There are two places on earth I feel most comfortable: the campus of a university and the inside of a hospital. I realized this today as I walked into the student union building after getting some assistance with tuition for this, my 4th degree. You could call me a perpetual student, I guess, but not in the sense that I’m perpetually going to school since I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I know, more or less, what I want to do and school is a means of helping me achieve my goals.
Other than still being single and still in school, 5 years ago, this was more or less my life plan, although back then, I sort of thought I’d have kids by now. I always thought, for some reason, that I’d have kids when I turned 28. But since that seems to be unlikely given the fact that I turn 29 in 5 months, I’ll continue with my previous thought.
As I walked across campus, I wished it were biking season. The air is inverted this time of year in Utah and breathing outside is a little bit like dying if you’re being highly melodramatic as I am sometimes wont to do. But as a student whipped by me on a long board (or maybe a skateboard, I guess), I got to thinking about riding a bike across campus, any campus really, at the beginning of fall semester. For those of us who are students, the years start in August and are divided into 2 to 4 month blocks. Fall signals new beginnings much in the way that January signals resolutions and makes it difficult to find a spot in yoga class for the rest of the world.
But I thought today as I walked through the inverted air how much I love that beginning: the beginning of learning. The air is clean. The campus is full of energy. My bike is in tiptop shape after a summer of being used almost daily. And it dawned on me then that I guess I’m doing the right thing. I spend half my life learning: on a campus and in a hospital. I spend the other half of it working: in a hospital. And a third of it teaching: in a hospital. Do you see where I’m going with this? The two places I feel most comfortable are the same two places I spend so much of my time.
So, as I embark on yet another semester, my 26th semester of college, if you can believe it, I resolve to spend more time biking across campuses, both hospital and otherwise. Lots of time learning. Lots of time teaching. And enough time away to balance out the crazy.