Monday, November 17, 2014

Someone Alert The Starks...

Winter isn't coming.  It's already here.

First morning scrapping off my car before driving to campus.

Many more to come, I'm sure, White Walkers or no.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How Old Would You Be If You Didn't Know How Old You Were

I have always been a big believer in living how old we think we are, rather than how old we actually are.  My parents live at least 10 years younger than any number printed on their government IDs.  I spent most of my 20s first having a job way too serious for a recent college graduate and then a job that involved living like a recent college graduate when I wasn't one.  And now, in my 30s...I have no idea how old to be.

I should preface what comes next with the fact that for most of my life, I have been pronounced "young."  I even wrote about it when I turned 30.  It's a compliment and a superior-than-thou put-down all rolled into one.

I was numerically young, lived young, called young - and felt young, if only because I was told I was.

I am dealing with a completely different set of pronouncements these days.

To me, graduate school was always something that people did when they were older.  Literally, for the first 21 years of life, graduate students (aside from Doogie Howser, M.D., of course) were older than me.  Then I spent five years working as my friends went to grad school and came back with degrees that cost them money *and* job interviews because employers figured they were over-qualified and would demand salaries higher what was on offer.  I was now at that older, grad school age, but the whole idea was seriously disincentivized.  

So here I am, finally in graduate school because I am "older" and everyone is so young!  Aside from two part-time students in their late 40s, the oldest person in my counseling psychology cohort is 8 years younger than me.  In the SPH, there are two married PhDs in their mid-30s, and everyone else is 30 or younger.  My lab TAs this summer were six years younger than me, and they each have masters degrees and are two years into their PhDs.

One of my favorite party tricks is reminding them that I graduated from college before Facebook, Wikipedia, or Youtube existed.  That I didn't have an email address when I showed up for college or a cell phone until I was a sophomore. {Minds blown.}

The vast majority of time my peers and I get along gangbusters.  I skip the hard-core drinking shenanigans, and know they leave me off certain invites that I'm kind of relieved to miss, but I am included far more than I am not.  'Cuz I'm fun and come with a bunny ;)

On the other side is my professors.  IU isn't a starter college for faculty (Professor Beeball, aside), so for the most part they are older and established, but a few are closer to me in age than some of my classmates.

What about my extracurriculars you ask?  This is where the bottom falls out.  My usual swimming group is comprised entirely of high-school students.  Biologically, but not always socially acceptably, I could be everyone's mother.

With the start of the high school swimming season, I am moving down a swim group for the winter.  This group is comprised entirely of middle school students.  Biologically AND socially acceptably I could be everyone's mother.

One of my favorite party tricks there is making them realize that I will treat them like a peer and teammate, not act like a parent.  [Though a lot of eye-rolling is hidden behind goggles when the 11-year-olds decide to act their age.  It's arguably worse when the 17-year-olds act their age.]   {Minds blown.}

So now: I am considered comparatively old; am numerically comparatively old; live a little bit old - but feel young.  If you asked me how old I am based on how I generally feel, I would say 23 to 25.

Interestingly - and very much along the lines of that post I linked above, written when I turned 30 - I don't have any inclination to be a younger number.  I spend nearly my entire day around people younger (and far younger) than me, and generally keep up with them in practice and the gym, and that makes me feel young.  To feel young is enough because what comes with my older number is just as beneficial: I am so much more prepared for the intricacies of grad school and team membership than most of my peers in any given setting.

And, even more importantly, I don't have to be in high school anymore.

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Won The Internet!

Guys!  I won an (pseudo-)award for writing!

Every five years, before reunion, Harvard graduates are offered the opportunity to write a class report.  The report is basically whatever you want to say (or not say) about what you have been doing the previous five years.  The reports are collected and published in the Red Book, literally a book with a blood red cover that each graduate receives before reunion.

My reports are...very me.

Last week I was notified that my report was chosen as one of the four to represent my class in the Best Class Reports of 2014 book.  Before you start asking when this volume will be available for purchase at your local independent bookseller, it appears this book is only provided to the people whose reports appear in it.

This practice is...very Harvard.

While I am not going to share my original report, I will share my response upon receipt of the Best Class Reports of 2014.

Subject Line: For Submission: 10 year and 5 Month Class Report

Hi Emily - 

I wanted to let you know that I received my Best Class Reports of 2014 this week and would like to thank the Academy.  Of course the Academy is N=1, but while it doesn't have official letterhead, it does have its own email signature.  

But truly, it was a surprise and an honor, I guess, that my description of my existential indecision was so inspiring to people who read literally thousands of these things.  My indecision was more indecisive than nearly everyone else's indecision!  And contained 23.5% more self-deprication to boot!  Mostly it was a surprise because I, and other grads to whom I crowed about my award, had no idea this compendium existed.  Now having been selected, I think choosing the best Class Reports of 2014 is a great idea.

The Best Class Reports of 2014 volume found me well in Bloomington, IN, now attending graduate school and like any good Harvard over-achiever, doing two Masters concurrently.  Nearly everyone at this institution to whom I spoke about doing two Masters concurrently was against the idea, and my response was "this will not be the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life." [Writing my Class Report for 2014 was.  Boom!] This fact is especially true considering that I am doing my masters at a state school.  And by that, I don't mean Yale.

Because you were nice enough to select me, here is a bit of a spoiler alert for my already-in-progress Class Report of 2019: whereas this year's report specified that no live organisms were reliant on me, next report I won't be able to say that.  Today I adopted a bunny from the ASPCA.  Actually - a spoiler alert on a spoiler alert - since no live organisms should be reliant on me, I may not have a bunny by the time the Class Report of 2019 goes in for final revisions.

No matter what happens, I promise that the pages of the Best Class Reports of 2014 will not be lining the bottom of my new bunny's cage.  In all sincerity, it was really nice of you guys (or whomever) to select my report.  I really like writing them and it is great to know that someone is reading and appreciating them, even if it isn't my fellow Class of 2004 graduates.


Kelzie E Beebe
Best Class Report writer evah bee-yatch!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I'm A Magician

I literally have a rabbit up my sleeve.

We had some technical difficulties while snuggling.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Some people have requested pictures of my offices/desk/hovel.  USCENTCOM it is not, but for me it gets the job done, a sort of KEBCENTCOM.

It sits in what was probably once a dank (if the water that comes in from the roof when it rains is any indication), dark, storage-space hallway above Royer Pool, where Doc Counsilman worked his magic.  My guess is that it became office space when the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming opened.

Now it's arguably some of the most scenic, least subterranean grad student desk space in HPER, populated by the grad students associated with the Center.  It comes with a soundtrack of splashing and lapping water.  I got a desk here totally by accident; the professor who runs the Center took pity on me when I was studying in the hall the first week of my summer class.  I got everyone addicted to cheese, Kringle, and my charm, and sacrifice myself to their studies upon request, and it has become my permanent home.

The hand sanitizer is the holy line of demarkation (name that show) between my desk and the next one.

Half of the Center's graduate students are Asian, and when I left for the Best of the West road trip, they made a save-this-space sign that incorporated the phrases for "good morning" in various Asian languages.  

One Monday in September I came in to find a framed print of a firefighter leaning against the wall with things written on it in dry erase marker and never moved it.  I can tell when boredom hits because new messages will show up.  Right now I've got "I'm Ohayo.  This is my desk." and "Hsuan-yu [who was my desk mate for a few months], I will always love you.  - HEART Your Fireman"  I have started using as an out-of-office message board, and my current favorite is "Ran away to join the circus.  Back by X. - KEB"  I added a picture of me running in Death Valley this summer because my interior decorating skills are top notch.  

Next week the under-desk area will be filled with swim gear and the smell of chlorine, and then it'll be a perfect home away from home.
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