After 18: Jesse Dawson

Getting ready for San Francisco.

Jesse Dawson hopes to major in music in college. — Courtesy Jesse Dawson

Every year The MV Times asks four recent high school graduates to write about their experiences during their first year after graduation. Jesse Dawson graduated from MVRHS this spring, and is taking a gap year. This is Jesse’s second dispatch.

My name is Jesse Dawson, and this is my second “After 18” article. Not a lot has changed in my life since the article I wrote in September. I still work at Morning Glory Farm. I work in the bakery now, instead of the field. I make jellies and jams with a co-worker, wash dishes, and do random things like package and label bread in the morning. An important thing to know about this process is that jelly is made with fruit juice and jam is made with whole fruit.

I am going to San Francisco after New Year’s to meet my biological dad. He’s a musician living there. I have two moms, and I found out who my donor was a few months ago. I have around 39 half-siblings, some of whom I’ll be able to meet when I visit. It was exciting and validating to find out my biological dad is a successful musician. The discovery furthered my interest in being a musician. It’s validating to find out someone related to me has achieved similar goals to mine.

Next year I will be going to Europe with my girlfriend. She is a senior in high school, and she is graduating early. We will be going to France, Italy, Denmark, England, and a few other countries. Flights are cheap, and the euro exchange rate is good right now, so it is a prime time to go. We are going to stay in youth hostels and Airbnbs. We will try to get the most out of the food, art, and culture of each city we go to.

I still record music nowadays, but I spend most of my time playing piano. I’m learning the “First Arabesque” by Debussy, which is very difficult, as well as “Promenade” by Mussorgsky, and about eight others. I’m hoping to major in either music production or piano in college. I am also learning bass. I want to learn every bassline by the Beatles. I still primarily record with guitar, but it’s enjoyable to learn new instruments and new ways to make music.

I just got accepted into UMass Amherst after being waitlisted, so I will most likely go there next year. I am going to look at state colleges in California when I visit, and if I click with any, I may spend a while working there to become a state resident, so the tuition will be more manageable. I am certain that music will be prominent in my future.

As much as I like it here, I’m looking forward to my life outside of the Vineyard.