What I did on my summer vacation
I don’t know why everyone worries about kids taking three months off in the summer to give their brains a rest.At age 21, and a senior in college (Go Rams!) I can assure you this summer has taught me more than I ever thought I could learn during a season when my brain should be hibernating.For all my professors at Colorado State University and my parents home in Parker, you don’t have to worry. I’ve been working hard all summer as an intern at the Post Independent, and when classes start again in August, I’ll be ready.So let me give you a recap. I started out on the Colorado River learning what “Yagatta” do to kick off a summer in Glenwood Springs. A week after braving the rapids, chatting with some seniors at Colorado Rocky Mountain school gave me the best advice on how to ditch class for three weeks and still graduate on time. I just have to have a conversation with my professors to figure out if CSU will pay for me to go volunteer half way around the world and then present what I learned a day before graduation. Hey, if 37 kids at CRMS did it, I think I can handle it, too.I waited until the middle of June to find out where the best strawberries and ice cream in Colorado were being served. I had to take an alternate route to get there, seeing as the Strawberry Days parade moved off Grand Avenue (not that it mattered to me, since it was my first Strawberry Days experience), but the friendly folks with the Glenwood Kiwanis Club led me straight to them.I was relieved at the end of June to find I didn’t have to spend my huge intern-earned paycheck on a flight to Maine to taste great Lobster. Next June I’ll know I can come on back to the valley for a bite to eat at Carbondale’s Lobsterfest.After brushing up on my French skills while talking to a 70-year-old bicyclist (Jacques Houot), I motivated myself to keep at the pilates each night so I could look as good as him when I reach 70 – or 40 for that matter.Several conversations with some Mountain Valley clients sparked a determination in me I will carry for the rest of my life. To Beth Will, Neil Gantzel and Heather Long, thank you for shining a light and guiding me toward the life I know I can have if I just believe in myself the way you believe in yourselves.While I know I’ve left out a parade or two – or three – and a neighbor here and there, I couldn’t possibly bore everyone with a complete rundown of everything I learned this summer.But if there’s one thing you should know about the education I received this summer it’s that I’ll never forget how shocking it was to learn that pigs really do fly – at least they do at YouthZone.And what better way to say goodbye than to seal it with a kiss. So to everyone from Glenwood Springs to Parachute, thanks for sharing your stories, opening your homes and adopting me as one of your own. Chyrise Harris has returned to CSU after a three-month internship at the Post Independent.
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