01 August 2010

Ease it on back...

It's been a crazy crazy couple of months, and I apologize for dropping off the face of the Internet for a bit longer than my usual summer hiatus. After a messier and more frantic finals season than I'm used to, I finally received my Masters degree in May. I took that triumphant walk down that corridor to the strains of Sine Nomine, and was handed the first degree I actually feel like I really worked for.

Not that I wasn't happy when I graduated from high school, or my undergrad, it's just that somehow those graduation ceremonies were different. Both events felt very much like it was just another thing to get over and done with. The ceremonies themselves lacked celebration, I hadn't felt like I had accomplished anything, and in the end, was just sitting there for two hours in a plastic robe to get a meaningless little piece of paper that will sit in my parents house and gather dust for a few years. Maybe my undergrad diploma will find a place on my office wall someday. Maybe not.

Kind of bleak, right?

But my masters... it's different somehow. I think it's because I finally found exactly what I want to do with my life. The path to this degree wasn't just another two years of going through the academic motions. I finally feel like I accomplished something, and really felt that excitement of commencement that I always felt that there must be something wrong with me for not feeling the first two times.

And now, I work. I work, I teach, I try to publish, and in a few years, Ph.D. here I come.

After graduation, with no clue as to employment, no idea where to go next, I had a number of great gifts and opportunities drop into my lap, including a promotion (in title, not pay) at the summer camp I have worked at for the past three years. It's been an amazing time, as always, and as it winds down, I will miss my students and my colleagues dearly.

On the more fun, frivolous side of life, as a birthday/graduation present, my aunt treated me to a few days at the Hershey Spa in Hershey, PA. What an absolutely beautiful place the Hotel Hershey is! The photo above is from the main patio, and I hope to write a post soon devoted to my few days there, which were relaxing and visually inspiring, as well as full of new experiences.

This summer, I also was given the privilege of attending and participating in a friend's wedding. I realized that I am actually at that age where my friends are beginning to get married, and I am thrilled that thanks to my musical background, I have something to offer as a wedding gift, since I am, to put it lightly, broke as shit.

This wedding was a special one, since both the bride and the groom are members of the German Oompah Band I play with during the Oktoberfest season. So, because of this, I and the other members of the brass band played the ceremony. It was beyond beautiful, and in all my years as a wedding musician (and we're going on 10 as a cellist, and 6 as a vocalist) I've never seen a happier, more laid back couple on the big day.

So, what now? What's up in the more immediate future?

The summer is winding to a close, and before we know it autumn is going to start inching in. I have been granted the opportunity to teach at the University level for this fall semester, so I have a ton of planning to do in the next three weeks. And after that, I make my first walk into a classroom as something more than a student, more than a GA. I'm going to be a real teacher, adjunct though I may be.

It's a little scary.

Okay, let's be honest. It's way more than a little scary. It's downright terrifying. However, I've never wanted anything so badly in my life, and I know that at the end of the day, I'm going to make a college instructor, even if the students in front of me are basically my age. I just have to learn to stop second guessing myself.

And besides, if worse comes to worse, I'll just make sure I'm wearing great shoes. Because really, who can not feel confident in a pair of great kicks?



adrienne said...

Congratulations! I hope you enjoy what's left of the summer :)

Iron Needles said...

Congrats on graduating! What an achievement. You are so gifted and talented, and good for you for seizing the opportunity to make the most of those and to use them.

And good luck on the teaching, and good shoes!

lara griffiths said...

you will be great!

learn, teach, blog and share (when you can)


Lupie said...

I've always want to go to the Hotel Hershey. Now that grandkids are coming I'll just have to make a family trip there.
Teaching at the University level I only taught Middle Schoolers.
Much luck in your new job! You'll be great and those students are lucky to have you.