Graduation Countdown: Day 1!

This is part of a countdown series!  As I go through these last 10 days before my college graduation, I just thought I would look back on my four years at Northern Michigan University and write about some of my best memories.
 

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We’re almost there, folks!  I have commencement rehearsal today!!  In fact, that’s probably where I am right now.  CRAZY.

If you want a party, go to New Orleans.

I mentioned this trip briefly in my last post, and I’m sure I said something about it when I talked about going to Portland, but I think that a trip this insane deserves its own post.  It was definitely a highlight of my college career, especially since it took place during an otherwise pretty bleak year.

As you might know, I’m a member of an English Honor Society called Sigma Tau Delta.  Due to my school being totally awesome, our chapter has amazing funding through the English department–I don’t even know how our dept. head secures all of the funding that he does.  The only thing we had to pay for was food–all of our travel and lodging was arranged through the school.  (Mind you, I don’t feel that guilty about it, considering what I pay in tuition, but still.  Awfully charitable of them.)  This funding is all so that those of us whose pieces get accepted can go and present them at the annual convention.

This year the convention was in Portland, Oregon.  The year before, my first year, it was in New Orleans.

I had only been 21 for a couple of months, and during that time (apart from my birthday shots,) the most I had really drank was two Long Island teas from Applebees.  So New Orleans, the party capitol of the United States, seemed like a crazy and magical place.  I knew most of the people I was going with–we all ran in the same general literary circles of NMU–so that was a good start.  Not to mention I would be getting out of the frigid north and down to the south where, rumor had it, the temperature would be at least 60 degrees.  I packed my sandals and my skirts.  What more could you ask for?  I was totally pumped.

And the trip didn’t disappoint.  New Orleans was everything I had hoped for, and then some.  I got to have dinner on a riverboat while listening to a jazz band.  I took a horse-drawn cart tour of the Crescent city.  I ate beignets (which I only knew about thanks to The Princess and the Frog) at the Cafe Du Monde.  I had every kind of variation of the Hurricane imaginable, and bought pralines while I was drunk.  I went to a genuine voodoo store, run by the last real witch in New Orleans.  I had a weird drunk guy ask to lick my feet.  I won two dollars and fifty-seven cents on penny slots. (My first time gambling!)  I petted a police horse.  I had a god-awful drink of some cherry monstrosity by candlelight in New Orlean’s oldest bar.  I bought street art, gator jerky, and a mardi gras mask.  And I got dizzy on alcohol, smoke and music in a piano bar.  I even read my story at the convention.

So if anyone ever asks you if you want to go to New Orleans, your answer should be hell yes, because that place is magical.  It just has a vibe to it.  I also met someone who would prove to be another good friend in the future.  (Whose name, oddly enough, was also Kaity, although spelled that way, unlike the Katie from the previous post.)

That trip was ridiculously awesome.  And although Portland was also really freakin’ sweet, it just can’t quite compare.  There was something in the air down there.  And I think, if I ever got enough money to pick where I wanted to live, I would definitely choose one of the adorable little apartments in NOLA.  At least if I was still relatively young.  It has a verve to it, that atmosphere, and as an artist I think I would definitely thrive in it.

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2 thoughts on “Graduation Countdown: Day 1!

  1. Hahaha I only knew about beignets from Princess and the Frog too. I was trying to describe them to the hotel lady when I got to New Orleans, I was like “They’re these square-ish donut things with sugar and … they’re from Princess and the Frog …” And she laughed and was like, “Yeah, they’re beignets, silly tourist”.

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