Sweet Summer (in May) Sun

Sweet Summer (in May) Sun
Five silly faces

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Last Semester of my Undergrad Career ...

And the grades are (drum roll, please!) ...




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Graduation 2012

The University of South Caroline Upstate (photo credit to Parker Anderson)
Me, in line to shake hands with Drs. Harris Pastides (President of the University of South Carolina), Thomas Moore (Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate) and Dirk Schlingmann (Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, USC Upstate) (photo credit to Parker Anderson)

Me and Lindsay, pre-graduation (photo credit to Lindsay's iPhone)

Me, shaking hands with the Chancellor (photo credit to Suzanne Heneisen)

Me and Parker (photo credit to some chick & Parker's iPhone)

Me and Suzanne; One of my dearest friends, her brother graduated with me, earning a degree in Education (photo credit to Lee Heneisen)

Post-graduation celebration with Lindsay, Karen and Maurice (and others!)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

So ... when I graduate Tuesday evening, I will get to wear my brand new collegiate class ring. I am so, so excited!

My ring is very traditional - yellow gold, antiqued with a black onyx stone and the school seal. Additionally, it has the year (12) and degree (B.A.) and in the event that you are tempted to steal it and pass it off as your own (and I don't knock you down and break your fingers), you'll be in B-I-G trouble because it also has my full name engraved inside.
So there.

I love the school motto, which in latin says:

Emollit Mores Nec Sinit Esse Feros

which translated reads

Learning humanizes character and does not permit it to be cruel.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pre-Graduation Thank You's

Back in the Fall of 1998, I began my Undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg.
I didn't know what I wanted to be or do for the rest of my life but I, like hundreds of other 18 year-olds, began the journey toward adulthood.
Along the way, I met a lot of great people - classmates, professors, co-workers who would become friends ... And I learned a lot - mostly how much I didn't know that I thought I knew.
And in the Spring of 2003, I left school 9 credit hours shy of my B.A., expecting my first child, intending to go back in the Fall. But I didn't.
Life got in the way and eight years passed before finally, things came together for me to re-enroll in school. As of Tuesday night, I will be a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate and I need to take a moment to thank some people who share in my success as a student this year:
My husband, Mike.
Mike on the green at the RBC Heritage Media Day (Hilton Head)
He is the ultimate encourager. He has never - not once - implied by thought, deed or word that I might not be able to accomplish anything I ever want to do. He has proofread papers, he has done 100% of the parenting while I camped out in the library, he has put up with my reliving funny & not-so-funny stories and a million other things that I can't think of right now;
My parents
My parents with the kids on Easter Sunday
who have pushed and cajoled and quilted me to go back and finish what I started. They have picked up the tab for the first five years of school - you know, the five years when I had no idea what I wanted to be or do and spent a lot of time taking classes that had nothing to do with any of my multiple majors. They have kept my children every Tuesday night of this semester so that I could go to my 2.5 hour film class. They have listened to me complain and vent and cooked dinner and washed clothes and gone on field trips and  ... They've just been there, telling me, "Yes you can" when I have cried, "I don't know if I can do this!";
My Children:
Dylan & Ella at D's Art Show

I cannot even think of all the things my children have done this year to encourage me but I can tell you that too many nights when they've wanted me to snuggle or watch a movie or even read a book, I've said, "In a few minutes - I have to finish reading/studying/this paper/this assignment/etc." But they are both so, so excited and proud of me and I am so, so glad that they can now say that both of their parents are college graduates (Mike is a 1997 Graduate of Clemson University);
My friends:

Karen, Parker, Lindsay, me & Nick at the Investiture Luncheon
Monica from all the way in Toronto cheering me on and saying, "I'm so glad you're going back to school!", Emily keeping me in the loop with all things cool and all things One Tree Hill, Summer who has covered my gray so I don't feel 10 years older than my classmates and kept Ella and had dinner and listened to my griping, Suzanne who has prayed me through this semester and last, Amanda who has been willing to sit in my disaster area of a house and have a drink and let me vent whenever I needed it; to new friends who may be 10 years younger than me but are kindred spirits who have challenged me academically, who have made me laugh til I can't talk, who have shared you scariest secrets and not run screaming when my children join us for college fun stuff like lunch & luaus, for late-night texts about tests and papers and grades - Lindsay, Karen, Maurice, Parker - you guys have made this year so much fun & in my book you are all the No. 1 Communications Students at Upstate; the Dance Class Mamas
Dori, Andrea, Jordan, me & Melanie

 Seriously, I am not sure that I could have made it through this year without knowing that on Thursday nights I was going to have 45 minutes to sit and laugh and cry with y'all while our girls danced their sweet hearts out - Melanie, Dori, Jordan, Andrea - you guys make me so happy I could spit out my strawberry-mango daiquiri (oh wait - did that already!);
My Professors & Instructors at USC Upstate, specifically: Jimm Cox (Chair of Fine Arts and Communication Studies, Director of Theatre and Director of the Foreign Study London). When I was at USC Spartanburg the first time, I had Jimm for my Voice and Diction class and later, when I became a Communications major (previously I had been an English major), Jimm became my Academic Adviser. After I left school, I would regularly see Jimm out and he never failed to say something along the lines of, "So, when are you coming back to finish that Degree?" And so last summer when I just knew that this was the time for me to go back to school, Jimm was the first person I called. And over the course of the last year, Jimm has advised me academically and encouraged me personally. Jimm is the epitome of what an educator should be - someone who has knowledge to share & the desire & ability to share it well, someone who knows when to be firm and someone who knows when to give a student a stern-talking-to or a hug; Dr. Ray Merlock (Professor of Journalism; Fine Arts and Communication Studies) - Dr. Merlock was my Senior Seminar teacher back in 2003 and this semester, I have had the pleasure of being in his Film Genre class (which has absolutely kicked my butt). Dr. Merlock is that rare mix of professor who can stand up in front of the class and keep your attention with jokes and puns while explaining to you why oranges are important symbolically in Frances Ford Coppola's The Godfather and stand around after the hardest mid-term ever and be absolutely overjoyed at the confusion and frustration he has caused. Drs. Warren Bareiss, Andrea Davis and Allison Cantrell-Ludwig are three of the most available professors one could ever hope to have in academics - they know your name, they are available when you have questions or you've second guessed yourself on paper topics for the millionth time or just to have a laugh with as you head to class. USC Upstate is a great place to go to school because of faculty members like these who care about their students and go the extra mile to create a classroom & campus environment where students can feel comfortable asking questions or speaking up in a discussion during class, or just stopping by their office to whine about all the stress we're under. (Also: Drs. Marilyn Knight, Warren Carson, Thomas McConnell & Andrew Meyers, as well as Ms. LuAnn Mawby ... all of whom put up with me in classes).

I know that there are people I am failing to thank and for that, I apologize.

I am so, so thankful to have had the opportunity to go back to school and complete my degree. I am so proud of my classmates who will walk across the stage with me on Tuesday night. And I am so excited to say that I am an Alumnus of the University of South Carolina Upstate.


I have no list of "Assignments Due" to share with you all because as of Tuesday evening when I completed my film Genre Final, I am finished with my Bachelor of Arts in Communications-Journalism.
I'll post something longer later, because right now I am at a loss to find the words to describe how I feel.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Prom 2012

Carly and Laurel

Carly and Dylan

Carly and Dylan trying to stay dry

Carly's cute shoes

Close-up of Carly

The whole family

Mom and Dad with Carly and Dylan

Her pretty hair

Finally stopped raining long enough to get a few outside pictures

Soaking wet outside and Daddy helping her dry her sweet feet

Never, ever too old to be a Cinderella

Carly with my handsome guy

Three of my favorite super silly girls

On the way out the door ...

Getting the door for the pretty girl is the wise move

Friday, April 20, 2012

Roughly 81 Hours To Go

Last of the To-Do List:

  • a lit review for my Theories & Principals of Human Communications (due the 17th)
  • a film paper (due the 17th)
  • Pop Culture Assessment Paper (dues the 18th)
  • a final test on the History of Rock & Roll (due by 5 p.m. the 20th)
  •  20 listening blog entries (due the 20th)
  • a paper for my Women in the Media class (due the 23rd) 
  • Final Exam for my Theories & Principles of Human Communications class (10% of grade) Tuesday the 24th 9:30 a.m.
  • Final Exam for my Film Genre Course (unsure how it affects my grade but we're being test on The Godfather, Fargo, Crash, The Departed, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) Tuesday the 24th 6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • my portion of a wikipedia entry (dues the 25th)
On-going projects until we make our official move: 
  • Pack and pack some more
  • Find a job
  • Laundry
  • Wash dishes
  • Feed, clothe, house & keep healthy two amazing children
So ... If you're hiring, message me - I am definitely looking for a j-o-b!