03 December 2009

Off-Season Means.. Another non-triathlon related post!

This will be quick, I just need a distraction from the schoolwork I am drowning in at the moment. First - I'm feeling super lazy. I have a buddha belly, I'm eating more than my fair share of chocolate, and I already finished off the pretzels and pita chips that were supposed to serve as my work snacks for the week. But school is seriously kicking my butt, the weather has been crummy, and although I miss feeling in shape, it's nice to not HAVE to go work out. In fact, all of this time off is probably beneficial to my overall health, maybe my body will even be thanking me down the road for getting fat and lazy over the past few weeks. Thank goodness the high school reunion is over and I don't have a major race for months!

My papers are chugging along. I'm past the 40 page barrier on both of them - pg 47 on one and pg 42 on the other. I will have NO problem reaching the 50 page mark on either one of them. The REAL challenge will be making my papers into coherent, intelligent-sounding pieces of printed art. I want to be more proud of these two SRPs (substantial research projects - capstone project for my grad program in International Peace and Conflict Resolution) than I ever was about my French thesis senior year of undergrad. And I think I am well on my way. First - they are in English and my English is waaaaayyyyy better than my French. Second - I wrote my French thesis on the notion of "pantheism" in a literary work of Jean Giono. Now I'm writing my SRPs on 1) the reintegration of youth ex-combatants and the role of community in that process (case studies of Sierra Leone and Uganda); and 2) the role of culture in the perpetuation of caste-based discrimination in Nepal. Both far more interesting subjects, as well as far more meaningful and useful, than the notion of pantheism in a Jean Giono novel (no offense, Jean). And although I've felt like I've been in over my head over these past three months, it's getting better. The rough drafts are almost done. I just need to do some serious editing, polishing, and ensuring that I've made the points I want to make and hit on the relevant theories. If anything, doing these two projects sure makes me realize how lucky I am. My biggest complaint is that I don't have enough time to do everything I want/need to do. The situations I'm writing about affect people in such negative ways it's hard to imagine. They work all day because they HAVE to; they can't go to school because there ISN'T a school, kids half my age have seen more violence than I'll ever see in a lifetime, and the list goes on. And when you really think about it, people are resilient. When it gets down to it, when they have no other choice, people have the capacity to deal with trauma, make the best of the situation, and move on with life. We're pretty sheltered here in middle-class America. We're pretty lucky here in middle-class America. I'm thankful for everything that I have. Even my SRPs.

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