Life after Combat at the University of Chicago

by sarahbird99

I wrote a short post about life after combat for the University of Chicago.

I thought I’d share a brief portion of it below:

Walking from my apartment to campus was like planning a patrol. First, I determined a route I would take. Then I planned an alternate route, a contingency route, an emergency route. I could never get over how many kids I saw walking around listening to iPods instead of paying attention to their surroundings. Every morning, I laid out my packing list and prepared as if I were going outside the wire. As I walked, I watched people’s hands, classified them as “threat/ no threat,” peered around every alleyway before crossing them, watched windows on the second stories of the street. I did this all year in the sun and the rain and snow. It was habit. It was survival. It was what I knew.

One afternoon, I was in a professor’s office, discussing a paper, when she asked me, “Do you ever find this,” meaning, the kinds of work that we do in academia, “to be absolutely ridiculous?”

Read the rest here.