Where I’ve Been: The Life of an MIA Blogger

College_University_Graduation_GVSU_Class_2016

It has been much too long, friends. But, I am super excited to be able to say that I am finally making a real return to the blogging world!

To kick off my official return to Katsyxo, I thought I would just write a quick post about what on earth I’ve been doing the past month that kept me so busy. If you follow me on twitter or snapchat (which PS you totally should; UN: Katsyxo because I’m predictable AF), you probably already know that I just finished my final semester of university, so needless to say there have been a lot of big moments and changes in my life recently.

I spent a good portion of the last two months working on my English Thesis, “The Modern Male Gaze: Deconstructing Problematic Portrayals of Female Sexuality in ‘Progressive’ Texts.” For this project I argued that we should redefine the feminist theory construct of the male gaze and used my new, expanded definition to analyze Sailor Moon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Jessica Jones. The final product was just over 28 pages long, and to be honest I don’t know if it will ever really feel finished. There are still more things I wish I could have talked about, but I was quickly approaching my page limit and simply could not fit it all in. Nonetheless, I am really quite proud of that paper. It was good project to end on, I think.

Of course just writing the massive paper was not enough, so I was also required to present it for the faculty at the English Capstone Conference. And honestly, it went amazingly well.

katsyxo gvsu capstone presentation male gaze jessica jones david tennant

A few days after my presentation a friend of mine told me that a friend of hers had been at my presentation to see the girl who went after me and had been raving about mine without even knowing who I was. My friend only realized she was talking about me because she recognized my topic. Apparently the girl had said “I could listen to her all day. She went in hard.” I about cried when my friend told me all of this. No big deal.

Now for the most exiting bit: On April 30, 2016 I graduated from Grand Valley State University with degrees in English and History.

katsyxo college graduation pics gvsu

Rep’n my Zelda potion necklace and Harry Potter books bracelet. That handsome man next to me is the boy <3

katsyxo college graduation gvsu

That’s right, ya’ll! That tassle is on the left now! Okay so it’s not in that picture because snapchat mirrors my pics, and the first pic was taken before the ceremony, so you’re just going to have to trust me on this. It is on the left, okay?

It was a crazy five year journey for that diploma, and it is definitely my greatest personal accomplishment to date. Afterwards I may or may not have kept randomly shouting that “I have PLURAL degrees. With an S!” It has just been a very exciting time. It is still really weird to think that I have my Bachelor’s Degrees. I’m getting used to the thought, though. Maybe it will feel a bit more real when my actual diploma is in that folder instead of a letter from T Haas (GVSU’s President) telling me its in the mail.

Of course, graduating came with some sad farewells, too. I moved back home (getting to that shortly) after graduation, so I had to say goodbye to my Barnes and Noble family, which was really upsetting. I absolutely loved that job, and when I first got hired in I really thought I would be staying until I found my real person post-grad job. It is what it is, but I was pretty bummed to have to leave.

farewell barnes and noble drinks

A few of us got together for drinks after closing on my last day, which was nice. I miss these lovelies already. I might very well end up back in another Barnes and Noble if I can’t find a good post-grad job in the area (and if the one near me is hiring this summer), but I know it won’t be the same as working with these fab folks.

Leaving Barnes and Noble was hard, but not nearly as hard or as sad as having to say goodbye to my FMCFWAMA (Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors – you see why we shorten it. Plus FMCFWAMA is just fun to say) family at the GVSU Writing Center. I worked at the Writing Center for almost my entire college career; I got hired in sophomore year which is the earliest it is possible to get hired. It was without a doubt the most amazing and rewarding job I could have ever dreamed of having in college. I cannot imagine what the last 4 years would have been like if I had never applied (and I almost didn’t).

gvsu writing center knowledge market consultants

This is from our final Knowledge Market (writing consultants + research consultants + speech consultants) get together at the end of the semester. This is not even a quarter of our total combined staff, to be honest.

Every year the Writing Center has a staff party at the end of the winter semester to say goodbye to all the graduating seniors and to just hang out together one last time before classes end. We have pizza and everyone gets a sign with their name on it for others to write on. It is always a mix of laughter and tears, but it was definitely harder for me this year since I was one of the ones leaving.

One of our end of the year traditions was to hold staff mock elections for stuff like “most likely to become a dictator of a small country” or “most likely to pay rent to the writing center.” I had never won one before, but they added a new category this year!

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If giving out book recommendations is my Writing Center legacy, I can live with that. Seems fitting, don’t you think? It seems silly, but I was actually really kind of excited to win one of these before I left.

Another part of the party tradition is to pull all the graduating seniors up front to be sort of spotlighted. Pat (our director) reads off how many total consultations each person did and some of the best comments students have given us in our evaluations (I got referred to as a writing psychologist in one of mine, which cracked me up), and we get a chance to share where we’re going next, if we know. But maybe most importantly, it is when we get our writing center pens.

GVSU_Writing_Center_FMCFWAMA_Pen

The importance to this makes a lot more sense when you work at the center, and I won’t bore you all trying to explain it, but every graduating consultant gets an engraved pen to commemorate their time at the writing center. It is honestly one of my most prized possessions right now. I have not even used it yet. It feels too special to use to write just anything.

After all of the graduation madness came to an end, it was time to move back to the east side, where I’m currently hanging in my mom’s basement. Joe and I couldn’t afford to keep our apartment after losing our on campus jobs, and honestly we both needed to be able to save up some money. Moving is an unfinished process; a lot of my life is still packed up in boxes, but I make a little progress every day (though definitely not enough for my mom’s taste).

I’m planning to hang out here, hopefully get a job soon so I can save up some money, and go from there. It is really weird being graduated from university. When you graduate from high school you know exactly where you’re going next. But now I don’t really have any set direction or next step. It is overwhelming and kind of scary, but also really exciting. I am looking forward to seeing where I life takes me next. And, most importantly, I finally have time to write again. So, hey, if nobody else wants to hire me, at least I finally have time to write that New York Time bestseller that’s been floating around in my head for the last few years 😉

Well…that’s where I’ve been! How has life been for all of you? Let me know what’s being going on in the comments! And also leave me some book/game recommendations. Unemployment and a few needed car repairs doesn’t make for a whole ton of spending money at the moment, but I’m still open to suggestions for when I do now that I actually have time to read and game!

XOXO

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  • B.

    Aw, that a great compliment that the girl gave you about your presentation!

    • Katsyxo

      I know right! Oh my gosh I seriously couldn’t believe it. I mean I felt pretty good about my presentation when it was over, but that was just a whole different level of happy haha.

    • Katie Conigliaro

      I know right! I felt pretty good about my presentation when I had finished it, but knowing that I made that kind of impression on someone was just a whole different level of happiness, haha.

    • Katie Conigliaro

      I know right! I couldn’t believe it. I felt pretty good about my presentation when it was over, but to hear that I had made any sort of impression on anyone was a whole different level of happy!

      I swear I have replied to this comment twice now and disqus just won’t register it. So if you get like 3 notifications I’m super sorry lol

  • Sheila Garcia

    I haven’t used my Writing Center pen either! It’s a really tough job to leave and I like to trick myself into pretending that I’s still there. The time after graduation is pretty scary. I think for me, it was all this pressure of, “Well, you’re a college graduate now so succeed!”. And it eventually got to be a point where I was telling people something along the lines of “Nah, I don’t wanna.” That definitely has made it a lot easier for me to not be so stressed over the fact that I still don’t know what I’m doing xD I stick to the, “It’ll all work out” motto 🙂

    • Katie Conigliaro

      I so know that feeling! Like wow you spent a lot of time and money on those degrees I sure hope you do something with your life…./cries

      I’m looking into freelance work for the in-between period, haha.

      And right! The pens are so pretty<3<3<3 I think I'll just look at mine forever lol.

  • TK

    Your paper sounds super interesting. I would have loved to read it.

    • Katie Conigliaro

      Aww thanks! If you ever want to I’d be happy to email it to you. No pressure because its like super long and shit lol, but I’ve sent it out to a few people already (:

      • TK

        Seriously? Because I will definitely take you up with that.

        • Katie Conigliaro

          Yeah, no problem! Just DM me your email address and I’ll send it over (:

          (P.s. I’m 100% positive I followed you, but Twitter has been taking it upon itself to unfollow people for me recently, so shoot me a tweet if it won’t let you dm me I’ll fix it. Stupid twitter)

  • I’m so happy you are finished with school! It is an amazing feeling isn’t it? I have on B.A. in photography right now but I’m working on another B.A. in Writing and I’m hoping to finish before my money runs out. I’m going to see where I’m at when I do run out of money and if I’m really close then I’ll cough up the money to finish my degree. If I’m not so close then I’ll have to explore options to decide what to do with the rest of my degree.

    • Katie Conigliaro

      Me tooo! It is such a great feeling. And I totally know what you mean about the money. I capped out on my federal loans this past year so I just barely made it out without having to take out private loans and that would have just been a nightmare. I hope you finish in time!

  • Emma

    Congratulations on graduating! Your paper sounded amazing, well done you 🙂

    • Katie Conigliaro

      Thanks so much! <3

  • Kay

    Congratulations on graduating, with multiple degrees! That is fantastic! Also, your paper sounded amazing – way to go!

    • Katie Conigliaro

      Thank you so much! I can’t believe how many people have commented on my thesis! I’m glad it sounds so interesting! haha <3

  • First of all: congratulations!!!! And with multiple degrees! Hard job, but well done!!! And the paper contents I’m sure it’s super interesting… maybe you want to post about it here in the future? Again: CONGRATS!

    • Katie Conigliaro

      Thank you!! And oh my gosh I can’t believe how much interest there has been in my thesis! I am thinking I will probably turn it into a blog series in the near future. There is much too much for a single post, but I could break it down into multiple smaller posts. Not the paper itself of course, haha, but I think I will definitely be sharing the main ideas(: Thanks so much for you interest! It makes me feel all warm inside lol <3

      • That would be awesome! If you could turn that in a series!!! Please do it!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  • CONGRATULATIONS!!! (Ps. Attempted to add you on Snap Chat – yep.. can’t. Fail. Wah. Wah.)

    Loved all the pictures!! So exciting and man I feel like I need to get off my butt to get a degree. You got two!?! Holy smokes.