May 5, 2016 was my last day of classes. My last day of working on my Masters in English degree. That still gives me goosebumps. I walked into Grubbs 303 for the last time.
When I walked into the classroom for my last final I realized this is the classroom I sat in for my first class while chasing this degree. I was so nervous that first class. I sat in the second row, last seat and just tried to blend in. I knew no one would know me and I was scared. That first class took place at 1pm, British Literature I. It was a class to pick up since my Bachelor's degree didn't require it. Our first book we read was Beowulf. Our first quiz I failed. I was devastated. I worked my butt off and never failed another quiz in that class. I guess that's just what I needed.
That first semester I took 2 other classes. One was HEL (History of the English Language) and the other was a Writing about Literature class. Whew, that writing about literature class was rough. I had a professor, Dr. Meats, and boy did I spend a lot of time in his office rewriting papers. My first paper I got a D. Over half the class got a D or an F on the first paper so at least I was in good company. That first paper was a New critical Analysis of a poem called To His Coy Mistress. I have to admit, I don't really remember what a New Critical Analysis is anymore and I really don't remember that poem, but there was a lot of sexual innuendo's in the poem. I re-wrote that paper into a B and I said, Thank you, I'll take it.
I wrote my last paper in that class as a Marxist review of Battle Royal. It was about boxing. I wrote it to an 88% on my first try. Why? Well because I found my thesis statement elsewhere (and credited it, btw). Dr. Meats said my paper was an A paper but I got a B because my thesis was borrowed. Hey, it said exactly what I wanted to say! I couldn't have said it any better myself if I would have tried.
And HEL. I mainly only remember the professor. He was known to offend people with his twisted sense of humor. Not me, but some people.
Three years of classes. Three years of experience. Lots and Lots of changes. I might have cried when I realized my last two semesters I had a 4.0 semester. I've never had a 4.0 semester in my life until Grad School. I got really close in high school and graduated high school with a cumulative GPA of a 3.85, which sadly only got me to 38th in my class. Top 20%. I graduated with 214 people in high school.....
But in Grad school... a major challenge of my academic career I achieved not 1 but 2 4.0 semesters. I even learned how to write 20 page papers. That's beyond believable. Crazy in fact. I wrote 3 of those. One was on editing a manual, one was on The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope (1714), and the third was on SCUBA diving.
If you've followed any time at all though, you'll know I failed general comps, twice. I failed part of my specialty comps, once. It hasn't all be rainbows and butterflies. I retook my specialty comps immediately and passed 3/0. I was ecstatic, but it didn't stop there. You get three chances to pass and then you're dropped from the program. No pressure or anything.
May 7th was graduation. May 6th I went and took my general comps retake... So technically I went into graduation with no clue where my fate stood. In fact, I went on vacation to Mexico not knowing. And we were supposed to have cell reception in Mexico. My phone never got it. Hubby's did so he stalked my school email account. Wednesday of our trip (or was it Thursday, heck it could have been Friday... my days all kind of ran together and I never knew what day it was) I got notification that I PASSED!
I thought hubby was going to stomp a hole in the floor of the boat as we were headed back to shore. Everyone on the boat (there were 10 of us that went) started congratulating me and I'm pretty sure we had to pick my jaw up off the bottom of the ocean floor. I cried. I didn't know what to do. They joked and said I was in shock and I said, I think I need a drink. In fact, I said I needed 4. I didn't drink 4 but 4 was the number I said I needed.
And then truth be told, I came home wondering if I would find out it was all a joke. An evil joke. Nope, I got my official letter in the mail stating I passed while I was on vacation.
So all this to say.... Grad school is over. I'm done at Grubbs Hall and the Library where I basically lived as a home away from home for the last three years.
I remember starting out on this, graduation seemed so far off but hubby and I looked at each other and said, holy crap that went by fast.
And that was all she wrote!