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Thank you, goodbye

Carmen is hitting the books rather than the nightlife

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 In life I’ve developed an understanding of the sadness and definite truth in the following statement:

All good things must come to an end.

That’s why my shoulders are hanging low this evening, because this is my very last column for the Volcano as your Carmen Jones.

I must focus on my master’s degree, and I won’t be having as many adventures.

But now that I’ve quit my day job, I can show you some of my true colors and share one last parting story with you.

My first weekend of school at Evergreen was nothing short of amazing, and what I haven’t been able to tell you before is that I’m not just in the master of public administration program, I’m also in the tribal governance cohort.  

Our first weekend session brought together both the general and tribal cohort candidates, and words can’t express how powerful it was for the 32 of us in the tribal cohort to stand proudly and introduce ourselves as tribal members from across the United States. I’m a Nooksack (near Bellingham).


As the weekend flew by, it was incredible to gain such fresh perspectives on economics and climate change, as delivered by Gov. Gregoire’s top aides on these topics.

Evergreen’s approach to education in a colloquium format is right up my ally, and I learned so much from each of the cohorts who represent such diverse experiences.

Now I can’t wait to devour the books that I get to read for this program (especially those that are focused on the indigenous) and spend time with the strong and insightful fellow Natives and supporters that I’ll be going through this program with.

I’m also keeping my fingers and toes crossed about an Evergreen fellowship that I’ve applied for (please send good thoughts my way), and I’ll be applying for the Morris K. Udall Native American Congressional Internship (hopefully for next summer), which is an expense-paid 10-week session in Washington, D.C. supporting either the Senate, House, committees, cabinet departments or the White House. Awesome.

I’ve certainly wondered if I made the right decision about quitting my day job, but after last weekend, and looking ahead to what I’ll be accomplishing over the next two years, there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m exactly where I need to be.

For the very first time in my life, I finally feel like I’m in a place where I belong, where I’m truly valued, and the horizons are breathtaking and limitless.

In spite of all of this relief, excitement and optimism, I’m still quite sad to be leaving you, dearest readers, and I sincerely want to thank you for putting up with me, allowing me to toss so many of your names (made up or otherwise) and our stories around, and for all of your support and the fun that we’ve had.

It’s been such a distinct pleasure to share these last two years with all of you, and I want to sincerely wish you and yours nothing but the very best that life has to offer now and for the rest of your rich life.


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