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January 4, 2008

Two separate entries linked by a common theme.

My attitude has been better, and I’m glad. By New Years Eve I was making myself literally sick again at the thought of going back to California. I was coughing that stupid stress cough I get. It felt like graduating and leaving town all over again, and all I wanted to do was cry. But I’m determined to remember why I loved California this summer, and I’m doing alright. There’s great birds here. It’s thirty degrees warmer than Adrian, which is nice even if it means no snow. I can go to the ocean whenever I want. Sara’s coming out here soon. I’m studying some pretty awesome things. So while I’m a couple thousand miles away from all of my favorite people, it’s okay. There are good things here, and that’s enough for me for now. Someday, hopefully, some California people will become my favorite people, and then things really will be easier. In the meantime, I have my guinea pigs.

The other attitude I’m noticing is how much people really want to change the world. We’re told that our generation is apathetic, that we don’t try hard enough to make things better, but I don’t believe that. Most of my grad school friends want to teach, because we want to make a difference, and I hear often about people who want to research certain topics because they want to fix some real problem. Sara and Katie both are trying to figure out how to devote their lives to their causes. But the real kicker that’s convinced me that we’re not a bunch of spoiled brats: both of my older brothers want to work for non-profits. Adam and Patrick are wonderful people, don’t get me wrong, but I never saw them as altruistic. They always seemed content with getting good jobs and traditional measures of success: a nice car, a respectable source of employment, etc. But at some point that changed for both of them, or maybe I read them wrong, because both have said in the last few months that they’d like to go back to school and then work for a non-profit. They want to have some meaning to what they do. If those two can end up working for the good of others, then we’ll be seeing some changes in the world I think. It’s not so much that we are apathetic and don’t want to change things, but rather that we’re gonna change the world through our careers and our everyday actions, instead of by dramatic protests. Dramatic change can only happen so often, but if everyone puts effort into making what change they can, we’ll wake up one morning and realize that the world indeed is better, though we didn’t notice it coming.

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