The end is so near, I can practically touch it. I find myself daydreaming about what I'm going to do with all of my free time (bedtime at 8:30! watch mind-numbing television! see my friends! find a bar and sample every drink they have available - kidding.) I've even thought about what my facebook status posting is going to be once I turn these suckers in and it's official that I am DONE with grad school. 2+ years of hard work, limited sleep, and paper writing agony. Don't get me wrong, as evidenced by my blog, I love to write, I just don't like to be graded for my writing. It's that same feeling I used to get at high school track practice when my coach would break out the stopwatch and make us do timed intervals - the nervous stomach, the desire to just walk off the track. Now, when it comes to paper writing, I just get hives. Yup, I am allergic to school. I think that's a really good argument to NOT apply for a PhD program (a notion I entertained for a hot second this fall).
Yes, this point in my graduate school career is very much like the last few miles of an Ironman marathon. There's a little doubtful voice in the back of your head, leaving you slightly uncertain as to whether or not you're ever actually going to cross that finish line. There's the desire to go faster, but you just can't. There are moments that you just want to give up. But you're so close. And if you don't finish, all of those long hours you put into this endeavor, all of the fun times with friends and family that you've sacrificed for this goal, well, it will feel like it was all for nothing. And so, I will finish. Even if it turns me into one giant hive.
Speaking of Ironman, I completely forgot to mention this in my last post. J'irai a France l'ete prochaine! Et je ferai Ironman France! I've always talked about wanting to do this race and, on Friday night, I made it official by signing up! 27 June 2010. To make it even better, Mark's mom, dad, and three sisters Allie, Jackie, and Stephanie will also be there! It will be one, big, awesome vacation! I can't wait to get back to Nice, go to Haagen-Dazs in Place Magenta as a patron not a waitress, show Mark and his family where I used to live in the old part of town. And I can't wait to try my hand at the epic bike course, swim in the Mediterranean, and run along the Promenade des Anglais. And speak French. And eat cheese and drink wine at an outdoor cafe. And enjoy some gelato. And just plain be back in France. It has been almost four years since I was last there (the 2006 spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris was the last time I was there - a story for another post).
So, 2010 - a tale of two HILLY Ironmans. I can't wait! Oh, and no grad school. Now I REALLY can't wait!