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.

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Memphis and Me


      With my decision to leave Memphis and head to New England(read here) coming quickly, I’ve decided to make a list of places, and eateries that I have never been to or tried in the city of Good Abode. Some I probably won’t get to do, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

*Restaurants/Bars*
-Three Angels
-The Cove(been once)
-Broadway Pizza
-Cockadoos
-Iris
-Bari
-Sweet Grass Next Door
-La Guadulapana–or any Mexican restaurant on Summer that people rave about online
-Local-DONE
-Flight
The Arcade. Only stopped in once for a Sprite en route to picking up my towed car. Read about that here  DONE
-South of Beale
-Pancho’s-not kidding
-Gus’s

*Places/Experiences*
Civil Rights Museum….I know. I KNOW. This should have been a third grade field trip experience, but I feel like I was sick on that day. DONE
-Stax Museum
-Graceland Too
-Spend a day exploring the South Main district. DONE
-One more show at the Hi-Tone
-One more time scarfing down at Jerry’s Sno Cone
-Eat as much barbecue as a I can.
-Duck walk at the Peabody. Never seen it.
-See as many summer movies at the Orpheum.
-Ride the trolley a few times
-Elmwood Cemetery

What are your suggestions?

Decisions


   I’m moving.

Over the last six years, I’ve known that Memphis isn’t my only stop along this journey. I’ve lived here my whole life, and really do love this city.  Yet…there has been a tugging in myself to see what else is out there. I’ve been accepted into the class of 2013 as a MFA student at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. Want to check out my program? Here is it-Emergent Media. I fell in love with this area in 2002 when I became a counselor at Camp Chateaugay in the Adirondacks. We would race to Burlington on days off to soak up beer,  shopping, and time away from kids and responsibilities.

I’ve told family,friends, and work  and they are all pretty supportive, and surprised.  I really wanted the program in Paris to work out, but I feel Burlington is another adventure.  So now I am trying to figure out how to pack up my life in Memphis and beging a new one 1300 miles away.

One more summer in Memphis. The program is five semesters,  but I don’t know what to do after that.

It’s not real until I’m in my car driving away.