One of the too-many classes I’m taking this summer is a course in business ethics. When I added my second major in political science, I had everything planned out perfectly–and then I was told I needed to pick up additional, non-political science classes for the college (i.e., non-major) requirements. The first was a literature class (I’ll be taking fantasy in the fall–which does excite me) and the second was a philosophy class.
Which didn’t excite me at all.
Looking for an easy course that would at least have some tangential relevance to politics, I finally decided on business ethics because I didn’t know much about businesses, but they’re an important part of our economy–and thus an important consideration in politics.
It hasn’t all been fun, but what I’ve learned has been worth it.
A week ago I landed in Mexico City and for the first time hugged the man I love. I had played out the moment of our meeting in my head for months–I’d painstakingly visualized everything I would wear in preparation for that one moment–and each time I thought of it, another scenario played out. In one, I awkwardly said hello and we just sort of stood there. In another, we kissed as passionately as I could imagine.
Instead, when I saw him, I rushed up to him, and in unison we embraced each other in a hug that lasted for such a long, precious moment. His arms curled around my back perfectly, and as mine wove around his body, it felt as if we had been shaped for each other. In that one moment, I knew all the love I felt for him was as deep and profound in person as it had been over the months we’d been seeing each other online.
One year ago I was in the study room around the corner from my apartment working math problems at the white board after midnight. It was a month into the semester and I was three weeks behind. After talking with a graduate TA who put it simply–“If you’re not passionate about doing the homework, is this the right major for you?”–I turned my organization on its head and had spent the entire weekend getting myself caught up.
And I was almost there. I felt great.
I wiped the board free of my algebra, sprawled letters about groups and how they commute and associate, and I stacked my notebooks and my markers and went back to my room. But the night was nowhere near over.
I had never used cursive since maybe the third grade when I learned it. “You only need to know your name,” I was told, and the other sixteen letters of the alphabet vanished from memory. I had no need to even be able to read cursive until this last spring when my literature professor wrote exclusively in this flowing form of script.
I never expected that would become my gateway back.
This was a long week. From late-night scares with our animals to working early the next day and heat so hot it’s not sexy, all my energy has left me. It started with high energy: Staying at my boyfriend’s, visiting best friends, and attending my transfer orientation at NC State. Since then, I’ve been exhausted. Too tired to sleep. Too tired to write. Too weary to will myself into anything other than sloth. It’s somewhat sickening how little I’ve done–and yet under this oppressive heat, even the tiniest actions seem to take the greatest effort.
It’s Shabbat again. I haven’t been restful one bit–not other than an afternoon nap, at any rate. I helped at SOAR this morning and met some enthusiastic new students. I did some shopping for essentials I’ll need on campus. And I even drove a bit. It’s no wonder I needed a nap. Yet as they say, no rest for the wicked.
And according to this teaching, I’m especially wicked.
I’d like to begin by saying Shanah tovah to all my readers! This past Wednesday began Rosh HaShanah, the celebration of the Jewish new year and one of the most important holidays in the Jewish year. The ten days following until Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) next Saturday are referred to as the Days of Awe and are a time to seek forgiveness and make amends for the coming year.
Today, however, my focus is still on the Pirkei Avot.
There’s this joke that goes by saying, “Nobody’s perfect, so therefore I’m Nobody.” The pun’s cheap, the joke’s predictable, and the truth is nobody is perfect, because–as I’ve been saying for years–perfection lies in the imperfect.
So on my mind are a lot of things. I’ve been putting this post off for a while, however, because I’m not sure what to be thankful about–there really are that many options, and the things I’m currently most thankful for are among the most personal and hardest to put into words, so I’m struggling with those even though that’s what I really want to talk about.
Thursday was a great day. I gave four people tours, two in the morning and two more in the afternoon, and all of them went well. Not to mention I didn’t have calculus in the morning, so I got to study for the take home quiz I have to do this weekend, and I got out of my evening class early as well. AND I got to see a lot of friends throughout the day and the GSA went really well. So, really, it was great, and none of that’s including the greatest part of all, which once again borders on the personal and hard-to-put-into-words category.
So I’m going to be ambitious and be thankful about two things today.
When I graduated high school in 2008, my parents wanted to know what to get me: I said (with no endorsement) I wanted an iPod. The allure of Apple (and their overpriced potential) were not what drew me to this decision; but instead it was the possibility of being able to take with me anywhere what I’m most thankful for today.