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: Almost the End


I made it to the Burlington airport about two hours early for my flight today. I overestimated how long it would take to get up, finish cleaning up my place, and make it out the door to run a quick errand before I get something to eat at a coffee shop and to the airport.

I have time on my hands to people watch and to reflect over the last semester. I feel like I ran another race this fall with my four classes, my small teacher assistantship(which really was more of printer paper refilling than actually helping students), and prepping for my thesis work. One of my classes, Collaborative II, was a continuation from my summer Collaborative I class and it was my first time to work with a client for over seven months. It was a lot of work, time, meetings, planning, and a super big presentation in late November. I feel confident that we impacted the group of stakeholders who attended and would love for the project to receive funding, but I want nothing to do with it for four months. I learned to let go of expectations, and just push forward. Focus on myself. Prepare for my future.

Flying home to Memphis this Christmas time may be different that last year, possibly because I don’t know the next time I’ll be in Tennessee. I hope to see people I haven’t seen in months and talk to my grandmother as much as possible. My thesis may get some attention(I definitely need to do interviews), but I also just want to watch the 200 channels my parents have on their TV, eat barbecue, and see Les Miserables.

These next ten days will be a change of pace, and I guess I need it. Merry Christmas all.

Here are some crazy cool things I found on the interwebs:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Thrift Store”

John Lewis is a English store that apparently does really great commercials. Here’s their Christmas ad from 2011.

Courtesy of my sister who posted this on her Facebook via Lisa Congdon

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Did y’all catch this photo of cast of The Princess Bride 25 years later?

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An entire Tumblr dedicated to everything Christmas.

Probably the most honest statement made about the Newtown, CT tragedy.  It’s not just a gun control issue, but also a mental health issue.

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.

Memphis in May Music Fest-or how I saw Gavin Rossdale finally.


As I’ve mentioned, I came home last week to not only see friends, but to go to Memphis in May’s Beale Street Music Fest. I guess my body had become acclimated to the New England coolness because I got super overheated within forty five minutes of walking around Tom Lee Park. Water wasn’t helping. I had that feeling in my head and stomach that this day was not going to end well. I ate some barbecue, drank some sugary ice tea, and tried to find shade in the 90 degree heat(along with every other music goer). Everyone moved super slowly like we were walking through water.

Yet, I rallied. I rallied because this band came to town.

Seeing Bush was a check off my list of bands to see in my life. Since I bought “Sixteen Stone” in 1994, I have been a fan of their music and lead singer Gavin Rossdale. I could not stop smiling throughout the set. Everyone around me seemed to be in my age bracket and sang a long to almost all of the words. Great experience.

The sun went down, and if I could have beamed myself back to my parent’s house I would have done so. I could barely walk, and needless to say, I was driven home, and promptly drank Gatorade…I KNEW this was going to happen, oddly, earlier in the week, yet didn’t really prepare. I had a day to recover, and traveled back uneventfully to Burlington for the beginning of my summer classes. I won’t be back in Memphis until Christmas, so I was happy to have this small window of eating BBQ, drinking great water, and seeing the Mississippi at sunset.

I start classes on May 15th-four classes, and a fellowship. It’s going to be a wild ride.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I left the City of Good Abode for the Queen City.

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.