Just got home from finishing (final) final exam and picking up the final I took last week. Got either an A or B today. Got a high B on horrid theatre history final last week (two points away from an A- damn objective questions.)
Graduation is Saturday and it is time to reflect what I have gained from the whole experience...
I have now made it through 5 years of single motherhood, full-time work, taking care of my moneypit (I mean house), remarriage (middle of spring semester last year) moving, quitting work, attempting to sell my house (now that I've fixed everything for someone else to enjoy!), merging my sons and step daughter into a new family, suffering healthwise through a difficult pregnancy...all while maintaining a 3.7 GPA.
Now here comes the bragging part. I will graduate with the honor Magna Cum Laude on my diploma! I wouldn't have if I received a C on either of these finals, so there was a little pressure once I ordered my announcements.
The sad part is that though I'm proud to finish and have done well grade wise, it's all a blur. I don't really feel any smarter or more educated than when I started. Well, I feel a little wiser maybe. Or is that jaded? Mostly due to the fact that degrees don't mean you've learned much more than some vague trivia. My mind is a garbled, disorganized trival pursuit pie piece. I can't sift through the plethera of detached dates and fuzzy concepts to hold an intelligent conversation about the history of the theatre at all after three semesters on the topic. Bummer.
My degree also sacrificed valuable time away from my kids who are so grown up compared to being 3 and 6 when I started (11 and 8 now). I sacrificed so much time with them along the way. Then there were the many times that I thought my degree would literally kill me because it was such a strain on my health.
And here's a bit of advice to those of you embarking on a degree in a subject about which you are extremely passionate: Beware that pursuing such a degree often meas you either can no longer find time or energy to experience your passion, OR having your passion dissected and beaten into the ground repeatedly may simply kill it for you. I have not acted in 3 years (before my degree I was in 2-4 shows a year since age 5.) I have no idea when I will be ready to devote 3 hours a night 6 days a week for several months straight ever again. I am just plain pooped! Also, now that I have a fabulous man in my life, THREE kids 8, 10, and 11, and a fourth one on the way...Ugh. Just don't know if I have it in me anymore.
I actually used to think I wanted to go on for a masters degree too, but now I just don't know. Not really excited to go on for more, especially since the very tough Theatre History prof is in charge of the graduate program! EEEEEK! I already suffered through her horrible exams for three semesters, and I'm not sure I'm up for more! I want to start living in the moment. No more "one day when school is done, when I find the right guy, when I have time to write, to act again, to spend time with my kids...." I'm there now! FINALLY! No excuses.
Well, maybe one that will be here in about 2-3 weeks and weigh in at somewhere around 8 lbs. At this moment my path is being directed for me. That does take some of the pressure off. This new baby takes precedence over any future academic plans anyway. But if memory serves, nothing forces you to slow down and soak up daily existence more than a new baby (or maybe that's just a delirious state due to lack of sleep!)
Off to Christmas Shop for kids, and return mount o' pink velour for some more practical items tonight!