I assumed that a resume of winning design competitions, poster campaigns and scribbled CD covers would make me a shoo-in for two more years of architecture school, nevermind how ambivalent I was about it, or how poor my grades were in the classes that mattered - little things like, you know, Structures. But I was still surprised to receive six rejection letters, even from Maryland, which especially stung. (Robert Frost was wrong: I considered my alma mater home, but it was not a place where when I showed up, that they had to take me in. I also have a degree in English.)
And then a seventh showed up, in a big fat envelope from the University of Pennsylvania. You didn't get into our architecture program, it said, but we welcome you to PennPlanning. Much later I realized that, in filling out my application, I'd accidentally checked a box on the form saying I wanted to go to planning school.
I would've thought about planning school more seriously. It didn't help that I hated the two planning classes I took at Maryland. But in urban planning, they don't care if your building stands up. They care if the people living there are happy and get along and have access to good jobs and can easily take a train or a bike or a car to those jobs, which are all things I can get on board with.
So now I am moving to Philadelphia to attend the University of Pennsylvania. I'm leaving at the end of the summer. This will be the first time I've been outside the state of Maryland for more than two weeks. It's certainly not a big move - you can make the trip in two-and-a-half hours without traffic - but one that will definitely change my life in more ways than one. It may also mean the end of this blog.
I say "may" because I love this community and I really want to come back and continue working to make it better. If there's a way I can do that from Philadelphia, I'd like to. Of course, I might have a new project waiting for me there.
Before I go, I'd like to have some kind of party or something to say goodbye to those of y'all I have or have not met but have supported me over the past four (!!!) years. And I'm also desperate to learn more about Philly, a city I've maybe visited five times my entire life, including Penn's open house last weekend. I've already learned that my beloved pollo a la brasa is almost impossible to get there. So I'm pretty worried about that. But this way you know I'll be coming back here, if only to load up with Peruvian chicken.
Anyway, I took some photos in Philadelphia over the weekend. Check them out.