G’bye, Not!GradSchool… hullo Europe!

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The plan, she is a-changin’.
Disclaimer: No, actually I have not read Eat, Pray, Love. No, you’re not the first to ask that question, thanks.

I had a long chat with Sylvie last week, & amongst other things, I talked to her about Not!Grad School. Based on my conversations & the feedback I’ve gotten from them, I’m pretty sure that sometime around August 1st, I’ll get notification that I can start on October 9th with this year’s class.

The question then being – do I really want to?

Here’s the thing – it’s all day, from 9am – 4pm (3:30 if I make arrangements with the professors to make up the studio time so I can get to the boathouse if I end up coaching juniors this fall) Now, being able to sit & spend three years doing the course of art that I wanted to do sounds dandy, but I have some very harsh realities to deal with:

  1. I have to pay the tuition myself because the school isn’t accredited yet, so there’s no federal funding
  2. I have to fund the rest of my life at the same time that I’m in school for the same amount of time as a full time job.
  3. Eventually, I really do need to get SOME sleep. (No, I actually do mean that)

I was explaining this to Sylvie, and she suddenly stopped said, “God, why are you Americans are so dumb?!”
(Note: Sylvie is French. Occasionally, she’s not just French, she’s very French.)

To which I ventured, “um…I don’t know?”

We then proceeded to have a conversation where she explained to my horribly pedestrian Yankee way of thinking that not everything is in the United States, and perhaps instead of spending three years running myself into the ground for a degree from a school no one’s ever heard of where I won’t enjoy a bit of of because I’ll always be chasing to fill the economic hole of my tuition & life, perhaps it might be better to look at a more concentrated program in Europe for next summer so that I can actually, you know – pay attention to what I’m doing while learning, as well as actually get some time away from my life for a while – kind of a reset button.

:insert heavens opening & beam of light shining down as chorus of angels hit perfect note:

The funny thing about this is that just the week before, my sister & I had been having a conversation about the fact that, other than her honeymoon, we pretty much have never been on vacation. We just didn’t do it as kids – other than family committments, or parent-mandated “educational trips” when we were kids (which were all within driving distance & ruled more by my mother’s neurosis than anything else, so yeah, those were wicked fun) — we just… didn’t. When we were kids, we couldn’t afford it, & when we were old enough, we were sent off to get jobs, after which we all had to pay for our own school, and I guess since we never were in the habit of doing it from when we were kids, neither of us have ever incorporated it into our lives as adults.

So the idea of taking the next year and setting things up so that I can save up, put my affairs in order, and head off for a month or three to kind of explore the world & do something just for me & for the sake of having the experience of it instead of just continuing to try to pay the rent – I can’t tell you how lovely that is to me. It’s going to mean a LOT of prep, and a real push on my part to work & get things in order financially – thankfully, my car will be paid off in June of ’11 (if I can’t manage to get ahead & take care of it a little before) so my expenses will actually go down right before I leave. Since this is LA, there’s almost always someone looking for a short-term sublets and due to the fact that I presently have the best neighbors ever, I know I’ll have people to look in on the place & make sure that nothing gets blown up. (Yay 1049 Improv Troupe!)

In the meantime, I’ll wait to see whether or not I get into Not!Grad School, & then work with them to take at least two classes over the course of the year – probably basic anatomy & also Quick post studios since those would be the basis of any figure drawing study that I would take. I’d also have to finally get my arse in gear & start going to Dr. Sketchy’s when my work schedule allows for it so that I can get lots of practice for pretty cheap.

In order to actually make the cash to be able to do all this, I’m going to have to suck it up & put at least one day aside just for tutorials to bring myself up to date on more backend programming and SEO. More & more clients seem to be asking for things that involve Drupal development, WordPress dev, & SEO work, so it’s time that I hammered down on the things that will actually bring in cash, most likely with a side of HTML5, CSS3, & javascript refresher course. Lynda.com, we’ll be spending a lot of time together.

Wego Pte Ltd

Of course, I can’t do this alone, so there’s only one thing to do:

Gathering the troops to invade Europe – it’s what Americans do!
Art aside, there’s another awesome aspect to going to Italy or France for the summer – the rowing.

That in mind, I sent Kate a text that just said, “Wanna row in Europe next summer?”

Yeah.. she’s pretty much down. So once we get things in line & I know where I’m going, we’ll take a look at where there is to row around there and have at it, baby — the Euros have way more options than we do in SoCal, and even if I’m just in Europe on a schedule where I can GO to Henley… well honey, it’s Henley the year before the Olympics are in London. That situation’s going to be awesome. Plus since I know a Bronzer or two in merry ol’ Land o’ Eng, we may be able to swing free accomodations for that portion of the adventure, which would be right up there like the guys say during soccer games on Univision – Scoooooooore!

I’ve also tapped Sachiel & Closet B to see if they want to come play, even if only for a week or two – after all, if you’re going to have to get a place to crash for two people in Italy or France, you might as well use it as a halfway house for all your friends, right? Right. Totally.

In the meantime, the upshot of this is that my sorry arse needs to make with the hustle. As Sachiel pointed out to me, “Billable hours equals Europe!”

Music: Dawn – Pride & Prejudice Dawn

Mighty Leaf Tea - Best Tea Ever

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  • DeMoriel

    Wait, I am confuzzled… does that mean Europe will be playtime, or will you doing the concentrated program there that Sylvie suggested? Or just that her suggestion opened up the possibility of traveling?

  • http://www.candlemarkandgleam.com Kate

    Okay, that plan? Simply rocks. I approve!

  • Melly

    We went on two “vacations” when I was growing up. The first one was a two-hour ferry ride to Manitoulin Island. We got there, found out there was nothing to do, got back on the boat and went home. That took up a day.
    The second one was when the family went to the African Lion Safari, which is probably the saddest place on earth, next to Marine Land (Oh, just look these places up, I can’t be arsed to find links for you this late at night) – animals out of their natural habitat always make me cry. That was also a day trip, both of which were mostly paid for by my grandmother who saved up all her change, took the rolled coins to the bank, and gave us the cash, so we could go.

    The only other time I ever went anywhere before I was a grownup, was to England in ’97 – but that was a choir trip and there was a helluva lot of fundraising that went into that.

    The first time I ever went on a vacation as an adult, I felt very weird, and very guilty – like I should have been doing something more productive than relaxing. Fortunately, I got over it quickly.

    I like the Europe plan, babe. Go for it!

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