T-minus Twenty-Five Days, or: The Unexpected Monotony of Winter Break

As the rest of Iowa State’s students roll up their beach towels, pack their bags, and prepare to make their way back to the windswept plains, I’m continuing the daily routine I perfected back in December: waking up, working out, and then attempting to fill my time with an activity that even hints at being constructive.  Today this meant culling the remnants of middle school from my iPod (sorry, Metro Station)–and yesterday, it was wading through articles for a future project on QTL mapping and marker-assisted selection (don’t ask).  And although I sometimes feel satisfied with my accomplishments, it never sounds as impressive out loud as it does in my head.  When answering the question, “So, what’d you do today?”, my response is always the same: “Uh…not much.”

You’d think that if you were preparing to move to the opposite corner of the globe in twenty-five days, there would be a flurry of activity, or at least some sense of hurried preparation.  Why am I sitting around at home when I’m leaving so soon?  To be honest, it’s because there’s not much more for me to do.  My documents are submitted, my flight is booked, and it’s too soon to start packing.  There will be time for frantic last-minute freak-outs, I’m sure, and an eventual moment of “oh-sh-t-it-just-got-real-what-am-I-doing-I’m-completely-unprepared-for-this” reckoning.  There will come a day where I sit and debate the advantages of bringing three pairs of shoes instead of four, but today is not that day…and tomorrow probably won’t be, either.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my last days at home and try to appreciate the -35° windchill while I can (who knows, maybe I’ll miss my parka).  I hope everyone has had a relaxing break, and I wish you a good start to the spring semester!  As my departure gets closer, I’ll keep you updated.  Stay tuned for an answer to the question: “So what’s there to do in New Zealand, anyway?”

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