// bullet in a bullet train //


It’s week one, and already, on my first call with Robbie, he told me to slow down. He asked me if there were two people working on my GSR because in less than a week I’ve secured a placement and academic advisor, filled my WIL, read the handbook, and devised my own color-coded excel spreadsheet. (Apparently, I’m the second person in the cohort to do this—so fellow spreadsheet-er, if you’re reading this, please say hello!)

"My partner often describes me as a bullet in a bullet train," I told Robbie. He laughed and nodded.


I entered the call hoping that it would end with a tick of approval—that he would allow me to finish my GSR in four months instead of nine.


He doesn’t.


My internal response was frustration and worry. I have a handful of commitments that would escalate from July, and I don’t think I wouldn’t be able to complete GSR to the best of my ability if I don’t finish it by this semester.


As the call continued, however, Robbie referred to the reflective component of GSR as a ‘heart project’ and the anxious, self-centric energy in me, quieted.


Despite two years of ID theory under my belt, I’ve started off this journey ticking every ‘Don’t’ box on the ‘How to be a conscientious practitioner’ checklist. The children I’m going to teach and even grassroots team who are so kind to take me on, aren’t (or weren’t) at the forefront of my mind. Big yikes.


Robbie’s words reminded me of a quote I saw in passing while scrolling through Instagram; ‘move at the pace of trust.’

Slowing down has never been my strong suit, but reflection can’t happen in the present or without presence. Temporal distance is a pre-requisite, along with self-awareness, deep care. Without these qualities, it’s dangerous to enter a new cultural context, new team, engage with children. And I start tomorrow!

In many ways, Robbie’s prescription to slow down, I think has saved me from starting my internship with a total lack of awareness. I used the weekend to distance myself from GSR-things and focus on work, to spend quality time with my loved ones, to take lots of deep breaths. Now writing this on a gloomy Sunday eve, I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet.

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I felt as deflated as Liv Lerner, played by Kate Hudson, finding out her frenemy dyed her hair blue before a big corporate presentation.

[Bride Wars. Winick, 2009.]

One of Liv's lines. anyone else can relate?

[Bride Wars. Winick, 2009.]