I Finally Got My Diploma!!!!

<Breaks into happy old lady dance!>

sponge_bob_gifYes. It finally arrived. I’m so happy. If I’m being honest with myself, I actually got it about a week ago but I was still in Texas, so I actually couldn’t see it until I got home. And when I made it home and held it for the first time, I thought something was wrong with it. But I just got off the phone with a representative of my school and they basically told me that minors don’t normally go on the diploma unless they were part of an emphasis area. As long as it says I completed my minor on my official transcripts, it’s fine.

Now it’s time to go frame shopping.

 

 

Post Graduate Dilemma

So I have three paths in front of me and I don’t know which one to choose.

Path One

Move to Houston, Texas at the end of the summer. This blog is about writing, traveling, and life. Way back in my first post I promised that this summer would be filled with adventure but I didn’t explain what that meant. Well, back in March my cousin who lives in Houston, Texas reached out to me to see if I would like to babysit for him during the summer. I was delighted because I thought it would only be for a week or so. But nope, my cousin wanted me to be a live-in babysitter for the summer. So I thought about it and said yes. Then him, my sister, and my mother started talking and the more they talked the more the plan changed. Suddenly, I wasn’t going down to Houston to babysit, I was going to move down there and try to find a job in a field similar to my degree field because Texas’ economy is so much better than Missouri’s.  I don’t have an official move date, but I do have an official move month: September.

Path Two

Go back to school in August and get my Masters in International Relations. Going back to school was always in my future. The only reason I didn’t apply for graduate school during my last undergraduate semester was because I didn’t think I’d be able to afford it. My alma mater has an accelerated MA International Relations program that allows you to get your degree in eleven months and during those eleven months, you have to travel to five different countries. It’s an intense program and once I heard about it, I knew it was the program for me. But the price tag was sure to be out of my league so I didn’t apply. I recently found out that scholarships would pay for most of the program (hurray) but I would still have to pay for the living expenses (which is understandable). But, due to my previous international travel, I know that conversion rates would really eat through my budget and there would be no way to make up for it other than to take out additional student loans. Taking out additional student loans would put me further into debt and make my goals of paying off my student loans in ten years highly unlikely.

Path Three

Stay in St. Louis and save up money for a year so that I can afford the additional expenses that would come with traveling internationally for eleven months. This would mean that I’d start grad school in August of 2018. After I graduate in August of 2019, I’d start thinking about where to live and which career paths I’d want to pursue. This path allows me to focus a little on my writing and develop my publishing company. This option would also give me a much needed break from school. But it’s that break that everyone is worried about. My family is worried about me taking a year off (essentially) because they know how hard it is to get back into the groove of school once life starts to happen.

So I have three paths in front of me and I don’t know which one to choose…

[Photo by Tyler B. Humphries/Berlin, Summer 2016.]

 

School’s Out Forever!!!

I did it! I graduated. BA in Scriptwriting. Minor in International Human Rights. Department honors from the Department of Journalism and Communications. First generation college graduate. Yes. I did that.

Honors Dinner:

 

Graduation:

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Media Exhibition, Possible Internships, and I’m Graduating With Honors

Let me get the most pressing news out of the way. I will receive honors from the Department of Communications and Journalism at my university.

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It was so unexpected and so welcomed. I’ve basically been on cloud nine since getting the news and I can’t see that changing.

The Debate

But in other news: The Media Exhibition. In the span of a week, my world exploded…but in a good way.

Let me tell you about it. Earlier, in March, my amazing academic advisor told me that he’d nominated me for a student award. I was excited but I didn’t feel like I’d get the award. You see, I think I’m a good writer, but I’ve encountered better writers, so I seem to second guess myself a lot when it comes to what I can achieve. It’s something I’m working on. But anyway, he nominated me for the student award a.k.a. a slot for the media exhibition that my university was holding in April.

A few weeks went by and I didn’t hear anything about whether I made the cut or not. So assumed I didn’t. Just when I’d given up hope, I received an email telling me I’d been selected to participate. I was also told that I could choose to not participate. I was leaning towards not participating because there had been a lot of craziness going on in my life and I didn’t have the time to spare to prepare for the media exhibition but on the very last day for sign-up, I decided to give it a go. What harm could come from it?

I selected the three screenplays that were used in the media exhibition. I chose three shorts. The first one was called The Naked Finger and it was a short, dark comedy about a cheating spouse. The second on was called Wedding Day Blues and it was a short, suspense piece about a wife that killed her husband. Yes, there is a theme there. They were both from the same class and I sometimes use themes in order to help me organize my projects. Moving on here. The third piece was part of the paid pieces I’d written for my university for the sexual assault prevention and awareness training.

Before the participants could go to the media exhibition, we had to go through a mandatory meeting to make sure we were prepared for the exhibition. Basically, they wanted to coach us on how to dress, proper etiquette for the event; looking over our sample pieces, critiquing our resumes, etc. Why so serious?

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The Media Exhibition

Well, the media exhibition was set up as a reverse job fair. Instead of us shuffling from booth to booth, eagerly looking at what companies were there and what they had to offer—the companies were doing that to us. The horror. The excitement. The sweat. Seriously, I wasn’t wearing any sleeves that day and I still sweated like a farmer chained to his land, forever obsessing over what the land yielded. But I digress.

The media exhibition was exactly like it sounded. I walked in and there were tables and booths set up. Finger foods off to the back of the room on tables longer than the tables we were given to present at. Everyone was dressed in their best representation of what a “professional” for their major should look like.  We had the journalists, the video game designers, the audio people, the film people, the public relations people, the advertising people, and then there were the scriptwriting people. I just really want you to picture how amazing everyone’s tables/booths looked. And then picture the writing table.

Everyone had their posters and videos and audio samples—things that drew people in. And we, the writers, had paper. We did alright, though. Instead of selling our product, we had to sell ourselves. I did that by color coordinating. My business cards, resume (which I was using as my visual cue because of how nice it looked), and my outfit was all color coordinated. Even my laptop matched, although people couldn’t see it.

 

Things I learned from that event include but are not limited to: be alert; be first; be cunning but socially polite, and always have copies of your samples for people to take away from you. Be a shark, essentially. It was a very weird experience but I survived it. I spent two hours standing, pitching my work (thankfully not in heels) and I was actually able to pull people in. But what I realized was something I’ve known all along. Writers do not sell their work. Writers sell themselves. My writing samples speak for themselves. They show vision and the potential for further growth but it was me opening up about myself that really drew people in and made them give me more than just a complaint on whatever sample they read.

By the end of the day, I was told to apply for a few summer internships. I don’t know how they’ll pan out but I’m looking forward to whatever may come. It’s like what I said in my first blog post; 2017 is going to be great.