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As I ride

Written By: aaminahm on May 13, 2009 6 Comments

Today was my last day of my first year of graduate study at CAL. I was thinking about how to express in words the emotions that I feel. I think there is a sensation of excitement, and relief, both are qualified by the tension that still lies in my shoulders.  If there is one place that I embody all of my emotions, I’d say it is in the shoulders. They have taken on a mind of their own. And many times they stand fixed, at attention, posted at orange level alert.

My first day, I rode my bike to school. This probably wouldn’t be special at all except that I haven’t ridden the bike since then, literally.  I rode, and I arrived at class 10 minutes late. I was hot, and flustered so I made a detour to splash my face with cold water. When I arrived in class everyone was introducing themselves. I said, “My name is Aaminah, this is my first class and my first day.” Woww, that seems like a lifetime ago.  I decided that I wouldn’t ride literally, because I felt like I was on another ride. Now that the year is over I have learned many things including this:

Before I began graduate study my life was on a similar bike trail. One that I might say, was steep, and windy, and filled with sound, and light, and love. I suppose that now I see myself still on that trail, but it’s opened up and there is a wider lane. I have come across so many other travelers this year. There are some who have traveled this way and are long gone. As I read about them, I gain inspiration in my journey. There are others, who left dense brush for me to ride through. And at times, grappling with it was, in a word…hard. I have attempted to prove myself this year. To prove to myself, and to others, that I can make it.  Well, here I am. I made it. I will ride my bike literally this summer. I will do so in preparation for next year’s figurative trail.  I want to thank all of those who have supported me on this journey. It has been a pleasure, and I think I can turn my shoulder alert down to yellow. I hope they are paying attention.

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6 Responses to “As I ride”

  1. daveski on: 14 May 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Congratulations on your journey Aaminah! It’s been great to see you on campus, and here on FIT. And what a coincidence that you wrote this on Bike-to-Work Day! http://www.ebbc.org/?q=node/70

    It’s also so interesting that your shoulders are where you carry your emotions, about being in school at least. I know both Bill Hanks’ Ling Anthro class and Claire Kramsch’s Language & Power class (and how many others?) have been talking a lot about Bourdieu’s habitus a lot recently, and it makes me wonder if, when our habitus is being shaped/molded/stretched linguistically and physically, we feel it as some kind of bodily pain or stiffness or tension or now, at the end of the first year…newfound relaxation!

  2. aaminahm on: 15 May 2009 at 8:33 am

    Thanks Dave for your comment! It has certainly been nice to see you too, and to comment and post back and forth. I have been thinking a lot about Bourdieu’s concept of the habitus especially as it relates to the body. I was certainly not convinced of his theory because I deemed it too deterministic. I am still making up my mind. Although my shoulders might make the final decision :P.

  3. Kim Witten on: 15 May 2009 at 8:39 am

    Congrats FIT folks! It’s a good feeling to knock another one down. Enjoy the summer!
    -linguists on the other side of the bridge.

  4. aaminahm on: 15 May 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks Kim you are right it’s a good feeling! We can all take a deep breath and release! Happy Summer.

  5. Usree Bhattacharya on: 15 May 2009 at 9:31 pm

    ‘grats, ammo!

  6. aaminahm on: 15 May 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Shukran Cookie!

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