Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 4:04 PM
Subject: Graduation Day

Wow, I can't believe summer is over....again.  What an amazing summer too, Photography school has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life.  Sadly it drew to a close last Friday, and the process of saying goodbye to my friends began.  Friends, however, that I know I will see again, and share my life with for a long time to come.  An incredible group of creative supportive people that will no doubt go on to do great work as photographers and people.  Our graduation was very intense, we had 3 student speakers, and there was a slide show with 6 slides of everybody's work.  We also did self portraits that were hung in the auditorium so friends and family could view them.  The self portraits were some of the best work I had seen all summer, they were incredibly beautiful and personal. 
I had the honor of being one of the student speakers, and in spite of the inevitable nervousness about public speaking, I wrote a speech that I am proud of and appears to have been very well received.  My Mom and friend Jim from Richmond were in town for the celebration.  Having them here to meet my friends and see the experience first hand turned out to be pretty special.  A lot of people had friends and family in for the occasion and it made the event that much better.  I have been decompressing and continuing to celebrate since then, but now it is time to wrap things up here and get ready for Burning Man, which starts on Monday.  After Burning Man I will probably need about a month of sleep to recover from everything.  But instead I will do some traveling before drawing this grand adventure to a close.  Most likely I will head East to visit family and friends, with a few stops along the way to see some photography friends.  After that I think I have decided to move to San Francisco, where I will get some kind of job to start making money, and looking for assistant jobs with photographers there.  Turns out that is a great way to learn the business, not unlike an apprenticeship I guess.  I have applied to work at the school next summer as an assistant in the digital darkroom and the studio, so I may be back here next summer helping teach the next group of students.  I guess that is pretty much it, I can't wait to see everybody as I make one last circuit of the nation this fall.  I'll send an email when I know where I'll be heading when.
P.S.  What email is complete without pictures?  Here are links to some of the pictures I have taken lately, this first one is some of the portrait work I did when we got into the studio, the second is a copy of my graduation speech with my self portrait at the bottom of the page.
P.P.S.  Here is what may be my favorite picture this summer.....