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It was mid-May, things were starting to warm up, and we were coming off of a pretty intense semester. Was it naivete, arrogance, or maybe that extra glass of Sauvignon Blanc I had to get me through some particularly gnarly statistics modules that made me think "12 credits this summer? Suuuuuure, why not?" So I signed up for three classes.

Yup, 120 credit hours from June to August. That's 5 Saturdays, a full week, and 14 Thursday evenings sprinkled in. I think my favorite memory was the day we had class from 8:30 to 4:30, then a half hour break, then class again from 5-8. We walked into that second class like zombies. By 6, our eyes had glazed over. By 7:30, we started laughing for no reason, which morphed pretty quickly into crying. It wasn't pretty. My classmates and I balanced full time jobs, planning weddings, long trips, and a miniscule semblance of a social life (who were we kidding - no social life) with trying to stay inspired, focusing on getting the tools and knowledge we will need for our dissertations, and some days, just stringing a coherent sentence together.

But we are halfway through. Thirty-six credits down. Is that a light I see at the end if this very long tunnel? It's crazy to think that we have been in this brand new program for over a year, plowing ahead.

On a vacation to see family in Shillingstone, England a few years ago (where I took the picture above), we spent some time hiking up Hambledon Hill, a prehistoric hill fort, that is thought to have been first created in the neolithic period. The characteristics of a hill fort are that there are ditches dug out in the side of the hill in a fairly concentric pattern (think rounded wedding cake). When you're on the hill, it's hard to see past the top of the ditch you are currently climbing, so you don't have much of a clue whether you are actually climbing to the top, or have 5 more layers to go. I'm pretty sure I'm just at the top of a layer right now, not the top of the hill, but hey, the plateau is nice for a while.

Bring on the next one.

Posted by Nastasia Lawton on August 31, 2011 9:12 AM

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