eighteen and a half years

by Jordee

Today was significant. Today we passed Comprehensive Exams and we received emails saying we will have finished the requirements for our masters degrees in two weeks. I don’t feel like a “master” of anything, but I do feel thankful. And tired.

I’m thankful for the number of incredible teachers: the assistant kindergarten teacher who french-braided my hair every day before nap time, the middle school band director who gave me a love for music and in the process gave me an outlet of confidence and creativity in those difficult years, two quirky high school English teachers who solidified my love for literature, the linguistics professor in undergrad who faithfully shared his wisdom and experiences, encouraging me never to waver in my commitment to use what I learned, and the team of professors in this program who teach with such deep humility, wisdom, and knowledge of their fields. And that’s just to name a few.

I’m thankful for my sister with whom I rode the bus, signed up for classes, made pots of coffee late into the night, applied for college, and celebrated graduation. I’m thankful for friends who made growing up actually quite enjoyable and for friends who lived with me and helped me adjust to the big city. And I’m thankful for Ryan who’s seen me through and finished up this program with me.

girls first day of school

I’m tired because it’s been eighteen and a half years of school with little to no pit stops. Most of the time, I had my summers, yes, but I always got back on the track. Now the transition is to something quite different but something which has been a long time comin’. I can’t be totally sure what the next eighteen and a half years will look like.

But if life is as I believe it is, I’ll have reasons to be thankful at the end.