Intrepid Girl Reporter

Tuesday, 11/3: at least there’s that
November 3, 2009, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Good Brown Daughters (GBDs), IGR Recommends, the future, weird metaphors

An unintended side effect of applying to graduate school is the affirmation that I am following, unquestionably, the right subject for me. Princeton requires a policy memorandum, which I’ve spent the afternoon researching (having stayed home from work, not feeling well), and it has reminded me of something I’d forgotten: I LOVE international relations. I love it. I’m having fun (!) reading about drug trafficking and the rise of HIV/AIDS in Central Asia. (Sorry, AIDS sufferers. I know it’s not fun for you.) I miss studying, and I miss learning about this stuff, and I’m realizing that I’m still much more interested in international affairs than in domestic ones and in development than in pure political science – as the former allows me to indulge all of my schizophrenic interests. This makes me feel a lot better – even excited – about the prospect of going back to school itself, as opposed to simply using school as a tool to make life progress.

To write, I’ve been using Evernote, which is a very fine program except that I can’t link from one note to another. Otherwise, it is a very nice note-taking application, and its use makes me feel extremely productive. To ameliorate that one flaw (ahem, Evernote), I downloaded a trial of Curio, a mind mapping software that costs more than I can afford. I always thought that mind mappers were sort of bullshit, but it turns out that once again, I was wrong: look! There is my mind! Here are the areas about which I have the most information! This is what I should write about! (Maybe.) I’m a big fan of feeling like I’m getting something done. It’s a good distraction.

As for the rest of it, I’m doing okay; the punched-in-the-stomach feeling subsides a little every day. It occurs to me that part of the reason I’m having a hard time dealing with this, aside from the obvious, can be found in a conversation I had with Rooms right at the beginning, in which I told her that I was reluctant to engage in a relationship for the same reason I don’t have any pets (at least not with me), which is that eventually both are probably going to die before I do. Darling Rooms, who has a master’s degree in counseling for a reason, reminded me that that is not a very good way to go about living your life, and that the value lies in the experience. She told me the same thing when we were seniors in college and I expressed a reluctance to study the cello, as I already knew that it was too late for me to become a prodigy, and she pointed out that people do things because They Are Fun, and not for the purpose of becoming the best in the world. Obviously she is not a Good Brown Daughter. Also obviously, she is right, even if I only know it intellectually.

In conclusion: IGR recommends: Evernote; Curio (but only the free version, unless you make more money than she does); the study of international relations; listening to your friends.


3 Comments so far
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“I expressed a reluctance to study the cello, as I already knew that it was too late for me to become a prodigy.” I feel the same way about tons of things. This is why we were friends, even though I was too young to articulate feelings like this.

Comment by Melissa Sunday

Love you, Bert. You make me smile.

Comment by WV

[…] been trying to organise my thoughts more with the help of Evernote, which Intrepid Girl Reporter gave such a rap in her blog that I thought I’d give it another go. And its been what I […]

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