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.

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.

Turning 30 Years old


Well, I made it.

I’m thirty years old.

30.

The big 3-0.

I really don’t believe it, but my new Vermont license says so. I knew this birthday was going to be hard in a few ways, but mainly because I still have that nagging feeling of “is this right?” Is this how my life path was supposed to go? Did I make a wrong turn or a wrong decision somewhere back there in my twenties? What if I took that leap and continue seeing that guy after one date-would I be settled down? Or would I have settled? Someone told me a few weeks ago that I don’t look like I should be turning 30. How are we supposed to look like? Or be? I have no idea as I’ve never been this age before. I’ve been steering clear of those “30 Things Women Should Know by 30” magazine entries because they are bullshit. It was easy to bleed over from 19 into 20-not a big difference. But, I certainly noticed how I’ve aged in 5 year increments. Mentality, emotionally, physically I can tell. My twenties are gone, and I am happy to stuff them in my memory and pull out one or two when I feel like it. But, hot damn, they are done.

I have had a vice grip on the idea that time is running out. Yet, things haven’t really started. Which is pretty much the story of my life. I’ve been in neutral for years, expecting people to make decisions for me, give me the green light and stamp of approval or just daydream of a better life, a better something. Never I did I realize that I HAD the keys to the kingdom the entire time. Long time coming.

So, here’s what I am promising to myself. Always have those keys in my hand and move forward. I have really great intuition, and I need to trust it more.

Trust. Strength. Curiosity. Clarity. Love. Adaptability. These I desire and I hope to receive.

As my thesis for graduate school takes shape, I’ll probably be blogging less. I’m ready for winter, to be holed up in my apartment, to be more introspective, and hopefully churn out a successful paper and art piece. I hope so. I hope so. I hope so.

Thirty years…go by in a blink.

February 2012 thoughts


February is coming quickly to an end. It’s a special month because of the leap day, which marks another passing of time–four years is significant if you are a high schooler, college student, or even a new parent. I’ve noticed lately due to a class assignment on digital identity that I reflect on time, the past, my childhood, and where I was on certain day, month, or year.
I feel it’s my way of curating my life…making my thoughts, photos, tweets, and posts a record of me. To not be forgotten? Maybe. My time here at Champlain is going to go by so quickly, and I want to make sure I remember most days. With a pretty mild winter, walking around Burlington has been pretty easy.
I move into my new place in early June and I can only imagine what I will accomplish during summer term. Not much else is going on but grad school life. I have spring break in two weeks without a lot of plans. Lent begins this Wednesday–no Starbucks, more Mass attendance and participating in Stations of the Cross at least three times.
I’m all over the place with this post, but that’s how my life is these days. Staying warm, lots of self reflection, assignments, meetings, bus riding, and going through motions while trying to embrace my surroundings.

Sunday funday


Here begins another week. I’m starting my third week of classes and it feels less nuttier than the first. Maybe I am getting use to Burlington, the citizens, and the routine of Champlain? Hm. I had my fourth acupuncture “nap” Saturday morning, and I think she is going to make a new plan for me. The winter is affecting me pretty harshly–very tired, thirsty, and not sleeping so great.  It also didn’t help that I went out for beers with classmates the night before…oops. My four classes have upped the reading this go around. I had to buy about 8 paperbacks for one class last fall, and only read two. Pretty pissed. So, now I am getting my readin’ on.

I’m learning how to eat humble pie with my art class. Lots of talented 19/20/21 years olds in this elective class, and somehow I am surviving with my crappy drawing. I hope to look back in April and laugh with pride. We’ll see.

Here are some things I am looking at on the web lately:

Last week, I painfully read the post thatHeather and Jon are taking a break. Possibly a Ross and Rachel type break. I really hope for time to heal their wounds because they are a great family and original, hilarious people. I’ve been reading Dooce for a few years now, and I feel like they are a second family. Funny how you can become so close to people who you only know through photographs and blog posts.

The Avett Brothers, “Backwards in Time.”

 

I’m a little late in the Goyte boat, but, damn, this song. THIS SONG. “Somebody that I Use to Know.”

 

All this dog wants is a treat. You, human, are a jerk.

My rockin’ classmates, Rachel, Greg, and Cora showed my class this video during our Tuesday night class. If this doesn’t create a lump in throat, or makes you stand on your desk and shake your fist with inspiration, then you just suck. Charlie, you are the man.

Have you seen this commercial yet?

Want a book recommendation? The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Read it. Love it. Devour it.

Mavis Staples is Memphis, and I smiled with childish glee when I watched this impromptu sing a round(I made that word up).