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.

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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.

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.

Memphis: It’s like riding a bike: traveling home and rememberance


I traveled back to Memphis between spring and summer classes. It was a decision I made quickly in March when I heard a friend in Colorado was going to be in town at same time and I wanted to see friends who had lost a dear family member.
Two nights after I flew home, I asked my dad to help retrieve my mother’s barely used bike from the garage. It was a surprise Christmas gift in 2010 that many Memphians gave with the new Greenline newly opened. Anyway, he pumped some air into the tires, adjusted the seat, and I got on.

It jolted me back to my bike riding days on Redfearn Cove in East Memphis. Yes, I’ve taken some spin classes at the local gym, but this was different. I wobbled and didn’t pedal at first. But, I found my balance and rode around our little neighborhood for about twenty minutes.

Bike riding was something I did with the neighborhood kids and my sister, but also begrudgingly with my dad who tried to teach me to ride. It took forever to learn, but now I know I was on schedule. As I got older, the bikes got jammed into the garage with dust gathering–and I moved on.

Ever reflect on certain times in life-maybe childhood, maybe highschool, or a great trip, or a horrible job and say-did that really happen? I’ve had a lot of those thoughts lately about my 29 years. Are they memories I created that happened or just stories told over and over or pictures I’ve seen countless times?

My trip home was like that evening on the bike–wobbling between friends who are creating their own lives without me sharing a lot of it, balancing adulthood and riding in circles around the questions and concerns my parents have for my future.

I know I need to keep peddling forward with my head high, a firm grip, and the wind in my hair.

Summer is coming and I can’t wait to see what it brings.