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.


A week of firsts

    This has been a crazy news week–earthquake that shook most of the eastern seaboard in the USA, Steve Jobs stepping down from Apple(good for you, man, but we’ll miss the tennis shoes, and black turtlenecks at WWDC), Gadhafi/Khaddafy/Qaddafi/Cut Offy getting his regime body slammed by rebels, and now Hurricane Irene.
    If you are old enough to appreciate the Real World in the 90s and early 2000s, this was my first thought:

   I can’t handle any Real World shows pretty much since Vegas(the first time? are there more than one
seasons of Real World Vegas? I feel so…hmm). Anyway, THIS Irene was from Real World Seattle where we discover her bat shit craziness is partially due to Lyme Disease and she likes to throw precious stuffed animals into the waters of Seattle. See ya Irene, hope you are doing well now. 
    Anyway, my roommate Brian told me today that University of Vermont is canceling convocation, a few important student events, and the ice cream social. Guess which he was most upset about?  People in Burlington are keeping their eyes to the sky, but I predict I will be wearing my rain gear this weekend. Stay safe, America. 

The Final Harry Potter: It opens at the close. For real.

During the summer of 2001, I was a high school graduate. I taught swimming lessons daily at the Cordova Athletic Club(now I think it’s going to be/already the YMCA in Cordova, TN), and pretty much counted down the days before I became a co-ed at University of Memphis. A high school friend of mine(who became my dorm roommate for a split second in 2003) called me to hang out and we watched a movie that I meant to see earlier in the year.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I can vividly remember loving every minute of this movie and little did I know that I would begin a 10 year relationship with the book and movie series. This Thursday night at midnight, I will be seeing the final installment and not sure how I will be. I have avoided spoilers on Tumblr(as in how the film was made, clips of certain scenes, etc.) Everyone is waiting for “The Kiss.”

Many people I know aren’t fans. That’s fine. I know a few who stray from any big fad in books or movies(i.e. could care less about the “Twilight” series, or watching “True Blood”, for example). Totally understandable, as I saw “The Blind Side” and thought, so what? I wanted my time back.

Harry Potter to me has been a constant reading joy. I looked forward to the next book and even more to the film. I will admit that I didn’t read every book-a few I stopped and started. The last two books I read cover to cover very, very quickly and even had to separate kids when the Half Blood Prince came out in 2005 when I was a camp counselor because kids were ruining the twist.  Crying kids and Harry Potter are no bueno. I’m always a believer of the printed word vs the film adaptation.

JK Rowling created a world that I could escape to during my years in college and today. She wrote characters that represented loyalty, friendship, mischief, love, and family. Who wouldn’t want to live in the Burrow and be a Weasley? Or see an owl and hope to receive a letter from Hogwarts(ok…that’s a stretch, but I actually saw an owl in the spring and that little dude was a badass). Or see how people from different backgrounds can be friends regardless of what other people think? Swoon for Hermione and Ron?  Reading was considered cool. As the kids at Hogwarts grew up, they had true teenage angst, and worries, and the usual “does he/she like me?” which probably helped young readers figure out their own lives. As an older reader, I loved seeing how Rowling took names from different languages and biblical/historical terms and wove them into her stories. My trip to London last March had a few HP moments with the students-St. Pancras station was a big hit. I went even so far as to use a few names in my 2006 crack at teaching to help explain that day’s vocabulary homework. Whatever works…

I will miss the possibility of more stories, and more about grown up Harry/Ron/Hermione/Ginny/Draco/Neville/Luna but I know I can always pop in a DVD or pick up a book. The world of Harry Potter has become such a representation for British film and I know lighting will probably never strike again.  I’ve been keeping the newspaper articles, watched some of the premieres, and admired Emma Watson’s fashion. I can only look forward to where these actors go next, and remember  fondly Dumbledore’s saying:

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

"Let’s turn on the juice and see what shakes loose. "

Two big celebrity deaths made my mouth drop this week, and it’s not the usual big named celebs.

As a child of the late 80s, and most of the ’90s, there was a movie that I secretly watched, and later proudly viewed at slumber parties and sleepovers. Winona Ryder in her early goth fashion, Alec Baldwin actually normal and cute, and Geena Davis…where did she go?

That’s right, Mr. Michael Keaton himself–Beetlejuice. I got scared during parts of the movie, and quickly grew out of it. If you remember Otho, the interior designer Catherine O’ Hara  hires to redecorate Alec and Geena’s home(and use his “paranormal skills”), then let’s pay our respects to Glenn Shadix. He died this week at only 58. He also went on to star in another 80s gem-Heathers.

Favorite scene:

The next memorium goes to the ladies of 1999. Or should I say “Summer Girls.” Sadly, Rich Cronin of the 1999 band LFO died this week of a long battle of leukemia. This song would not leave my head that year–it was EVERYWHEREEEEEEEE.  I actually gasped when I read the news since the band was broken up, or fallen off the non-90s pop music world.

Of course I had to include it: