2003-06-11 - 10:30 p.m.
I did it! As of about 4:30 pm on Tuesday June 10 I got every administrative task done. I am officially done with my master’s program. The process of finishing everything up was pretty anticlimactic. After getting the signatures of my committee members (a very happy thing), I made copies of the signature sheet for each copy of my thesis, then it all got signed off by the thesis librarian; after that it was off to see the graduate coordinator to get a voucher to pay for binding, and finally the completed voucher went back to the coordinator, and I was done.
It doesn’t feel real yet. Come Saturday I will be graduating and will have a masters degree in history! Wow. I am very excited about the actual ceremony. I worked so hard, for so long. I am ready for a little applause. I am ready to celebrate.
It has been quite the experience to go back to school. I am not sure that the enormity of it all has sunk in. I know that I learned a lot of nifty information. I know that I became a better writer, and a much better researcher. I rediscovered that learning for learning’s sake is a wonderful thing. After two years of intensive academic work in history, my passion has not dulled. If anything, I know just how much I have left to learn.
More than all of that, I learned about myself. I am gratified that I can set myself an incredibly challenging goal, and not just reach it, but excel during the process. As sweet as the destination is; the journey has been most worthwhile. Actually, the journey has been downright amazing. I discovered that I can absorb difficult information and not just regurgitate it for an exam, but that I can think about it critically. While I may never feel passion for historical theory, I can read it and understand it. That feels like quite an accomplishment – some of the historical jargon that academics use is nearly impossible to decode.
Writing my thesis was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I still can’t believe that I wrote a paper that was good enough to pass the stringent review of a committee of scholars whose work I deeply respect. I am interested in revisiting my thesis in a few weeks (probably when my bound copies are available for me to pick up). Hopefully by then I will be able to read it with enough distance from the actual writing to appreciate what I accomplished. I know for sure that it will have a place of honor in my bookcase.
Until Next Time…