Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Early Mornings

What I miss about cold, crisp Monday mornings is a sense of purpose. Going to the office early and juggling coffee, projects, and the first client of the morning. Flipping my computer open (and banging angrily on the CPU if it's on the fritz again) and scrolling down e-mails that will dictate how my day will go, or how my bosses will act/react to a certain situation that inevitably comes up. The need for a mid-morning chocolate run at Mini-Stop. And meetings, meetings, and more meetings.

I suppose that being a student is inevitably easier. After all, if I fail, the only person I have to answer to is myself, and the university. It's like living in a bubble: my responsibilities stretch only as far as to those in my immediate vicinity. It's quite refreshing, of course, since I get to plan my day to my advantage and to pleasure. But sometimes, I miss the adrenaline rush of working a 9-to-5, the knowledge that you are part of this global endeavor, of being a piece that makes the machine work. And I miss interacting with people on a large-scale basis - if there's one thing grad school is teaching me right now, it's that academia is largely solitary work (which perhaps explains why a number of professors have gone slightly mad) and, in particular, research work is largely left to just a single mind that needs to process and assimilate all the information presented, and analyzed in a subjective light.

Sunday night, during dinner, an uncle of mine who's in town for a medical conference asked me, "So are you learning something new?" I answered him truthfully: "I don't know." After a night's rest, I suppose I can answer that question much more properly: "Yes, I'm learning something new, but it's not in the classroom." The university only provides a framework, a template with which one can swirl and move in frequently unrelated patterns, but patterns nonetheless.

But I like this opportunity to take things slow, to think through things, to be allotted a bit of space with which to plan the next step. I know I want to teach, but I don't know if that's ALL I want to do. I know I'm primed for everything and nothing, and I just want to see how far I can stretch my wings, move around the universe, see how everything flows.

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