Monday, August 29, 2011
You wake up, and there's a wall and a ladder. There's one way to go. Up and over. Clearing the first wall, there's another wall, and another ladder. This one's a little higher, with the rungs spaced a little further, than the ladder that came before. After a while, with some help from people taller than you, you learn better ways to climb, how to pace yourself and stay focused. Progressing through school has often felt like this to me. Each wall seems trivially short after the taller wall is cleared, but that makes the task at hand no less daunting. This May I cleared the last wall many who start the climb up formal academia ever attempt, but there's still land above my head.
Tomorrow will be my first day of grad school. I'm not quite sure what to expect. Coming back to Texas A&M, where I've already spent four years learning the ways of engineering and the culture of Texas, is entirely familiar in some ways, and yet I'm about to start something totally new. The dog days of undergrad engineering are over, replaced by something whose nature I don't yet know. An upgrade, to be sure, but I won't exactly know how for some time yet. I'm glad for the time I spent getting to know Boeing and Washington away from Aggieland this summer, but it's still great to be back in this land of joyful optimism. Starting school, as usual, is an anxious time, but I'm hopeful I can keep adapting upward. Wish me luck, or pray for me if that suits you, and here's to a fall of discovery.