I went to Portland last week. It was amazing. The scenery was incredible, the city was amazing, and the people were great. Reed was fantastic to visit, and I'm surprised by the odd mix of high drug use and high levels of social/intellectual awareness. Drug users in St. Louis (with a few notable exceptions, and all of us are leaving over the summer anyway) tend to do the "I want to get fucked up, so I will." thing, while these kids tend to study to death, go to classes, maintain jobs, etc., while doing a moderate amount of drugs. There was a large number of functional, intelligent kids that were seriously out of their skulls on psychedelics. It is both frightening and amazing, and more of what I would wish to see in America. People that use chemicals responsibly as opposed to abusively. Because there is a fine line, but too many people cross it and damage themselves in a very permanent fashion. I think it is similar to what Nick and I have been discussing with the Loop rats and curious adults that see his stand set up. Being sober works well, but if you are going to do drugs, use them in a way that is enlightening as opposed to damaging. Don't burn your brain because it feels good, but burn into your mind to explore it's capabilities further. Trips can be HIGHLY spiritual in nature, but people don't look at them like that. It's depressing. When I partake in chemical recreations, it isn't because I want to get fucked up, it's because it feels like a waking dream. The hidden fears and truths about yourself that you know but don't come to the surface and you are forced to deal with them. You are liberated and allowed to reconnect with your soul in an interesting manner. Drugs shouldn't be the opiates of the masses, they should be tools that take one on a spiritual journey. And they should remain tools. They are a crutch, and the best way to learn about yourself is sober. It's just that sober is MUCH, MUCH harder, because it takes a strength of will almost no one has. But that is enough of that.
I have dreads now. They just sorta...happened. We were all sitting down one evening, and Tyler/Jen looked at me and were like "You want us to dread your hair? We got the time." So we did. I look a bit funny, but they are coming together and I'm very pleased with the results. So my hair isn't magenta, it's still brownish-red, but now it's a pillow that I carry with me.
I'm accepted to mizzou, and I'm going to be a theater/dance major with an emphasis in lighting and sound. I've decided that my goal will be to instruct at a college, so I'm going to enter into a graduate program, hopefully somewhere in the north west somewhere, Reed if I can manage it. If I can't do that, I'm going to end up doing the JET program so I can spend some time in Japan and learn a bit about a culture that has fascinated me for years. After that, it's up in the air, but that seems like a sound plan for the next 3 or so years.
The only snags in my current life are an ex-girlfriend who is having health issues that may potentially impact me (I care about her and worry for her health, and that distracts me a lot) and the fact that I may have a TERRIBLE grade in my chemistry class right now. I've done the math, and I'm currently at a D. However, I'm still in the class average, which is GREAT! So, I may get a C or a D, but other than that it looks like A's/B's still.