My Advisor is on Sabbatical and I’m Graduating


You know I never actually knew what that meant? This is typical of me. I’m very late to actually grasp the impact/meaning of words in academia. But only in academia. I was never that kid that obsessed over the percentage weight of the homework versus in class weekly quizzes. I just knew I had to do them both. That was enough. But I know that an hour or 30 minute show on air is actually 45 or 23 minutes on netflix and that means a whole lot of difference in advertisement. Which is why Hulu has a discounted rate, because they still use advertisements. Or that a recipe that uses half an onion will usually feed only 3 people rather than 5 with a whole onion. But now I’m in college and all of a sudden I have to start caring about words like Tenure and Sabbatical.

Well, I did when my mentor/boss/advisor, Nell Ruby(pictured), said she was going on sabbatical. My senior year. The year I graduate. How dare she, right?

Heres the weird thing: I didn’t really feel what that meant until she was GONE. It’s not like her internet went out, so yes I email her regularly pretty much. But for a few months she was around, if not teaching. Like a friendly and brightly lit ghost of the studio spaces. So i updated her on my life regularly. “Am I making the right moves?” “Is this the direction my art should be going in?” “What do you think of these shoes?”

And then she took the big green van to go on an amazing artistic(literally) journey to wherever she’s going. And I’m starting to slowly realize that I have to make these huge decisions without her being there to catch me. I have to intentionally call her, rather than mention it in passing and see her face. It’s weird. It makes everything so much more concrete and in my own hands. I have my whole future in my¬†own hands. She’s pushed my bike up the hill thus far, but now she’s let go of the seat. I mean, I know how to pedal but thats still scary stuff.

This isn’t to say that I hate her and wish she’d stop all this leaving nonsense. I truly am proud of her and think this is good. I am so excited to see everything that she creates. It’s just a change, graduating. A change I’m oddly optimistic about. I’m actually confident in my own abilities.



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