Last week was the first week of school, and it just didn’t feel as hectic as it usually does. That’s most likely due to the fact that I don’t have any actual coursework this semester. That’s right, no classes. The Creative Writing – Nonfiction MFA program is designed that way so that we have more time to work on our thesis during the final months of our time in the program. The March 22nd thesis draft deadline is looming, and I can feel the stress starting to creep up. I mean, really, who am I kidding? It’s been there for awhile, but being back on campus, receiving thesis emails, and receiving the paperwork to apply for graduation and a list of deadlines for drafts and final revisions of my thesis, even though the start of the semester feels less hectic, I’m still feeling the stress of the beginning of the semester.So, I decided to take advantage of my calm Tuesday and head out to the last day for Illinois residents to receive free general admission at the Shedd Aquarium.[flickr id=”8433589380″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”original” group=”” align=”center”]
It was 59 degrees and raining. A week before, it was freezing and that day it was raining, and my body can’t seem to make sense of this weather. But my wallet can, because I received a free general admission ticket, which granted me access the the top floor of the aquarium. Yes! I couldn’t see any of the exhibits, which meant no jellyfish or otters, but oh well, it was still a good time and a great way to escape for just a moment from thesis stress. Lucky for me, I visited the Shedd during the summer and got to scope out these beauties then.[flickr id=”8433613142″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”false” size=”original” group=”” align=”center”]
My favorite fish was the Congo River Puffer. This fish has these amazing front teeth, buck teeth if you will, like Mr. Ed. The Mr. Ed of the sea! But no, seriously, I think I made a friend. I think I might be a little obsessed. I had a photo shoot in the middle of the aquarium, and when I turned around, I realized there were ten other people trying to snap photos and I was in the way. But, when I returned to the tank, he returned to me. I’m not trying to brag or anything, but I think we had a connection.[flickr id=”8433584110″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”center”]
Just like last week, strolling through the Art Institute, it was lovely to spend an afternoon just hanging out at the aquarium, checking out all of those beautiful creatures that live under water.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be talking A LOT about my thesis, as it is all that is on my mind. And later in the semester, keep a look out for a cohort interview—all nine members of my cohort in one interview talking thesis, program experiences, favorite moments and thinking about what is ahead of us after we graduate. Should be a good read!