Graduate School: The Vermont Crows and me


Vermont Crows, evening sky, flying overhead, winter, instagram, burlington vt
Vermont Sky, 5pm

It seems when I am walking home during the week that it is usually between 4:45pm-5:30pm. I don’t need a watch or a glance at my iPhone because overhead I can hear and see the murder of crows flying to their perches. Willard Street in Burlington has large, old oaks, hemlocks, and pine trees that these birds love to flock to at this time of day. It’s fun to just stand in the middle of the sidewalk and watch this curtain of black birds envelope the sky for a few minutes. It’s clockwork, it’s routine, it’s predictable.

Since I last posted, my thesis work is chugging along with deadlines approaching SOON. My thesis consists of a paper and an artifact(an art piece) that represents my work. I am looking at how people of all ages have accepted or have resisted technological change in their lives. Do we have to adapt or change? Why do we hold on to our nostalgic pasts? How is technology helping us in our work? What are our first technological memories? By conducting interviews recorded by my iPhone, I am digitally editing these interviews on Garageband, and then recording the .m4a’s to cassette tape. Those tapes will be put into Califone shoebox tape players and will be hung up(or mounted…installation final word is still¬†debatable) for people to listen to the stories. Old media meets today’s new media. Obsolete objects that are losing their tangible place in the music world are still relevant, still be used. It’s a metaphor for people-senior citizens can feel left behind or out of touch because they don’t know how to use today’s technologies and today’s “digital natives”(a term I’m starting to dislike) are at a loss of proper social skills or social cues due to too much screen time or the use of digital tools during face to face time. My classmates and I will have a show on May 3rd in Burlington and I’m excited for the show. I graduate the following week. These semesters seemed so long when I was in the middle of them, and now the end is nigh.

Once again, I’m at a point of unpredictability. I’ve been accepted to the American University of Paris’s summer French immersion program and my dream is here. Yet, what if a dream job is offered post graduation? I’m looking at everything from all angles, but I know if six weeks of my life isn’t spent in Paris, I’ll live with resentment and regret.

I guess I just answered my problem. It’s just the usual worries-money, finding a job, money, paying off student loans, money, job searching and job waiting.

Maybe my crow friends have a secret I don’t know-they always know where to land. Everyday like clockwork. When days are tough, I’ll just look up and wait.

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Graduate School: August Glow


August Glow, oil painting, summer, sunset, sun
August Glow

Classes begin on Tuesday, and orientation for the new MFA students is Thursday. I’m interested to meet them, work with them, and introduce them to this program. I’ve also had a shift in my fellowship-I’m now a teaching assistant in the BFA program. I’ll be learning more about it tomorrow.

As I sat in a coffee shop last week, in the middle of an afternoon, it struck me that normally, August is back to school time for me, and I would be getting every tech issue under the sun from teachers, staff, and students. Not anymore. So, I decided something about my blog writing. It’s been a year since my move from Memphis, and I need to close that chapter, and start writing the next one. No more looking back and comparing to what life was a year ago. I hope to change the tone of this blog into what I am reading/learning/news/reviews with my life NOW. Maybe just posts of pictures. Life is different and so can this blog. Not to say that I will never mention Memphis again, but just less of my old job.

Here are some things I’ve loved over the last week that I’ve found on the Interwebs…

I love, love Thought Catalog. Have you read anything on it? I highly recommend this post and this post.

Memphis Tiger football starts this weekend, and while I’m not the best football fan of my alma mater, this video promoting Memphis v UT-Martin is freaking great.

Need a quote print for your office or bedroom wall? Grass Green Design on etsy is the place to go.

I went down memory lane(the high school route) with Boyce Avenue’s acoustic BSB cover.¬†I definitely squealed internally when I watched the whole thing. Don’t judge.

American University of Paris was a school I applied to last year. I hope to go to their French Immersion classes one day…maybe next summer? Until then, I’ll just watch this a lot.

The Avett Brothers are in a Gap commercial?

My first blog post got published last week with my internship, Land of Opportunity. Read it here(props to Laine who co-authored it with me).

Have y’all seen gifboom? Make gifs on your phone, and post, share, do whatever. It’s pretty fun.

Graduate School: 365 days in Vermont…almost.


 

swing, clouds, south american swing
Swing Out

It’s been almost three months since I last paid attention to my blog. I just completed the longest 12 week sprint of my life with four classes, a fellowship, an internship, and moving into a new apartment. My brain and body are tired. I wasn’t sure what to expect of this summer, but I feel that I have grown a lot from May, and have grown a lot since January.

On August 16th, 2011, I said goodbye to the parents, to my friends, and to Memphis. It seems like a decade ago. I’ve accomplished, failed, struggled, laughed, bonded, explored, walked, moved, typed, blogged, tweeted, posted, read, collaborated, created, prayed, rendered, cried, ate, drank, hiked, imbibed, bended, and appreciated what these last 365 days done to me.

I’ve learned that my classmates moods, thoughts, ideas, actions, and words can change with the seasons and so can mine. We are an eclectic group that has two more semesters together before we scatter to the winds. I am really looking forward to this fall. I know what I need to do. Mostly. I have ideas, and I know my limitations. Yet, those can change. I know they will, but I hope not. The job search will begin in December with me spiffying up the portfolio, and resume, and my social media prescience.

Has this move towards a new future been easy? Not really. I had expectations of people and was let down. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions these past three semesters and some emotions have risen from the bottom of myself, screeching for me to question them. I haven’t been able to make the friends I thought I would be able to make(exterior friends from graduate school) or connect into Burlington. It’s been lonely to be honest. Yet, I still get out there and explore. Maybe this is the universe and God’s way of saying Burlington is just a stop along the way. It is shaping me, giving me tools post May 2013. Hell, it’s giving me tools now. I haven’t done so well in the dating scene or really any scene. I’ve had to push past Southern stereotypes or assumptions by people. It is what it is. Yet, it’s annoying.

I don’t know if any of my friends ever read my blog, but thanks for the support of me and my new life. You know who you are.

I don’t know if my MFA diploma will lead me back to Memphis ever to live and work. I’ve enjoyed the car-less lifestyle way too much.

I don’t know if I will want to be employed right away. I don’t know why I’m already talking about something seven months away…There a lot of “I don’t knows” and that’s fine.

Here’s to the home stretch.

Graduate School: 14 Weeks


I am sitting in an art studio listening to the undergraduates in my elective painting class wait for our professor to go over grades, our body of work, and a quick chit chat about our feelings about the past semester. I was second in line because…I was second to arrive. This is my last class of the semester, one day later than my other classmates in my cohort. I realized as I finished up my three measly page paper about my final painting AND the final painting at 10:45am this morning(class began at 2:45EST) that I could have done the assignment yesterday. Or two weeks ago when it was assigned.

But, I didn’t. So there’s that.

Most of the students around me are talking about summer plans, future life plans(some are seniors), and you can feel the air of relief inside this room. Or is it anticipation? Panic? Probably a lot of feelings.

14 weeks ago, I had no idea where the semester would take me. I took three seminar type classes, one painting class, and was let go of a fellowship project, but then added to a new, pretty exciting in-the-works project. I learned to let go of the idea of having a social life(even if it meant a movie or just getting drinks). There is no time. I learned to work with classmates with opposite personalities and work ethics and turned out a pretty awesome concept for a client in Burlington. I’ve never had to do anything like that ever, and enjoyed the prototyping experience. I lost a good person in my Memphis life in March and he has left a void in a lot of people’s lives. I had to unexpectedly move out of my “apartment” (my little room) into an almost vacant house with one other guy(whose name is Olsen of all things…) with a shitty reason from my landlord. Luckily, it’s just until the end of May and then I move into my new, cute studio. I got to see the Avett Brothers(if you haven’t been bombarded by my Facebook postings, check out my YouTube channel of them performing).

I now have two weeks to recharge. I’m going home to Memphis for a week to stuff my face, go to Music Fest, and get my life that is in my grandmother’s garage together. The parental units have offered to ship boxes to me in June–I have forgotten what I own.

After that, four classes this summer, while thinking of my thesis. A THESIS. WHAT? When did that happen?

I’ve learned to take one week at a time, and slowly learning more about Andrea and who she wants to be.

Time for a change


One of the many things on my plate in late November/early December was the application process for Design for America. If you have been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve seen me promote this organization like it was my job. My professor tasked my class to get this organization to Champlain College.

From the website(because I can’t write it better): “Design for America(DFA) is an award-winning nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. DFA equips this generation with the mind-set and skill-set to look locally, create fervently, and act fearlessly.”

We are trying to use design to fix Burlington, Vermont basically. I am in a new city where I am learning everyday about it-the good and the bad. If I was in Memphis, I could rattle off twenty things that could be done. It’s different now for me.

By the skin of our teeth, my classmate Cora and I got the application submitted(which consisted of another classmate, Jess, and I asking students to take a picture holding a “I Heart DFA” sign, creating a video of Burlingtonians talking about the good/bad points(classmate Robin and Rachel were the producers of that piece), and then making a poster of the I Heart DFA images). It was a lot to do in two week time frame.

We made it past round one, and on Thursday of this past week, the operations manager of DFA flew out from Chicago to hold a workshop for all those interested in a DFA Champlain. It was powerful to see so many students, faculty, and people from the Burlington community brainstorm, discuss, and produce deliverables of a better BTV in about two hours. We now have to make a two minute video on a month long project for round two, and then we will know in May if we are granted some DFA lovin’.

The director of DFA is from Burlington, and is a hip, hip lady. Will this help with being selecting? It wouldn’t hurt. I hope my classmates and I can leave a legacy at Champlain with this studio. I hope.