|The View From Arizona||
I am officially a Master's degree holder from the University of Arizona today!
Yesterday was my graduation celebration, and it was really very nice (if a long day). My day started with my being mostly unable to sleep in anticipation of all the events, so I got up and got showered and put together fairly early (for me). I was out the door by 8:30am on my way to the SIRLS Convocation ceremony.
Once I arrived at Crowder Hall on campus for the ceremony, I got dressed in my cap and gown, and met my parents outside. The ceremony itself was brief, but intimate and very nice. The SIRLS director, Bryan Heidorn, spoke and presented a couple awards to faculty and staff who were leaving the school, and then the former director Jenna Bradley gave a guest speech about the future and our place over our new and hopefully long and prosperous careers as librarians and information scientists. Finally, Tom Wilding, the SIRLS advisor and everyone's favorite professor, read off our names as we crossed the stage, were hooded, and received faux diplomas (which I may very well frame and hang in my office this week). Afterwards, there was a reception, but we decided not to attend in favor of trying to find lunch and get to the Tucson Convention Center for the second ceremony.
The second ceremony at the convention center was for all of SBS (the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) and included my school along with things like Political Science, Economics, and Geography, among others. The Dean of the University of Arizona spoke, and there was a guest speaker from Australia. Everyone got their names read, and it was generally a nice ceremony. The only downside was that the undergrads sitting directly behind me had gotten completely liquored up beforehand and were obnoxiously commenting throughout the ceremony. They were talking the entire time, and it made it hard to hear the speakers. After their names were called, they all took off (before the ceremony had concluded, which I thought was incredibly rude) to presumably party some more.
I met Mom and Dad back at our cars, and we went and had lunch at Denny's, before they took off back to Phoenix and I went to my hotel to relax. There was a third ceremony for the entire University's graduating class at 7:30pm that night, but I decided not to go because I was tired and didn't feel like standing in more lines. And anyway, no one was there to watch, so it wasn't so big a deal.
Now that everything's over and I'm back home in Phoenix, I find myself happy that I accomplished the degree, yet kind of depressed that my formal education is over. I may yet some day go back and get a Ph.D. or something, but to have reached the end of school, which has been a huge part of my life for so many years, is very bittersweet. I don't know where my 5-year future is going to take me yet, but I hope I can retain my love of learning and parley that into a long-term career that I can enjoy.
Good morning, all! Today is my big day: graduation from the University of Arizona with my Master's in Information Resources and Library Science (MLS). I'm blogging this from my hotel room, having come down to Tucson a day early to try to rest up before this long day begins. I even got a rental car (the first time I had done so since 2007). It's a red Toyota Prius, and while it is a little small for someone of my height, I actually rather like it. It's got bells and whistles, a hybrid gas-electric engine, some kind of charging system for the battery that uses kinetic energy from the brakes to charge, a touch screen radio system, digital display for the odometer and speedometer, and it's a push-button start (no key). I got it from the airport yesterday early morning and took it back to my apartment for a little bit while I finished packing and doing some dishes before my trip down here. Perhaps good timing, as my water pressure went down considerably just after I did a load in the dishwasher.
The drive down to Tucson was (mostly) uneventful. Traffic was moderately light the whole way, although there was one snafu - a gravel truck had spilled its entire load all over the highway about 30 miles outside of Tucson and it caused a complete shutdown of the highway. All four lanes of traffic were diverted to the left shoulder of the road, through which the cleanup crew had created a bypass. It took about an hour to go about two miles to get through it, but it wasn't terrible.
Once I got into the city, I got to my hotel room, which was the same building I'd used the last time I was here for my Preservation class two summers ago. The room is a single studio room with a tiny kitchen and a decent bathroom, a desk, and a very small television. At least there's plenty of light from the four lamps/fixtures.
Today, the plan is for me to be very busy. There are three entities which are having graduation ceremonies today: SIRLS, which is my specific program, SBS, which is the college my program (and many others) is in, and the UA ceremony, which features all university graduates. At 9:30am, there is a SIRLS convocation ceremony at Crowder Hall on campus where I will be "hooded" - which is apparently the entire point of graduating with a Master's degree. Then at 1pm, there is a ceremony for all the SBS students with individual recognition of each graduate (kind of like my high school graduation, I understand). And finally, at 7:30pm, there is the big university ceremony. Master's students get recognition as a giant group of Master's students, but they're not going to read names.
I expect to be completely drained by the end of all this (in a good way), and so I have my hotel room for one more night down here before I come back up to Phoenix tomorrow morning. I'll probably post another blog and photos once I have them. My family is coming down for the ceremony, as are a couple good friends, so it should be a great time!
Well, it's officially official. I accumulated enough points in my classes to make the cut for As and Bs in each course. That means that on this coming Friday, May 10, I will be able to walk and get my mock diploma (the real one will arrive in a couple months from the printer).
I'm heading down to Tucson on Thursday (even rented a car and everything!) and staying Thursday night, doing all the graduation-y stuff throughout the day on Friday, and coming home Saturday morning. My parents will be in town, so they're going to come to Tucson for Friday's festivities and then we will have some sort of party on Saturday. Several of my friends are also planning to make the trek down to Tucson for the ceremony too, which is very nice of them all! On Monday, my boss and colleagues are taking me out for dinner, too, so that'll be fun!
I'm really glad to just be done with it all and not have to worry about deadlines for papers anymore. The way my job is going, now I'll be better able to focus on work and doing good things there, and it looks like I'm going to be there for a while. I'm going to be starting a prospective research project with some of the neurosurgical residents at the hospital (by which I mean, I do data entry and they do surgery). That project is going to be about operating room traffic and surgical site infections, and will take about a year, but I'll be listed as the third author on the published paper.
I also just got listed as the second author on a chapter in the Barrow Quarterly publication on acoustic neuromas. I edited the paper, picked out all the illustrations, and wrote exactly one sentence-paragraph in the paper, which got changed a little by one of the higher-ups, but my name's on it, so that's awesome! It's going to be distributed to neurosurgeons from around the country at the Barrow Symposium in a couple of weeks.
Hopefully, pics to come from graduation, so stay tuned. I need to buy a real digital camera....