Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New and Improved Summer Plans

When I decided to get my GED and go to college it was with the intention of learning about environmental issues and hopefully, someday doing something in an environmental field. I had vague notions of selling solar panels or building trails. I really had no clue about my options - but that's why you go to college, right?

Then I learned about this idea of "restoration" and it opened up this whole world of possibilities. I thought to myself, "Self, this is for me." But then, in my second year, I had this run-in with self-doubt. I still carried around this feeling, as I had for so long due to my lack of a high school diploma, that jobs in fields such as restoration were for "other people" not for people "like me."

So I got off of that track and headed down one that was so, so wrong for me - law school. We all know how that ended. After that I hurried back to environmental science. If law school taught me anything it was that life is short, and, as the Life Is Good people say: Do what you like, Like what you do.

So I thought about what I really, really want to do and I made my way back to restoration. And then I did what I do when I don't know what else to do: Apply to school! I gathered up new letters of recommendation, wrote personal statements, filled out forms like there was no tomorrow - and before I knew it I was in yet another degree program. Phew. Back in school.

Registration day approaches and I have yet to speak with anyone about schedules and my questions about my new degree requirements. So, being the planner that I am, I head downtown to speak with my program's coordinator. While I'm waiting for my appointment I find a flyer that makes me stop in my tracks. River Restoration Field Institute it reads. 4 weeks of intensive river restoration learning fun. In the field. But, damn, it's for the summer time, and I'm not officially a student until Fall. Well, maybe next year.

But! I ask my department coordinator and he says...It's no problem! I can be admitted for summer!

But, there's no way I'm going to be able to afford it, and I've only applied for fall financial aid. Surely I've missed all of the summer aid deadlines.

But! I go into financial aid anyway...and they say there should be no problem! I just have to change my 05-06 FAFSA and I can be packaged for summer.

So...There's still paperwork to do and hoops to jump through but it looks like, more likely than not, I'll be spending my summer in the field "nearly-immersed in river restoration"!

I feel like Cinderella in academia.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oil Crisis, the Sequel

Today the same gas station that increased its per gallon price by 10 cents in one afternoon had a handmade cardboard sign up that read: Sorry, out of fuel.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


As I walked out of Turbo Kickboxing tonight ("TKB" to the initiated) Gym Dude 1 remarked, upon seeing my general state, to Gym Dude 2: Woah. I wish I was that red!


Will JK Get Any Recognition...?

If you had one of these, what would you make invisible?

So obviously the technology will be used to make it easier for people to kill other people, as with most new, cool stuff. But the article added an interesting afterthought:

As well as hiding objects, an invisibility cloak could have other uses, such as clearing away obstructions and eyesores.

Factory buildings or warehouses could be encased in invisibility material to prevent them blocking views of the unspoiled countryside.

I'm all for the pretty views, but it might be good to think about ways this technology could be abused. Big polluters already tuck their emissions away from the public eye - a building sized "cloak" could make it easier for industry to build closer to residential and other sensitive areas, increasing health risks.

Obviously there are many ways this material could be used for evil - there must be some ways it could be used for good, right? I guess researchers could use it to observe wildlife with less interference. That's all I can come up with right now. I'm sure there are worlds of possibilities I'm not thinking of because my mind has immediately turned to spies, and longer lines at airports.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Back to School!

Finally, finally, finally I get to register for my fall classes next week. I plan to take 9-12 credit hours per quarter which puts me on track to graduate December 2007 or March 2008.

This first quarter I'm taking just 3 classes: Calculus, a seminar course and a class called "Fate and Transport of Toxics in the Environment"

I know, I know - most people take calculus before entering a graduate program. I actually wanted to take it during undergrad but my schedule never allowed for it. I'm taking the toxics class because I want to work in land and habitat restoration when I finally, you know, work and stuff.

Just four more months to screw around before it's back to the books. Life is hard...

Monday, May 22, 2006


On May 8th...I turned 29! Only 351 days left of my 20s. Eek...

On May 17th...I celebrated my 4th veganniversary (for those of you not familiar with this overly cutesy term: I've now been vegan for 4 years and 5 days!) Also, next year I'll be able to proudly say that I've been meat free for half my life!

And today...Our first wedding anniversary! Our song is Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's and I still tear up every time I hear it. I love you Honey!

Home Again

Being back in Colorado was a great time. It was a little exhausting, but I was able to spend time with everyone.

My sister and I hung out and watched her ginormous TV (she got me hooked on Big Love) and even got to the gym a couple of times. And of course I was so excited to spend time with my nieces and nephew (7, 3 and 3 months)! And I'm SO excited for my oldest niece to come out to Portland for a visit - all by herself! She's a little nervous about flying alone but I think the prospect of getting to visit our dog is going to be the carrot that gets her on the plane. She actually has done a lot of flying - much more than I have. She's gone to Europe several times already, and recently went to Cancun with her dad where she got to swim with dolphins! PDX isn't going to be quite so exotic but I'm hoping she'll still enjoy the visit I have planned.

I also got to hang out with my mom, of course. We went out to some nice restaurants and saw the musical Crowns. This was an amazing production - I literally laughed out loud and clapped along and even cried. If you see it coming to a theater near you I strongly encourage you to go. I don't know if my mom is going to make it back out to PDX this year. She came out right after we had moved in last year, right before I started law school. We had fun, but we spent quite a bit of time being lost in the mysterious mazes of Portland highways. Now I know where more things are, and even how to get to some of them on the first try.

And I got to see my best friend graduate from college, which was the actual reason for my trip. She graduated with a double major: Spanish and International Affairs. She only participated in the Spanish ceremony, however, skipping both IA and the huge University graduation. I was pretty grateful for that, though I would have gladly sat through it for her. I think she would have done the same for me last year when it was my turn to graduate, but happily for all involved I skipped it too. The Spanish ceremony was very nice. It had a lot of majors graduating but it was still very well organized and very formal. They even made them wear caps and gowns. My Environmental Studies ceremony last year was, well, let's just say, more "home-y feeling."

Now my best friend is in Texas, studying to begin her year long position teaching in the Texas public school system in the Pre-K - 4th grade level. She has plans to come out and visit the last week of July. She hasn't been out here yet, and we really haven't been able to talk very much as she's been busy finishing up college. I miss her like crazy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Good Old CO

Well, I guess we are now officially a part of the Couchsurfing Project, having hosted a great, fun couple from Berlin! We really had a nice time, and I think they enjoyed themselves, too. We learned a little German, and quite a bit about Berlin. There was even talk about a possible apartment swap vacation. I think we've made some new friends. I'm very happy we decided to participate, and will definitely host again - and hopefully couchsurf ourselves in the not too distant future.

We actually got another couchsurfing request last night for the dates of May 11 to May 14th from a couple in Austin, TX who seem really fun but I am going to be out of town myself - I'm going back to Colorado for a couple weeks as a birthday present! I'm excited to meet my new baby niece and to see my best friend graduate from CU. I'm so proud of her, not only for graduating (debt-free!) but also for getting a job in her field right out of college. Who does that?