Thursday Textbooks! (and thoughtful tidbits?)

Today I stayed home and waited for the technician to fix my Internet. It was actually not terrible. I learned a little bit more about the problems going on and got a chance to apply genetic techniques to troubleshooting… or anyway, I saw the relationship between the techniques used to figure out what was causing the problem with the things I’ve been reading in papers recently.

This entire week has been basically orientation. I’ve been getting oriented with regards to my rotation project, the University, and Iowa City. Also, my body’s been getting used to doing more physical things like running and walking and biking everywhere.

With the start of grad school (and the apparent culture of healthiness and partying that goes on here… #1 party school … yeah…) I’ve been trying to be more healthy. In my adventures on the internet, skimming blogs and reading articles and such, I’ve been exposed to the idea of being happy with who you are and being comfortable in your body. There’s the idea of dressing the way you want to – not to impress anyone, but to impress yourself. There’s the idea of being who you want to be and not caring what others think about you.

But it’s really hard. I’ve always found that I seek approval in what I do. This is part of what drove me to be academically involved in high school and into college and onwards (though now I’m driven mostly by a desire to learn more about things). This approval seeking, though, leaked into how I viewed my body. While not obese, I have always been overweight. I didn’t particularly care. I wasn’t traumatized by it. The only times I thought about it was when I was in ballet class (it’s hard not think about your body when you’re wearing tights and a leotard) and when I would compare how I looked to others (not that often in high school, when we were forced to wear uniforms). To be honest, though, I cared a little. It didn’t help that for some reason a person’s weight was some sort of conversation starter in my family and extended family. When weight was brought up, I would think to myself, “I’m not that fat. I have muscles in my legs (from ballet). And I don’t look that fat.” But then I’d look in the mirror right before the shower and frown at what I saw. Definitely not a toned torso. Largish arms. And it would make me sad and then I’d have to struggle to be okay with it and promise myself that I was still healthy and that I’d work harder to stay healthy.

And now I have that chance, that new beginning. And to be true to myself, I have to do it for me. Which is difficult, because to be honest it’s also probably a reaction to the idea of beauty that is prevalent in society. I need to find that balance and that self-cognizance to be able to know what my motivations are. I don’t just want to do things because society tells me to do things.

Anyway. That was a random rant/bunch of thoughts.

I didn’t take a picture, but I got my Microbial Genetics textbook today!

And I’m going to go back to reading papers about ECF sigma factors.

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