Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Now We Are Free

It all ended so quickly, and really without much fanfare. Sure, there was the big graduation ceremony at the University campus on the brilliant spring day. There was also the marching band, the commencement speakers, the caps & gowns, and the friends and family all gathered to wish us well and tell us how proud they all were of our accomplishments. Because it WAS such a major accomplishment, after all.

All day, I couldn't get the thought out of my head: I'll see that person next week in class. I don't need to say goodbye to them now, because we're sure to have another farewell get-together soon. What didn't really sink in until after everyone had left was: this was the last official time we'd all be together. These 60 or so people who all made the same decision I made more than two years ago, who worked at it every week right there with me, and who I got to know much better than I expected to. Now all of these people were dispersing on the lawn with their families, taking pictures and heading off to celebratory lunches and parties all over the city.

And just like that, I had a masters degree. Or at least a piece of paper inside a very nice-looking degree holder telling me I would receive my degree by mail in 6-8 weeks assuming I met all the requirements of the program. (Does anyone not get the diploma? I wondered)

I have been lax in updating this blog during April and May. So much happened right up to the end, and I plan to write about it in the weeks and months ahead-- not as an account (in real time) but as a reflection. I still think there's value to that, and if I'm lucky, this MBA-esque education won't end when they finally (hopefully) send me that diploma in the mail in 6-8 weeks.

The real question now is: what are you going to do with your shiny new $84,000 degree, mister? That could fill another blog in itself....

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