Am I an expat in training?

>> 05 December 2013

The other night I got an overwhelming wave of wanderlust, and wanted to go somewhere- anywhere. I consoled myself by remembering that I was *just* in Thailand last month and that I'm about to spend a glorious three weeks in the Promised Land (Texas). The next morning I realized it wasn't a travel itch, it's that I'm ready to go back to Timor. There's something about that country that draws me back almost as soon as I've left. When I'm in the US I feel like I left something really important behind and I need to go back and figure out what it was. I read Timor blogs about *everything*, even things that I don't particularly care about. I have google alerts set for all things Timor and language. I read about Timor all the time, I think about Timor all the time, and all I want to do is get back there and work. On my first trip, I thought expats that I met in Dili were nuts and I largely ignored them. On my second trip, *they* embraced *me* and while I loved living with my Timorese family, I was very grateful. I think they recognized me as a future member of their weird club.... we'll see!

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>> 28 November 2013

I feel like a very different, much younger version of myself this week. I'm home alone, doing homework on the night before Thanksgiving (and the start of a 4 day weekend woo), singing quietly to myself and wishing my boyfriend would call me. I spent 12 weeks away from him this summer and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Every serious relationship I've ever had has been characterized by long stretches of physical separation for one reason or another, and I am just not cut out for it. There's another potential long-term separation coming up next year (10 months... oh my lord) and the thought makes me shallow-breathed and weary. Here's hoping that the boyfriend can just come WITH ME. There's a thought.

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And now, a list of complaints

>> 26 November 2013

Or rather, here is where my complaints would be if I were foolish enough to list them. 

For the last year or so, life in my department has been tumultuous and unpleasant. Overwhelming sense of (entirely undeserved) entitlement, lack of the most basic professionalism, and utter disdain for personal responsibility seem to be the main culprits. 

I just wish I could remind the rest of our grad students that they are here training to become specialists and professionals in their field; to work harder, talk less; to make something while they're here so they have something worthwhile to show for it when it's over. Alas, this is what gets you branded as a faculty spy or department lackey, so I say nothing. 

The real world is scary and terrible- graduate school is safe and wonderful. Makes me feel like some kind of mutant to even say that, but there it is.

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