Graduation Day

Well friends, it appears that the copious amounts of free time to return to regular bloggery and to finish my AWP updates that I was sure were just around the corner … weren’t just around the corner.

It has been a busy spring, moving from one show into another. Also, allergy season has sucked pretty hard for me this year. It started off (fairly) mild (depending on your definition of mild) for me. Allergies were just aggravating my daily headaches, transforming the dull roar into awkward and uncomfortably intense pain. So I had that going for me. On top of that, we’re talking about almost two months of general fatigue now … regardless of the sleep I get, I’m stuck in a daze of relative exhaustion and the feeling that I’ve just crawled out of bed. All that AND an itchy throat. Now, I said that it started that way. Then I did a deep clean of my apartment and stirred up a bunch of dust. This has lead me into sneezing bouts and semi-regular nose blowing. Yay.

I’ve been talking to a number of people about their allergies this year and it seems that the fatigue is a fairly constant symptom this year. So at least I know that I’m not trudging through the days like this on my own. Here’s hoping that we can get past the allergy poking part of the year fairly soon, so that I can get back to my regularly scheduled life.

So, where was I? Oh, yes–busy spring. I did my capstone reading back in March (March 30th). It was pretty successful and well received. Mary gave me a lovely introduction. My parents were able to attend and my friends Zack and Angela were also there (not to mention numerous friends from the program).

on the way to my capstone reading. my dad made me hand over my omnipresent cup of starbucks coffee before he’d take the photo–it would have been a better representation of my experience at Hamline with the coffee.
reading from “hush”.

The following Monday (April 2nd) I had my capstone conference (thesis defense) and it went very smoothly. Both Mary and Kelly really liked the book and passed my thesis without reservation. They had notes still, but they were all suggestions going into the publishing/ submissions cycle. Once we get finished with the current season at work, I’m going to do another polish on the book and get it ready to submit to agents in August when I begin the querying process. The best part was that both Mary and Kelly said that this was the most finished product that either of them had read in thesis.

And the apartment deep clean? Well, that was leading up to this past weekend when I graduated. Yeah, I had said that I wasn’t going to walk in the commencement ceremony. I stomped my foot and pouted about it for a little while. Then I told my dad that I had decided not to walk and he said: “Well, it’s your decision. You’re mom is going to be really disappointed.”

So there were heapings of guilt. Heapings. (My spell check is informing me with a red squiggly line and suggested alternatives that “heaping” is proper, but there is not plural form. Bullshit. Word or not, there was a plural to the heaping of the guilt). Needless to say, I gave in, spent the money on the graduation finery and attended commencement. My folks were proudly in attendance WITH their camera (it was forgotten in the car for my undergraduate commencement, so there is a total of one photo of me from that event: the crappy one they take as you are moving across the stage). My folks made up for the lack of pictures from the previous graduation with multitudes at this one. All that and I had fun. I don’t think it had the same sense of closure for me that their graduations had for them, but I’m still glad I did it.

in the pen before the procession began.

and it’s official. the creative writing program walked first, so we still had another hour in the sun and heat before we were able to leave. there were also storm clouds that threatened all day.


There was a party at the Creative Writing House (formally the Graduate of Liberal Studies house) following the ceremony, the Greenlight Sendoff. We went over and had some snacks. I introduced my folks to some of my professors, pictures were taken, and the day ended well. We went over to Half Price Books after and then got dinner at Red Lobster. While at Red Lobster, the clouds made good on their threatening and pounded the Twin Cities with rain and hail. It was a light drizzle by the time we left the restaurant and scattered showers throughout the night. It was good that it hadn’t rained at the ceremony, the umbrella that the university gave me had a tear along the seam. The storm would’ve crippled it.

So, that’s what I’m sharing for now. Coming up I will try to do some entries targeting some of the movies and books I’ve been watching and reading lately. And I’ll get back to the AWP sessions recap soon too (better late than never).

More later …




Published by: Thomas Rohde

Artist // Writer // Theatre Professional // Nerd // Night Owl Inspired by a steady and lifelong infusion of pop culture, comic books, and a vast assortment of films and books, our friendly neighborhood blogger has doomed himself to a life of creative pursuits. There's not enough time for everything, but we all do what we can. Artist: of watercolor, ink, comic illustration, horror/ sci-fi/ fantasy art. Writer: of fictions, tweets, captions & blogs. Lover: coffee, whiskey, wine & beer. Instagram and Twitter as @demipho

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