"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

11.30.2005

minor falls, major lifts, & hallelujahs

Today is the closest I've ever been to dropping out of grad school. The Advisor is almost definitely not going to let me defend my proposal before Christmas. That's bad because I need to leave in January. It's not something I can push back indefinitely. She's also forcing me to turn it into a project that I don't want to pursue. Never mind the fact that the other 3/4 of my committee is ready to go with it as is. Never mind that I've been working on this thing for 18 months and she's never mentioned these things before.

It's been six years. Six years of classes and reading and writing and poverty-level wages, and I'm so sick of it all. I've always walked a line between polisci and historical approaches and between really wanting to be a teacher and liking, but not loving research. But now I'm not even sure I want to be a political scientist.

Deep down, I know that I am lucky to be able to get paid to sit around and read and think about places where people never have such an opportunity. Deep down, I know that I was born to be a teacher. But deep down I also know that I don't love the research enough to be able to do this much longer. And those intel jobs in nova look less awful every day.

Something I'm thankful for in the midst of all my self-pity: at church tonight, the GA's joined the RA's and the youth to sort the BCC food drive collection. That's right: we had 6-year-olds through high school seniors all in one room, sorting rice and pancake syrup and popcorn and peanut butter and HEB-brand Spam. It was total chaos. But we finally got it all done, and the kids were free to just hang out and be themselves. At one point, during a game of Joe (not Simon) Says, the instruction was, "Joe Says, 'Put your thumb in the air'" and Jacob yells, "Hey! I'm not an Aggie!" We laughed and laughed and laughed. There's grace, even on the worst day of a bad year.

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