Sunday, September 30, 2012

I've Got Wheels!

I bought a bike on Friday! This has been a very long time coming. I got it from a guy who calls himself The Bike Doctor. The good doctor (really named Carlos) met me at my street and sold me a Fuji S-12 ten speed with straight handlebars, freshly tuned with some new components for $175 (literally half what most comparable used bikes are selling for in New York City). It's light, it's fast, it's my size, and most importantly, it just works. A visit to Mikhael at Pedal Universe netted me a new helmet, Kryptonite U-lock with cable and bracket, LED lights, and a little bell for $95.

Biking in this town is an adventure. I've already leaned that my free NYC bike map, published by the city, can't be trusted. It shows dedicated bike lanes on the Triboro bridge, for example. You ever seen a dedicated bike lane that had signs saying you can't ride your bike on one section and then three flights of stairs on the following section that supposedly you could ride on? Google Maps' bike directions are also wildly optimistic about travel times. A supposed 25-minute ride took me well over an hour, and I'm a pretty fast rider. That said, it's good to get the exercise, and I'm looking forward to getting a better feel for how the city is put together off the subway grid.

Other adventures these last few days:

I did a staged reading of Othello, with 18 hours notice. I didn't know if I was going to be a non-speaking extra or Michael Cassio until I showed up. Ended up reading for a couple Senators and Gentlemen. Fun times. My girlfriend and another cast mate's parents made up our whole audience, and I ended up having to say my goodbyes with my girlfriend after intermission so we could make the rest of our plans. It didn't occur to me until afterwards that that was the closest I've come to being in a Shakespeare production since I was Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night, in third grade.

I've got a second round interview for a job with the Media Coalition tomorrow. Great organization, and small enough that I could really get my hands dirty with real, effective policy work on behalf of of the first amendment! And since I'd basically be the organization's communications wing, it's exactly the kind of work I think I'm suited for in the sector. I know I'm competing against people with graduate degrees, but I have an excellent reference from someone on the inside. Either way, I'm just pleased to have gotten as far as I have.

Speaking of graduate degrees, today I more or less finalized the list of public policy schools I'm applying to:

  1. Columbia/SIPA
  2. Universty of Washington/Evans
  3. Harvard/Kennedy
  4. Johns Hopkins/SAIS
  5. George Washington University/Elliot
  6. Princeton/Woodrow Wilson
  7. American University/SIS
  8. Georgetown/SFS
I'm shooting very, very high, and probably competing against people with way more impressive professional credentials. But I've got a very strong academic background and nobody my age can touch me when it comes to international travel experience. Besides, I can't get in if I don't apply right? And anyway, who knows, if I end up with the Media Coalition job (or any other policy job) I just might decide working will be the better move instead of a Master's.

Wish me luck!

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