When I started this process over 3 years ago there was a big part of me that never saw myself actually finishing. I remember sitting there with a stack of GRE words in my lap night after night thinking, well I’ll just keep at this but I won’t get into the program. And then I did, I got in.
And then I started my first class. I’ll never forget that day, September 24, 2007, because we were in Washington DC where A. was receiving an award. But all I could think about was my class starts today! And I poured everything I had into it. It was HARD and time consuming but I loved it. And I kept thinking, well this is great but how long will I be able to keep this up? Surely I’ll never actually finish. And that was a little scary to think about considering I’ve never quit anything in my life.
But I just kept on trucking… through a struggle with infertility, then getting pregnant and working late at night until I was practically passed out in front of my computer. Then there was the summer before Andrew was born where I did nothing but tutor and study, tutor and study, sometimes up to 14 hours a day with my big swollen feet propped up on pillows and a certain person in my giant belly kicking my books off my lap. Then having a child and reading chapters in textbooks while I pumped or nursing while I typed. He was 5 weeks old when that particular course started. I don’t even remember what it was called much less what I learned in that one.
Then I went back to working full time, doing after school tutoring and singing in the church choir. Oh there was dance in there too (something that finally had to give). I started getting up early and going into work by 7:30 so I could work for 25 minutes in the morning. Then I’d stay an extra 15 minutes in the afternoon which gave me 30 minutes to work if I had all my other stuff in order. I have become exceptionally good at squeezing every second out of a break and reading textbooks at stoplights (don’t worry Oprah, I’ve stopped).
I’ve helped raise a family (and received a lot of help too) while having a husband who travels a large percentage of each month. I have had to step away from synchronous sessions to go assure my toddler that yes Elmo, AND Mickey Mouse, AND Blankie are all safely in bed with him. I have been asked dozens and dozens of times, “what time did you come to bed last night?” with a tone that suggests I might have lost my mind to stay up past midnight working on an assignment.
I trucked on through classes I loved and a class or two I hated. I have relished the insight, the ideas, the knowledge (as cheesy as that sounds) that I have gained from every single class I have taken.
I did not ever think this day would come but tonight, I submitted my final assignment. I have completed my 12th and final course to complete a Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Technology. I have received a perfect score in 11 out of 12 classes and a 98% in the other course (yes, that pisses me off tremendously but hey, I had a 5 week old!) In two weeks I get to go back to Gainesville and walk across the stage one more time, one last time. And then this chapter of my life closes.