In the Japanese religion of Shinto, a great emphasis is made on cleanliness and purity, with various elements and events contributing to the purity not only of the individual, but of the individual's surroundings. One of the most major catastrophies in Shinto is death, said to be the most impure of all things. A house in which a death has occurred must be scrubbed from top to bottom to appease the spirits and prevent further spiritual damage.
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.
So as I sit here in the heat of summer, soaking in the sun from the day rafting the river, I realize I only have 25 days left in Bend. It hit me that it will be two and a half months before I come home again, and I had a little bit of a heart attack.
I love where I live. I have traveled a bit, but never longer than 6 weeks away from Bend. But then I thought about how much I need this.
A lot of us get some sort of financial aid to cover our college tuition but we rarely look at how that affects our attitudes.
During the summer break, I had the option of either staying in the U.S. and getting a campus job or going home. I would have had to get airfare and find a job back in Lesotho which would not even pay me half as much as what I would be getting in the U.S. Nonetheless, I flew home.
August is a month that I usually hate. It’s too hot, the novelty of sleeping in till 10 is gone, and I’ve temporarily exhausted my ability to read for hours at a time. Add an eagerness for school to resume to that mix, and you can see why August is normally a bad month for me.
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.