Monday, June 16, 2014

Graduation...You may now call me Master Erin

Happy Monday!  To all my teacher friends, remember one more week, one more week!

To all my SPED friends who have recently become employed:  CONGRATS!!!! Your students are so lucky to have you!  I'm beyond excited for y'all!

To all my SPED friends who are still job hunting:  Chase the dream!  Don't give up on yourself and don't get down about rejection!  I was rejected twice last week and I'm still alive...eating more chocolate, but still alive <3  Remember, everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for us all.  *This is the mantra I repeat to myself after every mini break down:)*

This girl is allllllll done!

Graduation was about a month ago and let me tell you it feels so weird to be a graduate!  When I graduated last year with my history degree, it wasn't really graduation.  Yes, I was done with history, but I still had one year left of grad school.  Also, my summer research class started 4 days after graduation.  Total buzzkill :)

Graduation Day was beautiful!  It was amazing and emotional to be sitting among 37 ladies who have gone through your same journey and have been with you for 5 years.  We've built a pretty beautiful sisterhood and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

One of the beautiful things about going to a small school like TCNJ is that everything is personal.  Your professors know your name, your abilities, and your strengths.  It was awesome to see them all cheering for us and clapping for us because they know us.

One of our advisors created a PowerPoint movie featuring us teaching throughout our practicums.  It was so moving to watch all of your besties glowing in their pictures.  I've heard it said that if you want to find a time when someone looks their most beautiful, just watch them do what they love.  That is so true!  My fellow SPEDS were just incredible to watch in the video!  I can truly say that all of the students we get to teach will be lucky to have any of us.

I loved my time at TCNJ and will forever hold the friendships I have made close to my heart.  There's a beautiful quote from Wicked that says, "I don't know if I've been changed for the better, but I have been changed for good."  This is one of my favorite quotes because it is applicable across so many scenarios.  I use this as a break up mantra, too--I don't know if I'm better, but I know that I am good.  I think it is also a great friendship quote.  I've become a better person because of my time at TCNJ.  I have really become and embraced myself because of TCNJ.  I have met friends who have pulled out the very best in me and have showed me that it's okay to be a little weird ;)

TCNJ is a great school!  I've loved my time there and I have learned way more than I ever could have imagined.  There has not been a question on an interview that I have not been able to answer.

More TCNJ pride here than in any other place!  

Graduation started early, around 8:30 am.  While we were all waiting in the hallway, I took a minute to look around and really soak in everything we have all accomplished.  We earned a Masters degree at 23, we've student taught around the world, we've overcome obstacles both personally and professionally, and we all did it because of each other.  I credit my personal and professional success to Wednesday Girls Nites.  Thank you Applebees!  It's nice to know that you are not alone and that you have such wonderful people who are going through exactly what you're going through.

Pre graduation pics at the house!  TCNJ Balloons for the win<3

During the ceremony, we performed an ASL version of Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All and it was very moving.  It was even more moving because our beloved advisor, Dr. Cohen, was retiring.  We are his last group of SPEDS...God knows he won't forget US :)

After the ceremony came 100s of pictures and lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  YUM!

Later that night, we had our main ceremony.  I was surprised at how many people did not come back for the ceremony.  In their defense it is very impersonal because each school has their own graduation ceremony similar to our SPED ceremony.  It rained for exactly 3 minutes...and I mean down poured for 3 minutes.  Then, it was sunny again as we all processed in, listened to Dr. Fisher speak (TCNJ's speakers are all in house speakers...I had Dr. Fisher and he is one of the only professors who gave me a B and I felt like I earned that B more than I earned any A.  He's a toughie--but he's brilliant!!)

After graduation we went home and just relaxed.  The next day I went to work and then went to see Brad Paisley kill it in concert.

Me, Beth, Jaclyn, and Julie before graduation!

Molly, the nicest human on the planet<3

The best part of school are the friendships I have made

The bride-to-be!! So many pictures with this girl because we couldn't get any together last year  :(

Look at dem sleeves!

Dr. Cohen and his favorite blonde troublemakers 

Blonde friends best friends

Dr. Rotter and her girls

Dr. Rotter and more SPEDS

Most of the crew

Dr. Cohen, me, and Mrs. Cohen my advisor

Celebrating life in Lilly<3

My fellow Bachelorette buff

My better half<3

Da Brudder

Sans caps and gowns

"Yourself" with Dr. Cohen

Mia Familia

Huge Thanks to these two for all that they have done for me!!


JESSS!!  The adopted SPED and one of my favorite humans

Brad Paisley the next night (in the rain) with Corinne<3
Also, shout out to my new TCNJ hat!  Happy Graduation Erin!

To the class of 2014, in the words of Elle Woods, "We did it!"  Congrats to all of us!  We worked hard and great things will come!



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