Friday, May 11, 2012

Life on Coffee Detox

Well, the papers have been turned in, the presentations given, and books returned. Spring semester officially ended for me at midnight on Wednesday, and now it should be (relatively) smooth sailing until June. Having decided that entirely too much of my blood had been made of sugar, caffeine, and Organic Valley half and half over the last few weeks, I forced myself to back off from coffee for a few days now that the semester's wrapped. How original, right? I don't know how long it'll last, likely all the way up until I get tired of it. So far, standing strong at 48 hours.

I ended up buying one of the textbooks I had rented from the bookstore, an excellent account from Deborah Yashar of indigenous organizing and citizenship regimes in Latin America. Deciding against returning a rented book for a refund is something I had never actually done. It's a strangely invigorating feeling to be at a point in my life where that $30 I get for returning a rental doesn't seem like a life-altering amount of money. I had returned a book last semester that I later wished I'd kept, and I'm finally getting used to the idea that as a grad student I'll probably get to reuse research that I've done in the future. It only took me two years to make that connection, amazing!

But what's even more amazing is that finals are over, and it's not even consistently 80 degrees out yet! Outside happy hour last night was actually chilly towards the end. WHERE DO I LIVE THIS IS NOT WASHINGTON. blessedly.unlike.washington. I must have hit the universe lottery or something. Well, maybe I should reserve that statement until final grades come back. Either way, I'm feeling pretty excited about the next few months. You know who's probably feeling markedly less excited? Occupy DC, the shattered remnants of which I glimpsed in bird's eye view this afternoon. The bird in question? An owl who was none too pleased to be disturbed by my pathetic attempts at amateur photography. See if you can guess which side of McPherson square the Occupants had occupied:

I don't know whom I feel worse for: the now-stalled social movement or the square itself. Maybe that grass will grow back by the Fall. In the meantime, maybe all those UN High Commission on Refugees canvassers I keep seeing can do something about the growing crisis of IDWs (internally displaced waterfowl) here in our own backyard. Seriously, what are all the Canada geese going to devour if not the grass in our public parks?

Ecuador internship is starting to come together, and it's looking more and more like it's going to be the Latin American Future Foundation (Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano) in Quito. They support a number of projects throughout  Latin America; most are focused on conflict transformation and environmental issues such as climate change. That's right, I said climate change. You see, compared to the U.S., LA seems to waste relatively little time arguing about whether or not man-made greenhouse gases are having an appreciable effect on the climate and the environment overall. They're far more willing than are we to admit that, yeah, global warming is probably our fault, and even if it's not, we're better off doing something to try and slow it than just branding people anti-business, anti-progress, anti-____ when they suggest "hey guys, maybe we could think about not being quite so reliant on mineral extraction and unsustainable lifestyles?" What a bunch of crazers, seriously. But yeah, internship. I think it'll be a great experience, if a short one. But in all honesty, after 3 weeks of basically non-stop travel, classes, and research, I think 5 weeks of a somewhat normalized schedule is going to seem downright largo. All you music majors should be laughing right about now.

Those who know me well know I'm something of a nervous flier (as opposed to a nervous flyer, which is an apprehensive advertisement.) So it's a good thing I get to travel by air for the next two weekends, so to acclimate my overactive danger response reflex to the experience. Congrats, family and friends in the class of 2012, and a heartfelt thank you for having a major life event that I've got a take a plane to get to. That's so thoughtful of you.

Oh, and Mothers' Day! Happy Mothers' Day Mom, Grammy, and all the utha muthas out there.

Song most sung in the saddle this week: Gotye- "Somebody That I Used to Know." SHOCKER!

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