On This Day…

Just like today, minus a line or two.

Just like today, minus a line or two.

It was a bright, clear, mild Sunday morning. Thousands filed into a modest, rectangular, urban-gray building known as the GSU Sports Arena. Most were there to commemorate the end of a journey begun four or more years before.

I was among the number, capped and gowned in black, waiting for my full name to be read at near-auctioneer speed. Proceed in line, right hand shake the president’s hand, left hand receive from him what I’d worked all those years for. Some deride it as “just a piece of paper,” but I’d never say so. That morning in downtown Atlanta, 15 years ago today, I became a Bachelor of Arts. Today, I’m just a bachelor, doing precious little to practice my art.

I had just begun a job as a repographic engineer (that would be someone who makes photocopies all day) working at a large downtown law firm, making $8.00 an hour and feeling rich. After all, gas sold for a mere $0.699 a gallon that week. The future was bright; what could be better than having just earned a degree in English at the height of the dot-com boom?

Oh what a difference a decade and a half make. The end of the year and the beginning of a new one is always a reflective time, but thinking of this milestone today has me feeling even more introspective than usual. Coincidentally, I received perhaps my last-ever paycheck for teaching public school today. Seems I have much to write about…

Next time. For now, enjoy the #1 song in the USA the week I graduated:


10 thoughts on “On This Day…

  1. I haven’t seen you writing here in a while… maybe because I haven’t been a very diligent writer and going through my own transitions too. But I was shocked to see you were miserable…! Seems to me, you made the right choice for yourself. Please keep writing!!! I always look forward to seeing what you’re up to. Me, I am currently back in San Diego, begrudgingly, and wondering WTF I am doing here?? So, if it makes you feel any better, know that there are people everywhere, waking up in the morning, making their coffee, looking in the mirror as they brush their teeth and going, WTF?!?!
    XO Your favorite stalker…

    • It’s good to hear from you! My profound apologies that, in my typical fashion, it’s taken me almost a month to reply. I’m definitely no longer miserable, and I hope you’re not either. If you have to land somewhere, you could do much, much worse than San Diego! If I hadn’t had other compelling reasons to choose Austin for my life reboot, I would have loved to try SD– I have a friend there, and I’ve visited twice (the only place in California or the entire West Coast I have been to!) Someone told me something like… tape a sign to the top center of your bathroom mirror, reading “Who is going to win today, them or you?” I favor it saying “Who is Awesome?” with a downward arrow! 😉

      • awwww… You are awesome… Thank you. I am not bitching. The weather is great I am just homesick for Florence. The art, architecture, museums… For that sort of thing, San Diego blows. But we have good weather that is for sure! Things are ok. I am just trying to figure out the fastest way to get a degree so I can teach in foreign countries. I have finally figured out there is none. Ha! Oh well. Glad to hear all is well in Austin! Looking forward to hearing more from you!
        xo Your favorite stalker…

      • I remember some Spanish Colonial architecture in San Diego I thought was neat, but my experiences are very limited. I’ve had people suggest teaching English abroad, especially when I was getting fed up with traditional teaching… I’m single and still under 40 so now would probably be the best time, but I don’t know. It’s one thing to pick up and move to another *state* by yourself, another country is an entirely different matter! I’ll always admire your intrepid spirit!

      • Hey! How are you doing? Well I haven’t gotten that far yet… I just landed a job at a school here in SD so the plan is to continue with my own education while I do this and then attempt an adventure in either Singapore or The Middle East. I will end up back in Italy… We have amazing Spanish Colonial here. I live on an old house of that period. If you are interested I can send you some photos!

      • The first time I was in SD was for a teacher conference– they had tour buses one night that dropped us off in either Old Town or the Gaslamp district– I chose the latter. The second time I walked around Old Town a bit but would love to see more!

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