While most students are recuperating from fall semester or steeling themselves for the spring, Edward B. Schwenk '76, one of 92 mid-year graduates, is packing his bags for Bolivia and the Amazon.
Schwenk, who took a semester off last year to work at a school for the mentally retarded, says he will hitchhike to Miami in mid-March.
From there, he will fly to Bogota, Colombia, ride on buses and trucks to LaPaz, set up housekeeping in a small hut in a rural village and look for a job.
Schwenk says he would like to spend several months traveling through the Amazon River Basin region before returning for medical school next fall.
Although the idea of traveling alone to such an isolated place is "a little frightening," Schwenk says he "had so many shots nothing can possibly get to me."
Andrew H. Braiterman '76 says he is heading to San Francisco, where he hopes to find a job doing either para-legal or computer work before entering law school next fall.
Braiterman, who took a semester off and worked in an Amsterdam bookstore, says he "feels really good about the idea of getting out and doing something other than the academic grind for a few months."
Ward Breniman '76, who also hopes to travel this spring, says he is "on the verge of graduating-I've just got to finish this paper." In the meantime, Breniman, who has no definite plans for his immediate future, is "just sitting around here not thinking about anything except moving on."
Several other new graduates are staying closer to home. Barbara Nemetz, originally in the Class of '74, says she will apply for a position with a management consultant firm or a bank and may eventually apply to business school.
Nemetz took five semesters off, traveling in France and Alaska, and working as a rental agent, a hair salon receptionist and a busboy at a Boston seafood restaurant.
Nemetz, like many other winter graduates, says he will not go to Commencement this June. "My class graduated several years ago and it has no meaning for me now," she says.
Andrew E. Strominger '75 spent a year and a half away from Harvard, first living on a commune in New Hampshire and then traveling in the People's Republic of China.
Strominger, who plans to work as a research assistant in a Harvard physics laboratory before entering graduate school next year, says the fact that he has graduated has not hit him yet. "It's been six years. And though I like it here a lot, I'm really ready to leave."
Charles Jack '73, says he has no post-graduation plans. "I'm still waiting to see if I passed my exams."