After finishing “Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens” by Steve Olson on a recent flight to Portland OR, I slipped my favorite bookmark in between the last few pages and closed it with satisfying “pop.” I tucked the book into the backpack I had oh-so-deftly stowed under my bulkhead seat. Perfect timing. The plane’s flight path to Oregon was scheduled to cross near Mount St. Helens, known locally as “the one who blew her top off.” I knew we were close and that I would have a birds-eye view from my window. The last chapters of the book infused my mood. Descriptions of those who had experienced Mount St Helens’ eruption flooded my mind. A few survived to tell about it. Most did not. As I peered out the window, my heart raced at the sight of the gaping crater left by the blast and the eerie moonscape (still!) that persists. I felt drawn to the scene both personally and professionally. Mount St. Helens is the type of volcano I hope to devote my career to unlocking its secrets.
I often think it would be so much easier if I could choose a different line of work to pursue. Finding a college that offers either Geology or Earth Sciences as a major has been more challenging than I imagined. However, that is where my interests lie; that is what keeps me motivated. I need to decide before too long about where I want to spend the last few years of undergraduate school. Should I stay or should I go? If I go, it will be the second time I’ve transferred.
Also, on my list of things to do before June when my brief retreat from the academic world comes to a full stop:
Boost Interest in my Social Media Accounts
By posting consistently and creatively, I hope my Instagram will become a place I am proud of. I’m already close to breaking through the 1,000 follower barrier. Soon, I will be able to connect with brand ambassadors and other bloggers and forge collaborations. Plus, come June I’ll be not only abroad but working ten hour days in a geology field camp. If I’m to blog consistently, I need to automatically schedule enough posts for uploading the weeks I will not have access to the internet.
Get to Know Washington DC
Living in the suburbs, I resisted going into the nearby metropolitan area. I lived close to Washington DC my entire life but often went for six months without venturing into the city. I want to change that.
Get to Know DC Eateries
I prefer eating the food I prepare for myself since I know exactly the ingredients that went into the dish. I want to try others’ creations, become inspired, and surround myself with people I wouldn’t otherwise encounter.
I’m de-cluttering the house I grew up in Marie Kondo-style. I started with over 18 shelves of books. My mom pulled some of her favorites from the past (George Eliot and Jane Austen) and more recent gems she discovered through her book group like All the Light We Cannot See and Educated.
It’s also time to read Harry Potter. I’m embarrassed to say I have never read any of the books or watched any of the movies. I figure it’s time to get on top of popular culture!
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Last summer I discovered Pilates. I experienced my share of injuries as a high school cheerleader (some of which still impact me today). Pilates was designed to strengthen muscles and treat, through exercise, the source of past injuries and pains. I’m finally getting the relief I needed in my lower back. My confidence in my athleticism is slowly returning. Now that the weather is warming, I hope to resume hiking with my retriever, Bella.
Make at Least one Video-Blog Post
Videos would add some welcome variety.
Figure Out All The Buttons on my Canon DSLR
I just started an eight-week-long photography course. I am quite excited, and already getting results.