Friday, May 27, 2005

Oh yeah, so I'm a college graduate now.

As of today, I have been a college graduate for a week. Needing to pack/move all of my belongings into a shoebox-sized room in Oakland by Monday has kept me mentally preoccupied since then, and the first five weekdays of my new life were anticlimactically spent working in an office from nine to five, so I haven't had time yet to fully comprehend the fact that the thick chapter of undergradom has hastily come to a close. If I chose to actively reflect on this life transition in anything other than a jocular format, I'd probably start crying.

There are innumerable experiences I had at Cal that I would like to describe and people I met here that I would like to acknowledge in greater detail later, but for now rather than focus on the past I'll clue y'all into my future. Luckilly for me, my future is only a vague sketch, like something you'd scramble to draw on a restaurant napkin after a moment of genius during lunch alone at Denny's. My future may also be as lonely as eating lunch alone at Denny's. Like I said, rough sketch. I'm not really sure.

I'm going to continue my employment the National Writing Project, earning a comfortable wage for doing comfortable work, for at least another year. The prospect of nine-to-fiving it in a drab cubicle for twelve months is enough to make me want to buy a car and take the world's longest road trip and possibly never come back. So to stave off any office-induced depression this summer, I plan on writing (for the Daily Cal, for this website, and for my personal edification) several times a week, rediscovering my skills as a photographer, picking up paintbrush and canvas as often as I can, going on a lot of long walks, and reading a couple books. I also plan on buying a car and going on a few road trips of reasonable length.

I'm trying to accumulate experiences worth writing about at this stage of my life. As unoriginal and naive as it seems, I'd like to thrust myself into any adventure I can undertake without compromising my safety and my cushy office gig. There is a large part of America (more or less everything east of Denver) that I've never seen, and I'd like to use this year off from school to see some of it. If I want to be a writer when I grow up, I need to do two things first: (a) grow up, and (b) make mistakes. The two usually go hand in hand.

This isn't to say that going to college isn't worth writing about. A student's life in and around the Bay Area is no less interesting than any other person's life in any other location. But it's just interesting to me right now. Undoubtedly the novelty of novelty will wear thin very quickly, and when my VW Golf and I are stranded on the side of the 40 somewhere in Oklahoma I'll wonder what I ever found appealing about spontaneously hitting the road and discovering America. In the meantime, however, I'd like to toy with the dual life of office monkey and Alan Ginsburgian adventure whore. (I should probably read some Alan Ginsburg first, huh?)

After I've gotten all the post-graduation "finding myself" cliches out of the way, I'd like to get my PhD in ... uh, something. I'm not sure what yet. I'm mostly interested in American consumers' relationship to food, so I'd like to pursue research/publishing about food policy, environmental sustainability and agriculture, consumerism, food advertising, etc. And, with any luck, I'll save the world while I'm at it.

Wish me luck.


Good luck Rebecca!
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