Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I'd talk to you right now but...

soon I have to crawl back into bed and ball up beneath the covers.

The quarterly newsletter published by my scholarship funding body arrived today, full of stories about the kind of hyperachieving peers who make me feel like an underevolved species. Read about the girl who's publishing a book this year -- WHILE she finishes her PhD and BEFORE she's even 25! Oh wait, flip the page to the guy who's become a professional photographer while he's still a student here! Then there's the great one about the kids who are planning a 15000-mile expedition driving little three-wheeled vehicles from western Europe to China! Hey, those last kids aren't even grad students yet!

The great thing about studying here is that there will always be at least a herd's worth of other students who are smarter, better-looking, more accomplished, and decidedly more organized than you are. Do you speak two languages? Well, I have a friend who speaks 7 (and those are just the ones in which she's fluent). Like to ski? There's an Olympic cross-country qualifier here. Trust me, within a few short months of being here, you develop self-esteem neuroses you never knew were lurking in the dark crevices of your psyche.

So far, my major accomplishment for the academic year involves spotting a rare subspecies of squirrel that few people ever see around here. Take that, expedition kids!

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