Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh college

Well, it turns out that it really is as crazy as I remember it being. I'd kinda forgotten (blocked the memory?) how it feels to work hard but always be behind. Like how I'm disregarding studying for my practice Spanish test right now. Of course, the night is young, the test is just a practice, and it's my only class tomorrow. But even if I were super crazy industrious and had studied all afternoon, there would still be thank you notes from my birthday to write, about seven letters that need writing, photos to print and send to far-off friends, and of course the mountainload of weekend homework to get started on. To all of this, I say: meh.

Besides the general complaining about classes = too much work, I have two major issues thus far this semester. I can't talk about the first one because various ND people read this and feelings might get hurt. But issue #2 is that I spend literally all of my time engaged in theoretical debates about abstract things. If I'm not in class "learning," I'm reading or writing so that I can further "learn." Or else working for a campus group in support of more abstract principles, or working for spending money so that I have the freedom to support the campus groups. I just spend my summer learning way more than I could ever learn in a classroom while at the same time knowing I was making a difference. It is almost unbearably frustrating to sit in lectures (/read books/write papers, etc) about things like how to make peace and how to love God when I could be out there ACTUALLY DOING IT, and probably learning a lot more. Part of it is selfish- I miss the feeling of being sure I was doing something positive. But it's also that I feel like I was unjustly placed in remedial algebra; this pace is just too slow for me. I know I can learn much more necessary, powerful lessons while working towards actual justice.

At this point, my mother is wondering why she's paying 47k a year for me to complain about the education I'm getting. It's just that learning theory is nothing like learning by doing. C'mon Mom- you learned more in a week of rounds in med school than you did in a year of textbook learning.

There are ways of coping. I'm planning on making time very soon for community service in South Bend. I'm reorganizing my priorities about campus groups and probably backing off on my involvement in a few. I'm involved in several groups that entail huge beginning of the year commitments from me, and I've been swamped handling that. My mom casually offered to fly me back to where I spent my summer for fall break; I'm thinking about it. If nothing else, this is a lesson in patience and growing where I'm planted. Not all of us can pull a Kristin and follow our passions (referring to my going-to-be roomie for this year who dropped out of school and is now a Dominican sister in Michigan).

In other news, Joey and I are going to the Purdue game. We have tickets and the student union is sponsoring a bus. We wanted to go to Michigan, but they ran out of tickets as we waited. It's ok, though, we have a plan. Last year we went to Michigan State and this year we're going to Purdue. That means if we go to USC next year and Michigan our senior year, we'll hit one of our four major rivals each year. I guess we're leaving out Boston College, but I don't feel the competitive urge to annihilate their team like I do for the four others. We're going to pretend that it's ok for peace studies majors to feel that way.

Also, having a starbucks on campus is very very bad. I broke my addiction this summer because no starbucks was in walking distance, but I have dramatically relapsed. It's bad.

Finally, for Linda- I've loved the 3 episodes of West Wing that I've had time to watch. I wish they had subtitles though! It takes so much attention to keep up with the episode.

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