Tuesday, March 27, 2007

School and staying sane

Well, my thesis proposal was approved. Yaay!

The next step is my Candidacy Exams. I get the written exam question at the end of April and submit the paper at the end of May. The oral part of the exam will be about a month later, at the end of June. Until then, I am doing preparatory reading and note-taking. I feel that I am working just as much as when I was taking classes, but it's independent work instead of in the class setting. Luckily I'm motivated and fairly organized (or so I like to think!) So my nose is in some book or other much of the time.

Running, weights and yoga keep me sane. I crave the escape that physical activity provides from my otherwise hyper-intellectualized world. I never thought I'd say this, but I find a certain comfort in being surrounded by meat heads for a small portion of the day. It "keeps me real" in a way.

I think it's easy for people who dedicate their lives to scholarly pursuits to get rather high on themselves and think they're superior to the rest of humanity. I see someone bench press as much as I weigh and I am humbled. Part of me likes being reminded that no matter what my strengths are as a human being, I have many weaknesses and shortcomings, too.

I like being reminded that I too, am human... takes the pressure off that nagging voice in my head that tells me I must always be perfect.

Running is coming along. I had a short not-so-love-filled affair with tendonitis in my right foot, which I was told was the beginning of shin splints. I took a week off running, but I'm back at it now. My long training runs are up to an hour now. The speed is coming along, but I keep that in perspective, too. I realize that 5.4 miles per hour does not exactly make me Speedy Gonzalez. :-) Like I said... I have my weaknesses.

I am enjoying the yoga classes twice a week and much of my recreational reading (limited though it is these days!) has taken me into the realm of reading about yoga and yoga philosophy. I'm thoroughly enjoying this un-official part of my education, too.

So there you have it... Intense focus on school, with equally intense focus on doing things to keep me sane while I am in school. So far, so good.


Backofpack said...

I was just thinking about you yesterday, then...today there is a comment and a post! Score! Sounds like you've got a handle on things and that you are moving forward in a very good way. Keep popping in to update us okay?

Robb said...

Yes, it's good to hear from you and to catch up here too. Congrats! So much exciting stuff in your life. It's all progress.

Ginger Breadman said...

great lessons on being human and humble - and the yoga philosophy reading is inspiring!

robtherunner said...

Sarah, I've missed you, but certainly understand your needed absence. One of these days I want to sit down and have a long conversation about education and life with you. I have had many days of frustration, like today, but yes, I do believe that I have been called and hope to answer that calling with everything I have.

It's wonderful to hear that things are going well and I am impressed with your speedy running. You have been a model of patience for all of us to follow. Take care of yourself.

Misty said...

It sounds like you are taking great care of yourself. I read your posts about all the exercise you've packed into your schedule and I'm humbled.

There will always be people who excel more or less than us in the various things that occupy our lives. If not for that, we likely wouldn't be in tune with what our strengths and weaknesses were.

Besides, being perfect is over-rated. Imagine a world of perfect people...wouldn't we all then be the same? Who wants that?

I'm glad that your education goals are moving forward. Be proud of your accomplishments and the ability to stay so focused (and sane).

Sarah said...

Thanks for the update! Wishing you continued success in all of your "realms". : )

craig said...

Congratulations on getting the approval. I'm glad that things are moving forward for you. Good to hear from you.

Madcap said...

Hello, Sarah-me-dear,

It's hard to live in both the body and head, isn't it? I've been struggling with that lately too. It's good to hear from you again, and how things seem to be falling together.

Turtle Guy said...

Bravo. For what it's worth, Sarah, I've noticed an incredible change in your outlook since I met you.

You clearly had an intellectual understanding of balance, and have come to a place of "real world experience". Understanding that strength and weakness are two sides of what make up balance is a true gift.