First: Kayaking. When I first started kayaking on the river last summer, it terrified me. I was so scared going through rapids that I had a hard time remembering to paddle! Even after doing about 15 river runs last fall, I still had The Fear. I stopped paddling around Halloween last fall, which limited my kayak time to the Wednesday night Open Pool sessions at Eastern. Over the course of the winter, I perfected my roll, got a pretty solid off-sides roll, and even learned a couple tricks. I was still very nervous to get back on the river the first time this spring, but it has turned out to be great! Somewhere between October and June I developed some serious river confidence—I have no idea where it came from! Gordon doesn’t have to drag me out on the river anymore; I am always excited to go. I can read and run rapids on my own now instead of following Gordon through everything. It’s been a very fun spring! So far I have just been paddling the Upper Spokane—a Class II river—but it sounds like I will be trying out some Class III stuff and maybe even a IV or two before summer’s end. Seriously, you guys have to try this sport!
School: I finished my first quarter of grad school earlier this month. It was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed myself. I took two classes, Public Administration Research Methods and Public Policy Cycles. Both classes were amazing—I had a great professor and met some really fun folks. There was a ton of reading to do each week and several major presentations and papers, but I got through without too much stress. Actually, considering the fact that I missed a week and a half of class while traveling in Europe, I guess I should feel pretty good. I am really looking forward to starting up again in the fall. I will be taking Concepts and Values of Public Service, Personal Assessment, and Public Personnel Management. I have heard great things about the professors I will have.
Work: Only 2.5 days left and I am off for the summer!!! It still feels a bit crazy; I haven’t had a summer off in a long time. I wonder what I will do with myself. Hopefully, I will get a lot of reading and kayaking done. I have had this job for 10 months now and I really love it. I work with a great team of people and the atmosphere is very warm and friendly. I am sure that I will be itching to get back to work long before I am due back in September.
Which brings us to…
Vacations: I have three planned so far. This week I leave for a girls’ weekend on the Washington Coast. My sisters, a few friends, and I will spend the 4th at a beach house in Ocean Park. I am looking forward to sitting in the sand, reading some great summer books, and watching fireworks on the beach! Two weeks later, I am heading to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho. I’ve always wanted to go. We will go camping, see all the cool geographic sites, and explore the lave tube caves!! It’s a long drive to get there, but I am sure it will be worth it. Finally, at the end of July, Captain Awesome and I are planning to head to Ross Lake again for our second annual backcountry canoe trip. We had such a wonderful time there last year; we are really excited to go back!
Well there you have it: my life has been updated. : )