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.


Six Years: How I Quit my first job

After doing all of my sight seeing, completing my 2011 summer wedding duties, and tried to keep myself together after the end of Harry Potter, I left my job.

I began a job in August of 2005 with the intention of just staying until I found something better.


I  can remember applying for a job in September 2005 at Rhodes College as an Admissions Coordinator, and never heard from then about if I got it or not—I was 23 going on 24 and had weekly “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?” attacks and crying sessions whatever friend would listen. In the spring of 2006,  I was asked “Want this job?” Well…yeah. Not much else to do and I like having a salary. So, for the next five years, I shaped the role of my position-one part service technician, one part administrative assistant, one part instructional designer, and one part teacher of all ages of children. That fall, I also took on the role of classroom teacher to two sections of freshman girls(the highschool is all girls…which is also my alma mater) which entailed vocabulary, computer applications, study skills, and this program called AlchoholEdu, AND my job as the laptop services coordinator. It was a lot on a plate. Two sections out of the office, then hurrying back to do your regular job will leave a person’s head spinning(or maybe just mine). I’ve never had teaching experience before then, and the Dean of the Upper School, along with a few other administrators had a lot of faith and trust in me. I fumbled all the time, and somehow got through the year with that hat on my head, and a lot of stress on my shoulders. I grew up a lot that year, and I definitely look back with life lessons.

I digress.

As the school years went on, we got a new building built, I moved into my first two apartments, and I began to like my job. There was one school year where I did dread to come to work every day-we had really bad Apple iBooks and every day there were at least 20-30 computers throughout my day with problems, teachers constantly needing me and my co workers, and I never could stay above water. I think this is what drove me into depression, and I had to talk to a therapist. ADHD medicine was prescribed, and I barely got by.  Problems from childhood, with my parents, with my self esteem, and overall outlook in life poured out of me at these sessions, and it was just a crap year. Somehow, I got through it. I am still putting pieces of me back together even today.
Last summer, I was in a wedding in Minneapolis when the urge of doing something “else” starting poking at me. At this point, I was 27 going on 28, and many, MANY friends were getting married or starting families, (and before you all say “that’s ok! it’s just not your time yet!” I know that. I do.) My friend Anna was very encouraging about applying to a school in Paris, France, and to a school in Vermont.

All of my friends were encouraging, which helped. I was very hesitant to share with people my ideas because I felt like the outsider-everyone seemed to be getting their proverbial shit together-house, job, spouse, kid.  I still love the apartment life and going to movies by myself, and not dating. At all.  Which is a whole other story.
So, I applied to those schools, and to NYU, and I got accepted to Champlain College, rejected at American University of Paris, and waitlisted at NYU. Alrighty. After months of keeping things quiet at work, I told my boss that we need to talk around Easter time of this year. I was at the tail end of wrapping up my first master’s degree at Appalachian State, and he figured something was going to happen. I was shocked on how well he took that I am leaving and moving to Vermont.  The news was broken to faculty and staff, and summer began. I worked at the school all summer to finish what I had started and trained the new guy.  I ate at Memphis restaurants, drank a lot of ice tea, and hung out with friends.  Drank beer at weddings.  Soaked up the South as much as possible.
I left home August 16th-a week ago tonight. I am somewhat settled into my place in Burlington and have four housemates, one of which hasn’t moved in yet. I’m getting used to not having a car, and walking to places.  My orientation for Champlain College starts this Friday and I can’t wait to get rolling on classes, my fellowship, and having my days planned out. I miss home, but don’t want to miss out on my life. I can finally figure out who I am in life-I have never  left Memphis, sans travel. I stayed for college, went back to my high school for a job, and I worked with my mother. I stayed in a bubble of protection, and at 28, damn it, it’s way overdue.

I know everything happens for a reason. I could have left Memphis at 24 or 25, but I don’t think I was ready or had to gumption to do it. I still don’t have ideas of what my life is going to be, but I look back on it so far with better clues.

So here I am.  Let’s do it.


It’s June already? Oh hey there.

Over the last three weeks, I’ve been to a bachelorette party, a few wedding showers, hung out with friends, saw Bridesmaids,  and worked out at the local Pure Barre studio. That’s about it.  Throw in  my job, and I’ve been doing pretty much squat.  I did get a five year award from my job as a thank you for my time, yet it was funny to get since I am leaving said job. It has been interesting(which is the best I can come up with right now) gauging the reactions from co-workers about my departure-I’ve received very warm sentiments to the insensitive ramblings.

I travel to Burlington this coming Sunday-Thursday to look for a place to live in August. I have a few leads, and I hope one of them works out. Because it has to work out. I got an email from my potential roommate stating she has decided to move in with her boyfriend, which I had a feeling she was going to do something like that. Glad I have been looking for 1BR’s on the side. I understand, though.

I hope to be able to get a few things crossed off my list-set up a bank account in Burlington, walk around more of the city to get bearings, and visit Champlain’s campus again. Get used to walking everywhere,too, since I will be sans vehicle.

More to come after Burlington trip…

be kind, just rewind.

    A few weeks ago(maybe even shorter than that) a news story made me a little sad-the local Blockbuster video rental stores in Memphis are closing.  This company was my first job, way back in 1999.  A family friend was an executive in the Memphis corporate offices, and hooked me up with a job for the summer at the store on Poplar at Kirby Parkway.  It was a golden setup-watched movies all day, could wear somewhat comfortable uniform,  and a TCBY was next door.  BAM!

Well…ehh. From what I can remember, I made a lot of mistakes.  Had some weird managers, and got bored a lot.  In my head, I thought it was going to be the BEST JOB EVER up to my 16.5 years on Earth, but not so much.  I was always the “new girl” even into August, when I had worked there for two months. All in all,  it was a paycheck and I got to help with some cool promotional events with Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace opening that summer. On my last day of work, a car ran into the Germantown store at Poplar and Exeter and I got to help restock those shelves as a special “treat.” It seems so long ago, and I don’t even know that girl any more.

Blockbuster was always a treat for me growing up, and a big part of sleepovers. It’s weird that a company with that much sentimentality for me will no longer exist. It’s just a video rental store, but holds a lot of memories for me.

‘Tis the season

A few Sundays ago, I made the trek from Midtown Memphis to the burbs for a possible interview with the ever so trendy Anthropologie store. They called me to let me know that there are openings for the holidays, and to please come in for a group interview. Uh, yeah! I have been fan and shopper of this company for about 5 years now, and not only enjoy the clothes, and housewares, but every store is an experience. The visual designers truly make the shopping trip an experience when your first step foot in the store.

         I arrived early with resume in hand-wasn’t sure what to bring or wear, for that matter. I talked my outfit over with a few girlfriends, and got the approval. I filled out an application, waited for a few minutes, and was lead to a table in the back, along with two other girls. One of them looked to be around my age, and the other clearly was in high school. We had to answer questions that ranged from the usual-“Why do you want to work for Anthropologie?” to the specific “who do you think this  brand caters to and why?” I had to think on my feet and be quick, since the first person who answers typically was correct. Total interview was about twenty minutes long.

    I was a little embarrassed for Miss Highschool. She flat out told the manager that she just really needed a job, and everything in the store was just “super cute” and really needs a job. She couldn’t make an original thought, and would just agree with what I would say or the other candidate. Ohh, sweet child of mine.

    Here’s hoping I hear something in the coming weeks! Holiday season is November-January…should be very busy, but fun, too.