My year as a Gator in Review

July 9, 2012

It’s funny how things can change so quickly. In my first post I wrote:

At least that’s the plan, and I’m 99% sure I’ll be in Chicago in the Fall getting a Masters in Law in Taxation (LL.M.).

I was so sure that I sent $750 of what little money I had to Northwestern to hold my spot in their program. But here I am now, a week away from finishing my LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida. At first I was reluctant to move down to the “South.” I had never visited Florida before, didn’t know anyone in Gainesville, and most of my notions of what life was like down here were taken from the Waterboy. It’s silly I know, I just wasn’t sure what to expect. But with less than a week before I board my flight to New York, I find myself more anxious about saying bye than I have ever in my life. Maybe it’s the fact that I am now finally leaving school and starting work, or maybe it’s because moving to New York means I won’t be in California with my family. What I do know is that the friends I’ve made here in Florida made this year very special, and I’m saddened that they won’t be a part of my life anymore. So here’s my year as a Gator in review. Good bye, it’s been great.

The first time I stepped foot on Floridian soil was my first day of class. I missed my orientation because my good friend Tina got married on that Saturday, and after a night heavy drinking and dancing my parents woke me up the next afternoon to so I can pack and get ready for my red eye flight to Gainesville, FL. I was nervous about starting school and I can’t sleep on flights, so when my flight finally landed in Gainesville Regional Airport I was dazed and confused. Sleep deprived, I hailed a cab, and up pulls up a 1990 Dodge Caravan painted Gator Blue and Orange with an overweight man in jean overalls behind the wheel. I thought for a second about waiting for another cab with a driver who didn’t look like he would kidnap me and chop me up in his log cabin in the woods, but I was too tired to care and by that time he had already grabbed my bags. The rest of the day was a blur. I walked around campus running errands in 100 degree heat and humidity, and by some miracle I took the best ID photo I’ve ever taken in my life. (Wow that was a long photo caption).

I ate a lot.

Italian Gravy. Short ribs, meatballs, and other good stuff.


Cuban Sandwiches at Chris and Melissa’s.

This is Missy and Chris, they fed me a lot. (Also pictured, Annie).

Food, beer, and SEC football! Not sure why I’m holding binoculars…

420 Munchies… yes there’s a chain in Florida called 420 Munchies. Look it up, It’s only open from 4:20pm to 4:20 am. Anyone know what the deal with that is?

My roommate purchased a lot of cakes for me. This one was for passing the New York Bar Exam. For those of you who know me, I don’t like cake. But roommate loves cake, so he used every occasional in my life to buy himself cake. “Happy Birthday, here’s a cake.” “I don’t like cake.” “Ok, all for me!” I had “Yea you’re back from winter break” cake, “You got a job” cake, “Thanks for taking out the trash” cake, etc.

I went to a few Gator games. No photos from football games because I had a shitty Blackberry then. They were great. SEC Football, nothing like it, but you were right Andrew I don’t care for the Gators like you do your Bears. Grad school of a grad school, right?

I went to Gator Growl (Pep Rally). The Goo Goo Dolls played.

And there were fireworks.

During my time in Gainesville I attended a small korean presbyterian church.

Very small. Not pictured is the choir, but this is pretty much what it was like 10 minutes into praise. Everything was in Korean. I attended because I thought I could improve my korean, but Sunday mornings just ended up being iPhone time. But I met a young couple with a kid that made my Sundays.

Here he is with his dad.

But they moved away like most people who study in Gainesville. They left the week I was in New York, church never was the same afterwards. I eventually stopped attending.

Besides eating and drinking, I did a lot of this –

That’s Chris and Tomas. Tom’s my Memphis friend. To everyone I’ve mentioned “my memphis friend” to, that’s him. Yea…

More studying…

Yea… I totally understand all that…

People take their SEC football pretty seriously down here. “Go Hogs” on a wedding invitation.

This is Tom with his girlfriend Annie, arguing, Tom does that a lot. She probably sees me more often than she’d like to. She also feeds me a lot. I guess she’s alright…

“No, you eat that slice!”

Here are some dogs I met…

But this dog is special…

Tipsy, Tom and Annie’s German Shorthaired Pointer. I love this dog like she’s my own, and I think she loves me the same.

When I dog sat her I let her have as many treats as she wanted, including potato chips. Sorry Tom.

I played a lot of Starcraft 2 with my roommate until my laptop broke.

But not this much, geez…

My time away from Gainesville was great too.
I went to the beach…
Had In N’ Out…
And hung out with PiPi.
I also saw my friends…
James, notorious heartbreaker during middle school.
Jeff, breaking hipster girls’ hearts left and right. (Also pictured, Charles, not breaking anyone’s heart).
Drafted my championship winning fantasy basketball team this night.
My beautiful hometown.
Redondo Beach, CA.
I also went camping. I love camping.
Good times…
How many guys does it take to start a fire?
Jeff and his tattoos…
Of course I also hung out with my family…
Good looking guy huh?
My baby sister. And of course…
I also went to New York.
Cause this guy was getting married…
So before he entered into legal slavery we took him out for one last hoorah!
Wolfgangs… drool.
Saw these guys again…
And this guy…
Nothing much happened after winter break. I went to D.C. and NYC for spring recruiting, and came back empty handed.
Then a few months later I went back to CA for my brother’s graduation.
B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Thank you for making a contribution to society that I as a tax attorney take away. I’m proud of you.
There’s nothing like family.
Then I was off to New York for a wedding!
Sam, my roommate throughout law school.
Yes, it was freaking hot.
The wedding.
Jane photobombing.
I also secured a job when I was in New York.
Where I sat before my interview. Bryant Park. Thank God.
4th of July fireworks in Tom’s backyard.
Again, it’s been great! Good bye Gainesville.

3 Responses to “My year as a Gator in Review”

  1. andrew Says:

    What the hell? You went to church in Gainesville?

  2. monica Says:

    congrats drew! i wish somebody would buy me cake for any and all reasons.

  3. Annie Says:

    We’re gonna miss you Drew!!! Thanks for a great year of new found friendship. And of course we’ll come visit!

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