An early summer's night daydream

Maybe it lies entirely on me, but 'to divagate' doesn't seem as fitting as 'divagar'. Sounds like a cheap translation; but that might be pure prejudice. At any rate, this reminded me of a recent discussion with a colleague in my German class, regarding our capabilities of expression in different languages - and the extent that those are necessary to define one as belonging to a given society or culture.

Still, to write in English. One, for the formal exercise of writing is always a good way of keeping in shape. Second, for the possibility of sharing thoughts with some of the people I may mention as part of the forthcoming stories. Third, it's still a lot better than writing in German =P .
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June came and went, springtime blossomed, and now summer is in full vigour. I'm living the life I had planned out for a long time: grad studies in a prestigious institute in Europe, with plenty of time for riding and racing, in a beautiful mid-size city in the middle of Franconia. I earn well enough, I have a nice room - one could say a nice apartment, in fact [edit: not any more!], friends come over to visit, the beer is good, the wine is fantastic...all in all, the good life. And in spite of all that, how come I could still be feeling... lost?

My long-time motto read, the journey is the destination. While it is true that I took delight in the different paths I threaded, those were always followed by well-defined goals - and in the past years I attained a fantastic record achieving mostly all of them. With my coming to Germany, though, a new set of processes began, processes for which endorsement mechanisms are not so clearly defined as before. And then I catch myself wondering where those acknowledgements are. I no longer attend classes - and thus can't look forward to straight A's to define a semester as successful. Publishing a research paper, though, doesn't come as easily - and less so on the first year after changing fields. Racing against some of the best amateurs (and professionals) of the country, podium placings aren't easily achieved every other weekend, and while I've been enjoying the training rides and cycling in general, it's an entirely different gauge to one who's always been so performance-oriented.

A Ph.D., as Monica put it over numerous conversations, is only partly about academic research. It's about the experience, about becoming - also a scientist, researcher, but mostly a person (as we hadn't already during the course of our previous studies... but this is another topic). It's about walking down the Thin Grad Line - and coming out, somehow, at the other side.
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Realizing what it's all about is just a small part of the puzzle - as well put by the cliché, the difference between knowing the path and walking the path. Still, however slowly, I'm learning to take it easier - on me, mostly. Be it enjoying a mate in the colourful gardens of the local park, riding into the sunset, already late at 'night', or cooking myself some treat, usually accompanied by a bottle of French wine - which are a steal at 5 or 6 euros the bottle :) - one realizes, indeed, life is good. Such feelings are also highlighted by a number of interesting people I've been steadily getting to know - be it in a party with the Erasmus students, in the happy-hour beers with colleagues from the Institute, or the table tennis practices, to name but a few of the different activities I've been taking part in.
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Marking the hundredth post, almost two years after this blog was started, I was finally able to use its name in the context it was originally thought for. It's been a fun experience. Here's to the next hundred. Cheers!