Summer Mix Series

Summer Mix 2011

Since my last post was three weeks ago, know I am at least three weeks behind schedule. So I’m going to try to shove the last posts into the next two weeks. Wish me lucky and productivity. With that small author’s note to hold me accountable, I’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program.

Summer Mix 2011

The spring of 2011 was a roller coaster. I was on track to graduate with honors; I only needed to figure out what would happen next. I had applied to several PhD programs in American Studies. The first notification was an acceptance, two days before my birthday. After listening to the business majors brag about the high paying jobs they had landed six months earlier, it was a relief to know I wouldn’t be living in my parents’ basement.

But I’d also applied for a Fulbright to Poland and knew I was a finalist.

If there’s one semi-useful skill I acquired in college, it’s applying for and winning grants, especially travel grants–to conferences, to research opportunities, to a year in Poland.

I was glued to the horrible, anxiety-heightening website, thegradcafe.com. I checked it multiple times a day, looking for updates on application statuses. Had the Germany applicants heard yet? Did you see they opened more spots in Morocco?

Finally, we came upon crafting day. As my friends were leaving to gather supplies at a local thrift store, I asked that we stop by the wall of dorm mailboxes.

The extra-day delay in campus mail is especially cruel for those of us who suffer from impatience and is responsible for the demise of at least one relationship. Once a boyfriend overnighted me a mixed CD in a last ditch attempt to salvage our relationship. I got it three days later, and my frustration over the entire process pushed that relationship over the finish line. Rest assured–that finish line was destined to show up sooner rather than later.

My hands shook as I opened the mailbox. I held this thick, manila envelope—a clear acceptance to spend a year in Poland. I have such strong memories of the overwhelming relief and disbelief and joy.

Soon I had four months to prepare for a year in Poland.  The summer was spent waiting for our placements and our welcome packets. It was a summer of waiting. It was a summer of scouring through the Polish equivalent of Craigslist, looking for suitable apartments within our budget. It was a lazy summer filled with volunteering.

Summer Girl – Leighton Meister
Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5
You Make My Dreams – Hall and Oates
Brass in Pocket – The Pretenders
You and I – Lady Gaga
Paris – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
Do You Want to Touch – Glee Version
Maria – Blondie
E.T. – Katy Perry
PYT – Michael Jackson
How Can We Be Lovers – Michael Bolton
Africa – Toto
The Show Must Go On – Queen
Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammar
Don’t You Want Me – Glee Version
Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll – Bob Seeger
Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt
Calamity Song – The Decemberists
Just a Dream – Nelly
Howl – Florence + the Machine
Gold Dust Woman – Fleetwood Mac

My summer mix is pure fun. Leaving college, you have vestiges of college traditions—walking to Kaitlyn’s apartment for “Glee” watches. There are the reminders of nights in Poland last summer, especially karaoking. It’s a mix of relieved fun and relaxed joy, including my favorite dance songs of that year, “Moves Like Jagger” and “Just a Dream.”

2011 Musical Highlights

It’s hard to pick a song to comment on for these little highlights. For this summer, the highlights are my two most college-y songs on the mix.“Just a Dream” by Nelly was widely regarded as “my” song when my college friends and I would go to bars. Don’t analyze that too deeply; it’s just incredibly catchy! “How Can We Be Lovers” is the classic end-of-the-night song at The Backer near campus. While most nights at The Backer ended up with someone either throwing up or crying, I know it’ll be a major stop if I ever make it back to campus!

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