My Unexpected Hiatus - Graduation!

Monday, May 25, 2015

I have to admit, I feel a little ashamed not to have been online much an updating my blog in well over a month. I even missed my "Blogiversary" last week! D: But I have good reason, I promise!

For those of you who've been following my blog for a long time, communicate with me on GoodReads often, or might even know me in real life, this past month or has been very important and busy. Mostly because it was the last month before my graduation from college with my Master's degree in Professional Science! I'm pretty proud of that particular feat, especially seeing that I was the first in my family (close AND extended!) to have a higher degree. So, I thought I would share with you a little about my special day. 

Firstly, in order to graduate with my degree, I had to complete an internship. Back in January, I secured an internship at my county property assessor's office and I spent the semester doing an extensive project for them that illustrated the variation in square-footage of buildings in the county using GIS. It took a long time, but when all was said and done, I had made over 250 maps and had pieced together a portfolio of over 500 pages of data concerning the maps! And, not only that, but I had one happy intern adviser.

He was so happy, that I found out on April 22nd that they offered me a job after graduation, working in their deeds and GIS department. I couldn't have wanted anything better! Sure, the pay isn't WONDERFUL considering I have a Master's degree, but it's double over what I make at the moment and I had grown close to the other GIS analysis and people in the office, so I'm beyond thrilled that I'll be able to continue working in a place that I'm familiar with and with people I really like. Plus, government jobs are super comfy. I get paid leave, paid holidays off, a great insurance package, and - most importantly - if I stay involved with the government for ten years, they'll completely forgive all my student loans! *Throws confetti*

After enduring a nerve-wracking internship presentation full of board advisers, professors, other MSPS students, internship guests, and a ton of other people - and after a full week of finals - May 9th finally came around and I walked across the stage to receive my diploma! My family and friends took the majority of the pictures, so I don't have them yet, but I will share a few of the ones I actually managed to get my hands on. 

Here's a picture of the graduation garb I got to wear, most importantly the hood. The Blue and White in the interior stands for my graduation from Middle Tennessee State University and the gold rim shows that I have a Master of Science.

And one of the few pictures I have on me at the moment of me in my garb! Next to me is my Mom's good friend, Sarah, whom I babysit and dogsit for. She graduated with her Masters in Social Work and luckily we got to share the same graduation day! 

Lastly, no graduation would be complete without a nice reward, right? Well, it just so happened that my grandmother had a UAW convention in St. Pete, Florida two days after graduation. She volunteered to pay my way to go with her as a present for my hard work. I had to ride a plane for the first time since I was really little, so I was super freaked about that, but the ride was surprisingly gentle and, within a few hours on May 11th, I was on the beach! It was beautiful the majority of the week. I mainly read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (thanks, Cassie!) and listened to Orange is the New Black on my iPad on the beach. Here's a pic of my view one morning: 

Luckily, my grandmother got a pass for a free cabana all week, so I got to sit out on the beach and listen to the surf without running the risk of getting TOO burned. Though I did manage to come back a little red. The curse of fair skin, I suppose. 

But that's where I've been lately! I hope you'll forgive my absence, but I'll be posting regular content here again real soon. The only problem is deciding which books to review first. Hmm... Orange is the New Black, A Court of Roses and Thorns, The Rosie Project or Joyride? I guess I'll have to decide! Look for the first review later in the week! It's great to be back!