Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thirty-Seven

Oh, hey! Wow I can’t believe I ran in to you here. Small world, eh? How are you? It’s been a while. Like since January. So how have you been? Oh yeah, I was wondering why you didn't have a left leg anymore. I remember you as having two legs. Tough break. Me? Well it’s a long story but basically I traveled to the depths of hell and met the Devil. It manifested itself in the form of 85 pages of ulcer-inducing, makes-you-question-your-life-choices master’s thesis. But I have emerged with only a few scratches and a mortgaged soul and I am ready to move on with my life. So, how are the kids?

I’m only slightly over exaggerating. The thesis was one of the most time-consuming and unpleasant things I have ever done in my life. It didn’t help that I had zero interest in the subject from the very start. Anyway these are the complaints of an over privileged, over-educated white kid. It hasn’t been all doom and hellfire since we last spoke. I haven’t written because I would have just complained in every blog about how much the thesis sucks. So I just figured I’d wait till the end and say it once. But I have done some fun stuff since January. I’ll catch you up real quick on the things I did when I wasn’t cursing in front of my computer.

January
In January I went to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. I know your first question and no, unfortunately, I did not meet Matt Damon. I went to Sundance because Spring’s brother, Destin Daniel Cretton, is a pretty excellent writer/director and his first feature length film was showing at the festival. It’s called I am not a Hipster. Check out the original score streaming at www.iamnotahipster.com. It’s good. Tracks 2-4 are my favorites. Destin was nice enough to allow me to tag along for a couple days and let me pretend to be Alvaro Orlando (one of his actors) so that I could use his credentials. Spring and I were only there for 48 hours so we slept very little. We just went to movies and concerts from sun-up to sun-up. My diet was mostly popcorn and coffee for two days. It was way cool.

February
In February I took a construction class with Habitat for Humanity. They offer a free month-long intensive construction class where they teach you all the different skills for building a house. It was awesome. In return I owe them a minimum of six volunteer days. If you need a new house just let me know. I can build it now. Although they didn’t teach us how to build a roof. But those are really just for show anyway. Skylights are cool too.

March
In March I flew down to Tampa to defend my thesis. They wouldn’t let me do it on Skype. I don’t know why they call it a defense. It makes it seem like they just go in to it assuming you are wrong and you have to prove that you aren’t a liar. Innocent until proven guilty! But they were pretty nice about it. I passed. I am a master.

April
In April I decided to learn how to wrestle tigers in small kiddy pools…….NOT! APRIL FOOLS!!!! Haha, Oh man! You should have seen your face! It had this look on it that was like, “You didn’t do that, Duncan. That was a dumb joke.” Well, hey, chill out. Anyway, April just started. I have to decide what to do with my life now. I suppose a full-time job would be a good idea….NOT! APRIL FOOLS!!!! Gotcha again! I am still working for Greywater Corps, installing Greywater systems. I really like it. But it isn’t full time. I was thinking about applying for a real grown-up engineering job but then I came across this thing that I wrote for my sister when she graduated college and now I’m not so sure that I want to have a real grown-up job. Anyway I’ll let you know what I decide. Here is the thing I wrote for my sister that inspires me to live the Peter Pan/Toys R’ Us dream:

For your graduation I got you this really long metaphor…..

Graduating from college is like reaching the end of a river on a floaty thingy and being thrown out into the ocean.

Up until now the current of the river has pretty much told your floaty thingy where to go.

There have been small streams that you could have taken along the way but you didn’t dare. Your D.A.R.E. teacher said they lead to nowhere.

Sure there were some rocks to dodge.And you probably wanted to stop your floaty thingy sometimes and you were like “Ugh! Where is this all going?”

But you floated on and examined things along the way. You studied the floaty thingy, and the water, and the fish. You learned lots, forgot most of the details.
But now the river has ended and you’re about to enter the OCEAN.

The OCEAN is big, and that scares people.

So when most people get spit out into the OCEAN they cling to the shoreline with everybody else and stare at the land, pretending there is another shoreline just behind them and saying “It’s just another river.” But they never dare to peek and find out. And they just find their spot on the shoreline and hang on.

It’s crowded on the shoreline. You don’t have much room to move there. Basically the tides control your movements. There are high tides and low tides.

Sure you could take a lot of other people’s floaty thingys. Then you’d have lots of space and never have to worry about sinking even if you lost one of your floaty thingys. But there are only so many floaty thingys so if you have a lot then chances are other people have none.

On the shoreline everybody is always jostling for space and getting angry at the guy floating next to them. Also you have to do lots of stuff all the time that you’re not really sure if it matters or not. Like having political opinions and flossing.

And so one day, against everybody’s advice, you will look behind you and see that there is not another shoreline. There is a big OCEAN. And you’ll be like “Oh damn, check that shit out.” People will turn to look, start feeling seasick, turn back around and quickly repress the memory.

But not you. You’ll look at it some more and start contemplating venturing out there.

My advice: Do it.

Caution: Don’t venture out to the OCEAN all by yourself. It could get lonely. Try to convince some friends to go with you. Or meet some on the way out.

People will try to stop you. Pamela Anderson will run after you with her big floaty thingys bouncing around in her red bathing suit screaming “You can’t go out there!” But don’t listen. She’s Canadian.

So then you guys will be out in the OCEAN and you’ll have tons of room to do whatever you want, as long as you catch enough fish to keep living a healthy life.
Don’t get me wrong. There will be storms out there. And sharks. And maybe even Somalian Pirates depending on where you end up. So don’t be too reckless.
And also you’re going to have to paddle more out there. But that will only make you stronger.

You’ll float up on a lot different shorelines; some crowded and bustling, some calm and laid back. You’ll meet lots of other people who left the shoreline and swap fascinating OCEAN stories.

Then eventually your arms might get tired so you’ll find a shoreline that suits you and set up shop with the other people who’ve been floating along with you.
And then I think there’s probably a happy ending somewhere.

Unless graduating from college is actually like being a raindrop falling into a lake…in which case that changes everything. Ah, fuck it. Just have fun.


More updates to come soon…