Well, I did it.
I finished graduate school.
When Jason and I started, way the heck back in the summer of 2000, the plan was that we'd end up with our MS in Education after three summers. I'd get an MS in English Education; Jason would get his in Social Studies. That's how the program is set up, and that was how we figured we'd do it.
Oh, you know, except that we didn't.
We were two-thirds of the way done when one summer it got a little trickier to shell out a few thousand bucks for tuition. We'd finish it the next summer, we said.
But then the next summer we couldn't finish it either.
Bit by bit we'd take classes here and there, watching as bit by bit tuition would also get more expensive. Jason was able to finish sooner, but I had a couple set-backs. I had a baby one summer, so I didn't take any classes. Then another summer the classes that I needed to take weren't being offered. And well, seven years later, here I am. It's kind of embarrassing how long it has taken me, considering it's a twelve-month program. Seven years? People become lawyers in seven years. People can get medical degrees in seven years. But that's the way it goes. To my credit, I was doing other stuff besides taking classes. Like working, and being pregnant, and having babies, and being pregnant, and folding laundry, and...stuff. I won't let a little thing like seven years get in the way of me being proud of myself. I'm here.
There is the small matter of passing the comprehensive exams in August, and I'm sure I'll still end up taking some classes just for fun, but I'm done with all the required stuff. Done writing papers. Done worrying about keeping my streak of straight A's. Done staying up until 2 am typing, finishing my paper just as a baby wakes up crying to be fed.
Even though I wish I had finished the program a long time ago, I can say for certain that I truly loved every single English class I took. I loved the Teaching Writing class with David, the Teaching Grammar class with Cornelia, the Shakespeare class with Dr. Rand, the 1920's class with Carol. But the courses that I really loved were those Lit Theory and Irish Lit classes from Gavin. Oh, I do love me some Irish lit.
One of the best traditions to come from these many, many years of graduate school is getting together every once in awhile with some of the folks I've met in Gavin's classes. Last night was one of those nights when a few of us were able to get together for dinner, and it was, as always, a lot of laughs. I was so surprised when I looked at the time to see that I already had to go home. Two hours flies by when you never run out of things to talk about.
As I drove home, listening to NPR's hilarious interview with Flight of the Conchords, I thought back on all the years of school. It took a long time, longer than it should have. It took a lot of money, though quite well spent. It took a lot of effort, more so after having kids. But I did it.
I did it.