Thursday, August 4, 2011

Graduation and After

First off, here is a story about T-Town that I think you all will enjoy.

I continued to enjoy my short time left in Denver after returning from Tuscaloosa.  We enjoyed team dinners, went to tons of meetings, and had a little fun in between.  A few of us spent one afternoon at Pirates Cove, splish-splashing in the lazy river.  It was a good break from being on campus and refreshing considering how hot it was when we got back.  Chris and I also went to Garden of the Gods when I was taking him back to work.  The formations were amazing and the park was super busy.  It is one of the only free parks around, which is the way the original proprietor had intended it.
Kissing Camels
The week we graduated was super busy.  We had to prepare and debrief from our final round, take care of a lot of paper work, and out process from the program.  The STLs tried to make it fun though and planned a day at the park, an AmeriOlympics competition, and a banquet off campus. 
Annie, Emma, and I down on the farm at the banquet.

Fire 6 for the last time 

Graduation was a really nice ceremony, once I got over being woken up at 5:30 am to be kicked out of my room.  We had a final room inspection, breakfast, and hung outside of the dorms for about an hour before graduation practice.  It was good to just relax before the whole ordeal started.  The graduation had several speakers, including a Corps Member, two Team Leaders, and the Director of NCCC.  We also had representatives from the local and state office come to read us letters.  The ceremony flew by and then the hard part of saying good bye came.  I did ok and held it together telling my team bye, but Claire Bear took care of me.  I saw her crying, and of course I started crying.  It's hard to believe that it was the last time I might see some of these people that I have shared so much of the last ten months.  So in a nut shell, telling Claire and Pat bye was tough, but I know I will see them and most of my other friends again.  We will cross paths eventually.  Here is a link for the slideshow they showed at graduation...

Now, my family, Chris, and I are back in South Carolina enjoying the beach.  We are down in Cherry Grove soaking up the sun and the salt water for a few more days and then back home.  I have a couple of comittments to take care of there, then we are off to Spartanburg to see all of my friends.  I am so excited for Chris to meet all of them and see where I went to college.  Next Wednesday, he and I are heading up to Minnesota to spend some time with his family until he has to be back in Charlotte for his job.  I am excited to spend some time there that doesn't involved snow.  We are going to spend time at his home and his grandparents' cabin, so I am pretty excited for more vacation.

The past ten months has been an incredible journey.  I have learned a lot about myself and what I want (and don't want) out of a job, friends, and a boss.  I have traveled through seven states in the Southwest and lived in four states, something I am sure I will not have the opportunity to do again for a while.  I made wonderful friends and met a guy that is more than I could have ever asked for, so overall I would say that it has been a good ride, and I look forward to my future with these new people sharing a place in it.