jueves, 18 de octubre de 2007

The gifts of a season - my grad student sprint

This post is mainly a celebration of a season. Today, I'm taking time to count the myriad ways in which May-November has been generous to me.

It has been, I believe, the time of my genuine experience as a graduate student. My life has been affluent in all the ways that my time back at Michigan was scarce -- I now have love by my side; I get to laugh often over silly things; while I still wonder about lots of stuff, I now have a basic ability to navigate the everyday nuances of being an adult (which I didn't have at 22) - whereas the areas where I am still disfunctional, I must admit that it has beem mostly by choice; I eat healty and delicious food I now have the skill and energy to make for Jenny and myself; I exercise; I still retain my dignity, conscience and peace of mind unsullied... And yes, it's close to the end of my rope and I'm officially "without liquidity", the last of my savings is put away to face paying the minimum on my credit cards and next month's rent, while Jenny is covering the everyday expenses with her savings... But overall, my Integral Worth, as a person, is more solid, and more clear in my mind than it has ever been.

I had thought that I'd left behind activism a dozen or so years ago, only to realize I had only become more discriminating about my causes. Recently, I had to decide whether to pick up the banner of dignity as a University for Peace graduating student, or to simply look away and float into the driftwood of acquiescence to authority simply because it is authority. At the time, I held strong to the banner, this particular banner said "Transparency and Accountability", until there was a new cohort of students who will need to make that same decision for themselves. I had Jenny's support AND PATIENCE throughout the process, and the response of nearly a third of the graduating students, and later of 40% of the alumni from 5 prevoius years. A fellow alumni's documents much of that struggle in his blog: http://upaz.blogspot.com/ .

An unexpected consequence of researching background material about UPEACE's new direction, its links with corporate and geopolitical interests distanced from accountability and the prevalence of human rights over economic criteria, and the call for accountability and transparency, has been the opportunity to become more stronlgy committed to the cause of Burmese people, the monks who are leading the most recent pro-democracy protests, and the country's rightful leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. It seems this will be a long battle given the indiference of the Costa Rican government and media towards the current events in Burma (Myanmar).

Jenny and I also had our moment of anti-CAFTA activism. It was only for a few weeks and doesn't match the commitment of the thousands of volunteer community activists who worked non-stop until the day of the vote, but it was significant and committed. It was also Jenny's first activism experience.

I had another surprise connect with a job opportunity, working with Franklin, which seemed to slip from my fingers at least twice, but was rescued each time, once by Franklin's stubborness and a second time through a last minute hattrick that involved getting information about my U of M degree from someone I hadn't seen in over 15 years. Now I'm waiting for this to work its magic and turn the tide finantially, as well as nurturing my career and my experience as a trainer.

So with a heightened awareness of imparmanence, I count my blessings, parry the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" and keep alive my connection with the flow.

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