Friday, June 17, 2011

Drunk again in the rhododendrons

"Boy, what you gonna do with your life? So you want to be an artist, want to be a singer, want to be remembered for what you could create."  Bloc Party

That's it. Graduated. Degree in hand, a $30,000 slip of paper that says, "you've committed to something, now show that it was worth it." It's no ordinary thing to obtain a degree. It is the "what now?", however, that is even more peculiar. 

I went to my grad, walked on stage, shook the Dean's hand, and two days later I found myself climbing ladders and painting window frames. I was angry and frustrated: had I really worked so hard the past four years to find myself wearing dirty painter's pants, combing the crusty paint from my hair? 

But then I was standing in line at 7-11 in my painting attire buying a much-needed chocolate bar after work, and a man whom I could only guess by his accent was from the Middle East, said to me, "You are sure lucky. Women in my country can't work [the way you do]." 

 I think the point of school, the point of work, the reason I have ripped my fingernails and challenged my fear of 30-foot ladders, or the reason for anything at all, is so that we can grow. So we can see ourselves develop and transform and change and change again. So we can confront complications and come out stronger.

So, I have my Bachelor of Applied Journalism degree. But I could be a painter. I could be an artist. A traveller. An author, I could make shoes or build fences. The point is, I can. And so, I will.

For those of you in these photos, I'm so glad you have been a part of my life. And I think it's great that so many of us decided to go to the grad, because I'm not quite sure I'll be gathering another degree anytime soon.


  1. And don't forget you are the Blizzard Queen!!! You make them and I will find your DQ. Congratulations on all that you have achieved - including the high ladder. I'm proud to say I know you.


  2. Your grad was wonderful Jess. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. It reminded me of my own back at UBC in May 1980. We are all very proud of you for hanging in there for the four years.
    Love, mom

  3. Love ya Jess! We did it!!!!!!! :)

    alex xx


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