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


Campout revels past, a whole weekend in which I lived the life that I never chose as an undergraduate. Two straight days of grill food, beer and party games, and an emergence at the end not with basketball tickets, but the satisfaction of having spent my time with the best of people. 
I spend time with my dearest friends here, in constant admiration of them.

We're on the downswing, now. Just two weeks of classes left before final exams.

Clay asked me, "Where are you in your path to save the world?"  I had no answer. 
They told me it would be like this, that we would be swept suddenly into the rush and bustle of clubs and meetings and social events. That we would begin to forget why we came here.

Team meetings ran short today, and I use the time to reread my application essays. I'm not sure that I found wisdom, but I found ambition, and conviction:

" I am standing in lush New Zealand, the harakeke plants higher than my head, a dense forest all about me. Once, a European stood and gazed as I did. Once, a Pacific Islander. And before that, only nature and its beautiful, odd creatures: flightless birds the size of German shepherds, an eagle striped like a zebra, a land-dwelling duck. Now, they are no more than a memory, hunted to extinction by humans.

This is not the world that I want for my children, and, I believe, not the world that my generation wants to leave behind. I pursue The Duke MBA because if I leave Duke with the experiences, connections and business acumen that I know I will learn at Fuqua, I will be fully prepared to lead in conservation work, and do my part to ensure that this planet’s great diversity will remain for generations to come."

Where am I?

When I visited a couple of classes last year, still deciding whether or not to apply to Fuqua, I remember sitting and asking myself constantly "How can I apply this to conservation?"

Sometime in the past weeks, I got caught in the web of ways to pass a class (P? HP? SP?). I got stuck in figuring out why two products are complements or substitutes, when I should have been searching for how the supply and demand of rare resources fluctuate in relation to each other. I got stuck in comparing myself to my teammates, to what work was being done. Such pettiness, and for what end?

These things, the recognition of wandering, brings me back on track.  

I am, of course, also here to dance. 
Even that has begun to fade; I am hard pressed to find gym time. My feet crave the floor's solidity, my muscles long for the release of flight. 

Underlying all these things are the ways of living that I believe in: That we become most powerful when we give our power away. And that every day I want to take my energy and, in the words of Dillard, “spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time” Like a wellspring, it fills from the bottom and is never exhausted.

As the days turn chill, I stop curling inward. I embrace it all and give it all. Here I am: my heart and my trust and everything I am becoming, every day. I cannot say how long the path is, so I cannot know how much further it stretches. But this is what I came here for. 
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