It's been another summer of change.
A time to plant, a time to reap
As the first years in my program arrived in July, my cohort and I officially became sixth year graduate students. Like other G6s before us, we hit the wall of urgency to leave, discontent with our thesis research, and "OH MY GOODNESS WE ARE GETTING SO OLD...HOW YOUNG ARE FRESHMEN THESE DAYS??"
It was not this glamorous:
My core group of friends, solidly marching through this weird, wonderful, awful, awesome world of academia, has started graduating and leaving the state for real jobs. There was Audrey, who introduced me to running and even organized a race with Luc and me! (Her husband, Colin, graduated this spring, too.) Ben just graduated, taking my dear friend Rachel with him. We all enjoyed cultural outings together, like the Nutcracker. Rachel was one of my favorite baking buddies. Rachel, Ben, and I drove out to Minnesota for Audrey and Colin's wedding IN 24 HOURS STRAIGHT. (We took two days to come home.) At least Audrey, Rachel, and I gchat constantly...our reality TV show gossip and major life ponderings can continue uninterrupted!
Josh and Meg graduated this year, and Luc will graduate (hopefully!) in a month. Together, we had our book club, FTC, we learned how to run, we ran a crazy mud race, and we also celebrated out-of-state marriage.
We all really did a lot.
While I'm so happy for them (and other friends who got out this year, too!), I am quite sad to be left behind. I'm grateful for the great times we had at Princeton and how we helped each other through the terrible times. I look forward to visiting Chicago and the Bay Area. Yay couchsurfing! You've been warned!!
In case you're wondering, I intend to leave next year. The Old Students frequently said that there comes a time in everyone's graduate career at which you realize that you've had enough, you'd like a real salary, and you wouldn't mind more than one room (those of us in studios, at least). My own research is picking up, and I'm confident, Lord willing, that I can finish in early-mid 2012.
Barring the world ending.
A time to build up, a time to break down
Remember how I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon?
Literally the week I officially started the training schedule, I developed a sharp pain in my right shin. I immediately stopped running and saw the doctor, who confirmed my fears that it was most likely a stress fracture. I had to quit for at least four weeks. In fact, I had to avoid running until I was entirely pain-free for a week!! A month later, there was no improvement, so I deferred my MCM registration to next year. It was heartbreaking, actually.
I've tried to keep fit by biking, swimming, and aqua jogging. I've actually progressed from pool running for only 30 minutes up to 1:30:00! It can be incredibly boring, but I've acquired the ability to appreciate it as a quiet, peaceful time to myself. As quiet as a full university pool can be.
The good news is that today, almost TEN WEEKS into my recovery, I walked outside. For two miles. On the towpath, in the sunny, crisp, just-becoming-Fall air. It was glorious. If I stay pain-free this week, I'll add a minute of light jogging to my walks next week.
Oh yes. We are back to almost square one.
I'm keeping my goals to myself. Rest assured, all of you, encouraging and nay-saying alike, I'm treading carefully.
On the bright side, I'm using this missed race as an opportunity to give back! All of my races have been so wonderfully supported by volunteers. I'm going to volunteer at the MCM in DC on October 30th. Anyone wanna join me?!
A time to dance, a time to mourn
I'm planning a dedicated post on this, but relevant pictures are on the camera that I left in San Diego. My mom is going to mail it to me eventually.
We were in San Diego to remember the life of my dear grandpa, known affectionately to his grandkids as Cooga. He passed away way back in November, but this is the first chance the entire family (and fabulous more distant cousins) had to reunite. Just two weeks before, my unofficial extra grandpa, my great-uncle Roy, passed away. The weekend was a beautiful time of remembrance, comfort, and love.
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.