Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A new beginning of another ending

Tomorrow I begin what I am expecting to be my last semester of college coursework for my Ph.D.  The '09-'10 academic year had its highlights, but much of it was marred by poor health. I cannot claim 100% personal responsibility for being sick; Crohn's Disease can be woefully unpredictable, plus I had a wonky gallbladder that came out last spring.  Still I do think that some of my illness was partially the result of my attempts at being some larger-than-life graduate student.  I was involved in a ton of graduate student leadership activities, committees, student senate, task forces, etc., on top of teaching several classes and taking courses.  It was at a conference last fall that my body first started telling me to slow things down a bit.  What I learned (and it hasn't been the first time I've been taught this lesson) is that I need to listen to my body more carefully. 

So this year I get a fresh start. I did not run for the Student Assembly this year, choosing only to retain my involvement with the Student Affairs Student Advisory Board (I am the 'Grad Student At-Large' rep this year). I'm teaching two classes this fall and taking three as a student. I am excited about my registration: Political Psychology, Teaching in Higher Education, and a Proseminar in Political Psych. I hope to present at a national conference in the spring and complete a lot of preliminary research for my dissertation throughout the year. Above all I want to enjoy the friggin' journey, which is not always easy for me.  I will often get so wrapped up in how busy I am that I forget to take the time to recognize how damn fortunate I am to be doing and studying something I have a lot of passion for, which is higher education. I want to enjoy this experience while it's happening, not just in retrospect ten years from now.

Here's to moving forward. Glass half full. Sunny-side up.


ChuckO said...

Good for you Jeff!

Jeff said...

Thank you chuck!