May 16, 2012

The month before graduation

What have I been doing preparation for graduation?  Let me catch you up. My friend/classmate Lisa and I have been working really hard on a paper investigating and calculating the economic impacts of the sand mine nearby.  It's the only shoreline sand mine in the States, and as you might suspect, causes significant erosion along the nearby coast.

But they get away with it because they aren't dredging directly from the shoreline, see, they're dredging from a 'pond' behind the edge of the beach.  Of course high tides and storm events push the surf (and thereby sand) into the pond.  You can see in this picture how close the pond is to the ocean.  Totally silly, and sad.  So we've been working on that.

One day, I went to the dump in search of a piece of drift wood, but came home with this large mirror instead!  It's been really wonderful to have a large mirror for dance practice.  I haven't really danced much while I've been in Monterey, but I'm super stoked to get back into the swing of things once I graduate.
My friend Robert (who is an excellent pop-n-locker, check him out here) and I have been dancing together twice a week.  Mondays he teaches me his style, Wednesdays I teach him bellydance, and we are collaborating on a surprise piece to perform at the reception after graduation on Saturday.  I'll take vids and share later.
Our tentative choreography notes

Another classmate of mine lives at Pebble Beach, and hosted a chill and wonderful afternoon party one day.  We figured we had safety in numbers and breached the private property line of the golf course to play some frisbee.  Honestly, the grass was so well trimmed that we felt odd being there and left.  We brought a slackline to the party and had fun with that instead.  

My friends Travis and Colleen had me do a pregnancy photo shoot with them, and it's a good thing we did it when we did...
 Because the next day, she went into labor, 3 wks early!  All's well and baby Aria is a sweetie pie.

I went over to their house and decorated the nursery for them with some owl pictures I printed out, a collage I made, and pillows I made:

Uncle Ben & Aria

  But none of that really answers the question that is on everyone's mind (myself included), "but what are you DOING after graduation?"  I don't know is one answer.  Trying is another.

I know that I love living here where just doing errands gives me access to views like this:
And a quick jaunt to Point Lobos when I have an hour to spare gives me access to views like this: 
I bought myself a maiden hair fern the other day, one of my favorite plants.  Perhaps in an effort to avoid the question.   
I have applied to several jobs and have several job applications to finish in locales such as Monterey, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Santa Cruz, Washington DC, London, Laos, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Antarctica.  I would love to stay here, it's such a magical place, and I really feel at home here.  And of course the possibility of having a career here with SF and all it's dance access so close is really really enticing. But who knows?  I like moving around too.  And the pragmatic part of me knows that above all, I NEED A JOB, to help myself live.  Let's be real, folks, I have ~$300,000 graduate debt which I'll be paying my whole life...but I need a job to at least be able to pay minimum payments.  (Yes, it's consolidated to the max; no, declaring bankruptcy doesn't apply to student loan debt; yes, I'm using the income based repayment plan.  Oh, and Yes, I'm accepting donations).  In the meantime, I will be working part time at Seafood Watch, which I'm happy about.  I won't have benefits, and my hourly wage is low, but it's something while I continue my search. I love working there, I love my coworkers, I will get to stay in Monterey for a little while longer, and I get to continue work that is meaningful for me.  

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