Friday, May 15, 2009

Commencement - and my reflections

I could sum up commencement in 2 words: HOT and AMAZING! But I'm not going to! If you only had 2 seconds to read this entry, then that would be the short version. However, I am not a woman of only two words.

Mom and I arrived at 2:30pm (like our tickets said). Thanks to the Alumni Association we were able to enter in the staff entrance and didn't have to wait in line at all! We found our seats, luckily on the west side of the stadium and sat down. We had taken books and sudoku, but it was much more fun to watch people! Within about an hour and a half of sitting down, we were in the shade and the entertainment portion began. There were very diverse groups, from a gospel choir to a fraternity doing a battle-like dance/something (it was very different, hard to describe!). It was almost surreal to actually be there. I loved watching the Secret Service walk around and check things out. Even in 100+ degree weather they still had their regulation dark suits on! It was obvious they were hot though!!

I personally thought Obama's speech (link to the full text of the speech) was wonderful! It was obvious that he was speaking to a group of students, and that he had tailored his message for the situation. It was very encouraging as he urged students to pursue more than a paycheck. One of my personal favorite moments of the speech was when he highlighted that politicians need to be concerned with doing the right things, even if they are unpopular, rather than the next election. This has been one of my biggest peeves for so long! Perhaps that was what has driven me to stay involved and motivated in the direction of politics. There was a time when I started to get disenchanted with the process (thank you Prof. Simon and National Security, Intelligence, & Terrorism), but I have been reminded since then that I can do something. Wednesday night was another reminder that I can do something, and that something will make a difference. So my challenge to myself is to find ways to make a little difference. Maybe it means an hour spent talking to a family member, or a note of appreciation; maybe it's on a larger scale and involves joining the fight for a cause in which I believe. Whatever it is, I am challenging myself to do a little more every day.

I am looking into my options for Spring semester and beyond. It is nerve-wracking to think about being done with my undergraduate degree in one year from now. At the same time it is super exciting! I feel as if I have the whole world before me! In times like these, I feel truly blessed. I am blessed to be where I am in life and to be born exactly how I was. I am blessed to have a wonderful family and support network. I am blessed to have all the opportunities I do, and to have been able to take advantage of previous opportunities.

One final note, as my mom and I were leaving Wednesday night we noticed people standing on the sidewalk, like they were waiting for something, along Veteran's Way. When we looked to see what they were watching, we saw roughly 10 motorcycles cops lined up. My mom figured this was the motorcade, but I wasn't convinced (yet!). Pretty soon, two Secret Service men come out, get in a car, and the motorcycle cops turn their lights on! It was the motorcade! As fast as I could, I tried to get my camera out, but I wasn't fast enough! We got to watch the entire motorcade leaving! And the best part, people were waving at the Presidential Limo, and Barack waved back!!! I was in a group getting waved at by Barack Obama! Seeing the motorcade was the icing on the cake after a great night!

Pictures will come later, when the computer decides to cooperate with me! :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

School's end and other updates

Well it's been a while, since I updated, but lots of things have been happening! I started moving home last Thursday after my 7:30 am final (YUCK!). It's been pretty warm and very sunny here, so I was very tired each night. I tried to do as much as I could in my car, and borrowed my grandparents van once. It took me Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (with mom's help), but it got done! I've taken over my mom's house and everything (with the exception of what's at my grandparents) is back home. The first night I spent at home was last Thursday, and it was nice to be home. I got up and made pancakes Friday morning, and it was so much fun to be able to do something like that!

I had my last two finals on Monday, but only had to take one! I got to my Shakespeare final, and she announced that if we were happy with our grade we could get up and leave and wouldn't have to take the final. That was actually the one class I was really pleased with, so I took my grade and left! It gave me extra time to check out of my room, which went smooth, and then to study for my Spanish test. I took the Spanish final Monday night and kicked it in the butt! I'm officially going to be a! It seems like time has flown. Well, it kind of has! :) I have two classes (at least) to take this summer and I will be completely on track then to graduate in May 2010. As of now, I'm considering studying abroad next Spring, and I need to start investigating that possibility! It would be a truly exceptional experience. Everyone I've talked to is very excited about that, and everyone who's done it never regrets it.

With moving home and finals, I haven't run since last Wednesday. I need to get back in a routine, but it will come.

Mom and I will be attending ASU commencement today! I am so excited to hear Obama and excited about this opportunity for ASU. I believe this is the first time a sitting President will ever speak at a graduation ceremony at ASU! I will definitely share an update tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Running Update

I started the Couch to 5k plan yesterday. It was truly a wonderful feeling to be back in the gym again! While I've been somewhat sore today, it is a good sore. I will be going back to the gym in the morning to do the second day of Couch to 5k!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Freeze Frame

Sunday, I took a break from homework and studying for finals to have a cup of coffee and eat a muffin, so I decided to start watching Fried Green Tomatoes which I rented from Blockbuster. When it was time to get back to work, I paused the movie. When I looked at the frozen frame, it didn't represent the movie well at all. It looked like one character was trying to take a bite out of another's shoulder. In reality, the scene was a surprise party! The scene was filled with smiles and laughs. However, just looking at the frozen frame wouldn't have represented the scene or the whole movie well at all. It's the same with life. Individual frames of our life may seem unpleasant or crazy or just plain bad. But those individual moments contribute to an entire life. Things aren't bad forever; wait for the next frame.

At the same time, a movie wouldn't be any good if it were entirely happy-go-lucky either. It would have no plot, and probably not even make it past production. The same is true of life, each and every moment of life, good or bad, contributes to our movie. It adds interest, knowledge, and contributes to the entire story. So take the good moments and the bad moments in stride, knowing they are adding to one wonderful movie!