by 13 Stoploss
I know it’s nearly October, but today is the last day of summer for me. For what started in late May, and has lasted until tonight, has been an incredibly fulfilling, liberating, and invigorating experience. I can’t remember ever having as much free time to pursue my own inquiries and obsessions without a sinking feeling of something dreadful to return to. Tomorrow, I return to a dream that, in 2005, started in Iraq. This time, it is a hard-won reality borne of sacrifice, patience, and excruciatingly diligent work.
While I eagerly await the following-through of the VA’s promise to pay BAH for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I have mostly survived the summer on Mrs. 13’s summer paycheck planner, savings, grants and scholarships, and the credit card. While we should have been thriftier than we have been of late, I can say that my summer contained wonderful surprises, pleasant getaway excursions, new skills, and eye-opening philosophies. The short list includes skillfully mastering a few alternative processes in film photography, the reading of a half dozen books, the shooting and developing of dozens of rolls of film, a backpacking trip above 10,000 feet, having a baby, the start of a wedding and portrait photography business, and the developmental stages of two books. Along the way, I developed a Dionysian taste for Scotch, and a passionate renewal of my relationship and love for Mrs. 13 that could only have taken place by spending every glorious minute of every day with her.
Before we celebrate eight wonderful years together on Saturday, I begin my Journalism major at UC Irvine tomorrow. And, surprisingly, before the first day of class, I am already stockpiled with homework that has been emailed by professors. And, what better way to start my Journalism career than to document the faculty walkout and protest of the California budget cuts to education, including imposed faculty furloughs, and firings of many part time instructors? Aside from avoiding high-pitched, bug-eyed blondes in Uggs and Hoodies in 95 degree weather pitching Greek Life, my morning will start with coffee before starting the structure of Poetry, followed by two Journalism classes.
I’ll share stories, observations, and reports as they happen. In the meantime, pay attention to your other favorite bloggers sometime tomorrow afternoon. I hear there is going to be a pretty important blogger round table with some uppity’s at the VA concerning the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the plethora of problems veterans have endured. I’d be taking part, but hey, it’s the first day of school!
Oh yeah. Be on the lookout for the work of a certain young photographer. He has some pieces being exhibited at the local Fine Arts Center (info coming shortly) in two weeks…
Early Anniversary Gift :)