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graduate student

It was right around this time last year that I made my very first trip ever to St. Louis. I was in the midst of figuring out what to do with my life. My options were a couple of drastically different directions. Long story short, I could play it safe and stay on the east coast (where I was born and raised), or I could spread my wings and try living in a new city. Needless to say, I was beyond torn. I wanted to stay close to my family and my friends, but I also wanted to gain some life experience by living in a city and exploring a different part of the country.

My parents and I flew into St. Louis for a two-day visit. One day consisted of my interview at Fontbonne and one day consisted of tourism and sight seeing. I remember my initial drive into St. Louis. I looked to the right and to the left. Saying something along the lines of “what’s with all the brick houses?” I slumped down in my seat to adjust the radio dial. I look back and think of myself as a bungee jumper. I was standing on the ledge, gripping onto my bungee with white knuckles. Looking down, I could only see how far the jump was and how jagged the rocks below appeared. Over the course of the next two days, I dominated my interview, ate some delicious BBQ, meandered my way through Forest Park, dipped my toes in the Mississippi River (that’s a big deal for an East Coaster!), and stood below the Gateway to the West. The bungee jumper in me began to embrace the cool breeze on my face, the beauty of the view, and the exhilaration of the moment. I realized that St. Louis has charm, beauty, history, pride, and culture. As my eyes slowly came into focus, I noticed that the trees throughout the city were magnificently exploding in pink and purple flowers. The brick architecture that I once mocked suddenly seemed to play a role in the distinct flavor of the city. After those two days, I became hooked–my inner bungee jumper took a fateful leap.

I am falling in love with St. Louis, particularly in the spring. Whenever I walk beneath the flowering trees, I am reminded of the decision I made around this time last year. I’m grateful to be here, and I’m grateful for my surroundings. I always try to slow my pace and absorb not only the beauty of the trees, but to also take note of the message that they so naturally emanate: I am exactly where I want to be.


Hi all!

This weekend’s post is being brought to you by late-night weekend babysitting. As a busy graduate student, finding time for a part-time job is limited. Between classes and clinic, my availability to work is nonexistent. However, I tend to spend money on brain food, coffee when I find myself camping out in Starbucks for an entire day, and I won’t lie… the occasional pedicure for stress relief. Babysitting is the perfect little gig to fund those needs for survival. It’s funny to think that someday relatively soon I will actually get paid during my actual 9-5 day, doing what I love to do. Believe it or not, I lose sight of that thought sometimes. I get so caught up in the moment that I forget about what my life will be like long-term when I’m out in the “real world.” It’s crazy to consider how different my future would look if I wasn’t at Fontbonne right now. Yeah, life is a little hectic at the moment, but it’s worth it. Finding a job in this day and age is difficult enough—finding one that you are head over heels in love with is another story. Somehow I’ve managed to get myself on a pretty decent track! First thing first: making it through this crazy semester…



I graduated from Fontbonne in May 1998 with a B.A. in Communications and Theatre. I always kept in touch with Deanna Jent and in 2010, I decided to come back and get my Masters in Theatre Education.  I had worked in Corporate America for awhile and found it was not fulfilling for me. I thought back in my mind and in my heart and thought, what makes me happy, what is missing from my life? The answer was theatre.

This brings me to my present. I am still working 40 hours a week and going to school part time. I am not going to lie, it has been stressful, but it has been rewarding. I cannot wait to finish up my classes, I am eagerly awaiting my student teaching. I want to share with students, my passion and love for theatre. Even if they don’t necessarily end up loving it, I hope they can learn from it and have a newfound respect for it. To me, theatre is about being present in the moment, being mindful, being agents for change. I think the Fontbonne community is lucky have a great theatre department and access to one of the best professional theatre companies in St. Louis- Mustard Seed Theatre.

I do not know what the future holds, but I would like to teach theatre at the high school or college level. I would also like to start up my own theatre company. My solid education and experience at Fontbonne has given me the confidence to go out and pursue my dreams!


Something that has been really throwing me for a loop in Saint Louis is the ever-changing weather pattern. It has been snowy and cold, rainy and dreary, sunny and beautiful all in one week. It’s so different from what I’m used to—New England winter is one thing above all else: cold. It might be cold and snowy, or cold and sunny, or cold and windy, but you can pretty much rest-assured that you need to wear seven layers of clothes and boots for a solid four-five months. I was comfortable outside in just a t-shirt today! In February! And I wasn’t on a tropical vacation! What?! That might be a first for me.

I’m gearing up for my first Saint Louis Mardi Gras tomorrow. People in this town sure do love Mardi Gras- it has been the buzzword for the last week. A couple of the girls in my program and I are headed down to catch the parade and enjoy the sunshine—I hear it’s going to be great weather!

In other news, my boyfriend was visiting this week for Valentine’s Day. He lives in Maine, so it was quite the trek for him to come for the holiday—Lucky gal, right here! We got to try out some great restaurants that I’d been meaning to check out for months; Vin de Set in Soulard was my favorite. If you’re big on atmosphere, then Vin de Set is the place to be. This place was emanating the perfect vibe for a Valentine date night. Tim is back home in Maine now, but I’m looking forward to seeing him next month for my Spring Break.

I’m working on homework stuff tonight- the most challenging thing about my program is that once you get your clinic stuff in order (meaning treatment plans, weekly therapy plans, other miscellaneous reports), it’s time to start cranking out school work. Classes tend to sneak up on me, which can be a drag for a self-proclaimed Type A personality. I’m working on a new color coding system in my daily planner that will hopefully nip my problem in the bud. That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing about my decision to be a Fontbonne graduate student. Sure it’s a challenge, but I do well when I’m presented with a challenge. It’s how I operate—I just do things like color-code my planner. Not to mention… I love what I do! I am so excited to have found one of the best jobs on the planet. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, and it keeps my brain conditioned. The cool thing about grad school is that you get to put what you’re learning into practice with help from seasoned professionals who can really help to steer your development. As much as I look forward to graduating, I’m also trying to absorb as much of “the process” as I can. I feel like I’m learning some invaluable lessons these days, all of which will make me a better clinician when my time here is up.

That’s all for now, folks. Have a good weekend!

PS: I wrote about how excited I was for the Oscars last week only to find out (after submitting my blog, of course) that the Oscars weren’t for three more weeks. Oops! Sorry if I got you revved up for the big night too early! Academia is frying my internal TV guide. I did tune in for the Grammy’s and here is what I have to say about that:
1. Paul! Paul! Paul! He was the highlight of my night.
2. Nicki…Nicki…Nicki… Lowlight of my night.
3. Whitney, I will always love you….
4. Who is that Adele chick, anyway? 😉 Just kidding- very impressive clean sweep!


Life in the Studio!

by Alumni Posts January 31, 2012

Hello everyone! My name is Doug Weaver and this is my first blog post at Fontbonne. This is my second semester at Fontbonne as a graduate student in painting and drawing. I live in an apartment in North County with my beautiful wife. As I write this, I am sitting in my new studio space […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.