June 2008

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June 16, 2008 M #

Graduated... finally time to breathe.

Thesis is done, class projects are done, classes are done, finals are done, a week in Colorado is done, graduation is done, surgery is done, some much needed thinking is done. and finally I am putting up another blog post.

Holy smokes this has been a packed last few months.

(Skyline from Longfellow Bridge, walking home after my last day of studying, before my last Final.)

I hardly remeber anything that's been going on. It was hard enough keeping up with it all.

Hopefully I'll post more frequently again... but my internet connection has disappeared for my last few weeks here.

I felt strangely on common ground with this lost turkey wandering around campus.

Now that I'm putting this post together, it occurring to me again that I still haven't taken a moment to realize that I actually finished this program.

Now I'm wishing I took more pictures of this last couple months. I feel like I've been half in a daze though. I know I'm going to miss everyone, so I've spent what time I can with them... but it's felt like we're all caught in between, where we're half in this world and half in the next world we're graduating into.

I love it that the dual birthday celebration of two the most controlled people in our class becomes one of the most rowdy birthdays of the year.

Maybe it was the 09's showing up in force that put it over the edge.

My own birthday hurt. I tired to organize it myself, had to send three corrections on when and where, and got nothing but flack from every one of my friends for my logistical ineptitude.

Passing into a new decade... I didn't think it would be so bad, but I'm starting to think a mid-life crisis might be in order, or 1/3 life crisis, or whatever.

Ok, so now I'm totally accepting that this phase of my life is totally done. I'm going to miss this city... especially now that summer is here.

I noticed the other day that all the street lamps here in Beacon Hill are the old style natural gas lamps...

... running the same pipes for gas that Edison leveraged to install his electric wires, and convert the lighting infrastructure to electricity. I wonder if Edison comprehended the scale of the lifestyle revolution he was driving forward? I imagine he did... but would he have believed where it would ultimately go?

An earlier shot of this super cool neighborhood with the blossoms in Spring.

And still finding unexpected friends, who help to shape our understanding of each other and ourselves. I think I need a few more lives, just for the time I'd like to learn what others experience in this world.


Dropped into Colorado for Trevor's high school graduation from Chatfield. I've become accustomed to him being on par with the rest of us. It's cool having all these brothers, because we all eventually grow up, and then we're all running our independent paths, and it's sort of like older / younger status disappears. We're all just Gardners, doing what we do.

(St. Mary's Glacier)

Now Trevor has moved out, heading to Utah to work and earn money for tuition at UVU next semester. The last of us Gardner boys to leave. It's been interesting realizing how well my Mom has balanced her life leading up to this, and seeing that she's totally ready to be an empty-nester. She's had her decorating business going to the extent she wants it for several years now, but more than that, she's always maintained her own life with her own interests, independent of raising us as kids.

It's been really interesting seeing at the same time, other moms of friends whose kids have / are all finally moved out, and the adjustment they're going through... and from several othe related conversations. It can be easy for a woman to follow her own individualism to an extreme, or to loose herself in her family to an extreme, both of which I believe are equally detrimental to a woman's overall fulfillment in life. I don't think my Mom methodically designed her life to be as balanced as it is, but she had to learn to find the balance she has lived... fulfilling her desire to raise her kids to be happy and productive individuals, all the while fulfilling the life she enjoys independent of her family. She really has lived what I would call the perfect eternal balance, experiencing the full scope of what she wanted in this mortal phase, while continuing to build upon her own individuality.

And now Brandon recently got engaged to this girl he brought home, Megan. Super cool girl, and very well matched to Brandon's character. They met during their semester in Jerusalem, got to know each other really well, but didn't actually start dating until... the flight home.

Megan has mad penguin-sliding skills, so she's proven herself in the family.

And I have to include the Glacier Jumping sequence, just because tumbling bodies are hillarious.

It's always fun going home.

Boston again

I got back to Boston just in time to host this beautiful Costa Rican in the incoming class of 2010. Her new place wasn't available until the 15th, and I was one of the few who didn't go to BVI with all the Sloanies, and had room in my place.

It's amazing how well you can get to know someone in a few days. I'm still amazed at how many different experiences people live in this world. It's not until you get into the full depth and breadth of someone's life that you really see... who they are. And it takes time get there.

In some people, we learn by seeing reflections of ourselves. Then in others, we see an entirely different picture of who they are and what they have lived.

It's nice just having a reason to roam around the city, and enjoy perfect weather.

Fishing for Striper Bass out in the ocean.

The city from the ocean.

And then my family started trickling in for graduation.

I was wondering what we'd do without mountains or a boat... but we ended up having fun.

Graduation day. During the ceremonies, it was hillarious to see, rather, to hear the difference between the Engineers and the Sloanies. We walked with the Sloanies. I find it ironic that the engineering programs are so much more difficult, yet the market pays Sloanies significantly more upon graduation.

And the series of parties seeing everyone for the last time... for a few months or years.

I think a lot of us are going to stay in touch pretty well... for a few years at least.

And now I'm crippled and hobbling around my apartment, writing on my computer, organizing pictures and files, and whatever else. I needed to get my ankle fixed from some ligaments and tendons I tore, again and again, skiing and other stuff. So now I'm on crutches until mid-July. Not so bad though. I've taken the time to think.

The hospital staff were great! We had a good time laughing it up. I remember going into the operating room, thinking "I'm goig to remember this image." And the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room. I had no idea memory could lapse so completely. I guess the doc told me about what he did... but I don't have the slightest recollection of it.

And I've had good friends giving me more help than I realized I would need. I haven't needed pain meds since a day and a half after, but it's amazing how long it takes just to get breakfast, when you have to crutch around!

Hopefully next season, I'll be back on a set of skis, cutting turns like the rest of my brothers.

June 19, 2008 R #

Super Cool Friends

text: "Dude, you still in boston?. Can I crash tues or wed next week?"

Come to find out that he was riding his bike all the way from NYC up to Boston... about 250 miles in two days.

Yeah, we've come to expect that from Derek. Three weeks in Thailand becomes four months, a trip to Cuba expands into exploring all over Mexico and South America, until he decides to move to NYC for a couple months. Yeah, he works. I think I'd call it freelance engineering for startups. One of our core group of engineers from undergrad... we didn't know where each other would go, but we haven't been surprised to watch our stories unfold.

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