I don't know if it's the incredible weather, or the fact that I'm finally fully recovered from the 12 hours of non-stop puking, shitting and dry-heaving that invaded my body last week, or if the happy pills are just really starting to kick in, but man, I've been feeling good these last few days. Physically good, emotionally good, optimistic, energetic. The possibilities seem more...possible than they have in a long time.
I'm sure that in a few days time, this too shall pass and I'll go back to my surly, irritable, depressive self, but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy this burst of good fortune. I've earned it.
My thoughts have already turned heavily to the summer, and how I'm going to accomplish my goal (the same one I had last year) of getting the fuck out of dodge for awhile. For the better part of last fall and most of January, I was pursuing an out-of-state internship with a vengeance, but have mostly come up with nothing. Phone calls upon phone calls upon emails upon more phone calls have produced very little to speak of. It also has occurred to me that I can't afford a non-paid internship, especially in somewhere like New York or Boston or D.C., which were the main cities in which I was looking (among a few random others), and guess what internships don't do for the most part? If you guessed "Pay!" then you win the prize. I have applied for a paid 8-week research position at the University of Maryland, just outside D.C., which would be amazing and look incredible on a grad school resume, but I'm not holding my breath. They pick between 8 and 12 undergrads from all over the country to participate in the program, and the likelihood of me being one of them seems unlikely. But still, you never know....
So, in lieu of spending all summer either swiping groceries in Austin and wishing for an untimely death, or working for free in a city where I couldn't even afford to be homeless, I've decided my next plan of action to have an action-packed, fun-filled summer is to become a camp counselor.
Yes, ladies and gentleman, I want to spend all summer camping and hiking and swimming and doing arts and crafts with little kids.
And I want it bad. I get giddy every time I even think about how fucking awesome it would be to spend the entire summer outside, in nature, essentially playing. And getting paid for it. At this point I almost even hope I don't get the research position, because I think this would be more fun.
I started a preliminary search in Austin, and found Austin Sunshine Camps which are weeklong overnight camps in the hill country for under-privileged inner-city kids to foster an appreciation for nature and diversity, and develop teamwork and group activity skills.
I also started looking elsewhere in the country, and found several I plan to apply to, in upstate New York (which is the leading contender at this point), in Pennsylvania, Maine, and Washington state (which is in second place). It's weird, when you start really looking into this stuff, how lucrative it must be. All these camps I've been looking at recruit counselors from all over the country, provide paid training, pay them for the camp, and provide transportation to and from the camp. One of them (either the one in New York or Pennsylvania, I don't remember) also provides days off and transportation to the nearby cities (in these cases NYC, Boston and Philadelphia). It sounds pretty awesome, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up, because, well, you know, probably none of it will pan out (there's the old Ryan!).