One More Chapter
A twenty two year-old's view on life, death,
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
and Taylor Swift conspiracy theories
It's hard to believe that it's almost the end of November. In just a little over a month I'll be preparing to return to Umass Amherst as a student for the first time in 12 months. I'm excited for this next phase of life (or, perhaps, to return to a previous one) but I will be sad to see the freedom of the last year slip away.
I left school for many reasons: mental health and new interests being the most prominent. Grassroots politics, environmental journalism and non-profit work had begun to peak my interest, career-wise, and I knew it was something I needed to explore at the moment. So that is what I did. In addition, I took the opportunity to get out, travel, and move away from the "stuck" feeling that comes with being in school.
So, for those who were wondering what I was up to this year...here is a little taste of what I've been focusing on these past 12 months:
First and foremost, I am a writer. Most who know me, are aware that I wanted to work in film for a long time. I've always loved to write and I've always loved movies - so I thought a career as a screenwriter would be perfect for me. And through the years of studying film, I thought it was. But, after going vegan in 2015 and starting to learn more and more about global issues related to the environment, animals, and human rights, I began to realize that I couldn't just write film scripts for a living and be satisfied with myself.
As I took more journalism classes, I realized that there was a way to turn writing into a morally fulfilling career through environmental and/or political journalism (which, of course, aren't mutually exclusive).
I worked both Fall of 2016 and 2017 for the Appalachian Mountain Club's Outdoors Magazine writing and editing stories as an editorial intern. The AMC's mission focuses on "Education, Recreation, and Conservation" so I write about outdoor recreation and various policies that are passed regarding environmental protection efforts.
I've been writing for The Landmark as well, the Wachusett regional newspaper. I've been the primary reporter for the town of Sterling, MA since September.
I've also been invited to join a research group entitled "Storied Seas" which you can learn more about at this link. Hopefully this project will open more opportunities to have my writing published.
For more about my writing and to read my published work - check out my professional website!
During the 2016 election I volunteered for NextGen Climate - a grassroots organization that was working to fight Trump by getting more young people registered to vote and informed on how and when to do it. Since then, I was hooked. This year I knew I wanted to focus a lot more on working on similar campaigns and working my hardest to make as big a difference as one person could.
I volunteered on the Stephanie Morales campaign for Commonwealth's Attorney of Portsmouth, VA and Larry Krasner for District Attorney of Philadelphia. I assisted with the Data Entry Team for an organization called Knock Every Door and worked as a volunteer organizer for bi-weekly campaigns over the Spring with NextGen America (the new name of NextGen Climate).
Since January of 2017 I have been working as an intern for the Institute for Humane Education. This is an AMAZING organization that all of you should definitely check out. Basically we work to introduce "Solutionary Education" into schools through student programs and graduate programs for teachers to become humane and solutionary educators.
Check out their website here.
A big part of taking time off from school was so that I could do more traveling, whether it be across the ocean or across the state. And I'm happy to have been able to make it work. I've traveled to six countries this year (Denmark, Iceland, Spain, Scotland, Germany and Ireland) and spent several weekends in states around the Northeast.
I'm sure more details on my travels will follow soon!
Perhaps the most unexpected part of this year was getting a position as a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club's hut croo. I wrote more about this experience in my previous blog post, which I hope you'll take a minute or two to read because, while it was certainly unexpected, the four months I spent living at the Lakes of the Clouds hut were the best four months of my life.
Thank you for reading,
About This Blog:
I started this blog as a way to challenge myself to write more over the 2014 year, but it has blossomed into so much more than that. I use it to let people in on what's happening in my life, talk about things I find important and to spread the news about amazing people, places and art.