I'm back to this blog. For the next few minutes, at least. I decided this morning that I needed some processing time. I remembered the days when this blog was an outlet of sorts, for me. I went back to the last few blogs I've made. Yep, I'm still sick of weddings, I'm failing as a naturalist (I haven't even tried), and I'm still trying to process what the last 6 months of my life have been. There has been so much change and so many new things. Overall, it has been wonderful. I love being married. Love love. I could never have dreamed to feel like this. Before our wedding I had no idea what it would be like to be married but I am perfectly content. It's not perfect, and no marriage is, but its challenges make both of us stronger and grow us closer together.

I am also in school again. REAL school, not IslandWood style. I am commuting 4 days a week to UW. Car --> ferry --> Walk to Pioneer Square station --> Express bus --> class --> reverse. Six weeks in to fall quarter, I can say that it hasn't been so bad. Reuben warms my seat in the car every morning (class starts at 8:30am for me 2 days a week so I have to take the 7:05am ferry), and I get work done on the ferry as I eat my breakfast. The bus is only 15 minutes or so, and I enjoy walking the streets of Seattle. There's something quite empowering about commuting. I know exactly where I am going. I can give people directions when they're lost. I walk en masse. The weather has been pretty decent this fall, and I haven't really had any super rainy-day commutes. I think that is about to change.

Classes are challenging. Academically challenging - only slightly, but it is more challenging to me on a more personal front. The classes that I am taking are Curriculum & Instruction (a class which I despise, and is excluded from this discussion), Global Health, and Economics of International Development. The latter two: I love. Global Health is way beyond what I expected. I'm not so much learning about sicknesses and diseases from a medical perspective as much as I am learning about the politics, socioeconomics, and history of the aid industry. It's fascinating. My economics class is hard and I can never wrap my brain around the concepts, but I think that makes a point in and of itself. Economics is confusing. The development industry is caught up in all this confusion, which has created a complicated, bureaucratic and global mess. I am always surprised, often aghast, and constantly being confronted with challenging ideas and points of view. It is a collision of my past experience, what I am currently learning, and (what I thought were) my future goals. It's developed a little bit of a crisis in me. I want to work with the poor, I want to help (as well as so many other good-willed people out there), but how can I do any good when the 'helping,' in and of itself, so often hurts? It would be easy to sit for a million hours straight and talk about everything that's wrong with the industry these days. That we blindly trust big aid agencies to use our tax dollars charitably. Don't get me started on child sponsorship. Is there any hope to be found? Is there such thing as a solution (or solutionS) I'm getting so muddled down and burdened with the crisis that I don't see anything positive coming out of it all. Only lately I've realized that this is exhausting me. What I'm learning is so interesting, but it's a dead end. There are some people out there perhaps that live to confront and critique. Take William Easterly for example. But that's not me. I'm not the confrontational type. What I've realized is that for all of the negative things I have learned, I need to channel them into something positive. And over the past week I've realized that I need to start to volunteer again. For the past few months (ok...year) I've been so caught up in my own life, my work and teaching, planning a wedding, and now being married that I allowed myself to take a break from reaching out to the community. From now on, I'm going to make it a goal to start that up again. It's so fulfilling that every time I go I think, "Why haven't I done this forever?" With all the synthesis that has been happening in my brain lately, it will be exciting to synthesize everything else with current real life experiences. Yay!

I guess that's all I want to say for now. Hopefully I'll be back soon for some more processing.

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