December 19, 2007

And now for something completely different

For the past three years, my life has been more or less defined by a particular two-word phrase, the mention of which has elicited reactions ranging from admiration to pity, depending on to whom I was speaking. That phrase, as many of you know, is 'grad school.'

Or more to the point, it was. As in past tense. As in no longer. Finished. Complete. Dunzo. No mas. I grajimitated.

It didn't quite wrap up the way I expected it to, though. When you think about finishing something like this, you envision going out after class with a couple of classmates and raising a glass in celebration, or heading home to relax and soak up the fact that after all that work and time, you're finally through it; something to mark the occasion, some reflection, some acknowledgement of the event. This wasn't quite the way it went for me. Instead of getting to the end of that final class and basking in the moment, I scampered out of class as soon as my presentation finished, hopped on the metro to my apartment, got in the car and began the 3+ hour drive to Atlantic City for work (that's right, for work). Drove back Friday, then rolled straight into the birthday weekend with plans Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The trip was fun (despite being work), the weekend was fantastic, but there wasn't a whole lot of time to digest the fact that I'm finished (but there was plenty of food to digest, to be sure).

Which brings us to tonight. Tonight would be a class night*, but I will be going home rather than to campus. I have been told that the being-finished thing sets in most on those first evenings when you should be in class but aren't. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

One of the most frequent questions I've gotten as the end approached is, "what are you going to do with all of that free time?" My answer usually involves sleep and/or the rediscovery of my friends' contact information (or their rediscovery that I, you know, exist), but those are facetious answers to an excellent question. I mean, I haven't had a hobby since the end of 2004. I've got this backlog of ideas that's, oh, about three years old now; now it's just a matter of figuring out how many I can fit in. That in addition to the sleeping and the friends, of course. I was only partly kidding about that. But really, all of those decisions will wait until after the holidays. Between now and then, I'll be concentrating on that whole relaxing thing.

I started this blog partly as a way to kill some of the time I was procrastinating from doing my actual schoolwork. I was spending the bulk of my time at home in front of a computer anyway, and that whole All-Work-No-Play thing made it seem like a good idea. And it certainly has been. Now that I'm finished, it will be interesting to see whether I get better or worse about the blog; I'm a little curious myself.

I'll figure all that out later. Right now, I have to go spend some quality time with my couch. Because I can.

And hey, did I mention I'm done? Oh, ok. Just wanted to make sure I covered that.

* Secretly, it is a class night, due to my prof taking certain liberties with the schedule. I'm not going, though. I did my presentation, the project is handed in, I'm done. Plus, I had told him I was going to be out this week anyway (work travel that was subsequently postponed), so I see no reason to confuse the man by showing up; that would just be impolite.


jess said...

congratulations!! that's awesome. after grad school, i had one week between finishing school and starting a new job in nyc. so i kinda relate to the whole weird transition thing.

i hope you have time for many lovely things you haven't had a chance to do before now :)

carrie m said...

yay, congrats! and happy belated! :-)

WiB said...

jess - thanks, it's pretty cool so far. For better or worse, I did my big job change in October, before I finished the grad program.

The hobby list is under constant revision these days; we'll see what shakes out. :)

carrie - thank you, and thank you. And yay. Definitely yay.

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