Sunday, 25 May 2008

Grasping at Straws

I went to Cambridge yesterday for a conference on progressive policy in energy, education, and health care, which was 1) beautiful and 2) hella refreshing. One of the things I miss most about Harvard was the depth and breadth of progressive thought that encountered as an undergrad - I spent a staggering amount of time on queer issues, but I hung out in circles where reproductive rights, racial and economic justice, immigration, and human rights were also discussed a lot. Here, I talk about that stuff one-on-one with people, but I haven't found that kind of community where I'm engaging by osmosis. So it was healthy and invigorating, even if Leana and I spent as much time on the train as we did at the actual conference.

It was also my last commitment for the next two weeks, because exams start a week from tomorrow and I've cleared my schedule so I can read until my eyes bleed. You can tell when I'm in lockdown mode because the highlights of my day are located closer and closer to my bedroom, where I am currently eating, sleeping, working, and occasionally laying on my bed and doing breathing exercises to stave off panic attacks while listening to the melodic song-stylings of Antony and the Johnsons. Today, I finished the whole NYT Sunday crossword, looked over approximately 300 pages of notes, and the climax of my day was when I tried out the asparagus and chestnut mushrooms that I splurged on at Sainsbury's (they cost a total of four pounds, so take "splurge" with a grain of salt) in the stir-fry I made for dinner. It's not that sad that I tried something new, but it is sad that it was easily the highlight of my day. Like, hands down.

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