Life In Focus

By Allison Pavlick, Ashley Aram, and Mike Munzenrider

The days and weeks that fly by on the calendar are mere moments in between the milestones that mark and guide life’s course. Whether ongoing or fleeting, premeditated or organic, these events are monumental to those who live them. They may occur finger lengths from a loved one or within a sea of strangers, but each harbor significance to a group or individual. Flip through a collection of moments that vary in time, place, and meaning, but all succeed in shaping someone’s life forever.

MARCH 29 2012 6:14 PM
Clenching her daughter’s iPad, Augusta Berthiaume, 90, looks at an image of her 60th great-grandchild for the first time. The mother of ten and grandmother of 37 gazes at the ultrasound via her grandson’s Facebook page while celebrating a family birthday near the banks of the Mississippi. The baby, due this summer, will be Berthiaume’s 107th direct descendent.

MARCH 21 2012 9:37 PM
Amid the ruckus of her 21st birthday celebration, Kelsey Karraker (far right) flashes her newly coveted ID. Clad in neon attire, the Wisconsin native gathers at a college house in Minneapolis before heading out on the town. The night, which many consider an American rite of passage, also doubles as Karraker’s golden birthday.

MARCH 21 2012 1:00 PM
Gabe Rodriguez, a neuroscience major at the University of Minnesota, prepares for graduation. Perusing the caps and gowns at Grad Fest, housed in the bookstore of his soon-to-be alma mater, the proud Golden Gopher selects the outfit he’ll wear when he walks the stage in front of thousands.

MARCH 22 2012 10:20 AM
During her time as an undergraduate at the University of Minneapolis, Dongyue Zhang, an international student from China studying architecture, gave tours around campus, introducing high school seniors to college life. Now, at Grad Fest, she prepares to leave it.

MARCH 22 2012 12:55 PM
Over the course of three sessions, Jessamine Bristow has endured pre-appointment jitters followed by the painful drags of a tattoo gun. After seven hours, an oak tree begins to take form on her arm, an idea that sprouted from her love for ecology, sustainability, and forestry.

MARCH 2 2012 1:42 PM
After years of living apart from his family in the U.S. while he was in India, Thupten Phuntsok achieves the goal he set for himself as a teenager in Tibet. On a sunny afternoon, Thupten is handed a Certificate of Citizenship, a stark white slip of paper meaning Phuntsok can forever call the U.S. his home.

MARCH 2 2012 11:03 AM
Moving on from guitar mashups of Biggie and Bob Dylan, to originally written, produced and performed music, Megan Hamilton caught the attention of the underground Minneapolis music scene. The up-and-comer signs a record deal with Be Easy, enabling her to produce more of the catchy, hip-hop beats that define her style.

MARCH 2 2012 5:33 PM
Jessi Kennison marries her fiance, Sarah Kelly in a chalet at a small mountain resort up the highway from Winter Park, Colorado. Despite the chilling 15 degree weather, Jessi, dressed in a tuxedo, snowboards down the mountain to meet the wedding party. Sarah, who wears white, stays inside.

MARCH 31 2012 7:37 PM
Alex Oskie opens his first non-collegiate art show called, “Spooky Dudes,” a collection of prints depicting horror movie icons on skateboards at Familia Skateshop in Minneapolis. The show was rescheduled twice and pushed back two weeks because of a lack of flyers and schedule conflicts.

APRIL 3 2012 6:12 PM
A house blew up because of a gas leak in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Benji Meyer, who had long rented in the area, bought the remaining lot. Out of the ashes of catastrophe, Meyer started building his first home in August 2011 with the help of his father. He’s lived in his yet-to-be finished, sparsely furnished home for two months.