Back to Campus, Back to School

To a certain extent Q2 2019 was a whirlwind, and in other ways it was a drag. Looking back, I think I was a bit burnt out from all the grad school work as well as all the work for THINK. The final push to get my MSDS application submitted was fruitful (I got in!) but accelerated my timeline by 2 months. I had been holding onto this big secret for months, and it didn’t feel real until I told my manager. I thought breaking the news was going to be the hard part - in reality it was time management. My original plan was to start my academic leave of absence before the Forté conference (giving me a little over a month off), but with the dual degree, I would have to be on campus by July 1st.

Forté was a no-go (unfortunately), and I spent most of my remaining time in Rochester painting, making pizza, baking, and attempting to spend time with the folks I care about the most. I think it’s fair to say that I am incredibly proud of the work I contributed this quarter. The 3 canvas paintings I made for Chris turned out really well - I’m the most proud of the composition (aliens, and GOT landscape) and technique (star destroyer, and GOT forest) I was able to build across all three projects. If I had more time, I would have tried to sweet talk Pasquale into letting me learn from him, but I think YouTube University TM took me far enough on my journey to being a competent pizzaiolo. I’m also glad I was able to make a trip up to Duluth. I would have felt really silly if I hadn’t made a trip up there considering that I was in Minnesota for almost 5 years.

As I half jokingly predicted, my housewarming party was also my send off party. As with quite a few things, I could have planned a lot better — packing was one of them. Most of my mental checklists and packing lists never made it to paper, and were procrastinated away; which made the final few days in Rochester unnecessarily stressful. I think my biggest takeaway from this quarter is that artificial chaos is frustrating on many levels - self induced is bad enough, but when it impacts more people its exponentially worse.