Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baking for my college graduation

I did it! I'm an official college graduate! It's so weird that I won't be taking college classes again, unless of course I go back to grad school, which is not in the near future. It was an awesome weekend full of family, friends and baking.

Mom got in on her birthday, for which I made an ice cream cake. She was lucky to land, because it was really stormy and monsooning when we were waiting for her. Apparently the ride was really bumpy too. When we were driving back from KCI we actually had to stop on the highway because the rain was so heavy. But then there was cake waiting. I wasn't fully prepared for how large it was going to be. I used Smitten Kitchen's rich double chocolate cake recipe, which definitely isn't for the faint of heart. I used Ghirardelli chocolate and cocoa just to make it extra yummy. Anyway, the recipe calls for 10" cake pans, which I had thanks to my initial disaster with rhubarb upside-down cake. That's a lot of cake batter. In the center I put Edy's vanilla ice cream with a fudge ripple, and in between layers some cookie crumbles and fudge. Iced it with whipped cream, and then put some chocolate frosting around the edges. Luckily, my mom likes chocolate a lot. Turned out well, except that the cake was SO tall that you could really only eat a tiny sliver.

Dad, Cathie and Grandma got in on Friday. I'm super lucky that Grandma could come; she turns 90 this year and she's kind of my partner in crime. I cooked dinner for them, a penne with tomato vodka sauce I absolutely love. Oh, and breadsticks from scratch. I figured it would be easier than trying to get into a restaurant, plus I got to hang out with family.

The next morning was our 8:30 a.m. graduation ceremony. Whoever thought it was a good idea to schedule the ceremony for the kids who inherently stay up late was stupid. The weather was rainy too, so that kind of sucked. But it was nice to see all my friends from this year all in one place. I lacked a lot of the nostalgia though. Maybe I'm just relieved to be done. I think that's probably it. I liked seeing teachers at the reception, too. After that, we did family time again, everyone plus my aunt and uncle and cousin and his girlfriend. Drew's parents came too. I was supposed to go to another ceremony, but I really just felt like hanging out with family.

Later, Liz, Taylor and I had our party at his house. I made cupcakes...a lot of cupcakes. Kelly and I had a cupcake factory going the day before our party. Three flavors: red velvet cupcakes (with blue icing), devil's food cupcakes (with red icing) and yellow funfetti cupcakes (with yellow icing). Let's just say the KitchenAid mixer got a workout. And the kitchen looked like a bomb went off. You don't even want to know how many sticks of butter went into those cupcakes. I think we ended up with about 65. It was super fun because we had some awesome red and blue cupcake papers and sprinkles from Bake It Pretty, and some cool little Jayhawk pennants from somewhere else. I also wanted to put them on a cool cupcakes stand. Luckily, one of my favorite blogs, I♥Cuppycakes, posted do-it-yourself stands like a week before graduation. Kelly cut out all the pieces of the foamcore and then I covered it with Jayhawk wrapping paper, red ribbon and assembled it. I think it turned out pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself :)

The party was a great time, and we had lots of friends and family show up. Later I took Dad and Cathie to the Sandbar to have a shark attack. I just had to! Later was Barrel House and the Tap Room, but there were lots of goodbyes, especially to Student Senate friends or people in political science classes. It's strange, but I feel like I will see them again. One told me that we would meet again, and I would write the article exposing him (he'll be a politician someday). I hope I don't have to expose anything, but if it has to be done! Hah.

Sunday brought the walk down the hill. After going through the Campanile a gazillion times as a kid since my mom played it, it wasn't a huge deal to me I guess. But it was still kind of the end. I got to go home, lay on the couch, and not have any more homework.

So now it's on to the rest of my life. I'm working full time, and I really enjoy the people I work with and what I'm doing. I will have time to read books (that aren't about feminist theory or computer science!). I will have time to watch TV and movies I've been wanting to see. I will be able to take vacations. I will not feel guilty about doing stuff and not doing my reading for class.

I'd say easily my favorite thing about this graduation, though, was the family part. It had been a very long time since all of those people had been together — high school graduation, to be exact. I got to see both parents and stepmom, and my grandma, who is definitely not getting any younger. Aunt and uncle, cousin and his girlfriend, Drew and his parents and brother, and lots of friends. It was just a really good time, something I needed after how difficult this semester was. But that doesn't matter anymore. I'm a college graduate!

Rock chalk!

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