UNM journalism student shares post-grad plans

“The best way to meet girls is to be on crutches … If you’re on crutches, they’ll be like ‘oh man,’” Sean Gardner says after once having popped ligaments out of place while bouldering. He says he was reaching for the last hole and missed it, landing straight on his ankle.

This isn’t the first climbing-related injury Gardner has suffered. Once, while ice climbing, he had his ice axe directly in front of his face, and it slipped and hit his tooth. After he was lowered down, half of his front tooth was missing. “It could’ve gotten my eye, but luckily it got my tooth.”

Gardner is a 24-year-old print journalism major who has been at UNM for almost six years and will graduate this semester. “I’m a joke,” he says laughing. “I want to be an ill designer working at a magazine, laying out pages and stuff. My end dream would be to be a designer for a climbing magazine or an outdoors magazine.”

Gardner currently works at REI and enjoys outdoor activities. He also works five nights a week at the Daily Lobo as production manager. “I’m at the paper everyday and I also work at REI as an outdoors specialist.” Gardner says the craziest thing to happen to him at the Daily Lobo was when a drunk, homeless man came into Marron Hall one evening. “He was asking everyone in the building if we could teach him how to read. I told him to leave and Junfu (Han) told him, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t drink so much.’” Once at REI, Gardner says he was bent over mixing something when he realized someone was standing beside him. When he asked the man if he needed any help, the man replied “No, I’m just enjoying the full moon.”

Gardner says he is also in the process of applying to grad school and “beefing up” his portfolio. Schools on his list are the Pratt Institute and the New York School of Digital Arts, both in New York City, where he plans to visit for a week this summer to look at grad schools. “I’ve been there a couple times when I was little, like, 15, 14 … I can kind of work my way around the subway.”

This semester, Gardner is taking a small metal sculpture course where his first project was to make a ring. “I decided to make a ring for one of my coworkers and this class is super hard because I think I suck at metal work.” His guilty reading pleasure is the teen drama series Skins by Ali Cronin, “which is a really good book,” Gardner said.

Before going away to New York City for grad school, he will attend the National Outdoor Leadership School this summer. “I’ll be spending 30 days backpacking, rock climbing and mountaineering and learning new skills all the way.”

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