Graduation Station

17 05 2011

In a time of complete uncertainty, what can make me feel better?  An episode of Sex in the City of course.

This time next week I will be an official graduate of THE University of Texas at Austin – and an honors graduate at that.

I am excited, and I have so much to be thankful for – BUT can I tell you what I will be doing in a month from now?  Absolutely not.  I am not sure if this fact should be freeing or limiting.  For a “planner” like me it’s pretty much put me on edge because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WILL BE DOING FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Honestly, that was freeing to say.  Ask me in the morning, and I’ll probably be back to being on edge waiting for my calling to come.  Of course, I’ve never been very good at waiting… which leads me to my next thought: is impatience a virtue or an imperfection?  And yes, that was a rhetorical question.

As some of you may know, momentum has built with the GIRLS WHO ROCK concert coming up on June 10 – for which we just booked Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge – think back to WE ARE FAMILY!  Our website has been updated so click it for more deets.

In further news, our Make Charity Cool crew is preparing for the June 18 Make Charity Cool Pub Crawl across the wonderful world of New York City – which just so happens to be the birthday weekend of our brilliant founder and CEO Stefanie Cronin!!!

As for what comes next, stay tuned.  Don’t worry, the suspense will kill me too.

Next up on the Monday lineup: Chelsea Lately.  Does life get any better than this?

Last night I watched the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” starring Dustin Hoffman… I have to say, I watched it hoping for some inspiration, but found none as I watched him have an affair with a married woman and then fall in love with her daughter… can’t see any of that happening in my life…

Nevertheless, I will be enjoying my last week as a college SENIOR with my amazing friends and family – and will be living up every last second in the best playground around: Austin, Tejas.

I will end my most incongruent post ever with my motto for the moment: 

To get big rewards, you must take big risks.


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A Shocking Day on Campus

30 09 2010

Yesterday began with a shock, and the events that occurred will remain in the history of the University of Texas at Austin as a warning to always be prepared for the worst.

At approximately 8:22 a.m., a mass text message went out to everyone on the UT listserve stating that an armed suspect was reported last seen at the Perry Castaneda Library, known as the PCL.

Perry Castaneda Library

Fortunately, I have no morning classes this semester and was just getting out of bed when I received the text.  For those students who were on campus, everyone would be placed on lockdown for the next four hours.

My roommates and I made sure we were all still at home and not on campus and immediately got on Facebook to check for updates from our friends on campus.  Status updates were ahead of the local news, and I learned there was a gunman with an AK47 (of all things!) dressed in a black suit and ski mask.  Pretty quickly after hearing the news, it was reported that the gunman shot himself on the sixth floor of the PCL.

But that wasn’t the end of the fiasco.  It was suspected that a second gunman was still at large.  That idea scared me the most, because I began to think the first gunman was some sort of distraction or part one of the scandal and his partner was planning another attack or suicide somewhere else.

Of course, in crisis situations people’s imaginations can get the best of them, and it turned out there was no other gunman – thankfully.  Students had given police mixed descriptions of the one and only gunman, so the police force played it safe by searching the campus to make sure no other suspect existed.

Littlefield Fountain

The full story begins with the troubled gunman walking, with a smile on his face, in his black suit and black ski mask to the Littlefield Fountain, AK47 in hand.  He shot off four rounds near the fountain, in no particular direction.  Not many students and staff were around this early in the morning, but the ones who were immediately contacted police.

Campus police were on scene almost instantly and followed the gunman into the PCL.  A student who was just inside the PCL said he watched the masked gunman walk past him and go directly to the stairs.  As we know, the gunman took his life on the top floor of the library.

UT PD and Austin PD did a great job patrolling the scene, but truth be told, we got lucky.  The gunman, who was officially identified as sophomore math major, Colton Tooley, could have been a greater terror than he proved to be.

I personally think his suicide mission was supposed to have involved a few – if not many – deaths of those on the UT campus that fateful morning.  Whether he lost the nerve or just wanted to go out with a bang (no pun intended), the UT community can be grateful that there were no other injuries or deaths involved.

Keep your heads high and your horns up!

As we reflect on the incident, we should all remember that life is a gift, and we should help brighten the days of those around us.  Happiness is contagious, and no one’s life should be taken for granted – especially not your own.