Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Both Graduated! Ben=Master's, Natasha=Bachelor's

Not much has been going on for us. We have been looking for jobs and trying to figure out our lives with or without life altering plans. It is frustrating not knowing what we are going to be doing a month or even a week from now. On the bright side, it does look like we will be staying in Chicago through August. Given the lack of excitement and thrill in my current situation I have decided to give a recap on senior week and graduation.
For those of you who don't know, senior week is a period of time that the seniors have to party while everyone else takes their finals. Seniors are forced to finish their finals anywhere from a week to a week and a half in advanced. I finished Tuesday of 10th week. Yes, I know that is pretty amazing. It is also a miserable experience to have to complete course work, attend classes, and take finals all before finishing all of the assigned material in the course. I did not attend very many of the Senior Week activities, although I did attend enough activities that Ben and I got eat free food for a little over a week. Anyway, we went to a couple of very nice receptions that required formal attire and served wine with elegant food served on china. One thing Ben and I enjoyed was Prom Night! U of C does not have very many dances so it was fun to try this one out.

My family came in Wednesday night and on Thursday we did an architectural boat tour on the Chicago river in the pouring rain. This was another senior week activity hosted by the U of C. It was freezing! My poor family from AZ were not expecting temperatures below 50 during the middle of summer and neither was I.

Skipping ahead a bit, Friday was Ben's Graduation! It was a beautiful warm day just like every graduation day should be. Afterward we celebrated with coveted Chicago pizza at Giordano's. Then we continued on with my senior week and went to the Museum of Science and Industry night. At the beginning of every school year U of C rents out the MSI and has a dessert night where incoming students/graduating students can see all of the exhibits while enjoying the beautiful desserts.

Saturday I finally graduated. This had to be one of the most miserable experiences. It rained and rained and rained and rained then stopped and rained again and finally with only 20 minutes to go, stopped for good. The fact that we had to sit outside with no provisions other than the emergency poncho that they handed us made for an awful experience. Hair was ruined and be warned that those stupid gowns are in no way water proof. Everyone was shivering. Also, U of C's emergency rain plan to shorten the ceremony consisted of cutting only one song! Needless to say, it did not shorten the ceremony, in fact we went longer than expected. Turns out U of C really is the place where fun comes to die; even graduation sucked. Don't be fooled, I really did love every minute a spent at the U of C, which I'm pretty sure officially makes me a masochist.

To end the day we went to one of my favorite restaurants to celebrate. Ethiopian Diamond. I absolutely love this place.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm Back! Jobs and Father's Day

HELLO!!! I know it has been a very long time but now I'm free to blog as much as my heart desires. I just graduated with my bachelors degree on the 13th of June and Ben with his Masters on the 12. We are both currently free as can be. I have decided to take a new method to blogging. I will now only blog about what I want to blog about in the moment instead of feeling like I have to catch everyone up on every little detail. It is when I start thinking that I have so much that I should be blogging about that blogging starts to feel like a chore and then I just don't do it.
Currently Ben and I are looking for summer employment. I actually got offered a job in the humanities division at the U of C. Unfortunately, I had to turn it down because Ben and I recently realized that we may be moving very soon. Even though I wasn't able to accept the position, it does give me a boost of confidence to know that I do have the skills necessary to get hired now that I'm officially in the real world. I also felt really bad letting such nice people down after they were so kind and complimentary to me. Anyway, so I am back on the market for short-term employment. There is one position that I would be willing to stay in Chicago for, but it is because I have worked there the last three years and love all of the kids. Unfortunately, given the current economy they may not have the budget to hire me on, which means I will be leaving Chicago.
Ben also has his own exciting plans stirring around, but seeing as I have yet to gain his approval to share his plans to the blogging community, I think I will have to wait a little longer to announce his plans in cyberspace.
On a different note, today his Father's Day so HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I just want to say a word or two about my own father. When I was younger I did not always give my dad the credit he deserves in raising me. My parents are both really young, which means that they had to do a lot of raising themselves while they were raising me and my sister. I often times question the legitimacy of their methods when raising me and I know that they look back and question those methods too now that they are raising two more kids. What I do know is that I can't deny that I am largely a person of strength because of them. Both my parents are strong people but I don't usually realize the type of strength that I get from my dad. My dad has given me the ability to demand the best of myself. I know that my own personal best has no ceiling and through constant perseverance my personal best and what is considered to be the best can be one in the same if I want it enough. My dad has taught me to take responsibility for my own actions and responsibility for the things that I allow into my life. My dad drove into my sister and me the importance of integrity through strength and endurance. He taught us the importance of taking the initiative and completing a task above and beyond the requirement. All of these qualities have allowed me to reach my goals, graduate from one of the best schools in the world, and become a person whose integrity, strength, and perseverance allows me to stand out from the crowd. I love that my dad instilled in me the importance of these qualities, while also making the hard choices necessary to provide for his family. My dad is a man of strength. I see it in all that he does. I see it in the values that he gave me and my sister and his current willingness to reevaluate himself as he raises my younger brother and sister. I also see it in his ability to sacrifice by working under less than ideal circumstances. I love my dad for his strength as well as my own.