May 11, 2012

Thesis, Part 2

You know whats nerve racking... speaking in front of people. You know whats more nerve racking... having to prove to people that your entire college years (yes... all 8 for a BFA) were not a waste of time. To prove that I learned something while in class, that I actually did the readings and I obtained information. To stand up in front of a crowd of people, friends, family, strangers, and say "hey look, I made this... cool, right?" but in an academic cool kid smart way.

ITS RIDICULOUS. This thesis process. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. It was so much work but I am so proud of myself. I felt like I was on show... and I WAS. It's taken me so much time to write this post because its taking so much time to process that I actually did it and I succeeded.

I don't know what to really say about my actual defense. I talked kind of fast. I think I got everything out I needed to... which after 35 minutes of talking about my work, I better have. I read straight from my notes at times and at others I felt so comfortable just talking, interjecting stories as I please.

I talked about how much my family means to me and how I was able to connect to past ancestors through this project. That spending time with family photos really helped me understand my grandmother better, identify with my parents and piece together information that I wouldn't have otherwise. I talked about how instagram is ruining the way we keep photographs. Take real photographs people, print them, make a family album. Your instagram account will not stand the test of time.

And then I left the room, with the 30-40 people in the audience, and my panel talked about me and my work. They discussed if I was ready and upon walking back into the room they congratulated me. My letterpress teacher said "Congrats, you have a BFA." I wanted to cry, instead I listened to them tell me how good I did. That I was confident. They said it was one of the best orals defenses they had seen this semester and that it was evident I did a lot of research and the right research. A panel member I had never met told me this was a great introduction to my work and he looked forward to see more of me in the art world. They shook my hands and gave me hugs. They told me I would do just fine in the world and that they were sure I would succeed in whatever path I take.

I made them proud. That feeling is better than anything and as I write this I get all misty eyed. I did it. I got my bachelors in fine art. I HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE. I worked so hard towards this in the last 8 years.

And Dave Eastwood... I love you. Thank you for leaving the bar and helping after I called you freaking out that I was attempting to hang my show alone. You saved my ass dude. Thanks for the apples and pretzels. And thank you for always telling me I'm pretty and you like my shoes. You're also pretty and I also like your shoes.

 I could not have asked for a better experience. Art school, you did me good.

Other things I learned:

My parents are the most amazing people on Earth.
Dave is my marriage back up plan.
3M industrial double side sticky tape is a god send.
No matter how much I prepare, I'll still literally shake out my nerves in front of a large crowd.
I am awesome.
I deserve my BFA.


  1. Hooray!! That's got to feel awesome; I'm so happy for you! You're a rockstar, woman.

  2. so cool. SO SO COOL. Congratulations!!!!!! I wish I was there, man! So happy for ya! Haha I feel like I'm just re-typing Kayla's comment. But seriously, it's true! You should be SO proud of yourself!!


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