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My Grad Cap!

So I’m graduating from college SATURDAY (THAT’S IN THREE DAYS! THREE!!)

It’s still a bit weird to wrap my head around, to be honest, but since I only have one more final and it’s open note, today I’m going to share my grad cap!

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The story behind it:

Last quarter, I was downtown when a guy approached me saying he was selling artworks to raise money to buy dinner for a homeless shelter. I’m a softie, so I bought this one:

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It’s been sitting on my desk ever since, and it’s nice, but it’s the kinda thing that will probably get left in my parents’ place and thrown out eventually, and since it’s covered with glitter it could get messy to take when I move my stuff out of my apartment. It seemed a shame to just toss out though. Then I got the idea to cut it up to make the letters for my grad cap. I’ve always liked the look of repurposed art–and what’s more, it’s in red, blue, and gold/white, which are Wonder Woman colors!

The quote is from Wonder Woman. As soon as I heard it, I knew I wanted it to be my grad cap quote. I loved the movie and I loved this quote–the film’s climax was overall not the quality of everything else, but this moment was so perfectly Diana. But I also loved this quote from the director, Patty Jenkins:

Cheesy is one of the words banned in my world. I’m tired of sincerity being something we have to be afraid of doing. It’s been like that for 20 years, that the entertainment and art world has shied away from sincerity, real sincerity, because they feel they have to wink at the audience because that’s what the kids like. We have to do the real stories now. The world is in crisis.

I wanted to tell a story about a hero who believes in love, who is filled with love, who believes in change and the betterment of mankind. I believe in it. It’s terrible when it makes so many artists afraid to be sincere and truthful and emotional, and relegates them to the too-cool-for-school department. Art is supposed to bring beauty to the world.

Both as a writer and as a person, I often balk at sentimentality–it’s easier to hide behind irony. There are so many ways I’ve grown as a person during my time at UC Davis, but one of the biggest is coming to embrace love, and the value of the conviction that the betterment of humankind is a worthwhile goal even if it doesn’t always seem like we deserve it.

And that’s the story behind my graduation cap. To UCD, to believing, to heroes, to stories. And to wonder.

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