Life obviously has its big milestones like first kiss, first child, and first tamale (well maybe that's just New Mexico...). What I've also noticed is that each concentric circle of life also has its own big accomplishments that all in this smaller world look forward to. So in college, it was the first A on a paper, the first roommate, and most likely, the first night you really regretted (mine was the night before Thanksgiving break of freshman year!). Graduate school, much like college, has these same big challenges, like staying up all night to read something totally incomprehensible, really screwing up at your job, and presenting your first paper. Well, I had the fortune of doing the last one yesterday.
My colleague, Kristen, put together an exhibit called On The Line: Living the US Mexico Border, which took place in part with graduate student presentations. Yesterday was my turn to present. Normally, these things don't freak me out, but the head of the art history department came to see my presentation on the work of a Chicana artist, Yolanda López. So I was a little nervous to say the least. However, the PhD student presenting before me had a perfect segue into my topic, and it gave me some confidence and a jumping off point to begin my talk. However, during the Q and A, I discovered that this professor actually knows the artist. Well, I hope I didn't butcher her work too much. Or completely screw up my analysis. I don't think I did, but you never know.
So one big one down, about a million more to go. Next step: getting said paper published. Ha.