Tag Archives: graduation

Living the Good Life

Hello again.  I am actually writing this post from our new townhouse in downtown Durham.  I talked a little bit about it in my last post.  I am extremely pleased with how it has turned out.  We pay a little bit more than we did in Rochester for a lot more stuff, including a washer, dryer, and dishwasher.

So, where do I start?  Daniel graduated two weeks ago with his Bachelor’s degree (finally).  I’m really proud of him, he did great.  I ended up flying to Rochester on Saturday night, and he graduated the following morning.  By the way, I’ve decided that I actually really like flying.  This may be a problem for Daniel, because he hates it.  I can’t stress the word “hate” enough, because he just won’t do it.  I thought it was kind of fun, personally.  But, anyway, I digress.  We moved all of our stuff into a van on Sunday, after graduation, and started out for North Carolina that night.  That was not our original intention, but it worked out.  We spent the night in Harrisburg, PA, and arrived in Durham in the early afternoon on Monday.  I’m so happy he’s finally here, and we’re done moving for a while.

The townhouse looks amazing.  I’m sure there will be pictures coming soon.  We are still kind of settling in.  I’m enjoying Durham quite a bit now that I have Daniel to show me around to all the cool places.  We’ve even been doing some partying.  Last weekend we met up with Daniel’s best friend Jeremiah, and we got to meet his girlfriend Mae.  On that Friday we went to Fullsteam, and then to Bull City Burger and Brewery to eat dinner with Jeremiah’s parents.  I had met Jeremiah’s mom before, but I’d never met his dad.  His dad was adorable.  I don’t know how else to describe him.  He has a beard and glasses and wears plaid shirts and loafers.  He was just an adorable man.  It was great to meet and chat with him.  The following Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, we went to Mae’s parents’ house for a little party.  That was…interesting.  There was a lot of tequila that I wouldn’t go near.  Daniel and I only knew Jeremiah and Mae, but Daniel’s friend Forest did show up later and they all had a little jam session on a makeshift stage in the backyard.  It was good to see them back together making music.  I’m still calling for an Acoustic Satan reunion.  So, that was a fun night.

Last night we were invited to a party being held in our own backyard, which was awesome.  Our neighbors Glenn and Mary were throwing a party, and invited everyone in the 6 townhomes that make up our little complex.  Glenn and Mary are actually University of Rochester alumni, which is crazy and very small world.  I swear we didn’t plan that out.  At the party we also met another guy named Luke, who majored in Optics at the U of R, and his girlfriend Carrie who is from Pittsford.  I was extremely drunk, since I’d had an entire bottle of wine, plus two cups of beer.  I came upstairs to grab something and ended up passing out in bed.  I felt a little bad about that because I missed the rest of the party and totally left without even telling Daniel where I was going.  Oops.  The good news is that I think we are going to meet up with Luke and his girlfriend sometime this week at Bull City Burger and Brewery for dinner and drinks.  He seemed like a cool guy and we both need friends here since we all just moved from Upstate New York (except for Daniel, who’s from Durham).

So, in the few weeks we’ve been here, we’ve met some cool people and done some cool things.  I can’t wait for more.  I should not have waited so long to make this update, because there is definitely more that I want to talk about.  Like The Avengers.  That one really deserves its own post.  And I will have some pictures in my next post.  There are just too many things to do now that I live here.

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Adam in Durham

Today was an excellent day.  Daniel and I had a little picnic lunch in Duke Gardens this afternoon.  After wandering around and chatting, we walked over to Ninth Street for some sodas at Ox & Rabbit.  Because a trip to Durham is not complete without some Ox & Rabbit.

I realized that our friend Adam is here in Durham doing his graduate schooling at Duke.  So I texted him this afternoon, and we went to pick him up to go get drinks downtown at James Joyce.  He has been in Durham for less than a week, so he is still getting settled.  It’s always great to see familiar faces in an unfamiliar place.  It was awesome to catch up with him.  We haven’t seen him since just after commencement in Rochester.  He gave me some good book recommendations, we told him some good places to check out around Durham.  It was a wonderful exchange.  Afterward, I got a little sad thinking about how just 4 years ago I was meeting Adam as his D’Lion during my sophomore year.

Me and Adam during his freshman year.

Catan Dice Game

As a graduation gift, Matt decided to give me the Catan Dice Game.  Daniel and I had been eyeing it for a while, so this was a great gift.  We’ve played it 4 times now.  The box really comes with 2 games.  In one of the games, each person takes turn rolling dice and building roads, settlements, cities, and knights in a sequential order determined by the sheet provided.  Each successive settlement, knight, and city is worth more than the last, and you try to accrue as many points as possible.

The second game is more like a travel version of the original Settlers of Catan, where you are trying to win with 10 victory points; settlements are worth 1 victory point, cities are worth 2, and each player tries to obtain points for having the largest army and longest road.

Each person takes a turn.  A turn consists of rolling the 6 dice and trying to build as many things as possible with the resources you have rolled.  You get three rolls per turn, and if you get brick on the first turn, but no wood, you can set aside the brick in case you get wood so that you can build a road before your turn ends.  At most, you can use 6 resources per turn.  So even though you roll the dice 3 times, you make what you can with those three rolls.  But you can’t build a road on the first turn, and then roll again with those two dice.

It’s a fun travel-version of Catan, and an awesome graduation gift.

I love fish.

Commencement

Today was a very big and exciting day.  I am officially graduated from the University of Rochester.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Genetics.  That sounds really impressive, right?

I was so happy to have my family here, and Daniel was amazing.

We arrived on campus shortly after 7:30am.  I escorted my brother, sister, and Daniel to the Eastman Quadrangle so that they could find seats.  Then I wandered over to Todd Union, since that is where the procession would line up before walking to the Eastman Quad.  It was rainy and cold all day.  And before you ask: No, there were no tents and they did not move it inside.  It did not get out of the 40s all day today, so I sat in the front row shivering while everyone gave their speeches.  I must admit, I really liked Class President JJ’s speech.  I thought it was funny and totally appropriate for the group to which he was speaking.

After the Commencement Ceremony, we had a solid two hours before my degree would be conferred to me in the departmental ceremony.  So I met my friends in Rush Rhees and we all took pictures together.  It was good to do this before everyone left to go to their department ceremonies.  I’m glad I got to see everyone one last time.

My family and I relaxed in Gleason Library, until 12:30pm when I had to leave for the Palestra to line up for the Biology department’s ceremony.   My aunt and uncle decided to attend this ceremony, but skipped this morning’s speeches.  Considering the weather, this was a very good decision.  They handed us sheets with a short message that each of us had to write and send in ahead of time, thanking our families, professors, friends, etc., along with information about our future plans.  The best response I heard was from a girl that said her future plans included “getting down to business to defeat the Huns”.  That’s a Mulan reference, in case you missed it.

After I got my degree, we headed back to the apartment, where there was cheese, grapes, crostinis, cookies, and champagne for a little snack before my family had to leave.  It was so great to see everybody.

It feels good to be done, but I’m going to miss it.  What a bittersweet time it is for all college graduates.  Congratulations to the Class of 2011.  I hope everyone has savored these last few moments of undergrad.

Graduation!

Graduation Preparation

Today was my last day in the Graduate Medical Education Office at the Medical Center.  What a strange feeling it is, leaving that place after two years.

Most of today has been filled with graduation preparation.  And it’s the little things that you don’t really think about, like getting a haircut and running to Wegman’s at 9pm to get cheese and baguettes for snacks after the ceremony on Sunday.  Also, I needed to buy a bottle of champagne.  My mother means well, but she bought a bottle of Cook’s, which is notoriously some of the cheapest and worst sparkling wine you can buy.  It’s what they served today at the Senior Toast.  (On a side note:  Thanks, U of R, for letting the champagne sit out in the sun, so that when we finally got around to the toast, it was all nice and warm for us.  Champagne is supposed to be served warm, right?)

Speaking of which, I got a little mention in the Senior Toast.  Sort of.  They threw in something about “And who could forget Bring Your Shovel to School Day”.  Some may remember that I created this Facebook event after the University sent out a e-letter right before a huge snowstorm informing people that they should take proper precaution when walking around campus, like bringing shovels, using handrails, etc.  The event went viral and got thousands of attendees in just a few hours.  It was nuts, but very cool.  The power of the internet…and Facebook.  We united over our bitterness towards the University for their poor sidewalk maintenance in the winter and their even worse habit of not canceling classes during dangerous weather.  Thanks Senior Class Council!

Setting up for Commencement

I definitely made these people uncomfortable with my photo-taking.

Dress Shopping

My mother is visiting for the weekend.  We went dress shopping for graduation this afternoon.  I’m wearing white.  Wish me luck.  We made the short trek out to Eastview.  After searching a number of stores, we determined that JCPenney had the best selection.  I’m excited to wear it, I think it looks amazing.  I won’t show pictures of me in it now, you can wait to see those when I don it for the graduation ceremony.

Speaking of Don…we visited my cousin Kasey while we were near Fairport.  I haven’t seen in her in years, probably since before my grandmother died during my freshman year of college.  Since then, she has had four children, three boys and one girl.  It is crazy in her house, but she keeps popping them out; the latest is just 8 months old.  My Uncle Donnie (see what I did there?) and Aunt Pat were also visiting, but were on their way to church, so we only caught them for a few minutes.  I’m so happy that they’ve decided to attend my graduation.

After shopping, my mother and I returned to the apartment, and Daniel made some amazing shrimp and grits for dinner.  We also had some champagne to celebrate.  Then we played Settlers of Catan (I won), and watched Moonstruck.

All in all, it’s been a good day.  I’m happy with my dress and it’s wonderful to have my mother here.

Tulips...or Fire Flowers?

Senioritis

“Senioritis” has finally set in, with less than one week of classes left.  This morning I skipped both of my classes, the first classes I have skipped all semester.  You may also notice that this post comes considerably later than my usual posts.  The Urban Dictionary defines senioritis as “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation”.  I believe this is equally applicable to many graduating college students.

I finished my graduation announcements last night, along with my independent study paper.  Posts about those are coming soon.  DIY posts are difficult!

A sleepy neighborhood cat for your viewing pleasure.