The End is Near

I got my official invitation to graduation yesterday!

I have no interest in attending – as I’ve said before, why bother going to the main campus for graduation if I haven’t made it there in the last 4.5 years? – but it’s nice to know that I haven’t been under some misguided assumption that I’d actually be finishing this semester.

The even better news is that I really only have 21 days left until I turn in my last paper.

Yes, you read that right.

TWENTY-ONE DAYS.

I have more than enough to keep me busy between now and then — I have a stack of reading waiting for me today in prep for an exam Tuesday night, a group presentation next Monday, and a 25-page paper to write that I’ve done about 10 percent of the research for. (Isn’t that what my cross-country flights for work are really for this week?)

But I can’t stop myself from thinking about what I’ll do once I leave the crowded public policy garage one last time. I’ve already done the Disney thing this spring, so I guess I’ll have to settle for a few other, more pedestrian activities:

  • Sell back the books I’ve been holding on to for a really, really long time. I kept them just in case, but I seriously doubt that I’m going to be cracking open my microeconomics textbook or a book called “Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making” again anytime soon. Anyone want to claim them before I try to get 50 cents for them at the bookstore?
  • Make risotto. You might recall my low-iodine diet risotto from last summer. At some point after that, I bought saffron, and I’ve been waiting for time to break it out and make a risotto worthy of the pricey ingredient. Now I’ll have time! Who’s in for dinner?
  • Read, read, read, read, read. Santa brought me a Nook for Christmas, and it was a great excuse to read voraciously between then and the start of the semester. I have read exactly one book for fun since then, and I’m ready to get back. First on my list: Two Kisses for Maddy, Matt Logelin’s memoir based on his blog (link on the right) detailing life with his daughter after losing his wife. I haven’t let myself buy it yet because I know I’ll sit and read that well before I crack open “Here Comes Everybody,” the 330-page book I need to read in time for a presentation in two weeks. I also want to finish “Animal,Vegetable, Miracle,” and read “Under the Banner of Heaven,” “The Four-Hour Workweek,” and “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves” (yes, I am a dork who has a grammar book on my to-read list). What else should be there? Mindless titles welcome.
  • Weed out the Tivo and Netflix queue. I found a pocket of time last week to catch up on Bethenny, but I’ve had Arrested Development waiting since last summer, and Alan Sepinwall keeps telling me that Parks and Recreation is a great show. Maybe now I’ll have time to check it out.
  • Break in new shoes. It’s time to get back out on the pavement. I’m signed up for an 8k in two weeks (for the Jimmy V Foundation), so I’ve stepped up my running a bit, by necessity, but I really want to get back out there on a regular basis, and not of desperation. I guess that means it’s time to refresh my running playlist. Any ideas for good new songs to help keep a pace?
  • Hit the road. The first half of this year has been/will be full of travel, much of it lots of fun and to see many of you. But there are others of you who I haven’t visited in too long — I hope with school behind me, I’ll finally get to make some of those trips.
But first, before I start (happily) making my way through that list? B and I are going to take a day off of work – incidentally, my graduation day AND my birthday – to hang out in DC together and celebrate both making it through my graduate program. I can’t wait.
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One thought on “The End is Near

  1. Some random thoughts:

    * I’m in for dinner, and hopefully I’ll be living in the neighborhood by the time you’re ready to make it!

    * Under the Banner of Heaven is fascinating and scary at the same time, and even creepier if you’ve ever lived in Utah.

    * Parks and Rec is hilarious. Ron Swanson is The Man.

    * My sister just made me a Tipper Gore Remix – some explicit lyrics that will keep you going. I’m happy to provide details if you want some new tunes!

    * Can’t wait to celebrate graduation with some cocktails!

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