25 Jan How volunteering gave me the kickstart I needed for the term
What brings you the greatest joy? Inhaling the aroma from a steamy meal? A vacation in the Bahamas? Or a simple thing like pleasant weather? Among many things, my eyes light up when I see exotic meals and when I get to volunteer for a cause. Last week, I volunteered for a K-12 family science and engineering night, and it turned out to be all the motivation I needed to start the term.
As the start of term approached, I couldn’t quite understand why I was feeling lethargic. These were directly opposite to the feelings of fear, excitement, and everything in between with which I approached my first term. I guess it’s because of the practicality of what lies ahead of me, with the excitement of moving to a new city almost all gone, I know it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
On the eve of resumption, I made this tasty Abacha with fish which I called ‘the last supper’ because in many ways, I imagined it would be the last time for the next 10 weeks that I would be so chill just cooking and relaxing. It turned out the family science night- not food was what I needed to start on a high note.
I spent the evening demonstrating chromatography to elementary school children. Basically, we used permanent markers and isopropyl alcohol for the demos. It was amazing seeing the children go through all sort of emotions as they came and went. Some came excitedly and ready to do whatever it took to get the colours on their faces. Others however would be cajoled into trying out anything. As they moved on to other tables, I also observed that they all left excited squealing ‘I am going to be a scientist’ . A few others, however, left with a look of disappointment. I guess for those ones, they were expecting a sort of an alchemy.
This post is fast becoming about family science night instead of my week in review. I guess I will talk more about it by the end of the term.
One common factor all week has been cold and rain. Corvallis is to rain what Enugu is to coal. It rains every day here, but it’s also offers me a perfect mood to write, if only I had the time. Yesterday, as I was walking home, shivering from cold with chattering teeth. I could barely feel my fingers inside my double puffed gloves, when I saw a guy running bare chested with a tiny brief on. It reminded me of Archimedes on the streets of Greece. Here I was, barely putting my foot in front of the other and there was another person running around campus naked.
The rest of the week was spent on teaching assistant duties, classes and just setting up my calendar. Talking about calendars, I know we all start the new year with promises to exercise and eat more healthy meals. Well, I am taking things further this year by committing $20 per quarter towards group fitness training. So, I scheduled an hour daily on my calendar for HIIT or Zumba classes. My first class was Zumba and 5 minutes in, I was asking ‘who sent me’ . I had learnt Zumba was just about dance but don’t be fooled it is HIIT but with a song playing. I really pray to maintain the tempo all through the term but time they say will tell.
I leave you with this reminder, ‘Consistency trumps intensity’. In 2023, decide to take small and steady steps than occasional leaps.