Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sandy Books

When I was a child, summertime was a time separate from school time. One a year for a few month kids were everywhere. Summer was also a time for beaches. Before I lived in Maine all year round, my family would migrate to the coast for a few weeks every year. From the Windy City to the Atlantic Coast, we would be at the beach almost every day.

Summer food was never food unless there were a few stray particles of sand in it because no matter how hard you try, there will always be sand. Sand in my hair, sand in my shoes, and sand in clothing that had never even been worn near a beach. Long after the sunburns have healed and the sun streaks have faded, I'll still be shaking sand out from the bottom of my purse: It's unavoidable.One of my first jobs was working as a hotel receptionist in a wonderful place within walking distance to the beach in Ogunquit. It can be very interesting to try to plan a business causal wardrobe when sand is a factor.

Now that I'm living in a little city on the ocean, I'm glad that I do get to see the ocean more. Yesterday you could both taste and feel the ocean in the air. It was a drizzly and foggy day, the type where you want to bundle up with a good book and a cup of tea. I did a fair amount of the tea drinking, but less of the book reading. It was a day off to relax by myself and relax with friends. That's what summer has become for me.

If everything goes according to my plan (*cough* MWAHAHA *cough*), I will begin work on my Master degree in just a few weeks. For the first time in 2 years I will be rejoining the academia world and have a huge excuse, and access, to read loads of scholastic journals. With the colored notebooks and college ruled papers, I'll be partaking in the mass purchasing  of organize supplies to try to organize my life even more. Once again I'll be trading the sand for the studying.

But there's a difference this time.

Last time I worked on my degree I was stranded in the middle of a cornfield. Living on a small liberal arts campus in Iowa, I had a classic collegiate experience. Filled with nerf guns, tasteless beer, and repeated social interactions of "what class are you in", my experiences were wonderful. For four years I was able to dedicate myself to both my academic pursuits and developing as a person. Don't believe I had everything together upon my graduation and was totally prepared for the real world, but I know there were skill I developed in college that I didn't have before going.

This time I'm going for my degree, I'm doing it my very own way.  
For those of you who know me, you know this means things are going to be getting interesting. 
I've found a program I can take just one class at a time, just like my undergraduate degree. Also the University has online programs so I can be a distance learner. Online programs are almost second nature to me and work very well with my interesting sense of procrastination. I'll be able to work on a Developmental Disabilities Masters with emphasis in Advocacy, a perfect sounding program.

Instead of going out to where the academics are, the classes will get to come to me. My life is already pretty set up here in Portland, for the moment anyway, and I have no real intention of running away to any one place right now. Things are going really well for me health wise, career wise, and relationship wise. So the next few months will be working on finding the balance between work and play. Of course things were getting too stable, so I needed to make things a little more interesting. There are some big changes in the works for me and I couldn't give a hint even if I had one.

If I wanted too, I can enjoy the late summer days before going home to write a paper. In those few weeks between when the tourists leave and the summer attractions close; I still get to have fun. The sand gets to follows me home and stay with me for awhile longer. The sun is setting earlier, but it doesn't take away from the radiance. Fall is coming in a few weeks, it's already in the air. There will be beaches and textbooks this year. I can't be more excited, but I'll savor the days of summer we have left.

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