As the headlights swerve toward you, don’t panic

It wasn’t until long after the car had passed, and I had escaped unscathed, that I realized I hadn’t panicked.  I remember hearing once that traffic incidents often happen near home, probably because we let our guards down.

Maybe that was in the back of my mind as I rode my scooter, on my street, three houses from my home, and I saw the headlights veering toward me.  Cars park along one side of my street, so it’s not unusual for a car to drift farther than necessary.  I watched closely though, shifting closer to the sidewalk on my side of the street.  The headlights kept coming. The speed was noticeable.  I moved even farther to the sidewalk.  Then the headlights swerved quickly toward me, then away, and the car passed.

I stopped, letting my scooter lean beneath me toward the sidewalk as I looked at the car, waiting for some sign that the driver was aware.  It appeared to run a stop sign and hurry away.  After continuing home, and taking stock of what had happened, I realized: I didn’t panic.

It may seem like a silly thing to think about, “did I, or didn’t I, panic, and why, or why not?”  But I’m very aware of how much control over my reactions I do or don’t have in situations.  As a radio host, I’ve been told I’m uncannily cool under pressure, under deadline, under the constraints of a clock. The fact about radio, though, is whether or not I hit a post (speak within my allotted time) or not, is not a life or death matter.  Of course I have pride in my work, a deep work ethic, and a desire to do my best for my listeners, employer, and self.

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Lessons from a Master’s

Visiting Campus

Editor’s Note: Visiting CampusIn November 2013, I completed my M.A. in International Relations and World Order from the University of Leicester.  I had completed the research degree over two years in my ‘spare time,’ trying to read and write where I could.  The degree could be completed entirely by distance learning, though I visited campus and met with my adviser in 2012–it helped to reinforce some of the thoughts I had while locked away in solitary study.  I was asked to write some thoughts for future students about the challenges of distance learning, and I thought they might be worth posting to my website as well.

It’s valuable to admit to oneself that earning a post-graduate degree, especially by distance learning, can be an exhausting, rewarding trial.  Once that admission is internalized, one can form a strategy to making it to graduation.  I knew earning a Master’s would be difficult, but I didn’t really know what that meant until the course began.

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