Master of Urban Planning – The Light Is At the End of the Tunnel

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I have come to a point in the semester where there is encouraging hope – the light is at the end of the tunnel.  Ok, that may be a dramatic overstatement.  It really hasn’t been that bad since the peak of midterms.  In fact, my workload has been relatively consistent and predictable.  I will admit that I am looking forward to wrapping up all of my assignments for my current classes, though.  It will be nice to dive into new topics of discussion that will come with a new set of courses.  Next semester, I will be taking the courses ‘Urban Development,’ ‘The Built and Natural Environments’ and one of two required planning studios.  The studio I am slightly apprehensive of given that it is a course of great importance, is six-credits and meets in five hour blocks – yes, five full hours…immediately after the three-hour Urban Development class.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I am dreading it, in fact I’m even looking forward to it, but it certainly presents me with a challenge I have not yet encountered in all of my academic career.  That is, though, what they told me to expect with graduate school, so I am embracing of the challenge.

What is most challenging, still, is managing my workload at work and also as related to school.  Individually, the collection of work or school related tasks would be easily manageable.  School would seem far less intense, but, unfortunately it isn’t free.  I must work if I am going to continue with my program.  Honestly, I really don’t mind.  The busyness I experience perpetually keeps me on my toes.  I’ve actually noticed that even my workouts at the gym are improved knowing that I will only have so much time to complete my exercise goals walking in the door.  All of this makes any free time I have on the weekend that much more precious.  Fortunately, I get a 10-day break from school for the Thanksgiving holiday (and from work as well thanks to my amazing boss Chris Crigler!).  The journey into the remote reaches of the Utah desert during this break will certainly be refreshing and give me the energy needed to excel during final exams.

I am very excited to begin The Built and Natural Environments course.  It is the need for balance between both that has led me to pursue a career in urban planning and what makes my position at CAP Management so unique and valuable.  Through managing the built environment properly, the natural environment may exist in a state of higher integrity and cohesiveness.  My thoughts on this important sentiment I carry are developing in regards to creating a niche for myself; perhaps this class will help.  Please look for a more elaborate description of my cognitive dilemma on this subject in a future blog.  Thanks for reading.