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: 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.

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).