I've been in Seattle a long time now, it feels. And I liked the city so much during the summer--endless sunshine, nearly endless 70 degree weather (I'm selectively blocking out that one retched week it reached 100), 16-17 hours of sunshine in a day. And I'm liking the city so much less the longer and longer and Longer the darkness goes on. It was pitch black at 7am every day this week, and was well on its way to getting dark as I headed home from work. I know that day lights savings is tomorrow, but all that will mean is that for a few more days it will be almost light at 7am and it will be dark on my way home. I was not meant to live this far north.
I've been at IHME for two months now. I'm pretty sure I've learned quite a bit while working there, but sometimes it doesn't seem so because everybody else already knows so much. This week was a superbly frustrating week at work. I was assigned several new tasks that I had (have) no idea how to do, we had training for something else all day Tuesday and Thursday so there wasn't much time to get anything done and whenever I thought I had figured out something, it didn't work. I spent an amazing amount of time this week staring at my computer in despair.
I'm still happy I'm there though. I don't think every week is going to be like this week--last week certainly wasn't, and I'm still holding out hope for next week. And I am learning, and I am having the opportunity to hear people speak all the time and to think about things that I think are important. And I get to go to school while working at job where school is part of my job, and I get to do so with a whole bunch of people who I very solidly enjoy being around. That last part, the part about enjoying my co-workers and classmates (who are essentially one and the same) so much probably been the largest blessing of this whole experience so far.
I think the real question about this whole thing is how to keep up the pace for the next three years. I already miss the people who I don't get to see as much because I'm always at work or doing classwork. And I still like to dream about making friends outside of an academic context. We'll see.
Meanwhile, since November is tomorrow I've started thinking about Christmas presents for my family and for friends. For a few people I already have fantastic ideas, and am quite thoroughly pleased with myself. Other people are going to have to drop some pretty heavy hints. Probably a good thing that Christmas is still two months away, though I do wish it was closer so that I could be going home (hurrah Illinois!)
It's nice and sunny out today. I don't have to go to work. I'm going to go enjoy the sun.