Tuesday, October 21, 2008

the bastards!

Thanks to the presence of No Impact Man on my google reader (who apparently shares a love of Pablo Neruda), I saw this quote today:

from Edward Abbey, who has been described as a "cranky environmentalist/mystic of the desert southwest":

"One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here.

"So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.

"Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."

the sweet and lucid air, huh? reluctant enthusiast? half-hearted fanatic!

I'm all about it.

the crying phase of a paper

The writing process:
Gather information on the assignment/audience
Wail and Cry (repeating as needed)
Complete assignment.

At lunch yesterday, I asked for advice on the level of overwhelming-ness I'm experiencing right now. One option is to ditch the Honors project - and I teared up just asking the registrar how I would go about doing that because I'm so attached to the idea of completing it. One option is to stop checking out Nevada Barr books from the library and staying up until 3am reading. Another option is to resume my preescribed dose of wellbutrin bid, rather than continuing the sub-therapeutic one pill per day.

Still another option is to fashion a yurt from all the cloth grocery bags I've accumulated, insulate it with shredded notecards and move into my mother's back yard, where she would raise my son in the warm, dry house and toss hunks of casserole out to me each evening.

I described what I had done so far on the paper. I wailed that I had at least another 40 hours of work yet to go and how could I ever possibly fit that in, with ANS and NSNA and Honors and papers and 96 hours of clinical, blah blah blah!

My friends blinked, and said, no, actually, you don't HAVE to put in 40 hours of work on this. Write what you have and turn it in.

Blink, blink. What I have, I repeated incredulously. But. What if my advisor isn't impressed? What if she doesn't say that I could just turn this right into a master's thesis and do the graduate coursework later?

Oh. I see. Not realistic, you say. Hmmph.

This re-thinking of priorities and scaling back expectations to realistic levels is some sort of a life lesson, isn't it? I'm slowly catching on.

In other news, the beta fish has a wart on his (it?) (hir?) nose. I asked my fish friend if she thought I should kill it. She was a bit shocked, I think.

Not because it's ugly, I quickly assured her, but just because it might be suffering.

You have been spending too much time in the medical ICU, she said.

it's a cruel, cruel summer

tears for the first two weeks of the externship - because I was lost, because I didn't feel I could trust the folks I was supposed to be learning from, because I was not convinced that the patients were safe, nor that any of us were able to provide good nursing care.

But dammit, if I didn't learn a hell of a lot.