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


Did y’all catch this photo of cast of The Princess Bride 25 years later?


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.


18 years old-A 9-11 rememberance

     I’ve been thinking of the anniversary of September 11th a lot this week, and particulary today. I think I remember what I was doing on the September 10th, 2001-possibly out with a friend that night at Christ Methodist Church in Memphis for a random Bible study night for women. I think this was one of many times in college I was on the merry-go-round of trying to figure out my faith. I was a freshman at the University of Memphis, and little over two weeks of college was under my belt. I decided to not go through sorority recruitment(which was put off until sophomore year) and was really liking my Religions of Abraham: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity class. Things were fine.

The next morning, I was getting ready for my 9:40am Tues/Thursday religion class, and my roommate Holly and I had woken up late. I turned on the now defunct 107.5 KISS FM radio to a very solemn morning DJ talking about a unconfirmed airplane hitting the World Trade Center. I can’t remember today if I turned on the TV or just finished dressing and headed to class. Many people were on their Nokia cell phones talking about it, and we got to class with fingers crossed that it would be cancelled. We talked briefly, and we were dismissed.

I sat in front of the TV all day. I didn’t know what else to do besides worry that my male friends would be drafted or that more strikes would happen across the country. As the news stories came in, and pictures were shown on TV, the realization of everything just struck me at once. America was changed. Forever. Immediately, students put flags on cars, telephone polls, in their dorm windows, and on their bodies. As the weeks and months went on, the flags became to be taken down, but the fear lasted. When I graduated in 2005, TIME magazine did an issue about the Class of 2005-that we(as inall May 2005 graduates across the country) were the first college class post-9/11 and what that all means. This will be a day of “where were you when?” a la JFK assassination. I’m still scared every single time I board a plane. Every time. I can’t look at too much footage of that day, and seeing the pictures of people jumping out of the windows…

There will always be anniversary dates. When I taught in 2006 to two classes of freshman girls, I had them write about where they were since it was the 5th anniversary. They were just 4th graders. My cousin was in third grade, and I know my uncle did his best to explain to her and her little brother(he was 5 going on six then) about the state of the country, and answer their questions.

I can only pray, hope, and look towards the future. Such a beautiful morning that day-I will always remember.


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.