Looking back and looking forward

Well, another school year is over. This one went by so quickly for me. It’s actually quite hard to believe that it is over! Graduation is in a few hours for some of my friends. How exciting. I’m looking forward to that in the fall for myself.

This year was a unique one for me. There were a lot of changes from previous years. First of all, Sarah was here with me this year. This created a lot of change for me. We were finally together for good. After spending years apart and together and apart again, it was so good to finally be together knowing that we would not ever have to be in different locations again. This did change patterns of study and sleeping for me . Over the last couple years I would usually stay up late and sleep in. These days, however, I go to bed early, usually before 11:00 and get up at 6:00 am. That’s when Sarah would get up for work, so with Sarah gone and my mind sharp in the morning I would read and get all my work done in the hours between 6:00-9:00 am. This made it so that Sarah and I could hang out in the evenings together and I wouldn’t have to feel like I had to be working on homework. It’s also good to work on homework in the morning because generally speaking I don’t have any emails and no one has updated their Facebook. That all starts up at about 9:00 am.

Having an apartment has been great, too. We bought a futon from some friends who left to go to Slovakia. It has been greatly used. I think we have more weekends where someone is staying with us than we have weekends in which we don’t. It’s been great to have a futon that people can use when they want to stay at our place.

I’ve grown in so many ways these last couple semesters. There are probably a number of catalysts that contribute to this, but it has been a very good year. A major aspect of this growth was trying to be intentional about growing in specific ways. I have been learning to how to be a good critical thinker as I have been a part of board meetings and committee meetings in my various roles on campus and at my church. I have really begun to formulate healthy critical thinking skills. It allows me to be a better and better advocate for others, and also myself. Another big aspect that has led to my growth this past year are my counseling classes. They were so wonderful for me. They challenged and  developed me in ways I never expected. My empathy for others has dramatically increased and I am still learning how to apply this to all of my relationships.

The counseling courses were so impactful that after much deliberation I decided to add on another Masters degree in counseling. It is only another 21 credit hours because of overlap with my current degree, so I should be able to finish with not too much of a delay.

I have really enjoyed myself this year. A good friend of mine since elementary school moved into the city in January. I have been able to visit with him every once and a while. Most recently we went to go see Yann Tiersen in concert. That was a lot of fun. But it is really just fun having an old friend around. Hop on a train take a bus over for a few blocks and the next thing you know I’m hanging out with a friend that I’ve known since second grade.

I’ve been really wanting to develop my photography skills (pun intended). I recently bought a new camera (a Pentax K-5). This is an update of my old camera, but boy it is a lot better of a camera. That is for sure. I’m still trying to get used to the differences and the better quality shots. One of my goals is to figure out how to make some money off of my photography, or future photography. I have usually been one who takes nature, landscape, or outdoor photos. Rarely have I taken portraits or posed pictures. I’m thinking about starting to get involved in such a venture. I am going to be attending a couple of weddings this summer, and so I hope to practice while I’m at those weddings. We’ll see how my skills develop over the summer.

Because Sarah has a new job, and a nice one at that, I will only have to work a few hours a week. This gives me time to rest, read, and do various projects that I have wanted to do for a while now. I’m really looking forward to using this summer as an opportunity to rest for the first time in a very long time.

Part of that I hope will be playing more music and seeing more concerts. I already have my ticket for Sunday’s Lallapalooza on August 5th. Looking forward to that very much. I’m also hoping to find people to play with or jam with over the summer.

When you’re in grad school, half of it is spent reading it seems. You’re exposed to books you’d love to read but never have the time to read. BUT, now I do. And so I shall read books this summer. I’m really looking forward to it. It also gives me time to journal, or perhaps blog, like I want to be doing.

Of course the biggest aspect of this summer is that this is the last summer that I’ll have before I am a full-time dad. I’m looking forward to being a dad, but I know that it will take most of my time. So I need to be preparing myself for that, while enjoying the last summer in which I have the liberty to wander and do what I’d like.

There was not really a point to the post other than the fact that I’m looking forward to this summer. Hopefully you’ll get to see some of my photography and ponderings this summer.

 

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