Grad school here I come?

Ames, Boise, or New Orleans?

In 4 months I’ll be living in one of those cities.

I’ve received a lot of exciting news in the past few weeks, but if you asked me which state I’m moving to in August, I still wouldn’t know what to tell you! With my fingers crossed for more good news from Iowa State, Boise State, or U New Orleans, I am trying to figure out how to best spend the rest of my summer.

No matter which program I end up at, I will need to make several trips to complete my move. First, I’ll need to fly to Pittsburgh, PA in June to clear out my storage unit and drive it to my Mom’s in Indianapolis. I’m really excited about a final trip to Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon!

In July I’ll be looking for housing in my new state, buying a used car (!!!), and driving my things from Indianapolis. Classes won’t start until the last week of August, so I will probably officially move mid-August with the doggies. (Snickers is really excited to go on another road trip! Not.)

After some awful experiences trying to find a full time job in San Francisco, my luck has turned around with some temp jobs! I’ll be working 3-4 days a week at the SF Museum of Modern Art selling tickets until June 1st. If you’re around, you should stop by and check out the Clocks exhibit! Then, for two weeks in May I’ll be an exam proctor for the University of San Francisco Law school. I’m am super happy to have some other jobs coming my way because living in San Francisco for the past year has really depleted my savings…

Next week should bring my final grad school decision, and the schedules for my new jobs. In the meantime I’m trying to keep myself distracted by packing for Coachella next weekend!

Throw back picture of a sleep Snickers circa 2010.
Throw back picture of a sleepy Snickers circa 2010.

Cross country road trip: The Plan

I’ve given a lot of thought into how to approach this road trip. My conclusion is that this is a perfect opportunity for me to explore the Southern states that I have never been to before, and to really take my time. I realize that cross country road trips are usually “once in a lifetime” ordeals, but this is actually my second cross country road trip.

The first one was the Summer of 2009, driving San Francisco to Pittsburgh with my boyfriend, with the express purpose of getting his car to Pittsburgh and going to Lollapalooza. With limited time and money, and no doggies, we took the Northern route, camping at the Grand Canyon without a tent and arguing over who had to drive through Nebraska. This time around, I’ll still have money in mind, but with no job to get to (or concert to be at) I can take all the time I want. I also know that driving by myself from Raleigh to San Francisco, I have to be realistic about how many hours I can do each day.

There are a few places that I know I will be staying longer than one night. The first is my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding in Raleigh– I’ll be there from May 30th until June 4th.  We are staying at a family friend’s house, who I’ve heard also has a dog. Maybe Meeko and Snickers will make a friend?

From there, I am heading to Mt. Juliet, Tennessee to visit my Aunt and Uncle and my cousins. One of my cousins has started a family, but I have never met either of her little boys. I’m very excited to meet my new second cousins! I haven’t seen this side of my family in about six years, but with the potential of being in the South for grad school, perhaps I will get to see them more often.

After that, I’ll be on my own for a bit, going through Arkansas and Mississippi. I’ve driven over the Mississippi river once, but this time, I’m going to find a place to stop and hang out by it. Maybe there is a state park along it so I can dip my feet in? If it’s not too out of the way, I plan to drive through the campuses  of Ole Miss (University of Mississippi in Oxford) and University of Central Arkansas as they are potential MFA programs for me. In my head, living in these places for three years would be a grand adventures, but the realistic side of me says you’d better go check these towns out before you sign any leases!

I’ve never been to Louisiana, and being a huge Anne Rice/Vampire Chronicles fan, I have this image of Louisiana that a mix of the forest in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and James Bond’s Live and Let Die. I’m very curious to see New Orleans, to see how reconstruction is going and to find Lousiana State University, one of my dream MFA programs, and University of New Orleans. Continuing west, I’ll stop and see McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

After a few days in Louisiana I’ll drive further south to Corpus Christi, Texas where my sister lives. She’s just finished one part of her schooling to become a Navy Pilot! They are deciding which of the planes they want her to fly, which will determine her next step of more specialized training. By this point, I will probably be sick of driving, so staying at my sister’s for a week will be a fun mini-vacation for all of us!

Driving through the rest of Texas, I’ll head up to the University of New Mexico then west through Arizona. I love the landscapes of the Southwest, especially all of the rock deserts.

What happens next is still undecided. Do I drive along the coast of California along the famous Route 1? Or do I avoid any traffic jams by driving through Nevada? Ashwin votes for California, but I know it would be cheaper and less congested to go the other way.

I plan to make posts each night, and there will be lots of picture taking for each of my stops. I’m very curious to see how this trip will go, especially with two doggies with me, but at this point I’ve done all of the planning that I can!

Next stop, West Virginia!