Two years ago, when I was still plugging away at my day job, I interviewed a bright young woman named Cara. I was running the aquatics department at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and Cara was interviewing to be a lifeguard at the University Recreation pool. What I didn't know from that interview, but quickly learned in my time working with Cara, was what a strong woman she is and how wise beyond her years she truly is. Nine months later, I made the decision to become a work at home mama full time. It just broke my heart to leave my students, but knowing I was leaving the pool in her capable hands made it so much easier.
Fast forward to Spring 2020...due to Coronavirus, Austin Peay shut down to in person classes and everything went to online courses. As things progressed, APSU made the tough decision to cancel the graduation ceremony for their seniors to keep everyone safe. Understandably, seniors were devastated. As the "graduation day" that wasn't approached, I got a text from another one of my former students, Alexa, who is Cara's best friend. She so sweetly wanted to gift Cara graduation photos so she could at least some normalcy of her graduation experience. Can we just pause for a moment to acknowledge just how sweet that is? Of course I was totally on board to take graduation photos for her and we just had the most fun on her session.
Cara's session was almost like a mini-reunion. We started at the building where I first met her and she still works, the Foy Fitness Center. Then we wandered over to the pool before we began to explore more traditional parts of campus. I loved to capture these images of Cara and her friends and family in such a crazy season. I know her graduation will be memorable as the class who graduated during coronavirus, but I am so glad I was able to provide her some images to go along with those memories.