Showing posts from February, 2013

Bursting Bubbles

February 11
You would think graduate school is a real eye-opener and one would go in and learn a ton of new concepts, find out how people think and work; that it would be a real asset in the real world and help us professionally. You would think.
Sometimes I feel like the social work school has done the opposite of opening my eyes. Don’t get me wrong; I was overjoyed in my first semester as I sat in classes where real people talked about things others scoff at. Professors and students all care about changing the world, making a difference, fighting for justice, believing wholeheartedly in spending their lives in a field that is low paying, high stress. Most of the time we speak the same language – so much so that we forget that the world outside isn’t quite on the same page. Most of them are not even in the same book.
It always amuses me when social work students get worked up about something (usually) benign another social work student said. Some of us justice-fighters tend to overdo thi…

The Constant Struggle

February 6
There are some battles I have been fighting for several years now, and I think the only pat on the back I can give myself in this regard is that I am still fighting. Thank goodness for social work school and the art of reframing they have us practice in class – otherwise I would say I have a stack of failures piled in a corner. But as it is, I can be proud of being persistent, of recognizing what I still need to do and being mission driven – despite years of milling about the starting line of several goals.
I guess one of the problems with these goals is that they do happen to be lifestyle changes. I have heard or read somewhere that it takes just two weeks to develop a new habit. Isn’t that lovely? The flip side – it takes just two weeks of not doing something to unlearn that pleasant habit.
One-time goals are easier, right. An aspect of my self-diagnosed mild OCD is making goals out of everything: doing laundry, mailing the rent check, dyeing my hair. This means that I ge…

Puzzle Project IX: Cut to Perfection

January 21
Smoking regulations are lax in Pakistan. Tahira baji would perch on a stool behind the reception counter and puff away at her Marlboro light. She is short, dark, and mostly has her hair straightened and streaked with light brown. She is usually in good shape and attributes her healthy weight to green tea. In recent years she has started wearing a dupatta over her head every now and then. The Bollywood music had also gradually been replaced by regular TV dramas. During Ramadan and other auspicious religious days she would put on the Arabic channel.
Parlors are great places for gossip. It seems like facials, haircuts and dyes are stimuli to reveal neighborhood secrets and share family regrets. As soon as the black gown is thrown around you and Pinky gently tips your head down to cut off the split ends – “I can’t believe my son married her. She refuses to even walk near the kitchen let alone enter it! I seriously doubt if she even knows how to make tea.” Or you lean back with yo…