Ask nearly anyone what constitutes a milestone and they will probably respond that it is an important event that marks the end of one arc in a story and signals the beginning of a new one. Birthdays, new jobs, births, deaths, retirements, weddings, divorces, and graduations. These are all milestones that at some point you may experience in your time on this spinning rock.
For the past six years (much to my friends' and my mother's dismay) I have been working on my Masters in Regional Planning at the University at Albany. When I say "working on" I mean that I finished all my classes 4 years ago and have been dragging my feet and procrastinating my final paper since. I would do little bursts of writing here and there but for the most part, my paper was an icon on my flash drive that I would look at every often and think "yup, that's a thing that needs to happen", only for me to close my MacBook and prepare for yet another weekend of activities.
Well, that icon finally beat me over the head one weekend in June when I emailed my adviser at UAlbany. I knew that I had to turn this paper in over the summer semester as the statute of limitations for my degree was 6 years from registration, and I needed to know some dates for when it was due, when I could defend, etc. She responded with some info that I knew I was going to hate reading before I even opened it: My paper and dossier of related articles were due July 16, in two and half weeks time. I spent the next 17 days writing, sometimes (more often than not) with a drink in hand, trying to mold the garbled mess of words that I had been nursing for 4 years into something that I would be proud to put my name on and have two scholars in the Geography & Planning Department at UAlbany read and judge.
My oral exam, or defense, is next Wednesday, July 31. I am a little nervous, as would be anyone in my position, that my adviser and the other professor reading my paper will tear it apart and tell me that I will not graduate. On the other hand, if I don't graduate then that would look bad for the department's graduation rates and I already have a job so it would just be $50,000 wasted (UGH). Either way, I took Thursday off from my day job. On Wednesday night at around 6pm, if you hear crying coming from Oh Bar on Lark Street, that will be me. And if you hear cheering and the phrase "shots!" then that will also be me.
I hope to devote more time to this blog now that this milestone has come in my life and hope you will join me.