Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Big Finish

Good news!  I can now say that I am "officially" done with classes! 

Of course, the final night was not without a few surprises. 

First of all, as many are aware, when one graduates, one typically wears a garment known as a "gown" or a "robe" for the ceremony.  In high school our gowns were red.  In college, they were bright blue.  Now I have finally gone professional grade with a black robe.  The only other difference is that my sleeves are ridiculously long.  Apparently this is normal for Masters degree robes.  Hm.

Anyway, protocol at my university states that all gowns are to be picked up at the campus bookstore.  No problem, right?  Sure.  Except that this bookstore has the least convenient hours possible for graduate students who typically are only on campus in the evening or on weekends.  Weekdays they close at 4:30.  Many weekends they are not open at all.  You do the math.

Ever the conscientious student, I looked at the calendar schedule and thought that the bookstore had hours last weekend.  Due to a misinterpretation of an acronym on my part, this was not true.  So when I stopped in on Saturday before class, they were not open. 

I inquired at the nearby Information Desk for advice as to how to pick up my gown without taking time off work to come in for it.  The kind and helpful attendant on duty suggested that I call the bookstore on Monday and ask them to leave my gown at the Information Desk so that I could pick it up tonight before class.

So I did.  I spoke to someone on Monday who said that she would "check" with the manager, and that someone would call me back.  When no one called by Tuesday, I called again.  This time, the girl on the phone confirmed my request.

Tonight, before class, I stopped by to pick up my gown.  The semi-sleeping girl on duty sleepily informed me that she did not know of any gown waiting to be picked up.  After a cursory search of one cabinet, she informed me that it did not look like the bookstore girl had done what she said she would do.  She did attempt to call over the the bookstore (which had closed 20 minutes earlier), but no one answered.  She then suggested that I do a walk-by, just in case I saw anyone. 

No dice.  If I said that I was frustrated, that would be an understatement.  I retreated to my classroom and fired off an email to the representative at the bookstore.  To my surprise, I received a quick response.  Apparently, she had personally delivered the gown to the Information Desk on Tuesday.  She informed me that they had it but if I would like it to be sent FedEx to me, they would do it.

Luckily, I was still on campus, so I picked it up later.  So all my rage was for naught, but it still helped get my heart pumping in time to give my final presentation. 

Everyone really pulled it together and presented quickly tonight, which meant that we were done in just over an hour (a new record).  So just like that, I am done.  It was strange, walking out with my friend to our cars like we do every week.  This particular friend and I have had almost every single class together, but she will not graduate until May.  Will we ever see each other again?  We're Facebook friends, so perhaps. 

So now I just have to wait for the ceremony.  Then I get my vacation.  And my job search continues. 

How does it feel to be done with graduate school?  Nice.  It feels nice.  Was it as hard or easy as I thought it would be?  Yes.  Did I enjoy it?  Mostly.  The important thing is that I stuck with it all the way through and I still want to work in the library profession.  I think that is a pretty big accomplishment by itself. 

So that was my final evening of class, documented for the ages.  Time will reveal what final grades my professors will give me, but at this point I almost do not care.  Almost.

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