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A real ‘Life Update’ post

April 18, 2012

It’s been a long time since I’ve done an actual actual update. Keep reading for tidbits on my semester, my Ph.D. program, my summer jobs, my birthday, and small announcement!

MY SEMESTER: This semester has been insane. On top of finishing my thesis, taking my comps, and doing my oral defense, I also managed to present at two conferences, write four papers for class, and do two classroom presentations.  Needless to say, I’m exhausted.  But, fingers crossed, there’s a strong chance I’ll be graduating next month with a 4.0 GPA.  On top of that, I was our department’s nominee for Outstanding Graduate Assistant. I think the word I’m looking for is flabbergasted.

PHD PROGRAM: So, as you may have seen in my March recap, I have officially accepted a Ph.D. offer at UIC and I could not be more thrilled.  I’ve visited twice already and am so excited about the faculty and students, and the kind of work that is being done in that department.  Plus, staying close means Joe doesn’t need to look for a new job and we now have an excuse to move closer to the city.  We’re going to start apartment hunting in Oak Park at the beginning of June.  If anyone knows of a good deal, please please please let me know.

SUMMER JOBS: I had been quite concerned about money for the summer, considering my TA paycheck from NIU is obviously done-zo, but I’ve discovered that it doesn’t hurt to ask for a job… you just might get it.  That is exactly what I did: I’ll be teaching video game design at a camp for girls at NIU in June, and I’ll be teaching creative writing at a camp for girls at my undergrad in July. I’m incredibly excited.

BIRTHDAY: My 26th birthday was last Saturday, and I could not have been more spoiled.  I slept in and spent the morning in my pajamas, leaving the house only to retrieve the lovely flowers off the porch that my mom had sent me.  In the afternoon, we trekked to the little Italian bakery, intending to get cupcakes but ordered humungous cannoli instead.  Luckily, this didn’t spoil our amazing dinner at Pizzeria Neo, where we shared three different bruschetta: artichoke, broccoli rabe with sausage, and prosciutto with arugula; and two pizzas: olive/mozzarella/cacciatori salame and speck/arugula/cherry tomato.  Somehow we managed to waddle over to the adorable historic theatre to see Ira Glass, who was hilarious, charming, and poignant. He said that public radio is the only mainstream media that is growing in this economy. Not surprised.

FUTURE: And finally, I’ve been working on turning the Powerful Woman Monologues into its own free-standing feminist community.  I’ll post an update with more details soon!

If you work hard and are kind, amazing things will happen. – Conan O’Brien

11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 12:59 pm

    Wow congratulations! You should be really, really proud of yourself 🙂

  2. Heather B permalink
    April 18, 2012 1:05 pm

    So excited for all the amazing things happening in your life!! YAY Renee!!!

  3. April 18, 2012 1:55 pm

    THANK YOU for this update. After recently “discovering” your blog (even though I’ve heard your name for years), I cannot be happier to read a post about YOU! I love your women’s dialogue posts (and am glad they will continue to have a home), but want to hear more about Renee. Then again, you sure have been busy! Congrats on the UIC offer … Oak Park is such a great community (and a public transit commute to work for you – woo hoo!).

  4. April 18, 2012 2:23 pm

    Congratulations on all the awesome things happening – your birthday sounds amazing, and I’m SO excited for you about the UIC offer! Congrats, friend 🙂

  5. April 18, 2012 5:05 pm

    Love all the great things you have going on! You go girlie!! =)

  6. April 19, 2012 10:03 am

    I’m a little tired just reading about all this. But also, so amazed at all you are accomplishing! I’ll add in my congrats as well. 🙂

  7. April 19, 2012 7:51 pm

    Congratulations! I am so excited for all of the epic things that are happening for you. I love that Conan quote and it is always amazing to see wonderful things happen for amazing, hard-working people. Congratulations on all of your well-deserved recognition. ❤

  8. angelaboration permalink
    April 24, 2012 7:13 pm

    Is it The Paula Program? Because I attended that camp. Twice.

    • April 25, 2012 2:16 pm

      I’ve never heard of the Paula Program. It’s the Fine Arts Camp. I was a counselor for it a few years ago.

  9. June 19, 2012 11:59 pm

    Nice article


  1. April 2012 « Belle Renee

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