Around this time last year, the end of summer seemed to be ending on solid ground. My future was comfortably set in stone; no last minute changes of plan were on any horizon. I had my books, I had many of my things packed, I knew when I would be moving back to campus and who I would see when I got there, and I even had a good, end of summer hangout session planned with my closest local friends. But this year, with only a couple more weeks before fall classes start, I feel like I'm in a state of flux.
I have wanted to go to France, and especially Paris, for as long as I can remember. I read the Madeline books when I was little and fell in love. I took French classes and learned the language and the culture. I read books about Paris. I hosted a French exchange student. And this summer, I finally got to go.
A few weeks ago, a very welcome email landed in my yotes account. It was from my advisor, Rochelle Johnson, who is returning from a year long sabbatical. Rochelle’s email asked me to be one of her research assistants for the fall semester.
My junior year is looking a lot closer this side of July, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that summer vacation is now on a time limit. In some ways, this is similar to my days playing in chess tournaments as a middle schooler--a friend and I will be playing a nice, slow-paced game, thinking hard about our next moves, when suddenly a tall, graying man in a suit slaps a clock on your right side, reminding you that you don't have all day and that you better make the most of what you have left.
The other day, I got a text from a school acquaintance asking after my fall schedule. I replied, and the inquirer made the discovery I think she wanted to find, namely that she and I would likely be in the same literature seminar. She was enthusiastic about the commonality because I think she had been worried about where to sit. Or more accurately, who to sit with.
As I write this (this seems to be a common thing I say in my blogs, right?), It is 2:30 a.m. in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. For those of you who actually bothered to read my previous blog posts/cared, I just came back from spending almost a month in Guwahati, working on my Davis Project for Peace. And now, from an area where the highest recorded precipitation in the world is a common occurrence, and it got so hot that 20 odd people died, I ended up here, in Leh.
I think the state of my room says a lot about how quickly this year has passed. I think back to move-in day all the way back in September, when my floor was spotless, my books all organized, and my backpack totally empty. Now, with only 15 days left of term (but who's counting?), my room is in a state of disarray. I step over discarded notebooks and papers on my way to my drawers, stuffed haphazardly with poorly folded clothes, flip over a few of those notebooks and papers to find a specific paper I need, and then get close to pulling a muscle trying to lift my backpack from my bed.