Thursday, February 4, 2010

Troubles in Idaho

File:Hirvieläimiä 155.svg

A few weeks ago I went for a visit to the Utah neighboring states of Idaho and Wyoming. I’d been planning this trip for a little over a month—ever since I found out there would be a Brandi Carlile concert in Jackson, and realized that I could also conveniently check out Idaho State’s English Ph. D. program in Pocatello on the way.

The visit to Idaho State turned out to be a huge disappointment. I was hopeful about the program, because it meant that I could stay close to home for my Ph. D. and enjoy the benefits of in-state tuition (Idaho and Utah have reciprocal funding programs).

Alas, it was not meant to be. I was told I was a very viable candidate, but the recession had all but stopped any opportunity for additional funding. Tuition would be around $6,000 (in-state), and living expenses would be about $8,000—$14,000 of debt a year with no guarantee of a job in the Arts after graduation is NOT an option. I would finish the program with approximately $60,000 of debt. To put this sum into perspective for myself, I started to count how many BMW motorcycles (the most expensive motorcycles on the market) I could buy for that kind of money, and the total came to three—two new and one used, fully loaded BMW GS1200 Adventurers.

In addition to the bad fiscal news, I was also told the Ph. D. program at ISU would not even prepare me to teach in a level one research school (BYU, U of U). If I earned my degree there, I would only be able to teach at two-year institutions. I can already do that with my Masters.

Consequently, my future plans in Idaho came to an abrupt end. I am currently considering alternative, slower-cooking possibilities.

Thankfully, to drown my sorrows, I went to the Mangy Moose Saloon, located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to see Brandi Carlile sing some good old-fashioned folk-rock. It was wonderful.

Even better, the Mangy Moose was euphoric. I’m not sure how many of you know I am a Moose Nut, but I was up to my eyeballs in the gift shop. I got a Mangy Moose shirt, mug, bumper sticker, and even a pocketknife. It was pathetic how little control I had. I was a very happy camper.

However, the most exciting event of the night actually happened on the way back to Idaho Falls, where my copilot and I were staying the night. It was approximately 1:30 in the morning, just as we had driven over Moose Creek, when we saw something huge in the road: a Moose Cow, with baby in tow.

Can you freakin’ believe it? What are the chances? “On my way back from the Mangy Moose, as I was driving over Moose Creek, I nearly ran into two moose, at 1:30 in the morning.” You have to smile at the coincidence of it all. I was tickled pink.


Heidi said...

If I had known of your moose fettish when we were in CP, I would have brought out my little stuffed moose as a mascot. I love my moose. He even has a scarf! That's awesome that you got to see some. Sorry about the ID thing.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

And you didn't even stop to visit.
I see how it is.
Be that way.
See if I care.
Okay, I forgive you.
But next time you better come visit!
Or else.

Sara Lyn said...

Sorry it didn't work out, but glad the concert was good! What now?

Becky said...

Heidi, the moose obsession didn't start until a few years ago. I bought a pair of moose figurines that began a love affair. My room now contains a Shrine de Moosen.

Serene, I'm sorry I missed you. The schedule was fairly tight. I drove up on a Friday morning, spent the afternoon at the university, drove to Jackson, Drove to Idaho Falls, and the next morning drove immediately home. I'm not even sure the whole thing took place in 24 hours!

Sara Lyn, that's a good question: "What Now?" I'm looking into a few Arizona universities (only a day's drive), one in Kansas (to be closer to my parents), Penn State (because that's where my advisor wants me to go), and, as much as I hate to even think about it, the U of U. I've still got to pick up a language though, so we'll see.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

No, no, its okay... really!

A furry little cripple animal, dragging its broken paws slowly off the freeway....