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

tumblr_mf57qgFFDZ1qz6f9yo1_500

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

IMG_1973

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.

Advertisements

Memphis in May Music Fest-or how I saw Gavin Rossdale finally.


As I’ve mentioned, I came home last week to not only see friends, but to go to Memphis in May’s Beale Street Music Fest. I guess my body had become acclimated to the New England coolness because I got super overheated within forty five minutes of walking around Tom Lee Park. Water wasn’t helping. I had that feeling in my head and stomach that this day was not going to end well. I ate some barbecue, drank some sugary ice tea, and tried to find shade in the 90 degree heat(along with every other music goer). Everyone moved super slowly like we were walking through water.

Yet, I rallied. I rallied because this band came to town.

Seeing Bush was a check off my list of bands to see in my life. Since I bought “Sixteen Stone” in 1994, I have been a fan of their music and lead singer Gavin Rossdale. I could not stop smiling throughout the set. Everyone around me seemed to be in my age bracket and sang a long to almost all of the words. Great experience.

The sun went down, and if I could have beamed myself back to my parent’s house I would have done so. I could barely walk, and needless to say, I was driven home, and promptly drank Gatorade…I KNEW this was going to happen, oddly, earlier in the week, yet didn’t really prepare. I had a day to recover, and traveled back uneventfully to Burlington for the beginning of my summer classes. I won’t be back in Memphis until Christmas, so I was happy to have this small window of eating BBQ, drinking great water, and seeing the Mississippi at sunset.

I start classes on May 15th-four classes, and a fellowship. It’s going to be a wild ride.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I left the City of Good Abode for the Queen City.

Memphis: It’s like riding a bike: traveling home and rememberance


I traveled back to Memphis between spring and summer classes. It was a decision I made quickly in March when I heard a friend in Colorado was going to be in town at same time and I wanted to see friends who had lost a dear family member.
Two nights after I flew home, I asked my dad to help retrieve my mother’s barely used bike from the garage. It was a surprise Christmas gift in 2010 that many Memphians gave with the new Greenline newly opened. Anyway, he pumped some air into the tires, adjusted the seat, and I got on.

It jolted me back to my bike riding days on Redfearn Cove in East Memphis. Yes, I’ve taken some spin classes at the local gym, but this was different. I wobbled and didn’t pedal at first. But, I found my balance and rode around our little neighborhood for about twenty minutes.

Bike riding was something I did with the neighborhood kids and my sister, but also begrudgingly with my dad who tried to teach me to ride. It took forever to learn, but now I know I was on schedule. As I got older, the bikes got jammed into the garage with dust gathering–and I moved on.

Ever reflect on certain times in life-maybe childhood, maybe highschool, or a great trip, or a horrible job and say-did that really happen? I’ve had a lot of those thoughts lately about my 29 years. Are they memories I created that happened or just stories told over and over or pictures I’ve seen countless times?

My trip home was like that evening on the bike–wobbling between friends who are creating their own lives without me sharing a lot of it, balancing adulthood and riding in circles around the questions and concerns my parents have for my future.

I know I need to keep peddling forward with my head high, a firm grip, and the wind in my hair.

Summer is coming and I can’t wait to see what it brings.

Turkey Lurky


Well, Thanksgivng 2011 is over. I was invited  to Jess’s house in Enfield, New Hampshire, and off I drove with Ross(another “not going home for the holiday” student) in a lovely blue Tacoma truck. I think I drove it well…it was a pretty, snowy drive and had fun hanging with the Lynch family. Singing “We Gather Together” at the table was funny since only her parents out of 16 people truly knew it:). While I tried chipping away at the massive amount of homework, assignments, and projects due in the next two and a half weeks, I went to see Breaking Dawn with Cora, shopped at J.Crew/Urban Outfitters/American Apparel today, and bought Super 8 earlier in the week. Burlington is gearing up for the holidays with the Christmas tree being lit tonight on Church Street. It’s a massive 38 foot blue spruce.

I’m still not believing it’s almost December, and I’ve been here for about four months. I’ll be home for Christmas for a week. The holidays are always a strange feeling for me-another year is ending, all of us are getting older, some are still stuck in their ways, yet it’s a time for togetherness, good food, and pretty lights. I dunno. Just odd. I don’t want to “just get through it,” but the last five years, it’s been that way. But, I’m still happy where I am, and look forward to 2012.

Friday/Saturday Finds


Yesterday was busy, so I am late getting to my weekly finds. I ended up going with Danielle and Jessica from my MFA program and Jessica’s roommate Ginger to the bustling metropolis(notttttt…) of Plattsburgh, New York. Why may  you ask?

Target.

There isn’t one in the ENTIRE state of Vermont. Yep. So, Plattsburgh has one attached to the local mall. I haven’t been to Plattsburgh in six years since I worked at Camp Chateaugay, and surprisingly, things(except gaining a Target, and a Best Buy), haven’t change much.

So, off we went to the Grand Isle Ferry(north of Burlington), and spent a nice afternoon roaming Tarjay and the mall.

Two of my purchases…

Ginger introduced us to a Black Eyed Peas song that I hadn’t heard before that I can’t stop playing on repeat:

 

 

Always fall in with what you’re asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever’s going. Not against: with.
Robert Frost