|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.