Changes

Inexorably, things happened. I gave my MAP presentation, and it went well. I wrote lots and lots of final papers, sometimes more than one for a class. The end of my last semester was piled high with work. I had at least a dozen books out from the library, maybe twenty. I wrote and wrote. But I also hung out with people, especially on top of buildings. One of my friends has a photo album online called “A Bang, Not a Whimper”. That’s how I like to think I ended college.

Here are some things that have happened in the past month-and-change.

I got accepted, provisionally I suppose, into the Korea program. The provision was that, because of my acceptance, I now needed to send my documents, and then, since the program runs first come first served, I would get my school assignment and contract and stuff once that got to Korea. So I spent considerable time and effort getting all that set up. From previous posts, you’ll recall that I had to get my FBI background check and also a letter saying that I’d graduate barring weird circumstances. Well, then I had to get those both apostilled. That meant sending them off to the State Department with money orders, and then waiting. I guess I wasn’t doing much about Korea during the month or so that I waited. Once I got both my apostilled things back, I sent everything off to Korea by FedEx at a cost of over $50. This makes me really wonder about the cost of sending over useful stuff that I might want to have in my apartment. I’ll try to pack as much stuff as I can into my carry-on and my checked bag, and weigh myself down pretty heavily with stuff to carry on my person. A year is a long time. But it does appear that it’s an amount of time I will in fact be spending in Korea, unless I’ve misunderstood someone, which I suppose is possible, because their English isn’t the greatest sometimes. Oh, and everyone asks me when I’m leaving for that. The answer is that I have to be there August 18. I lose 14 hours—the better part of a day, imagine that—just for going to Korea’s time zone. I also have to allow quite a long time for the flight. And I might decide that, instead of flying from the Seoul airport where I’ll probably land to whatever city I’m going to, maybe I’ll just want to take a bus, so I can see what the country looks like before I start teaching in it. So maybe August 15, maybe the 16th. Not really sure. I’ll have to figure that out, but that’ll be once I get the job.

All the Press books came out. I wasn’t as involved with Press this year, though I was still graciously counted as an editor-in-chief. I was always too busy, it seemed. I probably could’ve done a lot more for the group. But at any rate, the books came out looking great. There’s one that’s poetry, one that’s poetry and short stories, one that’s a comic book, and one that’s a collection of postcards. Cool stuff.

Remember that guy I cooked rabbit with? We did a project together with mapping software, creating a map of the area around the college that showed how much pull small towns have around there. It was most laborious project. We pulled an all-nighter one night, then met the next day at 5:30 in the morning to figure out how to present it.

I went to some parties, drank some alcohol, hung out with some friends. Walked around with people. All people I’ll miss.

I ate milkweed shoots for the first time. They grew in front of EcoHouse, so I harvested them. Just snap the stem when it’s at the stage of life where it can be snapped. Then boil the shoots for about 20 minutes. They’re sort of like green beans or asparagus. But unlike a lot of the green beans or asparagus you’re likely to get, they’re guaranteed to be one hundred percent fresh. This is just the start of a lot of wild foods I’m going to eat. I’m going to need to find a good woods that I can go search for food in.

But other than all that, the last month hasn’t had all that much in it, or at least not all that much that would be interesting to write about—a lot of writing papers, and a lot of talking to friends you probably don’t know.

So how about the future? That’s something I write about all the time, isn’t it?

I really don’t know about this summer. I don’t know what’s going to happen during it. I do still plan on going to the Rainbow Gathering. Transportation is the big question. I’m not allowed to hop trains there without generally bad consequences, so that’s out. The common-sense next choice is to just drive there, since I have a car of my own. But gas is expensive, you know? It cost me eighty bucks to get from college back home, and that’s less than a quarter of the distance between home and Washington State. If I went to Washington by car—and back, too—by the end I’d probably be six hundred dollars poorer, and that’s not a little bit of money. Amtrak wants $400 each way, and Greyhound claims there isn’t even any such thing as a route between here and Washington. For all of these reasons, my preferred option is hitchhiking. The thing is, I’ve never hitchhiked before, so I have no idea how long I should expect it to take, or if it’s even reasonable to expect I can get across the country that way. Can I do it in three days? Or should I allow four or five? Where do I start hitchhiking to get out of Cincinnati? Will people even pick up hitchhikers with the gas prices this high? Ordinarily I wouldn’t worry about these things, since the point of the trip to the Rainbow Gathering is for it to be freeform and unworried. But on the way back, I have a timeline that I have to adhere to, if I want to go to Crowduck. The main part of the Rainbow Gathering is from July 1–7. For Crowduck, I have to be in Kenora on the 7th, or Minnesota on the 6th, or something like that. That means that, even in a best case scenario, I’ll have to leave the Gathering a few days early and start hitching for all I’m worth, then get picked up by someone headed to Crowduck, when I get to somewhere on that route. I’m optimistic, though, because hitchhiking is a big mode of transportation around the Gathering, and I think I’ll be able to find someone there who’ll be able to take me a good ways eastward. Also, by the time I get there, I’ll know about how many days I need to allow to get back. So I think I can make it work. Tell me what you know about scheduling, though. And give me any tips you might think of.

The Rainbow Gathering is obviously quite an unprofitable endeavor. With the rest of the summer, I hope to make at least some money. The post office has been calling me, but I sincerely wish to never set foot in the post office sorting building again, whether it’s the one in the middle of nowhere outside of town, or the one downtown, which I’ve been offered, apparently. What I’d really like to do is teach some English and do some proofreading and work on my fonts. Unfortunately, the only one I know for sure I can do is work on my fonts, and that’s the one that has the least potential to be profitable. I’ve called and emailed two different language teaching schools only to find out that there’s not really much call for me to teach English. And I have yet to hear back from Soft Skull, who I want to proofread for. (I’d proofread for anyone else too, but Soft Skull knows I can proofread well.) I’ll call them, since email’s been ineffective. If none of those things work out… well, what? The post office? I’m going to start looking for proofreading work on Craigslist and wherever… I don’t know. This summer has the potential to be very aimless. I need to do some awesome things with it.

I have a few such things. Like, I want to become a master calligrapher, so I can write pretty letters, not just draw them laboriously by outlining them. And, start learning to play guitar, which is something I plan to keep on learning in my free time in Korea. And, learn a lot of wild edibles. I wish I were near a national forest or something for that last one, though. Cincinnati is pretty crappy as far as nature goes. Well, I guess I do have a book that I got as a gift about nature in the Cincinnati area. I’ll consult that to figure out places to go that won’t be disappointing.

Well, that’s it for now. Now that I’m out of college, I ought to be able to update more often. Unless I succeed at having lots of awesome things to do.

File under: college, friends


Anonymous

History

Priorities, priorities, which ones will make a difference 5 years from now. Just enjoy which ever choices you make. Grandpa

Reply Reply Reply

Anonymous

History

I think you should drive to Washington and Kenora. The probability of getting a ride to your specific location via hitchhiking isn't perfect and you never know what kind of nut job is out there. You can get robbed or worse. I can help you out with the gas money. Go in with a few other people as a carpool and they can help with gas. MOM

Reply

Chuck

History

Those who pick up hitchhikers are just as afraid of us as we are of them. Anyone who picks me up as a hitchhiker first has to believe that I'm not going to harm them, which means they're probably someone who trusts and expects to be trusted. You could also argue that someone who picks me up may be the kind of nutjob who just wants to kill someone and they don't care if that person has a big beard and looks possibly crazy like me, but those kinds of nutjobs are figments of your imagination, and the media's. They just don't happen. How many people have you heard of who have gotten maimed by someone who picked them up? Remember my acquaintance from NYC who went on tour with his folk music guitar using only Greyhound and hitchhiking. He got upwards of twenty rides and not one person was even crazy enough to remark on when I asked.

You keep trying to throw money at my cheap eccentricities to make them go away. "I'll buy you an Amtrak ticket. Please stay off the freights." "I'll pay for you to stay an extra semester in college. Don't hop trains this fall." "I'll send you money for food. You don't need to dumpster dive." Keep your money and let me be a weirdo.

Reply

Anonymous

History

Nathanael, Grandpa has already reserved a room for you going up and back. I didn't realize you weren't planning to ride with us. Oops. You'll have to come up here and visit with us and let us give you your present soon. Grandma

Reply

Anonymous

History

How many people have been maimed by a driver? I know of one. Mary Vincent was raped and then literally maimed by the man who picked her up hitchhiking. I know that's not likely to happen to you but just sayin'. Mom

Reply

Hit Enter twice for a new paragraph. You can use asterisks to make *italics* and **bold**, and you can make links like so: [link says this](and goes to this address). Other fancy formatting possible via Markdown. (More)