Saturday, September 29, 2012

Minnesota or Bust

The most common question I'm asked daily is, "How on earth did you end up in Minnesota all the way from Arizona?"

Well.  It's a crazy long journey.  The nutshell is that I chose to move here for graduate school (versus New Orleans where I was also accepted to Tulane University--dusts shoulders off).

It's been brought to my attention that those, outside of the ones closest to me, have zero idea how I came about my decision.  Don't worry, I won't bore you with the dets, but essentially the program at UMN is ranked #8 in the nation and was a better fit (course-wise) than Tulane.

Funny story behind the acceptance notifications that I received from each school:  UMN was originally my first choice but I would've been happy with an acceptance from Tulane because "at least I'd know what I'd be doing and where I'd be going within the next year of my life." Seriously, I was still floating from my Europe high.  

Every morning (sadly) my routine is to roll over and check emails, texts, missed calls, etc on le mobile.  On 26 April 2012 the routine was no different.  As I read an email in varying font types and colours I deleted it thinking it was spam because it looked severely unprofessional.  Suddenly, I flew up out of bed and retrieved it from the virtual trash can.  It was my acceptance notification to Tulane! I cried.  I loled.  I hyperventilated.  Then I sobbed.  Hysterically. Do you know what it's like to wait for a board of people to decide that you and everything you've done up until that point in your life was worthy of their attention and their prestigious grogram of study? Sure, this probably screams "Daddy issues," but to be honest, I'd successfully convinced myself that there was zero chance that I was going to be accepted to either school.  I definitely struggled through some personal demons during this waiting period.

I called my mom.  No answer.  I called Lisa.  No answer.  I called JJ.  No FREAKING answer!  I wanted to call Sarah-Bear but she was deployed.  Gabe? In Nicaragua.  Dee Dee?  Deployed.  Geezus!  Why is it the Twilight Zone of mobile service when you actually have something important to talk about but when you're like, "Oh, hey. What's up?  Nothing?  Yeah, me too."  everyone answers?  Then I called Mikey (because I knew he'd answer).  I was sobbing and loling simultaneously.  He thought I'd been in an accident.  I knew that once I told someone (ANYONE) I'd be soothed.  And indeed I was.

Flash-forward, 7 May (only 1.5 weeks later, but what seemed like an eternity):  I was sitting at work when a little voice told me to check my email.  There was a message from The University of Minnesota that looked very official, telling me to "click here to receive your message." I seriously thought I was about to be Rick Roll'd when a video popped up.  Lo and behold, it was the Dean from the UMN School of Public Heath telling me CONGRATS!  I literally skipped (all of 5 feet) into Diane's (my boss') office to tell her the news!

I spent the summer in LV and Tucson, dashed with a bit of SF and MN, but the beginning of the cross-country tour via 17' U-Haul + car tow began on 1 August.  My belongings had been in storage for a year (note: see any other post in this blog) and I'd scheduled movers to pull all of my items out of said storage and place into the truck. I'd scheduled the movers well in advance (over a month out) yet there was a complication on the BIG DAY.  Short story?  The movers cancelled.  Ensue panic.  Upon calming myself after 10 minutes of raging I found a replacement and only ended up 2 hours behind schedule.  Not bad.

Side note: The only thing that kept me from crying every time I filled up the massive gas tank was to think of all of the rewards points I was racking up on my credit card!

Here we go!

Weeks before, I'd told my mom that "there just isn't anyway I can drive through Oklahoma because of timing."  **insert devilish grin** When I rang the door bell I heard, "OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOGMOGMOMG from across the house!  I got you good, mom!

The morning I  left OK I was running  late (surprise) on 3 August and met with my lovely lady friend, Kristen (Oh how I love her) and then drove north. I'd planned to stop somewhere along the way, maybe Missouri, maybe Iowa?  eh, the plan was to make a plan as I needed one so I was surprised when my second wind came and I drove straight through!  Seeming as this wasn't previously considered, it was a mini-fiasco to search Kayak (NOT user friendly for hotel purposes...although very helpful for flights) whilst driving "the beast" and making phone calls to various hotels asking if their parking lots could accommodate my driving machine (that's what she said).  

Success!  I settled SP in the room at Hampton Inn Burnsville (for reals, 100% accommodating) and went back downstairs to grab my overnight luggage.  Whilst standing on the tailgate of "the beast," I hear this odd noise.  I couldn't describe it to you if I tried, so I won't, but I had a five minute internal monologue trying to figure out all of the possible noise sources; some of which included: "Well, I'm by the highway.  Is it the traffic whizzing by?....No." and "Is it a building alarm?...nooooo."  Finally, as I'm walking back inside a woman emerges from the hotel and says, partially to me and partially to herself with certain affirmation, "Oh, is that the storm siren?"

My thought bubble:  "ooooohhhhhhhh.  That explains that." #problemsAZpplhave

I couldn't tell you the last time I've heard a storm siren.  Easily over a decade.  I know they use to test them weekly(?) in Cushing but I also remember my mom telling me that I slept through all of them, despite the fact that the town siren was (literally) right outside of my bedroom window.

The rest of the move was effortless since I hired movers  on the MN end as well.  I spend most of my time driving around lost or defensively driving for my life.  I'm late to everything and have already trained myself to give a time range to anyone wanting to know when I'll be somewhere.  Specific times are trouble.  Thankfully, it seems that most of the academic world operates the same way (my kinda people)!

I made a new friend

I'm on track to graduate May 2013 because UMN doesn't offer winter ceremonies (I'm sure those flying in for the ceremony are grateful). However, I'll continue taking classes through fall of 2013 so I can finish my Master's Project.  This year is going to fly by!


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