Surprise, Surprise! AWITL Chose Me!

Greetings Wonderful Listeners!

Let me first say that I encountered quite a surprise and a treat on Thursday! By Thursday, I mean this past Thursday, the 7th of April. What exactly could I be referring to? Well, just keep reading and you’ll find out!

Heh. But let me not play with your emotions, right? I’ll just dive right into this story. I’ll go through the motions of my day leading up to the surprise. Then I’ll go from there.

My day began early around 7:00 am. I am not an early riser (although I am cultivating the habit of rising earlier than before.) Since it was Thursday, I had 3 classes back-to-back, that would be Metals I, Intermediate Photo and Studio Photo.

If I may be frank, I was not so excited about showing up to Metals I because I didn’t feel like I could do much or be productive. Still, I have found that it is on the days you decide to not show up that something amazing/necessary/helpful happens. So I went. Thank goodness I did too! While I didn’t have much to actually work on, I got a lot of brainwork for my final project out-of-the-way with my professor’s help. That made going worth it.

After Metals I ended, I went to Intermediate Photo. Nothing new happened here. I just put together my last project and had it sent off. It was pretty much a work day. Granted I did spend all class working on the final touches for my project but I’m nit-picky so it was to be expected.

After that class ended, I went to Studio Photo. Burt (my professor) basically showed up and told us to work; we didn’t do anything, of course. This is not because we’re bad students or anything but because we all were still deciding on our concept for our final project. Burt is aware of how we function though. He knows that even though we may never work a lot (or at all) in class, we always put together excellent work for critique day (as if by magic!)

After our short meeting in class (seriously it was like 10 minutes), I went back upstairs to the computer lab to finish working on my Intermediate project. I got very caught up in it and forgot about the exhibition show I was supposed to go to at 4:30 pm! Of course, I anticipated this so I set myself a reminder on my phone and gave myself ample time to get there. (I have become so dependent on my calendar that it’s ridiculous.)

Now, I won’t lie, I was not dressed for the part or anything. I submitted to this show but I didn’t expect anything to come out of it really. After all, no announcements were made about the exhibition other than to basically show up and be surprised. Well, I was definitely surprised.


I signed in as soon as I arrived. Can you guess which signature is mine?

So I get there and I see the chosen contestants on the wall. Scrolling with my eyes and giving them the time of day out of respect; my work is nowhere in sight.


A good amount of work but mine is not to be seen anywhere…

In my head, I’m not bothered one bit. I knew that this was a possibility.

I was in that mindset until I got to the very end. BOOM! There it is! My work, on the wall for all to see! 😀


Wait! There it is! It looks so precious! That glare is atrocious!

Needless to say, I was in shock and I was happy. Another achievement to add to my repertoire.

Well, after noticing my work made it up on the wall, Dusty Vaught made an announcement/speech. Honestly, she was talking about the A Week in the Life (AWITL) exhibition and its history but I wasn’t completely paying attention. What I managed to catch was that I made it into the 13th annual show and that my work would be up for a full academic year. That’s what I cared about! 🙂

Something that also grabbed my attention was that Mark Menjivar helped curate this exhibition as well. He also curated this one too and that one was a success. I was both surprised and not to hear he was involved in this shebang. He gets around a lot!

Then she allowed Justin (he works in her department under her) announced the winners. I got to watch as my friends and some strangers accepted their prizes. Benjamin, a classmate of mine, had all 3 of his submissions make it into the exhibition! While I was a bit jealous, I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I was a bit proud. He’s a natural street photographer and so he’s super talented at capturing critical moments.

I only managed to get one out of three into the show but I was thankful for even that. I had to be because I knew that meant that others didn’t. It’s important to put things into perspective to keep yourself humble.

I got to walk up to the podium, in my very casual clothes and accepted my certificate. Oh and did I mention that that certificate came with a free parking pass for one day to park in the garage right next to the student center on campus? That was a blessing and I don’t even have a car. I’m pretty sure I’m going to give it to someone who needs it more than I (which is anyone with a car really.)


Somebody will be getting the pass but the certificate is mine!

After the acceptances and appearances, I stuck around to take advantage of conversation and the refreshments being served. I dove straight into the cookies; I couldn’t help myself.


How could I not get something from this table? I’d be crazy! By the way, butts are great!

I talked with my friends who came (mind you this crowd was no more than 20 people) and with Dusty.

The reason I talked with Dusty is because I was curious to know what happens with all of the work that doesn’t make it into the show. The rules for the competition clearly state that no work that is submitted will be returned (which irritated me until I talked with Dusty.) She informed me that all of the work, period, is used over the years as a way of documenting history for the university and student body. Not only that, it is used for marketing purposes as the university sees fit.

While I could’ve been forever oblivious to the true nature of the work submitted for this contest, my curiosity wouldn’t allow that. I was happy to find out that my work wasn’t collecting dust unnecessarily; I can even use this knowledge on my resume too!

But that was pretty much the highlight of my day. Fun times among my busy schedule. I hope you guys enjoyed that little tidbit of my day. A nice surprise for me and that made my day just a bit brighter! I hope you guys enjoyed that little bit of mine.

Well, that’s all from me. Until next time, cheers!

When was the last time you were surprised? Did you like your surprise? Leave all your thoughts below!


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