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Last weekend when I was back at St. Mary's for the Special Olympics sailing regatta, I got to thinking.  I've wanted an excuse to move back down there since I graduated a year ago May.  I have friends in the area.  It's absolutely beautiful.  It's pretty cheap to live down there.  I know they have a good running club.  I could go sailing all the time. They also-and here's the important part-just started a Master of Arts in Teaching.  It's a one-year program with a bunch of prequisites.  This could be perfect.

So here's what I need to do in the next year or two to make it happen:
-get back in touch with my college professors and see if they won't write recommendations
-find out if Carroll Community classes will transfer and take Intro. Psych and basic math/science classes next semester
-find equivilancies for at least 5 pre-requisite courses in education and start taking them
-start substitute teaching to make sure it's what I really want to do
-start researching student loans and grant opportunities to pay for it

-spend February/March in New Orleans
-spend the last week of June cruising to Bermuda to celebrate my grandparent's 50th anniversary

I'm very happy.  I think not being able to do NPRC really is going to turn out for the best.  This is a very happy birthday indeed.

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92*/heat index of 98* right now
98*/heat index of 109* tomorrow
98*/heat index of 112* Wednesday
95*/heat index of 105* Thursday

Our water heater is broken, which means we have to take cold showers until it gets fixed. Given how hot and humid it's going to be this week, I'm not thinking that's going to be a problem. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

I spent this weekend down at St. Mary's at the annual Special Olympics sailing regatta. Alice and I ended up with a bronze medal, and never mind that meant we placed 3rd out of 4 teams in the lowest division, she was very happy about it. She's happy about most things most of the time. She was happy because she thought it was funny when the wind died in the middle of our last race and I was standing up in the middle of the boat blowing on the sail because that was about all the wind we were going to get. Paul, the Special Olympics athlete my dad used to sail with, was happy because he found lots of shells for his girlfriend down at Church Point. I was happy because I spent the better part of Saturday night with [profile] ctlavery and her husband Tom, and we got to eat Vietnamese food at The Hot Noodle and catch up on life.

It was a happy weekend. Anytime spent down at St. Mary's, especially when it involves sailing, usually is.

Next up: delivering renter's insurance brochures, ignoring all the summer safety advice I've given out to elementary school kids and going for a run in this heat, reading about sled dog racing in Alaska/-35* weather, and working on the Bachman Valley 1/2 Marathon. And plotting my next trip to New Orleans.

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One year ago yesterday I graduated from St. Mary's College with a degree in history and a concentration in Africa and the African Diaspora. It was a perfect day, clear and sunny and warm. I wandered around afterwards in my cap and gown and bare feet and hung out with my professors, esp. Professor Holden who was my SMP advisor. My family and I packed up my dorm room for the last time and we went out to IHOP for lunch, which was significant because that's where we went out to lunch when I first went off to school. I couldn't even decide what I wanted to eat because my brain was just so overwhelmed by moving away from home for the first time.

I went back down to St. Mary's for graduation last weekend with Christine. That was only the third time I've been down to St. Mary's since I graduated, the other two times being the Special Olympics regatta last summer and Coleen and Tom's wedding last fall. On the way down Christine and I talked about all that we've done in the past year. For her that has been pro-life organizing and volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center. For me that can be summed up in one word, Katrina. I haven't had a chance to miss college life. Sure I miss being able to run during the middle of the day, or sleep in until noon, or hang out with friends over a 2 hour dinner in the Great Room. Sure I miss living down by the water and discussing the minutiae of American slave systems with my professors. Sure I miss nearly unlimited free time and the laid-back lifestyle of a college student, but I love what I'm doing now. Somehow I was lucky enough to fall into the perfect job within months of graduation, one where I'm constantly challenged and inspired and able to make use of what I learned as a history major even if the only history I've needed to know is the history of major hurricanes.

I wouldn't have given up this past year for anything. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring.

On that note, hurricane season 2006 is only 17 days away, and I heard at tonight's Emergency Services meeting that they've already found the first tropical depression in the Atlantic. Apparently the hurricanes don't realize that hurricane season isn't supposed to start yet.

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Today I drove all the way down to St. Mary's for Coleen and Tom's wedding. It was worth every mile, and not just because I got to listen to Jimmy Buffett for 6 hours today. :-)

Tomorrow's a handbell performance, though unfortunately we're doing Carillon Chimes (I don't need slow and laid-back at 7 am-I'm half asleep already!) instead of All Night All Day (which we worked really hard on and has lots of bell changes and other chances to show off). Then it's time for 15 miles that'll start off my taper for NCR. Only 2 weeks left!




Aug. 14th, 2005 09:12 pm
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I got to spend last night on my dad's boat, the one he built from stratch and just put in the water June 20th. I honestly cannot think of a better way to spend an evening than kicked back with Hemingway and my Jimmy Buffett books on the deck of a boat, enjoying the breeze on a hot summer's night and an ice cold beer. B-) That was the life. Then the next morning we woke up early and motored out into Middle River. We even caught enough of a breeze to let out the jib sheet, and I got to take the helm for awhile. Ahhhh, I think just stepping foot on the boat is as relaxing as any vacation.

I think that's what I'll miss most about St. Mary's this fall. Sure, I'll miss my friends and my professors and being able to sleep in most mornings, but what I'll miss most is being down by the water. And even if I didn't get out on the water as much as I wanted to, it was always there, and just being able to watch the St. Mary's River at sunset after a chilly fall run was worth more than I gave it credit for.

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If I want people to actually read this, perhaps I should update it every so often.

So far, so good. I've run 38 miles so far this week and if I get my butt out the door soon enough I'll have 45. Tomorrow I'm leaving for St. Mary's (yay!), where I'll be volunteering/sailing with the Special Olympics sailing regatta, eating dinner with Coleen and company, and exploring my old running routes. I just hope I can sleep in the car 'cause we're leaving at 5:30 and that it's not too windy 'cause I'll be sailing with someone I've probably never met. Should be very interesting. Hopefully I can get a good night's sleep on Saturday. Hopefully we're on the top floor so no one keeps me up too late.

Blah. I have less than no energy right now. I think I'll head out for my 7 mile run with strides then head to bed for way too little time. And yes, I realize how crazy it sounds to *just* be running 7 miles. :p

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Well, just a couple of minutes ago I was feeling all sad about being done with college. But now that I'm listening to the Jimmy Buffett music I just uploaded into iTunes, I feel much better. Takes a lot of the pressure off. I don't have to be the best, just my best. The most important thing is remember not to take things too personally, or, even worse, to take things too seriously. If there's one thing I've learned these past 4 years, that would be it. I know more than I think I know, but I don't have to be the best to be successful or happy.

And Key West is my home, right after Hampstead and St. Mary's. B-)

Graduation was very St. Mary's. Plenty of ceremony, but right on the water. We take ourselves seriously, but we don't forget to have fun and appreciate the scenery and people around us. I think my favorite moment, along with walking across the stage and hearing "magna cum laude" was the receiving line of professors at the end, particularly Professor Holden. The look on his face afterwards when he saw I was barefoot was priceless. No, I did not graduate barefoot, but I took off those dang painful shoes at the first possible opportunity. Yes, I was walking around afterwards in my cap and gown in my bare feet. :-)

I'm proud to call myself a graduate of St. Mary's. If I had it all to do over again, I'd still choose St. Mary's.

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Wow, that was so much fun. Christine and Erin and Suha and I all at Senior Gala-so awesome. Pretty much our last chance to let loose in college 'cause tomorrow the administrators and parents take back over with graduation rehearsal at 11 am (who dreamed that up-10:30 is way too early to wake up :p), the picnic, and convocation. Then Saturday morning is GRADUATION!!! Doesn't seem possible that it's almost here.

But back to Gala. So much fun. My mom decided to be nice and get me the package with 4 drink tickets, which are probably the last drinks I'll have for months, so what the heck-three margaritas to match my flamenco-style dress with the long trail-great for lots of swishy dancing. I got Suha a drink with my last ticket-first of all to thank him for being our "date," second because if I'd had one more, I'm not sure if the room would have stopped spinning long enough to dance. As it was, it was just enough to cut loose and have fun, even if there was a lot of rap music that was kinda hard to dance to. No idea where all that energy came from. We spent four hours there, and at least 3 of those hours dancing to not too many slow songs.

Oh yeah, and I got lots of pictures. I'll try and post some later...hmmm, Erin's the one with the digital camera, so we'll have to see how many she got.

Probably should go to bed soon, huh? Nah.

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Tomorrow I'm going to sleep in as late as I want, no regrets. I'm tired of this stay up late then get up at 7 to run or get up for my 9:20 class thing. Ridiculous. I'm writing a SMP here, I deserve to indulge myself with a few extra hours of sleep on the weekends. And I refuse to live off string cheese and canned peaches. Raisin bran and soy milk for me, thanks. One of these days I'll have to stay up all night writing then run at sunrise and go to bed, just to say that as a college student I actually pulled an all-nighter for once.
I love St. Mary's. My 9:20 class let out early, so I headed down to Church Point and hung out on the beach for awhile, then sauntered back to Kent for my 10:40 and wasn't even late. Geez, I'll miss living down by the water. I just realized today that all my running routes feature at least some passing glimpse of the St. Mary's River, never mind cooling down with a little stretching 5 feet from the water afterwards. Can't exactly do that in Hampstead, now can I?
Wow, when was the last time I stayed up this late NOT doing work? I can't even remember.
And if you have time to read your journal in between teaching middle-schoolers about plankton and getting up at 6 am, thanks for coming down for the cabaret Michelle. Wandering around campus with your dog for hours was more fun and relaxing than I've had for quite some time now.

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Yay for college dances with good friends. Yay for getting to wear our old prom dresses to dress up as Arwen/Eowyn/Galadriel from Lord of the Rings and pretending we were princesses, which of course we are anyway. :-) Even though I found out afterwards that Eowyn isn't an elf...oh well. Dancing like we were immortal was fun anyhow and now I need to watch the movies and read the books again and I can't wait for the Winter Formal in February.
And thanks to the dance and chilling afterwards I didn't get to bed until almost 2 am and I didn't get up until almost 11. When was the last time that happened? So it wasn't likely I could bike up to church 7 miles in 15 minutes, and it was raining anyway. So here I am listening to interminable Christian music CDs 'cause I slept in on a Sunday morning, once again. But this time it's NOT because of a race the day before. And I think sleeping in and missing church because you were hanging out with your Christian friends the night before is moderately more excusable than missing church 'cause you were out partying too late the night before. :-)
Okay, back to work. I have so much reading to do on slavery and history research methods and Senegal. And so much writing to do on empathy and oral history and the methodology of my SMP. Nice light stuff-good thing I like a challenge.
And probably a 3-4 mile run in there somewhere. I'm just starting to get to the point where it'll be nice to get back to serious training, but for now it's nice to take it easy. Even the elites take a break from time to time, right?

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I housed two prospective students for the night Tuesday, got absolutely no reading done but got to take them out sailing and tell them all about how cool St. Mary's is. And I don't want to hear about what I should have told them, Michelle. :-) How many students this school chooses to admit is not my problem.
There seems to be no end to the mountians of reading that I have to do, but at least I'm not TOO behind anymore, what with holing myself up in my room this beautiful weekend and reading about 300 pages worth of slavery, globalization and cultural genocide. Let me tell you, these are some uplifting classes I am taking this semester. The things I do to be able to include Key West in my SMP. B-)
But hey, I ran 1.53 miles in 12 minutes on Tuesday (I'm paying for that now.) And I had a most excellent 12 mile long run Saturday and the Baltimore 1/2 Marathon is in 9 days. I'm already having nightmares about not making it to the race on time, about not picking up my race number before the race, etc. Gotta love tapering. I'm going to try for a 7:00 mile on the treadmill in just a minute, so long as my warm-up works the kinks out of my legs.
I wish my life was more exciting for your sake. No wait, I really don't. A single room, long hours spent reading followed by long hours at dinner, and plenty of room to run is all I need.

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My friend Christine and I went out sailing after my 1:20 today and we were having this religious discussion-confirmation, retreats, stuff like that-when, lo and behold, we thought we saw two guys out on the St. Mary's River walking on water! Turns out they were just walking in really shallow water, on a sandbar or something, but from a distance it sure looked like a miracle or something was was pretty cool.
That's what I love about this campus-you can just go out sailing for free after class. Christine and I are going to make this a regular thing-every Friday afternoon. Even when I go home on the weekends-my mom's never down here until 3:30 or 4 anyway.
And my theories and uses of history class is going really well. It makes me feel smart, like a professional historian. Makes me want to go to grad. school at some point. And besides, the prof. just told us today that those of us doing SMPs don't have to write our final paper...on the textbook. We'll write about the historiography (the history of the history) of our project, how we arrived at the idea for our project, etc. Basically, we get to write the first 5-10 pages of our SMP for another class. Well, the paper actually has to be 25-30 pages long, but seeing as I spend most of my time reading for my SMP, that shouldn't be so bad.
Signing off-my mom should be here any minute. She'd better be, anyway, 'cause as it is we're going to get home after 10 and I have to get up at 6:30 tomorrow.

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out to 489, then a mile or two down that road-I've always wondered what was down that way
these trails that supposedly exist beyond the North Fields-I'll probably have to wait until things dry out though
Snow Hill Manor loop-I was scared by some dogs there my first day back-I'm determined to try again 'cause I really like running there
roads off of Rosecroft, past Broome Howard Inn
-including running to the end of Lucus Cove Road
the full Historic Trail-again, once things dry out a little
south on Rt. 5 to Waterview Road-with a name like that, there's gotta be a view of the water around there somewhere
Elms Beach-right across 235 where Matapany comes out
the park up near Sotterly Plantation-supposed to be some really nice paths up there (but I need a ride)
Chancellor's Run Park (again, I need a ride)
all the way down Rt. 5 to Pt. Lookout-I need someone to pick me up at the end, cause it's 13 miles one way and I don't really want to run a full marathon in training :-)

Phew, that's a lot of running. I'd better get started!

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OK, St.Mary's is not FIU. Classes, for one thing, are going to be just a bit more difficult-try 3 6-8 and one 25-30 page paper-for one class. That would be Theories and Uses of History. And the big paper has to be written about "the historical assumptions and presentation of history" in a textbook, for crying out loud. Does that mean we have to read the whole textbook. They must think we're graduate students or this is the only class we're taking or something.
And my Values Inq philosophy class is going to be tough. Not a ridiculous amount of work, but we're going to spend the next two weeks talking about torture. Uplifting, isn't it? I can't read more than a page or two at a time without getting depressed. You would think that a class called "The Phenomenon of Violence and Non-Violent Strategies" would focus more on the non-violent side of things, right? That's what I figured-but I guess that's what you get when the professor's specialization is the Holocaust. Go figure.
My "Peoples and Cultures of Senegambia" class looks interesting, though. Only 8 people in the whole class, and the professor spent the summer running a field school in the Gambia. Should be lots of good discussion-all of them should be actually, but the workload is rather overwhelming right now. Just a little bit tougher than FIU, and I'm not a "hot commidity" as a minority either. No practically-free trips to Key West in the mix, I'll bet.
But that's what my SMP is for. Comparative slavery in Key West and St. Mary's County. You think listening to Jimmy Buffett counts as research? :p



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