Reflection on Non-Academia

So I heard today from L that she ran into another Denison alum, one whom I associate with D(enison) R(eligious) U(nderstanding).  It set me on a mini-tangent, and a nostalgic one at that, about missing the people and the time in DRU.  I realized that one thing I liked about it was that although I knew (for the most part) enough about the regular members to know roughly what they studied (major, senior thesis topic, etc.), that wasn’t why we were there.  Sometimes the academic stuff would come up (especially if someone in discussion said, “In a class we talked about…” or naturally the religion majors’ areas of study) but as far as DRU was concerned, we were focused on the goals and activities of that group, and I’d like to think that it was more than just free food, but a respite from academic work to remind us that yes, there are other things.

That there are other things is something I’ve been having trouble remembering lately – maybe that’s why I make a point to watch Scrubs every evening, and was so excited to be able to drive my car today (well, that and the fact that there was no longer a pile of snow blocking it in.  Stupid plow.)  And I don’t think it’s just a peculiarity of Chicago (university not city) that I can blame for focusing only on academic work.  It’s definitely a big part my own doing – and while it’s somewhat too late to alter my schedule now, seeing as how two huge papers need to get done (well, a draft of one and a completed other) more or less by next Friday, the plan for next quarter is to get work done, yes, but also to get free time done.  And I imagine the weather will be much more conducive to that.  Maybe I could even make it as far out as the walking/bike trail along the lake.  That would be nice.

Anyway,  I guess my point is, don’t make one thing, everything.  It wears on you.  And I know that in undergrad that’s all I wanted to do – focus on the academic, make that the principal pursuit.  But I think the only reason why I thought I could focus on academics only was because I already had built in bits of “non-academia” – roommates, visits to friends, the occasional weekend at home, and of course DRU and Alpha Chi.  That’s what I miss.   And that’s what I need to work on – starting with a really, truly, genuine break next month.  Atlanta will be great.


1 comment so far

  1. Curtis Plowgian on

    Yeah, as Jack would say, “life is meant for things other than just work”. That’s why we love him so much. It’s important to have a vacuum of anti-work where you can go and unwind (like Upper Elm 101, or France). The only problem I can see is that some people such as Jon Greene and myself have learned this lesson a little too well, and we live in places like Upper Elm 101 and France. People like us are probably few and far between, though, so most people probably do need to remember the other things more often than they do.

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