Monday, September 17, 2012


In some ways, I'm slightly embarrassed that anyone who might even casually know me "in real life" could stumble upon my blog.  In fact, it has already happened, several times, in spite of my reluctance to share the URL outright.

My writing on here isn't perfect, the same way the e-mails I compose at work sometimes lack a word here and there -- or worse, I misuse a word or write choppy sentences.  However, it's a conscious choice for me to write and proofread as I am able, and everything that goes amiss is attributed to the casual nature of this blog.  (The work e-mails, on the other hand, can be attributed to "Blackberry thumb" or extreme volume??)

I have been out of school now for close to a year and a half.  "The Ukrainian" is about half-way through with his second master's degree, and many of my friends are starting to turn down my invitations to "hang out" after work because they are studying for graduate exams.  Wow, total role-reversal.  Meanwhile, the most profound thoughts in my mind these days seem to revolve around what to make for dinner, how many miles I should hobble through, or how to arrange our wedding seating chart.

I've been trying to read, which is sometimes successful but sometimes is beaten out by the allure of the television, which I spent many years practically avoiding.  I can tell you about the latest happenings on Glee but can sometimes barely remember the contents of my dissertation.

I think Lisa Simpson called it "dumbening" (not a word).

People keep trying to justify my feelings of mental dullness by saying things like, "Well, you already got a doctorate... do you want a second one or something?" and "You deserve a rest now!"  While I do agree that I need "rest," I'm not really sure what that entails.  Going to work daily doesn't seem to be much of a "rest," regardless of the fact that I don't have to fire up THAT many neurons in my regular activities.  I still come home tired and somewhat uninspired to do anything but put stuff away, eat, and sleep.

I'm not really sure where to go from here.  I have thought about going for a certification, but I am hoping to hold off on that until my company will pay for part of it and I obtain more relevant work experience to add more value to the whole thing.  I have been dropping not-so-subtle hints to "The Ukrainian" that I want the new Kindle so that I can stop using my laziness to go to the library (something I did a lot of earlier in the year but have stopped due to circulation frustration and general icky-ness of the books) as an excuse not to read. Reading stuff online is one thing, but I think I just need some good old-fashioned literature to inspire me again.

Secondly, there's María, my guitar.  I've abandoned her not too long after I moved and haven't been motivated to work on techniques.  After the wedding, I definitely plan on practicing more.  Playing music is emotionally cathartic and probably mentally stimulating, as well.

Finally, I want to work on my writing.  I used to dream of winning the Nobel Prize in Literature (hence "Nobel4Lit") when I was a teen, and even when I moved over to scientific writing, there had always been an air of intellectualism in anything I wrote.  Nowadays, I'm not so sure.  I may start writing in this blog more often -- and I don't mean in the frequency of my posts but moreso the details in which I will go about things.  A few times, I have considered starting another blog to write about intellectual topics -- things I've read, concepts in my field, etc. -- but I'm not sure if I have the time to support two blogs.

Of course, some of you might wonder why I feel the need to keep going on to "the next thing," but I believe most runners** can relate to this need.  People don't love others for their intellect, but knowledge is liberating.  Learning helps deter hasty judgement of others, fear, and it opens people to new ways of thought and ways of experiencing things.

**Hopefully, I can still consider myself somewhat connected to this categorization.  I hope to run more once the weather cools down!


  1. There's a quote from Alexander Pope that seems fitting to this post: "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing / Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring."

    In other words, learning is a life-long endeavor; we should all seek to be curious. And, typically, the more we learn, the more we find we don't know! Thus: It's addicting!

  2. Maybe you don't need to read books at the library, perhaps you can borrow from friends or something? Could you read more literature in your field so you stay up to date with the latest?

    Also, figuring out seating charts isn't that easy.

  3. @cindylu -- Good idea on the friends' books! I subscribed to academic journals, but wow, do I struggle paying attention through those! =P