September 22, 2009

Mid-Morning: New WC

Collin and I christened the new Writing Center space today with a pot of coffee and a continuation of our major-life-decision talk. It turns out that both of us are unsatisfied with our respective chosen majors, but that we both eventually want to pursue higher education. As I often do, I immediately suggested that Collin study abroad to take a break from the dismal world of academia, and he countered with his customary, "but I'm a castle-builder" explanation. He is indeed a castle-builder—that is, one who prefers to create a web of relationships, commitments, and aspirations that center on a single geographic location. He wants to build his castle and enjoy the kingdom. I, on the other hand, am an exemplary wanderer. I'm never satisfied with my current location, and I am inclined to circumnavigate the globe in search of some higher meaning (or at least stories worth telling).

Surprisingly, Collin and I face a very similar dilemma, except I am one year further in the process. I have no advice for Collin, because my solution to the question of graduate school and beyond was about as pigheaded as they come: To heck with it all, I'm going to Cambodia. I need more time, a new space and deep-fried tarantulas to help me figure out my future (although if deep-fried tarantulas are in my future, I might need to rethink this…). I hope Collin doesn't have to go through the misery that was my lamentable fourth year at UNK. Attempting to be an überstudent, I took on far too many extra projects that left me exhausted, not to mention medicated. Sure, academia can be a very rewarding place, but the intense self-pressure to publish material or to create a project that will be satisfying may recklessly eat away at relationships, motivation, and stomachs. I have the holes to prove it!

On second thought, maybe To heck with it all, I'm going to Cambodia isn't such bad advice.