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We're Going to Make It

Yesterday was meeting after meeting. First, a workshop in the morning about critical reading, then I met privately with the program director to talk about scholarships and grants, then I had a meeting with Dont about my Artist-Teacher, then I had a meeting with my group in the library to talk about my research topic. Just boring meetings all day.

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The program director is so kind. She is just one of the warmest nicest ladies I've met. I was in her office talking about financial aid and somehow we started talking about the baby and what I'm going to do next residency. She said, have someone come with you and bring the baby, stay off campus, I have a resources I know some places nearby. She had it all figured out. She has a little two-year-old boy who is arguably one of the cutest little kids I've ever seen. I don't even say that about kids, but he is really something. Anyway, she complimented me on how well I was handling everything and that many other people were this emotional mess. "I've gone through two boxes of tissues this residency," she said pointing to the ones in her office, positioned at arm's reach for the guest.

But then—after forty days and forty nights—the olive branch carried by the dove of ice cream happened. They served ice cream to everyone out on the green, and we were all flabbergasted by the amazing rainbow that appeared over our heads and arched over the campus. I ran across the green to get to this spot and make this photo. Several people from the steps of the dorm building said, "Jaime, you can see it even better from over here." So I went to where they were and there were giant power lines in the way. I busted their chops, "You guys, this is not a better view, see these power lines in the frame? You have to be in front of the power lines!" And people responded in a similar fashion, like oooo picky picky photographers. 
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Lizzi has always been a little bit more of the emotional ones and has that "one with nature" hippie vibe. Something about the way she moves, sits, walks, is like all her joints are really loose, her head bobbles, she sits on the floor, she bursts into tears talking about trees. Lizzi positioned herself in the middle of the parking lot and declared, "We're going to make it, you guys! We're going to make it!" Wildly flailing and pointing at the rainbow. I responded, "It seems highly probable given we have less than 24 hours." The two comments in juxtaposition made the rest of the group laugh. 

Then later that evening was the Dolly Parton Dance and I showed up right on time, which is not the cool thing to do, evidently. I waited around for quite some time for it to get going and by the time it did, I was tired. A few people were pretty creative, balling up sweaters and other items and shoving it down their shirts to match Dolly's physique. It was pretty darn funny. Other people wore cow boy boots and hats. Rumor has it that one of the best parts of the dance is that all the faculty show up around 10pm and proceed to get plastered. The students think this is so cool because it's the one time they get to see the teachers without their teaching-hat on. So when they showed up to the party I knew that was my cue to exit. I don't need to see drunk professors. I went back to the room at 9:30 and called Ganesh. After we finished, I set the phone down beside me on the bed and the next thing I knew, it was 5:30 in the morning. I was still dressed in my street clothes and the lights on, but I slept almost through the night like that. 

I think what's upsetting a lot of people is this novel concept of studying what you want. Unthinkable, unheard of. Everyone is such brainwashed sheeple from the public school system that the moment it isn't super prescribed they have a nervous break down. They don't seem to understand the concept of being consumed with firey passion for a subject and just researching the hell out of it. Only one person cried today in the research group meeting. It's a 60% improvement from yesterday. This is like the grad-school version of home school. I am not really phased by the concept of the self-directed assignments, which I think is because of my home school background. I'm like, oh you want me to super intensely research something I'm interested in? It's about freaking time people. How refreshing. No one else is used to this so they are like, "What do you mean?! I'm so confused." The other thing I'm not quite sure about, but the impression that I get is that this is sort of a grade-free system. Quality Guru, Edward Demming would approve. It's like you just do all this work and you give a really detailed report and they just assign credit. It's up to you to make it worth your while and have an impressive report at the end. There's no courses to enroll in, there's no required reading. It's just so free. Just learn what you want to learn. Is that so hard to understand? I guess it is.

The rest of today is Lunch, then the Graduation ceremony for the graduating class, and then we all go break down our exhibits. And then we are gettin' the heck outta he'e! A lot of people are leaving tonight, and a lot of people are leaving at the butt crack of dawn tomorrow morning. I'll probably be one of last ones here since I plan to be picked up by the charter at 7 am.

Naomi, the Martial Arts teacher from South Dakota, said it takes her two and a half days to get to the residency. She has to drive some enormous distance just to get to an airport, and then she has multiple lay overs. I guess I should be grateful for my 14-hour journey.