Tag Archives: graduate school

Pomp and Circumstance

7 May

WE’RE GRADUATING, BITCHES!

Ok. Not the classiest lead-in, but I’m just so fucking excited.

I know that everyone thinks their graduation is special, just like everyone thinks their baby is cute. I know that 95% of us are wrong. But let me tell you why our graduation tonight is the most specialist, amazing, wonderful accomplishment EVER!

First things first: You’ll notice that I used the third-person possessive pronoun “we.” Tonight, both Buddy and I walk for our degrees. He’s graduating with his Bachelor’s, and I with my Master’s. That’s a BFD (“Big Fucking Deal”) in and of itself: save for couples in the exact same degree program, I’ve never heard of a husband and wife graduating in the same ceremony. So that’s pretty cool.

The road to tonight was paved with bullshit and challenges. I know, I know: everyone says that. Everyone thinks their education was difficult. But they didn’t go through what we went through to get here.

Buddy started college just like everyone else: straight out of high school. A student by day, soldier by weekend, he soon learned that the military trumped college. On three separate occasions, the military deployed him, causing him to pause his education. The first time, he lost a semester. The second time, he lost four semesters. The third time, he lost two semesters before he began working on online classes during the deployment. All the while, he was diagnosed with Adult ADD, and had to struggle through the obvious road blocks to overcome the ADD and flourish in school. PTSD decided to rear its ugly head, and that fucked with his ability to concentrate and succeed in the classroom. Then we got pregnant. He stopped being a full-time student and went to work. Buh-buy, semester! Once the baby came, we decided it would be economically advantageous for him to resume his studies and stay home with the kid. His last three semesters were spent working during nap times and late into the night, around the baby’s schedule. In spite of the military; in spite of the PTSD and ADD; in spite of being a full-time Stay-At-Home-Daddy, he finished last week. He’s officially a college graduate.

Graduate school was not at the top of my priority list. I applied because my professional mentor and friend, Super Teacher, forced inspired me to. Right as my first semester began, we bought a house. Buddy was deployed, so I was doing all the house-hunting, inspection-supervising, and document-signing. Oh, and all the packing and moving and unpacking, too. Trust me, it wasn’t fun to do my reading on my bed because my desk was packed, and the couch was covered with boxes. But we moved, and we settled, and Buddy returned from the deployment. Hurdle number one: conquered. I kicked ass for another semester, but at the beginning of the following semester, I learned I was pregnant. I was tired, irritable, bitchy, and unmotivated. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t pleasant to teach or collaborate with. The semester of my last trimester, I only took one course just in case the monkey decided to arrive early. I was so pregnant and fat that I hardly fit into the desks at my university. When the baby was born, I took the next semester off to be with her. (Good call on my part, because I don’t know how I would have passed my courses with the 6 nightly feedings and 2 hours of sleep I was dealing with.) By the time that ended and I was due to return to school, I was so under-motivated that I was pathetic. All I wanted was to stay home with the kid and play; work and school meant shit to me. Already deep in debt from the previous semesters and six classes from graduating, I said, “FUCK IT” and pushed on. My last semester, I had an administrative internship apart from my teacher responsibilities, and I slaved away on superfluous tasks night and day for five months. Some days, I wouldn’t even see the kid, since she was asleep when I left for work, and asleep when I got home from class later that night. Let’s not even discuss my near-nervous breakdown, because we already covered that shit in a previous post.

Let’s recap: between Buddy and me, we served in the military, bought a house, struggled with our mental health, made the baby, baked the baby, had the baby, and raised the baby, all while attending school. Tonight, when we walk, we’re walking in spite of our obstacles. We’re sporting our caps and gowns (and me, my hood) for every life event that threatened to derail our education.

Know what? WE’RE MOTHER-FUCKING GRADUATES!!!!

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Where did my “Give a Fuck” go?

31 Mar

Fuck. My brain hurts from all this homework.

I’m finishing up my Master’s degree in Administration. Literally, finishing up. I graduate in six weeks, and you bet your ass I’m counting down every second, every class session, every assignment until the end.

Why the fuck am I doing this? I don’t even want to be an administrator one day! That job sucks. How did I get here?

A few years ago, my dear friend and mentor, Super Teacher, encouraged me to apply for a Master’s program. At the time, I was a fledgling first-year teacher. I had no kids. I rented a home, didn’t own. I really had nothing else going on in my life aside from my easy, carefree marriage. I thought, “Why the hell not? I can do this. I’ll sure as fuck take the pay raise!” I researched different graduate programs, and determined that a) I’d make a kick-ass administrator, as I’m a Take-No-Shit kind of gal, and b)  the Administration degree looked easiest; it has a final portfolio in lieu of a Master’s Thesis. So I applied for the program (even though the requirements stipulated that I had to be IN my third year of teaching), and I was accepted.

I charged ahead. I took a heavier-than-average load. I rocked straight A’s for the first time in my life. I was kicking grad school’s ass and making it my bitch.

And then I got pregnant.

We weren’t deliberately trying to have a baby, but it happened none-the-less. My trimesters and semesters aligned a little too perfectly. My first trimester, which was a fall semester, I was useless. I was tired and cranky and über hormonal. Staying awake through evening classes after teaching a full day was nearly impossible. I received my first A- that semester; bye bye, 4.0 GPA!

My second and third trimesters were during the following Spring. I was large, I was hungry, and I was still a cranky bitch. I was finding it impossible to schedule my ever-increasing OB appointments around work and school. My blood pressure was skyrocketing from the stresses of teaching and being a grad student. And let’s be honest: even as a pregnant mother, my priorities were shifting. My “Give a Fuck” was almost nil. I earned my first “B” that semester. Bye bye, Magna Cum Laude.

After the baby was born, I took the summer semester off to be with her and recuperate. Once the next fall arrived, I was back in the swing of things: teacher by day, student by night, and Mommy whenever the hell I found a spare moment. With my “Give a Fuck” completely gone, I wondered why the hell I was still working toward my Master’s. I definitely didn’t want to be an administrator now. I barely even wanted to work. I just wanted to stay at home with my Pterodactyl and be a full-time Mommy.

Then Daisy reminded me of something: I had spent an ass-load of money on tuition and books, not to mention thousands of hours studying and in class. I had dedicated too much of my life to this program to back out now. I looked objectively at what I had accomplished and what I had left to do. I was one semester away from graduating. I decided right then, come Hell or high water, that I was going to finish this fucking degree and graduate.

So here we are. I’m six weeks away from graduation. My internship is almost over. I have two classes left to attend. There are about 5 or 6 assignments, collectively, left to submit. My cap, gown, and hood have been ordered. Shit, I even got to order an honors medallion, something that undergraduate Violet only dreamed of. (That’s right, Friends: I’m graduating Summa Cum Laude!) I’m writing this post as a way to procrastinate from doing some research for a paper I’m writing, and guess what? I don’t Give a Fuck. What I’d rather be doing is visiting the local pool with my little one, taking her swimming in the infant pool, which is only 6 inches deep. THAT’S how I want to spend my Saturday; not cooped up in front of my computer, but experiencing life with my kid. Every instinct in me is telling me to close the laptop and play with Pterodactyl, but then I have Daisy’s nagging voice in my head: “You’re so close! Buck up and finish, already!”

Thank you, Daisy, for keeping my lazy ass on track.

Thank you, Super Teacher, for inspiring me to start my Master’s degree in the first place.

And fuck you both for not letting me quit.

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