Monday, January 26, 2009

The past several days have been a blur of thought and activity, and I have wanted to document the entire process here. Unfortunately, time has not permitted this, and here I am actually SLEEPY at 1AM after a glorious weekend in Modesto (pictures and stories will be up on Tuesday night), so I am going to attempt to take full advantage of my unusually early weariness by getting to bed!!!!
But first, I want to talk a little bit about having so much of a plan that I have no plan at all!

On Friday, as I removed my ballet shoes outside my studio, I asked Kenneth (both my ballet professor and academic advisor) if we could meet on Tuesday to go over my progress towards graduation yet again. I am convinced that I am the sole reason that Kenneth has removed the academic advisorship sign-up sheet from the bulletin board outside his office. Several times each semester I pester him with "what if"s, "how about"s, and "do you think that I could"s.... He patiently advises me through every life-altering event and seemingly all too distant dream.

This week, I began my kinesiology preliminary course work.


I love kinesiology as applied to dance or movement in general. But the work I would be submerged in over the next three years involves generic sports and very little else. Upon meeting with my professors, I discovered that not only would I not be allowed to apply my practices to my work in dance (at least in the practical application sense for course credit), but I would be forced to prepare lesson plans and TEACH basketball, football, soccer, baseball, etc...
Um..... wow.
If you know me at all, you know that I don't care for the over popularization of American - or any, for that matter - sports. It's a very selfish, closed-minded view, I know. But that's how I feel. I can't stand all the hype, the huge crowds, the mindless betting, the screaming, the fat, lazy viewers yelling at the athletes to "move your arse!"...
It makes me ill. Not to say that these athletes are not phenomenal movers or that there is no merit to their sport of choice. Not at all. I could never dream of being in such shape! I believe what bothers me most is that so many mindless, numbed minds flock by the masses to these sports. The fact that there is so much money in the industry angers me. Millions of people throw money and time into devoting their free attention to watching other people play recreational sports. It's so thoughtless and dull. They would rather whittle away the hours watching something that requires no thought, no energy, no effort whatsoever.

I'm being unfair, I know. I like the occasional baseball game. The athletes are amazing, the crowd is fun! But wow. Some people take it... a little too far. And so it was in my classes. I stumbled into a packed lecture hall filled with 80 kines majors, all of them sports fanatics and at least some form of athlete, even if only in fantasy football. The second I walked in, I felt I was in the wrong class. I checked the board against my schedule and found that I was in the right place, but still I had a persistent feeling of being in the very WRONG place.

Kinesiology was a backup for me because I thought I was going to be marrying Scott and staying in Fresno. Hi. I'm not. But the realization that I am no longer stuck in Fresno did not settle in on me until AFTER I began these classes. I sat through them and talked to my professors afterwards just to give it a chance. Still, that ugly feeling of being in the wrong place. In the actual classes, when my professors began describing plans for the course and giving initial assignments, I felt a heavy weight and discomfort. I thought I was just being a baby and that I needed to snap out of it and prepare myself to work hard. These are heavy courses. But the feelings wouldn't go away. Finally, when I went to talk to my professor about applying my lesson plans to dance, she turned me down and informed me that I would be teaching whatever she assigned me to teach. I was moments away from expressing my distaste and disinterest in most sports when I realized that behind me was a line of about 40 jocks who all apparently dream of becoming high school PE teachers (I really shouldn't knock 'em, but I just don't like 'em, so I'm gonna anyway!!!). I thought it better to shut my mouth and walk away and did so in one piece. I have NEVER been so uncomfortable in any class as I was in these two.

As I walked to my next class, I called mom in frustration at my plans being dashed yet again. She reminded me in that awesome way that she does, "y'know, Laura, you don't HAVE to stay in Fresno".

.....ooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right! I don't! Wow!

Suddenly, liberation! I discussed possibilities with mom for a bit (thank you, mom, for being so amazingly supportive!) and then immediately went into day dream mode and have remained so since. I have found several universities that offer fantastic MA programs that suit my dreams in places such as Chicago, Virginia, Utah, Texas, Arizona, Southern CA, ALL over New York of course, and Australia. But my favorite would be ROEHAMPTON UNIVERSITY in London!!!!!! When I finish my BA in December, I will be an independent, debt-free graduate! I think I deserve a little appropriate school debt for my MA now, don't you? Well, I really don't care if you agree. I do. So there.

The question now is "how much debt is 'appropriate' debt?". The cost of grad school is sky-rocketing, according to my research over the past week. Even over the past five years, many programs have DOUBLED their fees! Money is a huge problem now. But I am dead determined to earn my MA in the field that I can't get enough of, and apply it to earn money afterwards.

How? Where? When? What will I do? How do I know there will be jobs for my field? What if I can't make any money at all? Will I get into ANY grad schools? How will I support myself as I do?

I have absolutely no idea.


No idea what I'm doing, and I'm ok with that. My plans have never really worked out for me. So I'm going to try something new. NOT planning.

I'm going to go where my body and heart and mind and God take me.
I'll just have to trust that it will be enough to survive on. I believe it is. And maybe I won't be as successful in some eyes. But I will be happy.

So.... London. That's my first choice. Oh man, I'm shaking just thinking about it. Have been for a week. All alive inside and excited to see more of the world. I'm going to do everything I can to get there! Just ignore the fact that it will cost about $40,000... I'll figure that out..... somehow....

Mom and I joked about how we each have a new "favorite quote" every week. She had printed this one out and let me take it with me as I left Modesto. I find that it captures my feelings and carries my hopes on its back. Any quote that can do that is worth saving, at least to me.

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti

Ok, ten points to anyone who knew that Michelangelo's surname was "Buonarroti", except Wendy. That's exactly the kind of information I would expect her to have stockpiled in an easy-access compartment of her brain.

Here I go, off to attempt to reach an extremely high aim. Wish me luck, and don't cringe at my seeking heavy debt. I'll do that enough for everyone.


Andrew Fretwell said...

Go get em, Laura. I'm always going to back you up and you know I'm never far. Rock London and seize your dreams.

The Wibergs said...

40 grand. Wow. That's all I'm sayin.