

Here is a smattering of the lessons I am currently learning:

  • While finding two or three grey hairs along the part of my hair is a fabulous discovery that relates to growing up, buying a car is a far scarier and far more stressful indicator of adulthood. On the plus side, perhaps I will get a few more grey hairs out of it.
  • I can be alone. I can watch the sunset on my own. And cooking for one isn't as hard as people make it out to be, because then you just have loads of awesome leftovers.
  • I'd really like to live in New Orleans for a while.
  • Working full-time, 8-5, really doesn't leave enough time for things like going to the beach and reading thousand page novels. I think I will stick to academia.
  • After a long break.
Admittedly, some of these are lessons I have been learning for some time, or even lessons I have already learned. But each is working towards an answer to that most awful (in all its senses) of all questions.

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