I grew up on a dirt farm in central New Mexico, growing alfalfa hay and corn silage. Early on in my time there, I was charged with managing the movement of irrigation pipe to water some 1100 acres of land. My crew typically consisted of myself, my younger brother, and some hapless third party (usually 10-15 years my senior). During the school year, my brother and I would rush home after class to work 3-4 hours each evening. During the summer, we’d put in 40-50 hours on the farm weekly.
As I progressed through high school and got involved with a myriad of extracurricular activities (debate club, Science Olympiad, theater), my time at the farm waned. This strained my relationship with my father, who co-managed the farm with his brother, and I subsequently applied for an internship at Sandia National Laboratories; the fact that I applied to be an intern in the aftermath of the Clinton/Lewinsky was a source of humor for my fellow employees. Much to their chagrin, however, I was actually accepted.
The next several years were uneventful. I went to the University of New Mexico, where I studied business, then economics, then history, then finally settled on philosophy. Feeling rather satisfied with myself for stumbling upon my passion during my undergraduate career (no small feat), I branched into other fields of the humanities to satisfy my degree requirements and search for a more appealing alternative to the reading-intensive field of philosophy. There was none. I eventually came to appreciate that.
In December 2006, I graduated. My internship at Sandia National Labs ended three months later. I’m currently studying philosophy in a terminal MA program at the University of New Mexico. In spite of my facade of direction, I’m actually quite unsure of where, precisely, I want to end up in life.
This is where my blog comes in—I find that I discover the most about myself vis-a-vis my writings, which vary from deep philosophical and theoretical issues to downright personal things. In my free time, I read, watch movies, and cook. I’m also trying to get good at chess, with little success, and achieve a fraction of the physical prowess I had during my days on the farm by working out. Other goals include trying to rediscover my starry-eyed romantic, learning more about etymology, and getting through all of the works of theory and philosophy that I didn’t managed to read in college.
A short timeline of my life:
2009: It’s happening.
2008: Split up with my girlfriend of two years, N, on amazingly amicable terms. Started graduate school in philosophy at UNM. Rediscovered parts of myself that I thought were either unrealistic, idealistic, or just plain ridiculous.
2007: Returned from France, briefly worked at Starbucks, and ended up taking a part-time job with a Jewish family lawyer who can’t use a computer. Applied to graduate school. Attempted to pay down the epic debt acquired during my European shenanigans and mostly failed.
2006: Visited Natalie in Lyon, France, where she was studying for the fall semester. Went back after finishing my BA in philosophy. Spent New Years in Prague. Lived in France for a month. Loved every moment of it.
2005: A terrible year. A great year. After a rather nasty breakup with Crystal, I moved in with my good friend, Jennifer. After living the hedonistic life of a bachelor for about 6 months, I met Natalie at a party. Shortly thereafter, we were officially an item.
2004: Discovered my passion for philosophy.
2003: Spent most of my time as a declared business major, then decided to go for something more interesting and proclaimed myself an economics major.
2002: Played Macbeth. Graduated high school. Moved into an my apartment with Crystal the day after graduating. Started working at Sandia National Labs.
2001: Also uneventful.
2000: Uneventful. Things progressed as they tend to do in high school.
1999: Met my first serious girlfriend, Crystal, in an English class. We would spend lazy afternoons in her room making out. I started seriously acting my sophomore year, too.
1998: I came out of my shell, started “dating” (holding hands, kissing, etc.) various women, and found out that I was really a social butterfly of sorts. After making out with a friend’s cousin who was in town from CA and never getting a letter in return, I swore off women.
1997: Middle school. I hadn’t really come out of my shell and tapped into any sort of social trends–I blame this in part on the fact that I was working on my dad’s farm nearly every second I wasn’t in school. I was awkward and introverted and mainly misunderstood.
1996: This was a strange year. I got suspended for fighting, made it to the state science fair, and shared some awkward moments with girls that were interested in me. I remained detached from most social scenes, mainly because I spent nearly all of my free time working on the farm.
1995: Fifth grade. Ms. Leiter was a red-headed, 30-something woman that cranked up Madonna on Friday afternoons and let us play Scrabble when we were finished with our work. I ended up getting pretty good at Scrabble.
1994: Fourth grade. I got my first “C”. I also ripped my face apart in a bicycle accident. Not a particularly good year.
1993: Third grade. Ms. Valdez was about as tall as she was wide, but she was very kind.
1992: Second grade. Ms. Carrol was kind of mean.
1990: First grade. I was rather proficient in academics, but remained jealous of a fellow classmate’s ability to draw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
1989: I started kindergarten. I was jealous of Michael, who Laura had a crush on. I had a crush on Laura. I also cried when my mom was late coming to bring the class snacks. I was afraid that she had gotten in a car wreck.
1988: I think this was the year my parents took my brother and I on a three-month-long excursion to Alaska in a truck and a fifth-wheel trailer. The most vivid memory from the trip that I have is taking live crabs to our trailer and boiling them. Green goo came out. Awesome.
1987: Lots of playing. Lots and lots of playing. Especially outside. Most of the summer was spent barefoot, chasing lizards and stinkbugs around my house and the surrounding garden.
1986: My brother was born on November 3rd. This event was remarkable in my memory, as I got to ride in the front seat with dad on the way into town to pick up mom. I also remember getting to eat the bacon that came with my mom’s breakfast at the hospital and liking it.
1985: Still don’t remember much. I have a very vague memory of standing in a cemetery with my parents under an umbrella in the rain. I’m told that this memory is from this year, approximately.
1984: Don’t remember a thing. I imagine I was pooping myself a lot. Apparently I also had a tendency of peeing straight into the air the moment my diaper was opened. The thought of this amuses me.
1983: I was born on September 28th. My parents picked the name of Jesse because they thought it would be interesting.