I Graduated, For Real

Obligatory Family Graduation Portrait

Now, I know it seems like was in school forever.  If it didn’t seem that way to you, it certainly did to me.  Here’s how it worked out…

Graduated high school and should have had around 30 college credit hours including English, Algebra, Calculus, Physics, Government, Statistics, Foreign Language, Psychology, Computer Networking, Computer Information Systems and a few others.  Sadly, for reasons I still don’t understand, zero of those hours transferred to Mizzou.

I went to MU for two years and then left for California where I went to school for one year.  Leaving California for Columbia (again) I finished school with a bizarre collection of degrees (?) and minors (?), something we’re still trying to add up haha.  General Studies? Photography? Political Science? Women and Gender Studies? Fine Arts? A combination of some or all of the above? Probably.

What really matters is that on May 15th I walked across a stage. No seriously I did.  I even got a kiss from my Russian professor!

Walking the Stage and Getting a Kiss

After the graduation, seven years in the making, we had a blast celebrating the graduation itself as well as the closing of my first gallery show, which, by the way, sold three of the nine prints on the wall! That’s a pretty darn good debut!

I was honored to have some of my favorite people at my graduation party.

Eric, Laura and Ryan Hale

From my parents, brother, sister-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, Jenny and her boyfriend, Micheal, Corey, Josh, Akiko, Ben and Ryan Hale, Eric and Laura, Ryan, Sam, David… who else? KorrieMaggie, Emily, Justin Rodier, Nicole and more that I know I’m missing. Looks like my graduation party was one of the bigger Tweetups Columbia has ever seen haha.

Perhaps the best part of the weekend though was my family seeing my photography shown in the gallery.  They have been so supportive of my art and encourage me to continue to explore my passion.  Seeing my photos on a computer screen or even printed 11×17 is one thing.  Seeing them 20×30 in a 28×38 frame with gallery lighting? Something else entirely.

My Brother Enjoying Some Art

In the end, it was a wonderful evening. Worth the seven years? Maybe… But definitely a wonderfully memorable night.

I’m Alive in the Lone Star State

I’ve been busy working on my internship/job here in Texas.  Having a great time all the while but really missing home, Ryan, Mr. Belvedere and my friends.

Yeah, so working a lot, hanging with my grandparents who are fantastic and figuring out my future.

As of this moment, right now, as I lounge in bed watching Dead Like Me on Hulu… I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is completely feasible that as of this December, I will be motherfucking done with the University of Missouri.

Now, I don’t hate the university or anything, it’s just that it kinda hates me.  I figure, it’s best for both of us for me to get out, asap.

Therefore, by the end of this summer, I will have completed 12 hours of summer school.  Yes, the limit by statute of the University is 9 hours and that’s only if you get permission to take over 7.  I worked my way into it.

So yes, maybe I graduate in December.  Then?  Oh crap, that’s where I start to freak out.  The plan of course is to move back to the golden hills of California.

Yes, the beautiful hills of California. They’re golden because they’re starving for water, not because they’re full of gold.  That’s so California 1849.

Soon I should hear back from my advisor who will tell me if I graduated in December or May.  Either way, I’m getting the hell out of Dodge and moving on with my life with Ryan.  We’ve even casually looked at some homes to buy in the city!  Exciting right?

But what will I do for work?  Continue my work for the Agency?  Start my own company?  Do I even THINK about photography much less graduate school at Stanford?

Life is so full of questions, obligations and unknowns.

But… Let’s worry about those as they happen.  Right now I need to get back to bed.  Busy day ahead of me!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Graduation

DSC_4952.JPG

All my people are leaving me! Today Geoff, Jenny, Jim, Jake, Josh, Shannon, Megan, Matt, Eric, Annie, … They’re all graduated. Congratulations to you all.

Today I should have graduated, let’s hope next year will be my year. I won’t be convinced until I’m walking the stage.

DSC_4994.JPG

It is hard to think about living in Columbia without these people, and the many other unnamed in this post. You were all so very special to me and have had an incredible impact on who I am today.

I can look back to my freshman year, virgin, freshly out and learning how to make friends on my own. Immediately Geoff was in my life, and it was truly love at first sight. But our love was to be put on hold until we were ready to be with each other. We eventually made our relationship official and a world of firsts began.

We all know how it ended, it wasn’t pretty. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, our friendship still rings true. That is true love, true friendship.

DSC_5021.JPG

I will have lost the four most important people in my life this year, lost to Washington DC and St. Louis. Jenny and Geoff are both heading to St. Louis to continue their education. I’m so proud of them and their devotion to their life’s work. Landon and Jim are in and off to Washington DC. Landon headed there last semester but went through his second graduation this week gaining another degree from Mizzou. Saying goodbye to him just an hour ago was more emotional that I had expected.

It will take great effort on my part not to feel alone now, now that the absolute closest people in my life have left this part of their journey through life with me still trailing behind.  As I watch the last Lord of the Rings movie on TBS, I am reminded of A) how dorky I am, B) How much Geoff and I loved to watch this movie together, and C) how special true friends are.

On a less emotional note, where were the fashion police when this woman put on her fingernail polish?  Yikes.

DSC_4992.JPG

This semester ended with great grades, a confusing (and yet promising) relationship(sorta), the departing of friends, the rekindling of old friendships (Dave, lunch was so much fun) and the start of a new(ish) life, and even more independence.