Practicing my purpose

by Sarah Luna

A new day dawns, and I am practicing my purpose once again. – Gabe Dixon

Well Spring Break wasn’t the productive period I’d hoped it would be. It’s all my fault, too. I just didn’t have the self-discipline to sit myself down and work. Yes, everyone needs a break sometimes, but I’m afraid my “break” crossed the threshold into idleness.

I did manage to do some productive things. I got new tires. I filed my taxes for the first time on my own. I brainstormed possible minors, committee members, and degree directions. I caught up on grading. I almost know the Our Father in French. I went social dancing. I explored the surrounding waterfalls. I ran seven miles. I read an epi chapter and did some macro homework. Perhaps you can see a trend here.

The first person singular

I did things on my own. It was kind of a lonely week–not in a depressing way but simply in a bored way. I missed my new friends. I re-learned (because this lesson never sticks) that I need my colleagues and friends. Collaboration is a vital part of this whole PhD thing.

I’m very tempted to wallow in the failure that was my spring break. I should have used this time to get way ahead. But I’m going to move on. Tonight I met with some of my first-year cohort to help a colleague prepare a seminar. Each of us has to give this dreaded “703 seminar” in which we analyze and present a scientific article. Often other groups call this journal club. My group at A&M had one, and it was good. Cornell takes it to a whole new level. Our faculty mean business. They do an excellent job of figuring out exactly what we haven’t thought of and ask us exactly those questions.

Meeting with those five women was the best part of my break because I was addressing my purpose.

I’m excited to get back to the office tomorrow.