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Old 07-16-2013   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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I think something is wrong with me?

So I moved to North Carolina (from colorado) for the summer to do a post-bacc because I need money, not Asheville where I would otherwise be at home but Chapel Hill a primarily gated community of academic elites. I am here with some other highly motivated students who really only talk about science and graduate school. Most of them do not understand that I pretty much want to kayak all the time. I don't want to get a PH.d if it means not kayaking, I don't want to be an academic, pretty much all I want to do is kayak and mountain bike and ski sometimes on powder days. I often get derisive comments about how being passionate about kayaking and not a career is foolish and a waste of time, money, and effort. Now, don't get me wrong, I really don't care all too much because they are the ones missing out on life; but was wondering how many other boaters out there get this kind of flak about being devoted to this passion (dare I say lifestyle?)

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Old 07-16-2013   #2
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BZN, Montana
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No one likes having negativity heaped on them, even if they don't fundamentally believe it. The academic world can be stimulating with young minds and bodies, fresh ideas, new research etc. It can also be a total drag with competition, elitism and single tracked thinking that can be tiresome in all avenues of life... including kayaking.

Ultimately this is a pit stop in life, not the destination so get it done and move on!
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Old 07-16-2013   #3
 
Fort Collins, CO
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I used to live in Chapel Hill for about 12 years and liked it a lot. Why not get a PhD in surface water hydrology or computational fluid dynamics and combine kayaking with science. Just think of the research potential on bedrock stream flow, which would need to be field tested in a kayak.
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Old 07-16-2013   #4
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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I've quit jobs to kayak/ride bikes/ski... I have a masters and a good job now but am considering quitting if I can get on a nice August river trip and guide a few hunters this fall. I have a hard time sitting behind a desk for more than a year before I loose it and need the attention of the mountains once again. It doesnt have to be a specific activity, but it has to include the mountains, at times it been the rivers, other times the trails, but mostly the rivers. Its a love affair really, that I'm not willing to keep closeted for long periods at a time.

That being said, I am going to do my PhD as well, the juice is worth the squeeze when you become an associate professor and have summers & winters off, and spring and fall break... Stick it out man, be the weekend warrior and one day you'll be where you want to be!
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Old 07-16-2013   #5
 
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Bozeman, Montana
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Step 1 quit school, step 2 move to the goods, step 3 find a suger mama. Step 4 live life
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Old 07-16-2013   #6
 
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Geologist, Colorado
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While working on my doctorate, I paddled a bunch. You are in control of your time while you are a student and likely have more time to paddle than if you had a full-time job. The key is to do your own research and not your advisors research. That way you are in control.
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Old 07-16-2013   #7
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caspermike View Post
Step 1 quit school, step 2 move to the goods, step 3 find a suger mama. Step 4 live life
Wow. I think I nailed it right on the head if those are the goals....
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Old 07-16-2013   #8
 
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
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I also went to Grad. School (Atlanta) and now live in the mtns.

I also performed step #3 of CasperMikes requirements. However i hear about it all the time at family gatherings. Some folks are jealous and others can't believe the "opportunities" that i have turned down (huge family business back east).
I am happy and sounds like you will be also. Money is not shit without a river, a pow day and sweet singletrack nearby.
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Old 07-16-2013   #9
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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"Move to the goods".... Casper? We'll settle for Bozeman... Any sugar mamas up there or do you have to go broke back style? Bring her to the race on Saturday, if she buys beers for all your friends you have a keeper!!
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Old 07-16-2013   #10
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Law school was like that too. In the end though, you're in their territory. It's not too surprising that folks in grad school in Chapel Hill are "highly motivated students who really only talk about science and graduate school." Maybe just find other folks to hang out with, cos it sounds like you're not going to change anyone's mind.

The good news is that you don't have to live their lives (thank god, right) and they don't have to live yours.

Edit: Re: your title: nothing is wrong with you and nothing is wrong with them, but you're probably going to have more fun in the long run.
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