April In Review

April was a mad one! Where did the time go?

After a two weeks of exams and projects, I went home for Easter for my first full weekend off in ages. While at home, I did homework, hung out with my family and went out on the town for the first time with my best friend Sydney. We had a great time hitting several clubs and bars in downtown Tucson.

The next week, I came back to university to go to class (of course) and work. We had An American in Paris at Gammage, which is mostly dance. The story is weak, but a lot of people seemed to enjoy the dance (I didn’t get to see much of it, personally). I couldn’t work every show because it was also a busy weekend at my other job at the School of Music. There were several theater events, including the student Lyric Opera Theater production of Shrek: The Musical and other miscellaneous dance events, so we needed pretty much all of the employees on. My boss at the School of Music, who also works at Gammage, was nice enough to compromise and only have me work Friday and Saturday so I could work at Gammage on Sunday (where I make more money and get fed!).

Halfway through the month, my favorite band, Rise Against, announced a new album and small tour of three dates to debut a few new songs in intimate venues. Naturally, with my lack of self control and perpetual “treat yourself” state of mind, I decided to book a ticket and coach to see them at their Los Angeles show on Wednesday, April 26th. My coach left Wednesday morning and although it was a long journey, I got some coursework done on the way. Once I arrived in downtown Los Angeles, I got a bite to eat and grabbed a ride share to the venue (Troubadour) in West Hollywood about half an hour away. There, I met up with my online friend, Maria, local to the area who had been waiting the queue since early in the afternoon. Her brother Pablo met up with us a bit later and before we knew it, we were all inside. The venue was really small, with no barricade and a capacity of only several hundred. Being one of the first in the queue, Maria and I secured a place in the front row! We couldn’t get over how close we were and how small the venue was. The moment finally came when Rise Against took the stage. They played a good mix of really old songs (including one of my favorite songs I thought I’d never see live, “Blood-Red White and Blue”), songs typical to their live performances and brand new songs. It was such an awesome experience to see them in a small venue and have (or what seemed to be) personal moments with the members during their performance, especially the lead singer, Tim (at one point, he was literally in my face as we sang together). After the set, both Maria and I got a setlist and picks and I also got a signed flyer the band was handing out promoting their new album. We really hit the jackpot being in the front! After the show, we all went back to Maria’s car to freshen up only to find she got a parking ticket! After a bit, Pablo split and Maria and I waited outside the venue for the band while chowing down on some pizza. They came out at about 1AM and we got to meet them briefly. Maria got the band to sign her parking ticket correspondence envelope (Tim even wrote “Sorry…!”), setlist and magazine cover of Tim and I got the band to sign my setlist. They even recognized us from being in the front! They seemed a bit in a hurry so although I would have liked to talk to them, I let them go. Luckily, I came prepared with a letter to give them so they can read it at any time. Once we got our pictures with them, they went on their way. Needless to say, Maria and I were on cloud nine. Finally, Maria dropped me off at the coach station and she headed home. It was hard to sleep on my red-eye bus journey at first, but once I bought a blanket, I slept sound for the last half of the journey. This (kind of) impulsive trip was more amazing than I ever could have asked for and an amazing way to kick off my birthday weekend, which otherwise would have just been filled with work and studying.

This weekend, my parents and brother Kyle came up for my birthday (which was on the 28th) lunch at Mellow Mushroom with my Aunt Charlene and Uncle Bob. It was nice to catch up with everyone and open cards and presents. Thanks to everyone who wished me well!

This month, I helped out with life science freshman orientations. The advisors let them know what classes they need to add and I show them how to add them, help build their schedule and answer any questions.

As my school year is wrapping up, I’ve been finishing up projects (submitted my ethics and urban ecology papers), giving presentations (ethics, community ecology and urban ecology) and studying for finals. I am done with several of my classes: urban ecology, research, community ecology and ethics. However, I still have finals to take in animal behavior and vertebrate zoology and an outline due late next week. I keep telling myself it will all be over soon… until September.

Some exciting news: I got a summer internship (paid and full time) at the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) at their Tucson office! To my understanding, I will be doing field work and community outreach. I’m so excited for this opportunity to work for the government, which has been a goal of mine for quite some time!

What I’m listening to: Voids by Minus the Bear, Absolution by Muse, Light Me Up by The Pretty Reckless, Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording

What I’m watching: The Iron Giant, 13 Reasons Why (season 1)

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