Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin
cswallow

Firsts

From the moment I stepped out my door this morning, into the gentle darkness of 6:15 am, I felt like a wide-eyed, hopeful freshman all over again. This may be mainly attributed to the 50 mph Chicago-esque wind gusts, cold enough to burn my cheeks and whip tears into my eyes. But I'd like to think it's also attributed to adventurousness, like I could step onto the El again, just to pass the day by wandering around the city, everything fresh and for the first time.

Here's a real first: I'm actually ahead in my homework. I haven't spent a single night up late, scrambling to finish an assignment. The crazy weeks from first semester seem like someone else's life, someone undisciplined. But perhaps I give myself too much credit. Dima's traveling during all of January meant I hadn't driven to Charlotte during all of January. The 7 hour trip on Monday left me weary and sore. It's really my dancing that's stealing my sleep! On the other hand, when I stepped into the studio, the first thing I heard was "Welcome home!!!" How can I not want to be there all the time?

Here's another first: I bought tofu at the Chinese grocery store last week (sorry, Janet). I know, I know. I'm losing my mind out here, clearly - first I unflinchingly pick up "y'all" (ok, ok, I flinched a little the first time), and now I'm cooking tofu. Next think you know, I'll actually be enjoying lima beans. Just kidding, that will never happen.

And a final first: I LOVE SCIENCE. No really. Math.. not yet, but hey, there's still time. This stuff I'm learning is wicked cool. Chemistry, Toxicology, Thermodynamics - these are no longer topics that I am just struggling through so I can feel legitimate in the conservation field. They're ways of seeing the world anew. Bumbling my way through these early classes feels like how scientists think a child first learns to see. These basic ideas are just shapes and colors, but if I strain my eyes often enough, I may be rewarded as they slowly materialize into sharpness.

Annie Dillard wrote, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." I think back to a post just a few weeks back, when I'd panicked about how I was spending my life. I still feel uneasy, but on days like this, when I'm startled into life by that hard, whistling wind, and I feel my mind stretching to new comprehensions - well.. I worry less :)
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