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May 20, 2009

May 19th.

I graduated from USC one year ago. Wow. One year. That seems like both a huge amount a time and a hugely small amount of time.

I feel like the occasion warrants some entry on the trials and tribulations of post college life. Something about life lessons and lessons learned. Well… I learned how to…fix a fence, do a roundup, clean a huge water trough, efficiently lift heavy saddles, ride and entertain at the same time, identify flora and fauna of the Rocky Mountains, stomach 8 cups of coffee before lunch,ride about 30 different trails on 500 acres of land, herd cows, lead a ride through a bad summer storm, remove ticks, throw hay from a moving truck, wake up at 4:30 am, sing about 100 new country songs, understand rodeo rules, take care of ducks and bunnies and chickens, feed a bull, drive cross country, drive in snow, live in the most gorgeous place ever, fish, chop wood, the difference between various types of ski goggles, not throw up Tacoritos, rock a baseball cap, clean a barn, make a splint out of a stick and aspen leaf, know 115 different horses by memory, manage people and horses, paper mache, ride a 4 wheeler, unhitch a HayBuster from a tractor, better my pool game,be immune to the smell of cow poo, feed an alpaca,run a cattle chute, close and latch a gate with only my foot, lift heavy buckets of grain, fix a saddle, get by on four hours of sleep, be happy at a job, work my ass off, and never settle.

Sometimes I think I should have accomplished more given my degree from a fairly prestigious school. But when I look back at the past year I have no regrets. I have worked harder, learned more, been happier, and earned more than many of my peers. I might not have a 50k job or a fancy title, but I have fresh air, good friends, a bunch of horses, an active, healthy body, and enough dirty holey jeans to get me through the week.

I think I’m doing OK.

graduation+colorado 038co-halloween 010

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2009 12:44 pm

    Fabulous! I kind of wonder sometimes what would have happened to me if I had graduated college (made it part way) and the truth is, that I think I would be a research scientist somewhere, most likely, messing with plant genomes or something – so, I’m glad I never did. I think it’s great that you have the best of both – a degree should you need, since they don’t wear out unless you don’t finish them, and a healthy appreciation for rootin’ tootin’, kick up the dust, kind of lifestyle. btw, if you saw the shotgun I got for my birthday last year, you would love it. 🙂

  2. goamwat permalink*
    May 20, 2009 4:07 pm

    It is nice having the security of a college degree, but honestly, it makes me a little sad thinking I could have picked up the same knowledge from a library. I doubt I’ll ever put it to good use. Maybe that’s a lie…it did teach me how to pursue something and how to think critically. But other than that……

    I think learning how to manage a hay field and fix a fence are far more practical. 🙂

    What sort of gun?
    Funny…a year ago living this life was just a joke. A joke that was exemplified by a persona a friend created for me: Larry…the camo wear’n, gun tot’n, gopher eat’n redneck.

    If you look up “Taking the joke too far” in the dictionary, you’ll se a picture of me.

    Somehow it became less a joke and more a way of life :).

  3. May 20, 2009 7:04 pm

    Maybe it’s more about having the experiences of school and less about the degree – there are times when I wanted to pursue things that I couldn’t without a degree, and when I tried to finish mine…well, life had other plans. So, it’s there if you need it someday, and who knows, if you have it then that might be a big relief at some point.

    And some of the things I learned at college and university had very little to do with the academic side of things, and my classes put me in the path of some very memorable people who influenced who I became.

    And just because the books are in the library, that doesn’t mean that without the structure of school, that you would have bothered to check them out and read them.

    The gun: a Basque made Diarm o/u shotgun (.22) with improved barrels, and lovely scripting. The balance on it is perfect for me.

    I always wanted to live this way, but circumstances took me so far from it, that I thought I’d never get here, but yeah, give me covered in mud with a sunburn and a long trench to dig, and I’m happy. 🙂 I suppose I could do without the sunburn…but it’s a long way from visiting foreign locals and having to upgrade my wardrobe to walk through a hotel lobby (me wondering what the heck dress-casual was).

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