I’m riding my bike a few flat miles in 96 degree heat before barging into refrigerated campus buildings. My lungs can’t take the sudden 20 degree difference. You know where this is going.
I’ve had a cold my first two weeks in Dallas. So I’ll do what I do best: I’ll sit this one out and observe.
Classes begin. They wash over us as implacably as the tides. As soon as I’ve regained my footing, the next one sends me tumbling, coughing, gasping for air. I never had good hair, so that hasn’t changed.
When I worked, I had some control over the rhythm of the stroke. No longer. The theoretical classes—“Microeconomics of the Arts Market” and “Cultural Policy”—are taught by the same person three days a week, so I can’t tell which way is up.
I got here thinking I knew in which direction I was pointed. Our five courses have jumbled that and blown everything open. I’m passionate about being an advocate for culture in immigrant communities; or showing artistic directors the harmony in numbers as a CPA; or being the best storyteller that fundraising has ever seen. I just don’t know anymore. Tracy warned me about that.
Despite my cold, I swim each day. So I get really sick. But in the pool is when ideas bubble up from not-me. I treasure those evanescent drops of air. They’ll get me through the next four months, given how far behind I’m falling.