Out with the old…

Last Monday was my 26th first day of school. It was also quite likely the very last first day of school (fall semester) that I will ever experience in my formal education.* I apologize for not posting a picture of me with a backpack on the front porch, but at this point in my schooling… I don’t actually *go* to school anymore. Nevertheless, my “first week of school” was full, but not just full of school stuff. Last Sunday we started our new schedule (five services – we added one service and changed all service times; I lacked the wherewithal to post a post-Sunday post; maybe this week). Monday, I started back piano teaching. Tuesday, we had a big worship team meal and meeting.

I’ve mentioned before that in a college town like Athens, GA, pretty much everything follows the school (and football) schedule; and with the new semester comes change. Remember all those fellowships I applied for? In a miraculous turn of events, the Graduate School offered me an award for this year, which means I no longer have an assistantship!  As I am no longer a graduate teaching assistant for the university, I received word that I had to move out of my office. Last weekend, I began the process of going through stacks of paper and books, and paper and folders, and more paper… throwing out, recycling, and throwing out some more. I don’t consider myself to be a sentimental person, but I thought this activity might make me at least a bit sad.

I was wrong. It didn’t make me sad at all. It brought back a TON of memories, good and bad, painful and celebratory, ridiculous and wonderful. But it didn’t make me sad. Going through notebooks and thinking about the classes I have taken made me glad – glad for all of the things I have learned, glad that I survived, glad that I’m no longer there, glad that I did well, glad that I’ve moved on from that part of the degree. In fact, it felt incredibly liberating to throw pounds and pages of paper into the recycling bin.

I still had about 30 or so books to move out of the office, and on Thursday, when we had our obligatory beginning of the year area meeting, I packed up three boxes of books and turned in my office key. OK, so maybe this was a teeny bit sad, but just a bit. And then I had the inevitable chat with Advisor, and was merely terrified (I’m exaggerating. I wasn’t terrified, mostly just guilty.). But I did turn in a not-quite-complete (mess of a) chapter draft to her last night, so there’s that.

Here’s to a new school year, y’all!

*In accepting the Graduate School’s money for this year, I signed a contract agreeing to do a few things, including complete all of the degree requirements by summer 2014. If I follow through with this, that means that this is my last year… PHD SENIOR YEAR!
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