Sorry about that!
If I do happen to have anyone still paying attention to me, let me fill you in on a few things/excuses which have contributed to my lack of time spent in the blogosphere
Since we last chatted I finished up my year of volunteer service though AmeriCorps, moved to a swanky apartment, and started back up in school.
AmeriCorps was an incredible experience, it gave me a glimpse into the neighborhoods and peoples of Flint that I never knew existed. It took me from being blindly optimistic to grounded and aware of some of the struggles which occur everyday in the lives of normal citizens.
My year with AmeriCorps prevented me from being enrolled at the University of Michigan - Flint, so with that out of the way, I quickly signed up for classes with the intention of forming an I.D.S. (Inter Disciplinary Studies) degree which focuses on urban design. My first semester back provided slim pickings in regard to class options, so I decided to focus my attention on gaining anthropological perspectives. I feel like it was a good decision.
It is my thought that the responsible development of urban areas is going to be key in our planet's future. Unfortunately, as it stands now, ideas about urbanism, and what cities are extremely varied, even within similar communities. What makes a person from one part of the county feel uncomfortable, even scared about the idea of entering Flint, and another excited? What does city living mean to someone living on Pasadena? In a downtown loft? On the East Side, or in the College and Cultural district? By gaining a better understanding of these points of view I feel that we will be able to understand how our communities need to adapt.
After the first semester of this mindset came and went with some great successes, I was able to find some remarkable courses which fit perfectly into my desired program. This semester I am taking an "Urban History" course, which focuses on the development of American cities between colonization and today. In this course we have already had great discussions on race/gender/class relations in urban contexts and the relationship between the urban and the rural. In addition to that I am taking a course on "Urban and Regional Land Use Planning" as well as another course on "Walking, Biking, and Sustainable Transportation." These courses would actually make a very impressive lineup if we had a formal urban design program. I wonder how long it will be before U of M connects the dots.
School has been challenging, but a bright spot in the past few months has been my move into a swanky new place. I recently moved back to Carriage Town, into a restored duplex. I am sure I will be posting some pictures soon. But for now, here is a photo of my super awesome mid-century modern thrift store finds!
Being in Carriage Town is great, I really appreciate being able to walk to school, to coffee, to a grocery store, to all of the downtown business. I also appreciate that it has a character of its own, distinct from downtown, or from campus. I feel like in the future, that character will only become more distinctive. Because of this walkability I have challenged myself to never use my car to get to campus. I must admit that the past week has been pretty chilly. But I have managed.
Anyway, this was more of an apologetic post than anything. With all of these great courses I am taking this semester, and a few exciting prospective projects that may be heading my way in the near future, I hope to get back into the groove of regular postings. Let me know if there is anything interesting going on!