Apologies for the online absence, but this past week/weekend have been a flurry of travels and graduation hoopla. We left late last week for an evening hooding (which was practically a graduation in and of itself). Then there was graduation the following afternoon, again terribly long and I thought I was going to pee myself, as the graduate school was after all of the undergrads and non-medical graduate professions.
Anywhoo, aside from losing my voice and waking up with a wicked cold, it was a really empowering weekend. Actually getting that diploma in my hands was surreal. Part of the reason was that when I graduated from college, I had to wait almost six months for the diploma to arrive in the mail. The other part was that I was graduating in a crowd of strangers.
Online education does have its plusses, the greatest of which is the flexibility of not having to show up to a classroom and sit for hours on end. One of the biggest drawbacks though is oftentimes the relationships, if any, are minimal at best. This isn’t to say I haven’t met some great people that I am still in touch with, but it’s different when you’re connecting over a screen and don’t have the opportunity for happy hours and lunches in person.
Even though it was long and at points downright boring, the pomp and circumstance of wearing a robe and a hood with a cap was kind of magical. I’m looking forward to my sister’s graduation from college in a few weeks, even though her ceremonies will last nearly twelve hours. I know, I’m having to mentally prepare myself for that one.
It was bittersweet to feel like I was closing a chapter on something that has been so pivotal in the last twelve months. This was the program that literally lifted me out of my law school slump, when I was overwhelmed at the newness and rigor it all entailed. This was the program that gave me purpose when my symptoms were all I was able to think about.
I know I’ve still got my MBA through the same school to finish, but it’s not the same. The classes aren’t even a fraction as interactive as my other ones, but it’ll have to do. That and I’ll be going back to law school for some summer courses, so we’ll see how that goes.
The greatest takeaway I took from the weekend was that accomplishments like a master’s graduation are possible with time and patience. It was a piecemeal accomplishment-one class at a time, sometimes even one assignment at a time when it got to be too much. But there I was, walking across that stage, too swiftly according to one guy I shook hands with, but nonetheless I made it.
I should also note that this wasn’t something I did entirely on my own. I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without the unwavering support of my family and friends. In fact, one of the best surprises of the weekend was finding out my sister had flown out (even though she had told me she had finals), and surprised me hours before my hooding. It was surreal and probably the first time anyone has ever successfully surprised me…major kudos to them.
This accomplishment gave me such a sense of pride that law school graduation doesn’t seem so impossible…and even six months ago it was the furthest thing I could hope for. Now I’m just taking it one sneeze and mucus cough at a time, but I know this too will pass, and then I’ll be back into the swing of things.