Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Last Year of Grad School

  Nobody tells you about the emotional part of leaving grad school.  The time I've spent here has been longer than the time I've spent anywhere outside of the town I grew up in.  I've developed relationships here that will (I hope) last me a lifetime.  I have become a wife here, an adopted "auntie", and a teacher to many.  As I bike into my apartment complex, I wave left and right at familiar faces.  I see children who were babies when I started grad school here.  I stop to talk with former students who are themselves moving on to grad school, new jobs, teach for america, or travel abroad.  Getting ready to go isn't just about writing my thesis -- it's about saying goodbye to the people and places I've bonded with.
   Granted, I'm happy right now to be finishing the umpteenth grade and to be starting a new chapter in my life.  But I'm just warning you -- steel yourself against the fact that you will be processing a lot more than just your mathematics as you write up that thesis.   You'll be thinking about what  to keep and what to toss, you'll be spending time with friends, reconnecting with those you've lost touch with, visiting with those who are just near enough to drive to see and just far enough to not bump into.  You'll be wondering if anyone else will carry on the traditions you've started.  You'll see your surroundings with different eyes.  Try it now...It might be an interesting exercise.

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