Post graduation, part one

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Just when I thought life might slow down post graduation, it seemed to only switch into a higher gear.  Less than 24 hours after completing my internship, Quinn and I were on a plane to Mile High City--the weekend before the Super Bowl.  In the fall, he was able to tag along on a business trip of Trey's and check out Clemson and Duke.  When I saw that his college wish list also included University of Colorado-Boulder and The Air Force Academy, I said, "I will accompany you on this trip."  I also reminded him that it's rare for high school juniors to actually visit the campuses they are interested in.  It just so happens that the 6 on his list all are located in cities where we have close friends or family.  And we're always looking for a good excuse to visit them.

Prior to leaving for Boulder, Quinn was able to connect with two CU students who graduated from high schools here. The day before our tour, he spent the afternoon with both of them separately and got to see the campus from their perspectives. The next day's scheduled tour was hardly necessary.  He was hooked.  If it was August 2015, I could have left him there and never looked back. Mountains an hour away.  A state of the art engineering facility and world-renowned program.  His cousins just 20 minutes down the road.  Built in friendships.  A rejuvenated football team.  His interest was definitely peaked.  After our official tour, in a snowstorm, he was even more determined to call this home.  

At CU with "Ralphie"
Cousin time

Since they couldn't make my graduation party, we had our own little celebration.  So sweet.

Ty loved his big cousin taking him for a ride in the laundry basket.

Storytime before bed.

The next morning we headed south to Colorado Springs and entered the gates of the Air Force Academy campus.  We had been there before as tourists but this just felt different when looked at through the lens of "this could be where my child spends four years of his life." However, it was a complete polar opposite of where we just left.  Structured.  Disciplined.  High Expectations.  Low Acceptance Ratio.  Challenging on every level. I could tell that, other than the possibility of jumping out of airplanes and one day piloting a plane, there wasn't a lot of appeal to Quinn's laid-back personality that dislikes rules, being controlled and living in an environment of intense mental and physical discipline.  But the upside is that the education is free, the training is the best in the world and your post-graduation career is an open ticket. After the tour, we drove 10 miles down the road and had a great reunion with our former neighbors and Quinn's godparents, the Cunninghams.  They named their son, "Quinn" also so it was a fun and interesting evening having both boys answer every time we said their names.  We also enjoyed ribbing each other over the upcoming Super Bowl as Joe (a die-hard Steelers fan) loved reminding me of Seattle's one appearance in the big game 8 years ago. 

About to enter the beautiful campus.

The two Quinn's.

We returned home and I spent the next two days collecting and organizing my letters of recommendation, reminding my supervisors to send in their reference forms, updating my resume, writing a cover letter, ordering my transcript and completing the substitute application to begin subbing in my school district. The weekend then culiminated by the greatest football game I've ever witnessed. (Yes, I am biased!!!!) We joined 27 other crazy Seahawks fans for an amazing party and celebration.  It was such a high to watch history in the making.  I still had an adrenaline rush the next morning and woke up at 5 a.m. to take in the highlights and watch all the sports analysts eat crow.  It was delightful.  Suddenly, my high was interrupted by a 6:00 a.m. phone call asking me to sub.  Unfortunately, the district didn't have me in the system so I had to refuse--which killed me since it was my principal's husband and she had recommended me. Trey took me to coffee and while waiting in line at Starbucks, I got a call from the secretary at my middle school panicking that she had no teacher in the 6th grade math class. I explained that my application hadn't been pushed through yet.  She called me back 10 minutes later and said, "Get in here!"  For the next two days, I pretended to know something about multiplying and dividing fractions with about 80% of my former students. The teacher called me on Tuesday night asking me to come back another day as he was still under the weather.  I had to turn him down because I promised Ben that we would go to THE SEAHAWKS VICTORY PARADE!!!
Love this!!!

An old friend that was at the same Super Bowl party, called me the previous day to see if I was serious when I said I wanted to go to Seattle for the parade.  A local charter bus company was sending 8 buses down at $20 R/T for a seat and she secured 4 tickets.  They were expecting 300,000 fans and I knew I didn't want to drive and look for parking.  Plus, this friend is super fun and I knew we'd have a great time traveling together.  We loaded the bus at 8:15 a.m. and what should have been a 90 minute ride took over 3 hours.  The parade was to start at 11:00 a.m. and we were still on the offramp at 11:30. At this point, Ben was pouting and I heard him mumble, "this isn't even going to be worth it."  Fortunately, because the crowd was actually closer to 700,000, the players couldn't make it through traffic in a timely manner and they started the festitivities at 12:30.  Even though there were hundreds of people in front of us, you couldn't have asked for a nicer crowd.  Everyone was just so happy to be there and being all huddled together made us forget that it was 17 degrees outside.  After a 36-year wait, this was a celebration we couldn't miss--and I'm so glad we were there to witness the magic and excitement.

Everyone loved our poster mocking the naysayers.
Week two came to and end and it was time to gear up for my graduation open house.......stay tuned for part two.