Wednesday, January 21, 2009

BS x 2

I am a college graduate right. I had my advisers sign paper work, I stood in line at the office of the registrar to fill out more paperwork, I checked my DARS a million times, and I finished my classes a little over a month ago.

I did all of that but I haven't felt done with school. The past few weeks since I took my last final have felt like winter break, that I should be going back soon.

When I got home today there were two white envelopes from the University of Utah, my diplomas. Being graduated really hit me when I looked at those pieces of paper that said "Bachelor of Science Environmental Studies," "Bachelor of Science Urban Planning," and my name.

So now I can say with authority -

Eat it suckers! I am done with school!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

TIcket to History

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is having a contest. Write an essay about what this election means to you and win a trip with a guest to the inauguration. I'm sure there will be a million entries and they are only picking 10, but I decided to write one.

So here is my essay:

2008 was an eventful year, on a global scale, but personally as well. I celebrated a three year anniversary with my wife, graduated from college, got my first career job, and welcomed my first baby in to the world.

When I held my baby boy for the first time on a warm afternoon in July the world melted away. It could be one of the most over-used clich├ęs, but looking at the face of this little baby, suddenly, nothing else existed. I had my family, we were healthy, and we were together.

The world is different now than it was even a handful of years ago when my dad held me for the first time. The media is filled with gloomy to apocalyptic predictions. Wars, a bleak economic picture, poverty, peak oil, hunger – the gamut of hardship is represented.

But I am not convinced all is lost. The outlook for my little boy is not dark. There is good in the world. For every story of depravity and destruction I can see a story of somebody doing good, of somebody helping to lift.

That is what the November election and the next four years represent to me – a collective realization that things can be better. We have it in us to be great. The election of Barak Obama will be remembered as historic by future generations for a myriad of reasons. But I believe this time will remembered as a time when the selfishness and schisms so prevalent today were set aside to accommodate the greater good. I believe this will be seen as a time when we stepped up and became our best selves.

Years from now, when my boy and his wife come to Sunday dinner, and we stay at the table well into the night, like my family does today, I hope President Elect Obama is not the only thing we talk about when he asks about this time. I hope we talk about the early 2000s as a time when Americans realized their potential and regained our reputation as a country of opportunity, acceptance, and prosperity for everyone.

President Elect Obama is not the panacea for global or national ills. His message of change and hope represents the goodness inherent in each of us and the opportunity we have to affect change for those around us.

I don't usually enter contests so I don't know how my luck is. But I did call Arrow 103.5 last year and won a Led Zepplin CD, so who knows. Here's to hoping they like it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

In Review

2008 is done.

Looking back these past couple of days it has been a rather eventful year.

I got this guy

Finished my time here

Got a real job here

And got this

On top of that I've been married for three years, my little brother got hitched, my older brother and his wife are having a baby (which means that little one up there will have a friend), and we are at the door of what will be an exciting political shift (I think it is exciting. At the very least it will be interesting - regardless of your political stance).

Even with school wrapping up and a baby being born and work I have been able to spend time with good people and family, ride my bike a fair amount, run the Wasatch Back for the third year, do a little camping, hunt, play pung, win a few hands of pinochle, grow some tomatoes & carrots, and put my fly rod to good use. I even had some nymphing success with it (I've only caught fish with dry flies till this year).

The people I love are healthy generally doing well. So, yeah, 2008 was, by all accounts, a good year.

2009 looks like it will follow suit. Another year with my family and friends (although one of my best friends moved to New York [for medical school, so good for him] and I found out that another one of my best friends is moving to New Zealand [for an Urban Design Masters program, so good for him].), a good job with buckets of potential, no school for the first time in my life - aka more time, and my baby will start walking and talking, our bikes are in working condition and Morgan will be big enough for me to pull him around in our trailer. While the
two friends I mentioned above were two of my fishing buddies on top of just being great friends, my little brother and another good friend are still around and eager to spend time on the water. And I have the tools to start tying flies.

Of course, life has its ups and downs and things won't always be so rosy. So I figure I'll take advantage of this up while I'm this high up.

It turns out I like blogging, when I remember. Since Planning Workshop is done (our project was a success and we have presented it to the Zoo, and are going to present it to the other organizations in the near future), this blog will become a little less planning related and a little more Tasha, Christopher, and Morgan related. I am a planner, I enjoy the built environment and how it functions, planning is 1/3 of my life, and it affects me/I pay attention to it/talk about it in the other awake 1/3 of my life. I even occasionally dream about it in the sleeping 1/3 of my life. So I imagine this will still be dominated by planning related material, but I'm sure there will be some not strictly planning related pictures and anecdotes.

So here is to 2009. May it be a well tracked, eventful year.