One of the best ideas I've heard all summer was from Sarah, who went home for a summer between college and grad school to cultivate enough boredom that grad school would be like Disney World. Following her lead, I think it was smart to leave this past week for settling in, because after just four days I'm chomping at the bit to get started in a way that I definitely wasn't when I arrived on Wednesday afternoon. (Then, I was jet-lagged and overwhelmed and reduced to apologetically tipping anyone who helped me with my leftover dinars from the UAE.)
So tomorrow I meet with a couple of researchers here in Manila, and I'm both pumped and terrified. Pumped, because I want to get this stuff underway. Terrified, because if they're busy and can't help me, I have no idea what I'm going to do here. I'm not at all qualified to wander into impoverished inner-city neighborhoods and knock on people's doors to ask them eighty questions about poverty. I outlined four backup plans tonight, but those were mostly to make myself feel better, because Plan E involves packing up and going to a city in southern Luzon where a friend of a friend is doing poverty research, and that's the only thing that's maybe dumber than what I came up with for Plans B-D. Anyway, wish me luck!
(Also, I can't find an International Herald Tribune to save my life, so if anyone has a copy of the New York Times crossword for today and feels like scanning it and emailing it to me, I will love you forever.)