I am currently sitting in Noble Coffee, in Ashland, Oregon, reminiscing on the days when I would skip first-period physics to do homework here. With a playlist of Santigold and Phoenix on repeat as well as freshly-roasted coffee, I am very much at home. I’ll be catching up for the next three weeks—with old friends, on sleep, with family dinners and small-town gossip. Then, it’s back to the City for my internship at The Faster Times. I’m living in Brooklyn with a few SLC boys and will hopefully finally master the subway system. Ask me for directions next year and I will gleefully give you all the options. Overall, I’m hoping for a summer of snarky writing, cosmopolitan socializing and early-morning runs in Prospect Park. Let the adventure begin.
My prediction for how I’ll be feeling on June 4, 2011? Anxious, a bit terrified, apprehensive, but mostly really, really excited. I leave, alone, on June 4, for two months abroad in France and Italy. I’ll meet a high school friend in Paris to sight-see, picnic, wander, drink, and pretend to be Parisian for a week. Then, she and I will part ways and I’ll timidly make my way to the Gare Montparnasse where I’ll hop on the TGV to the South-western region of France. Then, I’ll don a pair of baggy jeans and work boots in preparation for five weeks to be spent working on two different organic farms. In mid-July, I’ll find myself in Toulouse meeting up with another friend. She and I will train-hop our way to Florence where we will eat, drink, run, climb the Duomo, and live la dolce vita for two weeks. A brief two-day visit to Rome will follow, culminating in a long airplane trip back home on July 31, 2011 (assuming we don’t decide to stay for the rest of our lives).
I will be spending my weekdays interning at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival in Farmington, CT. Set in a beautiful garden, hopefully I’ll get great use out of a not-yet-purchased floppy hat. I’m looking forward to growing strawberries, playing tons of board games, and enjoying warm New England mornings. After I get over the stress of finding a paying job, she plans on rewarding herself by going clamming in Rhode Island. And playing in the waves, of course. Preferably in Watch Hill. The season of lemon pie ice cream and seashore festivals is best enjoyed on the East Coast, in my opinion. At the end of the summer, I plan on personifying a scenic boat painting.
The dirty South is where I’m headed for the summer of 2011! I will be living at home in the beautiful state of Alabama and attempting the perfect mixture of relaxation and work. I’m going to be working as an Art Camp counselor at the Birmingham Museum of Art, the museum with the largest collection of art in the Southeast, and interning at the offices of the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. All the while, I will be doing some screenwriting, film editing, sewing, reading, and getting prepared for my sophomore year at Sarah Lawrence and with SLCSpeaks. I’m looking forward to hanging at the lake with my friends while knocking back a few cans of raspberry ginger ale, foraging through the library of Netflix films and TV shows, and listening to some great tunes while driving down Highway 280. No big travel plans for me this summer… But I have the rest of my life to do that. Right now, I can’t imagine anything better than chilling out as I burn in the stifling Alabama heat. I know I’ll be praying for it this January… See you all in a few months!
Last December, nearly 18 million Americans tuned in to an episode of CBS’ “60 Minutes” in which University of California Irvine researchers James McGaugh and Larry Cahill hosted a first-ever gathering of a small group of people who all shared one intriguing characteristic: superior autobiographical memory. While most people have trouble recalling what they had for lunch, these individuals are able to recall what happened on every single day of their lives. Making matters even more interesting, they are able to retrieve arcane pieces of information from their brains almost effortlessly at Google speed. McGaugh and Cahill believe that they have discovered a rare, previously undocumented type of super memory. This summer, I will be working with McGaugh and Cahill at their UC Irvine research lab. I will be learning how to perform and analyze fMRI brain scans of individuals who possess superior autobiographical memory. Aside from that, I will be taking advantage of my California surroundings and spending as much time as possible at the beach.
Illustration credit: Brent Couchman