Tag Archives: studying international affairs

Back in DC, Back to Reality

28 Nov

On Saturday morning my Amtrak Acela train pulled into Union Station just a few minutes after it was scheduled to. It was gray and overcast but otherwise pleasant and warm, so I went for a run and then got back to studying. The mini-vacation was over, and it was back to reality. I wasn’t necessarily dreading coming back home to Washington, DC. If anything, I was looking forward to a respite from living out of a suitcase and sleeping on other people’s couches and beds. The familiar allure of my small studio is now my home, and I have traversed the quick trip from corner to corner hundreds of times in an effort to make it seems like a larger space. Yet it’s mine and somehow that’s reassuring, regardless of the fact that I’m in a wide closet.

I feel like my time spent over Thanksgiving break was used well–I not only finished one of my final papers, but it was my biggest final. At 20 pages in length, it was the longest paper I’ve written to date. The research part of it is what took up most of the time, and though I was interested in the topic, I often had to spur myself along and try not to get caught up in what I was reading too much. With so many sources to check, you can get bogged down in the readings. My independent research on U.S. involvement in the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende was thorough, and once I finished I moved on to my next final.

The research on how former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski shaped foreign policy in the Carter administration got off to a sluggish start, but after conferring with multiple primary sources and other books, I’ve gotten a solid idea on what he did. (In my opinion he was very active in shaping foreign policy between 1977-1981). Sorry, Cy Vance.

Back in town for a couple of days, I’m now about 2/3 of the way complete with this essay. There are two weeks of classes left before finals are due/are handed out, and then we’ll have a brief break. I’ll be back in Boston next month for a few days for the holidays, but then it’s back to DC and then on to Cuba for two weeks. Being home in Sharon was an odd experience because for the first time, not a single friend was left in the town. Everyone has moved out and all I could do was focus on my studies and watch a little TV. Aside from the reason of visiting family, the need to come back to Sharon is waning. That’s how it goes though.

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