Chapter 6: A Busy Month
(Editor’s Note: Jeremy Johnson ’12 and Katlyn Lee ’12 are writing monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their own post-graduation experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life After Ripon!)
There I was with my classmates from Penn State, just outside of Disney World, at a Waffle House at about 2:00 a.m. We were just going back and forth about politics, throwing in about every philosopher we could think of. Tom, a recovering lawyer in our program, badgered Mike while the-other-Jeremy and I laughed for a few minutes. I’m sure people thought we were absolutely crazy—we were arguing loudly about Marxism while eating our chicken sandwiches and breakfast platters. That night I realized I’m at home in this department. It may not be perfect, but it’s a good place to call home for now.
November started out with the fascinating trip to the Andy Warhol museum I mentioned in my last entry. That was a blast. I didn’t know a whole lot about Andy Warhol, but after visiting that museum my brain was racing to try to make sense of it all. We were there for my rhetorical criticism seminar, so part of the trip’s purpose was to provide a new angle of critique for the class. It definitely did that. There actually weren’t a lot of soup cans there, much to the chagrin of one of my colleagues, but I was nonetheless struck by the various images, newspaper designs, magazines, and film clips. The museum was both intellectually stimulating and a lot of fun.
Not too much happened between that trip and the annual meeting of the National Communication Association in Orlando, Florida. My travel to and from Orlando was smooth and easy, so I have no complaints about that. I guess if I did have one complaint it would be that the conference was actually hosted in two hotels on the Disney property, which severely limited options for transportation and things like dining. Four of us (Tom, Mike, Jeremy Cox, and myself) were staying at a Radisson about four miles away, so we had to take a taxi to and from the conference hotels. Still, it was a fantastic time.
My actual presentation went very well. I was presenting my senior thesis I wrote for Ripon’s Communication Department in March. I unfortunately didn’t get too much feedback on my work, but I did get to network with some folks from other schools doing similar research to me, including a couple of people from UW-Madison. I spent a lot of time with my three aforementioned colleagues, but I also ran into a ton of people I knew from the forensics circuit, as well as a few Ripon alums and current Ripon Professor Dr. VaNatta Ford (with whom I sadly did not get to chat for long). NCA gets its fair share of criticism, but it certainly brings together Communication scholars in a way no other event does.
Upon returning from Orlando, I couldn’t believe it was already the week of Thanksgiving. The holiday was pretty low-key for me this year, but it was nonetheless enjoyable. Emily and I made a dinner way too big for the two of us, but every bit of it was delicious. Pretty traditional fare of course—turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Because we got a fair-sized turkey, weighing in at around 14 pounds, there was a lot left over to eat throughout the next week or so. Yum!
Right now I’m in the process of purchasing a new car. My old vehicle, a 1991 Chevy Lumina, has largely gotten me from point to point without trouble, but I’ve never been convinced of its reliability. Now more than ever I doubt its ability to get anywhere, mostly because it has trouble even navigating the hills of State College. Soon enough I’ll have signed the papers on a 2006 Hyundai Sonata, which will hopefully be much more reliable. Emily and I are hoping to head back to Wisconsin to spend the holidays with her wonderful family, so I’ll be counting on this new vehicle because my old one just won’t make it. I look forward to being home in Wisconsin. (Yes, I do call it home now, despite the fact that I’m not originally from there. Thanks Ripon!) For now, I’m in the midst of about 75 pages of writing over the next couple of weeks. I guess I ought to get back to it. Until next time!
Jeremy D. Johnson ’12