The (almost) End.


Today marks the end of my formal thesis presentations. With my symposium presentation and panel discussion done this morning, I’m FREE from thesis. Just got a couple of documents to turn in and then thesis year will come to a close. The show is still up but the symposium is over.

Special thanks to Hazel Bala for the top two pics and sister Jes for the last.

I’m celebrating by eating ice cream, of course!




While I have been highly inactive this week on my blog, I have been very active at school. One last week of class and one last week of all nighters. Today was the first day of our thesis symposium. We had to prep and deliver a 5 minute, auto-advanced presentation. Today was great! Got to watch my friends present the projects we have been working on all year long.

Tomorrow it’s my turn. 11AM eastern time, 8AM west coast time, 5AM Hawaii time. Don’t miss a beat out of myself or my colleagues. Catch it here:

Thank You.


Once again, it’s late. As 4AM comes around in a few minutes, so does the final draft of my thesis paper. The last thing, and maybe most important piece of writing I did included my acknowledgements and dedication. This past year has been filled with ups and downs, changes, turns, twists, but I would not have had it any other way. The constant has been the desire to find a balance between living away from home but honoring where I am from. Below is a screen shot of the first page of my thesis paper. Thank you to all of you, mentioned and unmentioned, for being a part of this experience. Whether it was a willing or unwilling contribution, it ┬ámade a difference. You are going down in #matsumotothesis history, forever.

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 9.42.45 PM

Final countdown.

When I started working on this thesis, it was a project. The thought of a yearlong project was daunting. What do I want to do for a year? What will hold my interest and continually spark creativity? I think when I first started this project, it was difficult, because I thought of it as a project. Something with a deadline and requirements rather than what I was truly interested in. Once I broke away from the formalities and thought about why everything I was researching was important to me it turned back as a reflection on myself. It was about how all these things that I was exploring were really parts of my upbringing that were and still remain, important to me. These are parts of my heritage that I am now taking with me, as I move away from home and the comfort of family. These are the things that I share with others and what make me who I am today.

The BIG Show



The last couple nights there was no sense of night or day, just work. Work. Work. Get what needed to get done as quickly but carefully as possible. Side school became 24 hours on Sunday, I slept after the crack on dawn consistently for the past 3 nights. Then maybe slept an average of 3 hours each night. There were a few last minute touches and a video to edit (will share soon) for the exhibition.

All that said, tonight was the MFA Design and Technology class of 2013 Thesis Show. There was lots of hard work and time spent into putting this together by the entire show. Above you’ll find me working late one night, on my thesis, literally on my thesis and then my thesis setup and finally me, ready to celebrate it all being over! (Well at least the exhibition, still got a paper to finish and a presentation for symposium next week!)

I can truly say that it’s hard to believe the show is FINALLY here. After working on thesis for a year, it is a good feeling to see the end. There have been lots of challenges but also victories. Things will get done with hard work and determination. There are some sacrifices along the way but they are well worth it in the end.

A lot has happened!





With the show opening in just TWO days, this weekend has been a battle o trouble shooting and installing. Luckily, school became 24hrs Sunday night so I stayed there along with some other dedicated thesis-ers until 5:45AM! It was a super productive and gratifying work session because all the pieces that I had prepped finally came together! I still have a few final touches and a video to edit but it’s looking promising. Work, work, work!

Gangsta’s Paradise

Last night, or early this morning, I went to my bed to “rest” around 4AM only to wake up at 6AM. I had a dream and the background went to the tune of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” I opened my eyes, hearing the same thing. Disoriented and tired, I realized my computer was just shuffling through songs, but really, I was confused. These late nights are getting to me, but soon, in a few days, it will all be over. For now, I’ll be in Paradise…

Display Decisions

Today was one of the hardest days. Why? Because I am being indecisive and over-thinking and am struggling with commitment. I have been thinking about my plan for my exhibition for a while now, playing with the idea of frames on the wall and how many I would have and in what organization. Part of it will be having a monitor that plays video, another part is having family images and stories behind different parts of my thesis. Tonight I came up with a couple of organizations, with these two in the running for final options. I decided on the second, because of the way it also reflects family picture frame arrangemetns. Going to purchase my frames tomorrow and get it up on the wall. It has to happen SOON because we are supposed to be done with the install end of day, MONDAY!

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 5.04.19 PM Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 5.26.53 PM

I also went to Home Depot, AGAIN today, to buy myself an extension cord and some wall mounting strips for the frames. I am spending more money there than anywhere else. So far I have already got myself a japanese hand saw, heavy duty plier, wood filler, wood block conditioning oil, metal clamps, paint, screws of various sizes, casters, nails, velcro–it’s never ending. Whenever I say, “this is my last trip to Home Depot,” I find myself going back the next day.


April 29&30





Spent one day sanding my platform, spent another day upholstering the aides with fabric and one night being influenced by Liz Tolson and wore a headband while working. I was trying to post this last night but fell asleep in the process. My aching body finally gave up and put itself to sleep before I did.

Dinner with Claudia

Monday night, I had dinner with Claudia. She was my professor first and soon very good friend. Claudia is the lifesaver that let me stay in we apartment while I was not able to live in mine after the building fixed the Hurricane Sandy damage.

Throughout this year, Claudia has been a teacher, friend and mentor to my life. Based on her responses to my questions, I brought her spaghetti and meatballs, wine and some ice berg lettuce salad with Italian dressing. Claudia is someone who is constantly attached to technology. She seems to always be connected and up to dat thanks to the lovely “internets” as she calls it. Giving up her phone for almost three hours, I was extremely proud of her. Claudia shared her memories of growing up in the 70’s. We had a great conversation and meal together talking about her past, my past and some current life things we are going through.

Claudia has become like family for me here in New York. With no one from her family right in the city we both share the same wants to have a close friend nearby. She is already scheming to keep me in the city. I do believe that keeping and making relationships like the one I have with Claudia is what makes me feel at home, away from my home.