12 December, 2007

The Semi-Annual Interview

[Cue: couch with one occupant. Sun is setting in window behind couch.]

Self: And welcome, folks, to this semester's edition of Thoughts of a Wood Elf! Once again, I'm hosting a guest, Self. But before we meet Self, let me give you all some background information. Self left the bureaucratic world of academia at a huge university and spent some months working at a sub joint. This fall she returned to school, and tonight we're going to hear about her experiences. Please, welcome Self!


Self: Hi, thanks! I'm glad to be here.

Self: Self, it was rumored that you'd dropped out of college. Was that true?

Self: No, I'd never planned to leave college altogether. I certainly needed a break, and wasn't sure I'd be going back to the same school, but I always hoped to finish my degree.

Self: Why?

Self: I was so close to being done already, and a college degree can open doors, even if they're not in fields that one has studied. Personally, I wanted revenge, too. I felt like the College Experience tried its best to chew me up and spit me out, and I wanted to get back at "College," and prove I was actually smart enough to graduate.

Self: Wow. Has it worked?

Self: Oh, yeah. I haven't graduated yet, but this semester has been so different!

Self: So you've been sleeping 8 hours a night and eating meals at regular intervals?

Self: No, I'm still an insomniac and I actually stayed away from food on purpose this semester.

Self: Whoa, OK. Two questions: 1) Why did you stay away from food? 2) What was different, then?

Self: I stayed away from food because I wanted to lose weight but didn't feel healthy enough to work out. A long time ago I swore never to do this...but I did. Oh well. Next semester will be different, though, because I plan to work out regularly in an effort to stay healthy, rather than recognize that need after I get sick and too weak/lazy to exercise.

[Self passes a slip of paper to Self, which says "Note to Self, starving is a terribly inefficient way to lose weight."]

Self: So what's going to change about next semester?

Self: I discovered a program at my school that gives you a ton of resources to help you set fitness goals and reach them. So I'm going to invade the gym most days after classes, armed with knowledge and having specific goals. One of those goals will be to improve my fencing footwork. I hate feeling old and slow when I coach!

Self: [Chuckles.] Let's go back to academia. What changed in the months that you took a break from college, and how did that affect your studies when you went back to school?

Self: Well, I battled depression in the winter and spring. I wouldn't say I "recovered" from depression during the summer, but I was reminded of central truths that I had taken for granted or forgotten. I think part of depression is a worldview that causes one to keep looking back into oneself, which can be healthy but not in extremes. God changed my view to be focused on him, rather than myself. So I approached the fall semester with a very expectant attitude, waiting to see how God would glorify himself there.

Self: And did God come through?

Self: Of course, silly. When doesn't he? He taught me a lot about relationships this semester, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Self: How did your approach to school change?

Self: It didn't.

Self: So did your semester grades change?

Self: Well, I only took 4 classes, so I had more time to devote to studying...not that I really studied all that much more. But in the past, I've been excited to get something other than a C. This semester, I'll be disappointed if I get a C. Hopefully that trend will continue next semester.

Self: What, in your opinion, caused this change?

Self: Linguistics! I love it...I love that I can geek out over it with my classmates, and they participate in the geekiness and encourage it. It's hard to geek out over something like biology...something that is certainly mysterious and intriguing but which has been researched to death. Linguistics is such an undeveloped field...if I ever get to research stuff, I have a notebook full of questions I could easily turn into research projects. I mean, Sign Language alone has so much to offer that no one knows about, and it's only one of five languages I've studied. Oh, speaking of languages, I think I'll have time to study one more language before I graduate. Should I pick ancient Greek, ancient Hebrew, an African click language, or artificial languages like Klingon and Elvish?

Self: Um, perhaps we should poll the audience!

Self: Sounds good. Whaddya think?

[Turns and looks at you expectantly.]


Breka said...

'Its hard to geek out over something like biology...' Um, say what? You've obviously never hung out with REAL bio people. And what's this about 'researched to death'? Do you know there are whole species that little more has been done to them then giving them a name? And whole fields of bio sciences that have just been discovered/invented/whatever you'd like to call them?

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

No, I probably haven't. Everyone in my bio study group was pre-med, and was motivated by a desire to get an A, not to learn.

I find biology fascinating, but there's little that I'm interested in that hasn't yet been researched. A huge exception is studying the origins of our world. And, of course, I could just be blinded by the pride of my college professors, who refused to discuss things that they weren't "experts" on. Perhaps, Breka, when you come visit, you could enlighten me? :-)

iJosh said...

Is THIS the post we are supposed to ignore?

If not, I still am. ;)


Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Ha! No, the post you weren't supposed to read is a behemoth that's still a draft. I'm halfway through recording events of a weekend mentioned in the post above this, and desperately trying to pare it down to keep it memorable but not boring.

Feel free to ignore any of my posts. I'd appreciate it! :-P

Jason said...

Artifical languages would be cool, but I'm not sure how useful they'd be.

Ancient Hebrew or Greek would be especially neat if you were able to read the Bible in the original languages. I started studying Biblical Greek with a few friends, but had to give it up because it's really hard to study a language on the side when I have several other subjects that I have to study and be tested on.

Personally, I don't know if I'd even be capable of doing any of those clicking languages. If you do, you'll have to give us some demonstrations.