late August

A few minutes ago the clock ticked into August 31st. The end of a month is here again, and again I cannot believe the rapidity with which it passed me. I distinctly remember being _surprised it was July_, and that doesn’t seem like very long ago. In a little over 24 hours I’ll be leaving for China, halfway across the ruddy world. I’ve been thinking and talking (and talking) about this trip for half a year now, always held up as the crowning jewel of what I was going to do with my summer (a question I get asked a lot). And here it is, after months due preparation the bubbling hyperbole is about to come to a full boil. I have the highest hopes, I think it should be an absolutely excellent trip. This is again something I have been saying for days to anyone who asks about it, but again I don’t think that means it isn’t true.

Beyond the mountain of this China trip lies school, a return to familiar things in one sense and a sort of new adventure in another. Things will be a little more serious in all ways this year, I think. Certainly the school work will be more… focused, out of necessity, but also I think my exposure to the larger campus will be much more broad and familiar though not in an uncomfortable way. It’s not really about newness anymore. Certainly there will be new things, indeed I’m frequently amazed by how absolutely little I took in during freshman year, but the entire experience isn’t novel anymore. But I hope that this will be advantageous. There are improvements to be made. I have this frantic drive within me to do everything, I am never convinced I am making the most out of the opportunities I have. It’s a bit compulsive. But I think I will very rarely have the kind of opportunities I do now, at least to do certain things. So I’d better do them! I’m glad I don’t take this impulse too seriously, it’s more of a nag than anything else. If I acted on it, I would be such an overachieving, exhausted person. As much as I’m frustrated with some people for overwhelming themselves with fascinating commitments (I’m looking at you here, Anita) they’re at least getting a lot done. That’s part of the compulsion. Needing to have “something to show for myself.”

But enough of that annoyance. Some nice things about August:

the last few days at the beach, absorbing the beauty
the fifth century party
Katie, and things
solitary night-time bike rides, possibly ill-advised

Less nice was saying goodbye to everyone (again! It gets easier, it seems). And not having my own space as much as I am used to, even when it’s just me and my dad as it often is in the summertime. But it was nice to have a full house, too, to have family again.

As an endnote, the one thing I do have to show for myself this August is a set of poems. I tried to write one a day. I counted some of my more poetic blog entries (although I’m counting this one, which I admit is more than a bit of a stretch) but have basically kept with it. I’ll write a last one tomorrow, the day before leaving, and I will have 30 (I started this project the 2nd of the month)… things. Poorly written first drafts, mostly, but at least it’s something. I had been looking forward to fixing some of them up for the fall, but have discovered the only poetry class I have a chance of taking is a class exclusively on the prose poem. Still, there might be some adaptations in there. Time will tell, she’s such a gossip she always does.

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