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.


Needle Napping-my first time with acupuncture

Over the last few years, I’ve been toying with different ways to make me a better version of myself. I’ve practiced Bikram yoga, taken Pure Barre classes, gone to therapy, and attended different religious services or added more prayer time to my week.
I decided after walking by a sandwich board on Church street in Burlington that I would try acupuncture. It would take place at a clinic that will take amy amount that you can afford. A classmate of mine also has been going to acupuncture to help with her health, so I’m glad to talk to her to compare notes.
Sooooooo…a few emails back and forth with Julie at Vermont Community Acupuncture, and I had my first appointment about eleven days ago. It was a freezing early afternoon, and I had about three extra layers enveloping me-think Randy from A Christmas Story without the need to pee. Julie sat with me for a few minutes to talk to me about my health history, and she checked my pulse and my tongue(!). Standard procedure that I learned later.
The next room had six beds partitioned off by white stalls for privacy and I was asked to remove shoes, socks, and lie down(lay down? sorry 9th grade English). I had needles inserted in my left ear, along my wrists near my thumb, one in between my eyes, and I think eight on my legs. I was told to just relax and she’ll check on me in 45 minutes.
It wasn’t that bad. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon, and when the time was up, she removed the needles, gave me some water, and told me that people either feel energetic or disoriented, so just take it easy. Alrighty then. I walked home, and promptly sped through season 1 of Downton Abbey on Netflix.
I had the best sleep in a long time that night. I had to catch a flight to Memphis for the holidays, and not once did I yawn, doze off, or feel sluggish while traveling. Was it my time with the needles? I’ve gone back again, and I was told by the third appointment that I should start feeling results.

I hope 2012 leads me to better health in all aspects of me. 2011 ended in a new place, new surroundings, and a new life. Here’s to it.

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.