Yesterday was the first day in over a month that I got to ride my bike.
Yes, you read that correctly. Bike Girl was off her bike for a very long, very depressing 35 days. I finally broke the dry spell in riding to class at Cal. And I had to pick probably the hottest day of the year to do it. I was drenched in sweat by the time I got to class and I felt bad for whoever had to sit in the desk after me.
The best thing about riding yesterday (besides the obvious) is that I remembered how good everything about it feels. I forgot what it felt like to sweat and breathe heavily, feeling the burn in my legs and the lump in my throat. More importantly, I'd forgotten how cycling has a way of sweeping my mind clean and seeing things in a new light and with more clarity. For example, we're talking about the impacts that land use has on travel patterns and vice versa. We've been focusing on travel and the urban form, but I suddenly thought of city centers, business districts, new urbanism design in the context of a large university. I thought about how students mill around the property, some buildings more visited by others, housing condensed in the immediate surrounding areas. My transportation-land use juices were flowing like crazy!
Opposite of my love for TLUP, I am growing increasingly frustrated with Berkeley's idea that they have a problem with sexual trafficking. I'm doing a case research with other colleagues, proposing solutions Berkeley can take to combat its so-called trafficking issues. I'll get into the dirty details later, but this case has us working close to 100 hours in the past 4 weeks, with 3 of those weeks spent trying to tease out the issues and differentiate what they are asking of us. This week has been particularly brutal-- every day has been a meeting, accompanied by 2 to 3 hours of work on the project. Today was the wrap-up, having spent a collective 6 hours doing research, discussion, presentation work, and formatting. Tomorrow is the culmination, in which we present our findings to the class. At least we have the cherry on top (re: Celebratory Beer) to look forward to.
Today had me at school from 9am until 9.30pm. There was a brief break to watch the first round of the Presidential Debate. We got the presentation completed, although I wasn't sure if I was coming home tonight. I was certain that if I ever made it home tonight (and I did), I would hit the bed fully clothed and never get around to this post. But today was the indicator that I am TRULY a graduate student.