Like Highly Magnified, Thoroughly Educated, this whole new decade thing totally snuck up on me! Now as I look back, I did a damn lot in the past 10 years! Graduated from high shool, got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, lived in three very different places…wow!
So here’s my run-down of memories from the past 10 years:
2000: I finish 10th and start 11th grade. I take the ACT for the first time, and I take the PSAT. I spend the summer working at the public library and going to nerdy programs like the South Dakota Youth Congress. I think I might want to graduate a year early from high school. I think that was the year I was in the pit band for the spring musical.
2001: I finish 11th and start 12th grade. I briefly “date” my only high school boyfriend. I spend the summer at the University of Chicago being a nerd and taking college classes, and begin to discover how much I love Civil War nurses and HATE college english classes (and dump the guy over email). I do SD Girls State. My high school principle refuses to let us watch the news during classes on September 11th. I rock the AP US History test. I visit DC for the first time, for Presidential Classroom. I take the ACT again, the SAT, and 3 SAT II’s (I consider taking the US History SAT II over, because I’m not happy with my 790–yes, I was that kid). I start applying to colleges, and visit this tiny liberal arts college in western Massachusetts called Williams. I like it well enough that I decide to apply, but Georgetown is still my first choice.
2002: I graduate from high school. I had a real part in the one-act play for the first (and only) time. I get a National Merit scholarship. I work on Senator Tim Johnson’s reelection campaign, and get threatened by crazy old men and harassed by the cops. I visit Georgetown, and realize that I hate it. The University of Pennsylvania shafts me on financial aid, and Williams offers to pay for grad school on top of undergrad. I make the good/bad decision to go to Williams. I tell South Dakota to go fuck itself and head off to Massachusetts. I get my ass kicked by my first semester of college (especially Latin). I’m involved in the “Band Brawl”–a fight between the Williams marching band and the Amherst wrestling team over a flag at Amherst’s homecoming–none of us get in trouble, but the crazy old alumni make us give the flag back.
2003: I totally burn out on being active in politics. I go to an anti-war rally in DC. My freshman roommate is crazy, so I move into our suite common room. I work at a museum for the first time. I seriously consider transfering. I do yoga for the first time, and it is awesome.
2004: I have a major mental meltdown, and am finally diagnosed with depression and social anxiety. I hook up with a guy friend–it doesn’t last long. I get a reasearch fellowship and spend the summer on campus. I play broomball, and learn bocce and curling. I go on a community service trip to NYC and stay in a hostel for the first time. I have a major break from my friends from the first half of college, and have to start over making new friends.
2005: I turn 21–it’s not terribly crazy. I start dating the guy that I would be with for a year and a half. I begin to burn out on research, and realize that a PhD and a career as an academic historian are not for me. I spend a semester at Gettysburg College–it’s one of my best semesters of college (though I am underwhelmed with GC in general), and we play drinking games to Civil War movies and make lots of bad Civil War jokes. I spend another summer on campus, and apply to museum studies master’s degree programs.
2006: I graduate from college (and am thoroughly DONE with Williams by that point). I get honors in history (in spite of my on-going battle with the Afircan history professor over my honors thesis). My computer dies completely the week before my thesis is due. I get into and decide to attend the GWU museum studies MA program. I move to DC the day after graduation. I spend that summer doing research for Interesting Historic House. I start grad school. I get dumped. I start dating a new guy on New Years Eve. I start working for Major National Organization.
2007: I move 3 times within DC (Foggy Bottom to Hill East to Shaw/Ledroit Park to Hill East again). I get my two cats. I have a little too much fun with the DC bar scene. I discover that I hate working in Development. I master the DC bus system. I puke out of a moving taxi. I go to Colonial Williamsburg for the first time. I get cheated on and then dumped. I have a (bad) crazy roommate, and then an awesome one. I start becoming very interesting in urban development/planning.
2008: I lock myself IN my apartment. My cats are afraid of birds and cockroaches. I have to quit my job at Major National Organization to finish grad school. I intern and do contract work at Famous DC Site, and it is AMAZING. I buy a car. I finish grad school. I move to Columbia Heights, and LOVE it. Some of my faith in Americans is restored (election night makes me cry happy tears for the first time EVER). I spend my first Christmas alone. I consider getting another master’s degree (in urban planning and historic preservation).
2009: I work as a contractor on the big Lincoln bicentennial exhibition at Famous DC Site. I finally get my diploma from GWU. I give tours at Major Historic House for 4 months and it makes me want to kill people. I spend 6 months job hunting. I finally get a job in my field, and at first it seems great…it goes downhill fast. I reluctantly have to move out of DC, to the suburbs. I discover that I really, REALLY hate living in the suburbs. I hate my job almost as much as I hated working at Major Historic House. I spend my second Christmas alone. I rediscover the wonderfulness that is yoga. I slowly start reconnecting with some people from high school (and find myself inadvertently flirting on Facebook with the guy I dated in high school *facepalm*) I continue considering that second master’s…