Well I was going to wait until everything was settled before making an announcement, but apparently it's impossible to keep news to oneself in my family.
When I went in to speak with Dr. Moore a few weeks ago I told him that I wasn't sure I was a good candidate for a master's in history because I didn't know what I wanted to focus my research on. I told him that all I really wanted to do was take more classes, to study more history. He sympathized and encouraged me to just go to law school next fall. As I walked home from campus I looked something like this .
Since I have made friends - very, very good friends - and absolutely love Ellensburg (except for wintertime) and my little school, I was pained to the point of feeling constantly ill at the prospect of having to leave. At the encouragement of my new friends, I decided to apply to school despite the fact that I've missed every single deadline and haven't taken the GRE. However, when I went to the application page I discovered something even better: exactly what I wanted.
I've applied as a post-baccalaureate student to start summer quarter (a week after graduation). This just means that I will be using up the remainder of the undergraduate financial aid for which I am eligible to take more classes, possibly study abroad, and possibly complete a second bachelor's degree. Instead of wasting away in Walla Walla and/or Mt. Angel I'll be doing what I'm good at: studying. I get to stay here in Ellensburg, take all the classes I want from all the profs I love alongside my new friends. I will get to goof off, go on road trips, stay out way too late, fall asleep on a stranger's couch, probably get into some trouble, and, for the first time in my life, really get to spend time with my friends.....rather than just make them, then leave and never see them again. It means that instead of applying to law schools and painstakingly choosing which to go to next year, I will get to apply to law schools and have reasons for the decisions I make. It means if I decide to go to a local school it won't be because I'm pathetic and wistful, it will be because I have friends who love me and want me around. That's a pretty damn good feeling.
This last year has been pretty crazy for me. While the majority of it has been really bad it has taught me a lot of good. I have learned so much and having so much fun that it's truly overwhelming me. I've actually suffered quite severe short-term memory loss as a result. For example:
Wednesday was our last day of class for my Russian Far East history class. Both of my mates (Jeremy and Clayton) are in that class. After we got out Clayton was waiting for me outside the door (something he has done every class for several weeks now....and I'm not sure why, since I've been sitting next to him - why not just wait with me?). Jer also puttered around, and after a few minutes of goofing off it was decided that we'd meet up at The Tav to study for our final. Jer picked me up and we met up with several guys from class, and studied hard for two+ hours. Obviously by studying I mean they all got drunk and we talked about nonsense. Clayton gave me several cuddly hugs (this guy's hugs are the most sinful thing I've ever experienced and he doesn't even try), Jer was his usual naughty self (it's so nice to have someone who shares my inappropriate sense of humor!), and all was grand. Near the end we decided we might actually want to study together at some point, and exchanged contact information. As Jer started writing down his name I noticed that he was left handed and flipped right the heck out. "You're left handed?! How come I didn't know you were left handed?!!!! Did I know you are left handed?" He laughed, but confessed that he wasn't sure if I did know or not. We've spent a lot of time together the last few weeks, studying and sitting together in class, so it seemed like it's something I should have known.
And I did.
Around 3 a.m. yesterday morning as I was trying desperately to fall asleep I remembered that every single day in class Jeremy hunts down the left-handed desk in the room (there's only one available). It had become a major event to look forward too, as he craned his neck wildly in search of the desk. For weeks - months - I have sat behind him, watching him search for the desk, acquisition the desk (which requires him to lift one desk and haul it across the room, pick up the left-hander, then carry that back across to the position in front of me), and then lounge comfortably on his left arm while he's supposed to take notes.
Wednesday was one of the best days I have ever had in my entire life - possibly the best day ever. Yesterday was a pretty close second. Jer drove me home after class, and Clayton - who is working in Wisconsin this summer - swung by my apartment on his way out of town just to give me a hug and say goodbye. It's so nice to have met new friends who love me as much as my old friends (and my family!) do. I am so glad that life has balanced out for me. The last year - this last winter in particular - was one of the hardest in my life. I think I've learned that it's okay for me to be happy, that I'm allowed to take more than just what's left over. I'm really looking forward to the next year. Who knows what I'll be blogging about then?