Even though over-plurality is tolerated in other University of Colorado at Boulder realms (namely, the 4 or 5 “official school websites that all are essential and have different school things on them and are not merged”), I was not able to register for every graduate seminar in my department.

How annoying.

I’m having the worst time being focused and directional about my course and sub-field selection.

Explanatory side note: of the 6 sub-fields in our Political Science department, we choose 1 major field, a second major (taking comprehensive exams in both), and a minor field (coursework only, no comps). Policy, International Relations, Comparative Politics, American Politics, Methods, and Political Theory are our choices.

Everything sounds interesting! Which I guess is how I have arrived at this age and state in life without having a substantive career… Everything seems interesting! Tonight in desperation I went to talk to the Director of Graduate studies, I babbled on about my class choices and research interests and when he finally got a word in edgewise… “well, at least you seem to have ruled out Political Theory.”

Anyway, I think I actually might have my class schedule/life figured out here pretty soon, which is good because you are not supposed to be exhausted only halfway through the first week of classes, before any real learning has happened. But I’m exhausted. I have been in class a LOT these past few days, “shopping” for what I am going to take, visualizing my semester and summer and comprehensive exams and dissertation and rest of my life, trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings by dropping their class, and on top of that I have had to WALK (?!?!?) to school because it’s been way too cold (like single-digits cold when I head out in the morning) to ride my bike. I tried on Monday, and over the course of the 1 mile downhill coast to my building, I got so cold that I couldn’t operate my brakes and had to topple into a snowpile to stop. Same thing happened on my ride home. Uphill! So I’ve been walking instead, harder work and less wind.

Speaking of it being cold… Indoor training! My three-month long Hawaiian Christmas Vacation followed immediately by my 6 week long San Diegan Spring Break exonerated me from any treadmill/trainer workouts in 2010, but this year I’m back in going-nowhere-fast while-sweating-copiously mode. I’m re-learning a few secrets, too:

- when it starts to feel hard, turn up the volume on your music.
- have a detailed specific plan, down to the minute even.

For example yesterday I had 4×10 mins LT on the bike. In one place, in my office, no TV, ugggghhh right? But it went really well! I mentally broke each interval up into 2:30 segments, each with 2 min in aero bars and then :30 in base bars, then right into the next 2 min in aero bars, etc., with consistent wattage goal throughout. (And definitely a couple instances of turning up the volume.) Instead of looking for a time that was 10 endless minutes away, the furthest goal was always 2 minutes or less. You can do anything for two minutes. And, before I knew it I was in the shower and off to class, workout successfully in the bag.

Funny, maybe I should apply this kind of philosophy to my graduate work. I get easily overwhelmed when I focus only on the big picture, i.e. dissertation and job market, and I forget that it’s the day-to-day of enjoying the process that will get me there.

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