Master's Degree: CHECK!
Sometime in the late-night hours of December 5th and in the middle of a Denver Airport terminal, I finished the final edits to my thesis. I saved it to a thumb drive just before my laptop died, and on the morning of the 6th, I submitted it to the University. I dragged my tired body—sick with bronchitis—to campus, where both my advisor and second reader signed my paper and wished me luck. A few hours later, I went to the health center and was diagnosed with two more maladies: sinus infection and ear infection. When the School of Information awarded my fellow graduates and me our degrees that evening, I was on my way to Walgreen's, getting a week's worth of prescriptions filled.
It was a tough couple of weeks—those weeks of re-writing and revising. And the whole time, my body seemed to project every fear onto itself in the form of the worst sickness I have had since my childhood. It was laughable, actually. When one symptom seemed to be clearing up, another would reveal itself. I was popping several over-the-counter meds every morning and trying countless alternative remedies throughout the day: colloidal silver, grapefruit seed oil, echinacea, ginger, honey with cayenne, etc., etc. I was afraid my body would never heal and my writing would never be good enough for those elusive signatures.
It's nearly two weeks into December, and I'm feeling much better. It almost wouldn't seem right to have an easy ending, anyway. For me, grad school began with bumps and bruises, so I guess it makes sense that it came to a close in the same way. There were times when I felt like I was coasting, but mostly, it was a lot of hard work and a lot of tears. I know why I wanted to get another degree, and I think it was important that I did. But good grief! What a time! What a horrible, awful, shaky time. I'm glad it's over.
And yet. I feel a whole lot wiser—in a way that's utterly indescribable. I feel a camaraderie, too, with a handful of other people in this world, and that connection will never be forgotten.* And I'm grateful for that. And I'm grateful for the experience of working with so many extremely smart and talented people from UT Libraries and the School of Information.
At any rate, I'm done. All done.
*Carrie and Nathan and Jon and Jeff and Brooke and Rachel. You were the regulars at Grad Lunch, and I count you as some of my very best friends. We had some good conversations, huh? :)