The last time I selected this subject line was roughly six years ago, as I met an unceremonious end to my time in the (then labeled) Rehabilitation Counseling and Psychology program at the University of North Carolina. A crushing blow, and one from which I was not sure I would recover. But it pleases me now to use that same subject line to announce completion of my Master’s program at the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte! Well ok technically speaking, I have a presentation in which I must participate tomorrow, but it is largely informal. The real hard stuff, (i.e. that all-consuming Capstone project) is officially behind me though.

If you would like to get a sense of some of the coursework and such I completed along the way, view my Digital Portfolio, wherein I even included a fun video of me taken on campus by a kind student. (It was fun working out how to get that from her phone to mine, but I did). Getting it done showed me how resourceful and good at networking I have now become, though.

What is next? Well, I’m not entirely sure, other than what I posted in the previous entry. On relocating to the Triangle, I want to find a job perhaps on a college campus or with a nonprofit of some sort. I’m betting though that I will first have to return to the sheltered workshop there, as I am currently working at its sister location in Charlotte just to keep the account balance above 0.

RELATED: Job Days No. 5

With this dough, I must fund at least some of the remaining wedding expenses, as well as a hopefully relaxing short trip to somewhere like the Wrightsville Beach resort we visited a couple years ago. We’re thinking the longer more spectacular trip will take place later, but a couple days away still sounds grand. After all, she is celebrating completion of a dissertation, which I know is something I will probably not even attempt.

And what will I do with my time now? Well probably more of the same thing I’ve already been doing with it, lots of reading. I’ve already surpassed 50 books this year, I think because strangely the more stressed I become and crazier my life gets the more I wish to slide into the pages. I haven’t really analyzed which types of books I’ve most read this year, as that part will come at the end. But I bet I can get in four more titles before this month, with all of its holiday parties, draws to a close.

Finally, how do I feel about this achievement? Well, it’s oddly sort of anticlimactic, but I’ll likely get the full hit once I receive my diploma, which the school is supposed to mail out over the holiday break. It definitely removed a big ol’ ugly monkey from my back, as ever since I spent time as a Ronald E. McNair Summer Research Intern, I have desired to do what that program most aimed to help us complete and receive a post-Bachelor’s degree. So I am confident now that this has been done. Now to make it, and the not-insignificant student loan debt incurred along the way, worthwhile. But it’s a gamble one takes if one wishes to advance not only his life, but as I’ve always said, the lives of many others. We shall see how everything plays out.


”Report, report, I think I have a blind traveler sighting! I repeat, I think I have a blind traveler sighting!”

I’m reading you Bob, loud and clear. But what’s that animal that’s got a hold of him?”

”I don’t know, but it’s making some kind of strange sound…”

It’s hissing, it’s… it’s… spitting ink and paper and, oh no what’s that? Grey matter! Get away from the academic stuff!”

Yup, that’s right folks. I am finally resurfacing to darken your virtual pages again. I have indeed been attacked by the vicious CAAAAPPPPS, otherwise known as the Capstone project required to wind down my Master’s program. I’m kind of amazed I might Be emerging mostly in tact at the end, as we have entered that glorious stage where the professor and I go back and forth until we agree on something that is good enough. Whacking out a comprehensive Strategic Communications Plan for the Norrie Disease Association that I hope to, I don’t know, use? Once I again have time to do so.

And speaking of time and its crazy antics, I now stand at the precipice of one of the greatest transitions I will ever know, that of tying the proverbial knot. But what about the Floating Chapel idea? Well, that ship has sailed. Literally, without us on board. When I made that initial post, we had planned to have our wedding ceremony on September 9th. It did not take long to determine that would probably not work, both because it was pretty quick to get things done, and because we realized that a hurricane would likely hit at that time. And what do ya know, one did? (I think Irma, but there were so many Cat4 storms this year that it’s hard to keep them all straight.

Due to those disasters, and the grudging realization that such a unique arrangement would probably not work for our families, and after scheduling the cruise for January at first, we have decided instead on a landlocked ceremony in Fayetteville. This location is fairly accessible to all of the folks we are hoping will attend, as well as allowing for a larger group of congregants. It will still happen on January 27th, winter storm or no, though cross fingers that one does not happen. We’re looking forward to it of course, as just bringing our lives together is the primary goal. And of course, we will do our own traveling someday.

Along with marriage and completion of grad school, I am beginning to prepare for the third stage of our existence; making a home. We are now renting a nice town home in Cary, a fair-sized town in the heart of the North Carolina Triangle. The good of this place is that it is equidistant to Raleigh or Durham, meaning that if I find work in either of these locales I would have a fairly easy time getting there. The only possible issue is that transit here is built pretty much on the idea of getting people to and from work, and so there are few linkages to other towns during actual working hours. This is not a deal breaker in the era of Uber and Lyft, and with the ability to even use the six Amtrak trains that traverse the cities during the day if necessary, but it does point to fun challenges that continue to exist in public transit. I also know that the Triangle continues to grow, and perhaps some time soon demand will be such that they can maintain more frequent routes.

So those are some of the things over which I am mulling these days, some of the most exciting and busy days I have ever experienced. I’m looking forward to continued change, and wondering what indeed is around that bend. You’ll know when I do.