Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Thinker

Once upon a time, boys and girls, I was an academic, a scholar. I did such dorky things as edit an encyclopedia, submit research for a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief, and write book reviews for an academic journal.

And then one day I stopped.

I left graduate school with all of my coursework completed but with no degree. I never completed my thesis paper. Oh sure, I could make eleventeen excuses: the topic became irrelevant, my advisers were unprepared to lead me through the process, I was sick for a while, I moved, blah, blah, blah. But really it's all on me. Yep...I just have never found the motivation to complete it.

That's not to say that I don't want to finish and matriculate my Master's Degree. It's just that I've found my interest lie in far different places than they did five years ago.

So today, when I happened upon the W.E.B. DuBois "Little Thinker" (at right - isn't he great?!) while perusing a local outdoor market, a wave of nostalgia washed over me. This period of self-reflection and change upon which I have undertaken is not just about the physical. It's about the mental and psychological.

I miss that dorky intellectual who could prattle on about the NAACP, Reconstruction, and the Third Sector. I miss that dedicated graduate student who could bang out a 12-page paper in one night and actually - actually! - make it mean something.

There's something to be said for discipline of the body and of the mind. And I've been sorely lacking in both. There's an easy fix for the former: I keep to my training plan and run a 10K in October. But for the latter, it's not so easy...


marlie1971 on June 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM said...

I still have the card I got for you 5 years ago and so want to give it to you one day......along with a graduation check :)

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