Welcome to the Jungle, we got fun and games! Oh Axel Rose, you are a true poet for the ages. But not really applicable in this scenario. More appropriate might be, Welcome to Ann Arbor, we’ve got great food and Ph.D.s. Doesn’t really roll off the tongue quite as well, but the Ph.D. is why I am here. My name is Mike Curran and I am a Ph.D. student studying biomechanics in the School of Kinesiology. I moved from sunny San Diego to Ann Arbor, Michigan to obtain the Ph.D. I’ve always wanted. Now, when a man leaves year round summer to move to 6 months of winter, you know he is dedicated to a goal. More important, I am relocating my wife from San Diego to Ann Arbor for the same goal. This is essentially the equivalent of giving your wife a blank check for every future disagreement you might ever have.
Wife: “I feel like having Italian for dinner.”.
Me: “Babe, I really feel like Chinese food tonight.”.
Wife: “Remember when we moved to Ann Arbor to get your Ph.D.?”.
Me: “Ok, Italian it is.”.
Done and done..
This move is obviously an adjustment for us both, but we look at it as more of an adventure than anything else. Ann Arbor is a great town with much to explore. I know that as the semester moves on my workload will only continue to grow. But in those rare moments of downtime I hope to be able to continue to explore all the little nooks and crannies of A2. I also, quite genuinely, look forward to having real seasons. Before living in San Diego, I was born and raised in New Jersey. Growing up in NJ, fall always had a special place in my heart. Every year when September rolls around I get excited at the thought of cool crisp night air, the changing leaves, and the smell that only exists in autumn. Nothing like that exists in San Diego. San Diego has two seasons, summer and summer light. It seems like a silly thing to complain about, I know, but 9 straight years of summer does get a bit boring, I promise..
As I, and we, start this first semester at U-M, I try to think of the one word that truly encapsulates how I feel, and that word is “Fortunate.” Getting my Ph.D. is something I have wanted for over a decade. Being accepted to the Ph.D. program at Michigan is a dream come true and, in and of itself, a great accomplishment. I am very aware of the number of people who wish they could have the opportunity that I have been given, and I do not take it lightly. For the next four years I will be studying in my chosen field at my chosen university. I will also be living in a great town, full of life, personality, and a sense of community. And most of all, I am fortunate to be able to share all of these experiences with my best friend and love of my life. I know that in a very short time my workload will increase dramatically and I’ll very easily get caught up in the whirlwind of classes, exams, teaching, and research, but at this moment I am just enjoying what I’ve already achieved, and how fortunate I am to be here..