Class of 2004 Winter 2021 Class Note

Greetings, friends!

First of all, how are you? I mean it. How are you actually doing? It’s been hard to
ask that question for many months since I think we all know the answer. Life has
been flipped upside down in so many ways. The ever-growing tension in our
world is palpable and we’re all feeling it, everyday. I sincerely hope that if you are
reading this you are healthy, but also that you are being kind to yourself because
the past year was no joke!

Maybe you’ve watched every single documentary on Netflix, or written the next
great American novel, or maybe you’re like me and don’t know how you became
a houseplant collector. Do you understand how fun it is to propagate your own
plants? Or maybe you haven’t done jack squat. And that’s OK too. Some days if I
just get my kids out the door on time I consider it a win.

I’m relishing the small wins as of late. For me personally, I have been
reconnecting with my art roots and how I became a photographer. It was 20
years ago that I took my first photography class in the darkroom, so this spring I
am going back to school to get my hands dirty again by enrolling in a film class at
the Glassell School of Art at the MFA in Houston. I cannot tell you how much I’ve
missed the smell of developer chemicals and watching that image appear on a
piece of paper under water. Maybe getting back to our roots is what we all need
to feel a little more connected to the things around us.

We are super short on class announcements this season. We almost didn’t have
any until Angela emailed me in the waning days of summer. Angela
Avery ’06G is now the board president of the Maine School Counselors
Association. She is starting her 15th year as a middle school counselor in
Biddeford. Congrats, friend! I remember how dedicated you were to working in
the counseling center when we were both grad students, once upon a time.

Orlina Boteva G, ’05G wrote: “On a beautiful September day in 2004, my friend
and fellow UMaine alum Daniel Shopov ’06G and I hosted a joint birthday party in
Hancock Hall. Bulgarian birthday parties are merry events with lots of delicious
home-cooked food and friends gathering to visit. A friend of mine had invited
along another UMaine graduate student. This party crasher was quiet and as a
good host, I decided to go chat. Jacob Pelletier ’03, ‘05G was finishing his
mechanical engineering degree and wanted to meet more people. Well, several
years later our same group gathered at our wedding. We now live in Orono and
are raising our two beautiful children Paul (9) and Aleksandra (4). I have many
fond memories of UMaine but this one stands out for some strange reason.”

Maybe something wonderful happened during the pandemic and you just couldn’t
come up for air to share. I totally understand. It has been really rough for a lot of
people for many, many months. Send your news along any time. I’d be happy to
write about it and share your accomplishments.

Wherever you are living these days, I send you love and good thoughts. Stay
healthy, be safe, and keep connecting with people. We need it more than ever
these days.