:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

zaterdag 6 mei 2006

I am now an official college graduate!

Just a few notes on the ceremony: it wasn't anywhere near as painful as I was expecting it to be. We were lined up by major (there were 12-15 linguistics students), so I got to reconnect with some classmates I hadn't seen since last year, and we kept each other amused throughout most of the looooong list of names by chatting, making fun of the errors on the tele-transcript, eating dark chocolate, debating whether or not the alma mater was 'blasphemous' (with its use of such phrases as 'thy glorious name we praise'), and looking out for former high school classmates (I think half my Stanton class was there).

They snapped a picture of each of us in front of a plain background while we were waiting in line; then we handed white cards with the proper pronunciation of our names to the announcer and got our turn to walk across the stage and shake the hands of Neil Sullivan (the dean), Senator Bob Graham (the keynote speaker - he was good) and Bernie Machen (the UF president), in that order. It was a pretty memorable walk, for a couple of reasons. First, a couple of friends of mine were sitting onstage with the prestigious '4.0 GPA' group, so they were calling my name as I went. Then, when I got to Bob Graham, instead of just saying 'congratulations' and moving on like he did with everyone else, he started up a little conversation, "Congratulations. So where are you going from here?"
"Chapel Hill," I said, a little surprised.
"Grad school?" he asked.
"That's great. Good luck to you."
"Thank you."
Odd, that he had a chat with me and nobody else. Guess he could sense I was a Democrat. ;)

And then, during the walk up to Bernie Machen (formal handshake #3), I passed Albert Matheny (my favorite advisor in the whole world, who always solves my seemingly earth-shattering problems without breaking a sweat and has saved my academic butt multiple times) sitting in the front row of stage chairs, so then he jumped up and shook my hand and give me a big hug and kiss on the cheek and said his congratulations too. I think I took up a lot more time than most others did, but I must say, it made me feel very popular. :)

Afterwards, we took the obligatory pictures, and then it was time to eat. But did we join the crowd and rush out to Olive Garden or Carrabba's? Oh no. The Weather family always has to be different. So, we tailgated in the parking garage. Yes, in our fancy suits and dresses, we opened the back of the minivan, turned on the Jimmy Buffett music, and ate hors d'oeurves of crackers, smoked salmon (with cream cheese, onions, and capers!), cheese, cold shrimp, and chocolate cookies. The perfect graduation lunch - no reservation required.

The award for Quote of the Day goes to Mom. Vaguely nibbling garlic Melba Toast, during a break in the conversation, she suddenly announced with great certainty, "I think it's fitting that you move the tassel from right to left. Because as you get more educated--" Way ahead of her, I collapsed into Dad, giggling madly. Mom and her politics. Gotta love it.

So now I'm sitting on the couch at home in Jacksonville, and the UF chapter of my life really is completely over now. But it was a great day to end it with.

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