Listen. I turned the page on a chapter of my life today.

Today was the last day of my California internship at Maxis working on The Sims 2, possibly the most highly anticipated video game ever. My supervisors spoke highly of me, and I received vaguely positive "Give us a call next summer" (when I'll have graduated), by which they mean the game industry moves too fast to hire people if they can't start in less than a month.

In two days I'll be back in Minnesota. In seven days I'll be back in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

As with every time I get ready to pack up and move, I am struck by the transitory nature of all things. All the friends I've made this summer are left behind, returning to voiceless words on the interweb once more. I will miss them.

Many of my classmates are even more taciturn than I. A taste of the whole "getting paid for working" meme has made them question the value of an advanced degree. I tell myself that this is one of those "long term benefit" things that humans are generally very bad at noticing. But the ease with which they turn their backs on what I am turning towards is, I admit, disheartening.

Once I'm back at graduate school, I'll get to meet all the new students. Lots of internationals this year. They all sound so utterly enthusiastic. I remember feeling like that once, but now experience shows me the hard times as much as the good, for they walk hand-in-hand in graduate school. 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration may be one of the few life lessons that graduate work is really good at teaching.