My Convocation: an end and a beginning

I am so excited to share with you that I have officially finished my Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and now have the paper to prove it!  I attended my convocation ceremony at the University of Calgary today along with many others who were conferred degrees and doctorates in the domains of Education, Social Work, and the Arts to name a few.  It was truly an enjoyable ceremony where none other than the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws.  The Governor General’s speech was excellent as he humbly admitted that he just showed up and did not have to do the work that we all did to receive this “doctorate”.  He also spoke about how he wishes to see a Canada with smarter and more caring citizens.

As I sat in my chair, awaiting my turn to cross the stage, I reflected on how I got there.  Countless hours of reading, note-taking, paper-writing, online discussions and reflections, group presentations…This was time-consuming and often completed after my kids were put to bed and stretching late into the night.  These past two years were a demonstration in juggling: studies, a full-time job as a school-based administrator/teacher, wife and mom.  I even found time in there to train for a couple of half-marathons (but running kept me sane!)  Sometimes it was really hard on my kids such as when I had to go online at 7 pm and miss putting them to bed (a ritual that I rarely miss and that they look forward to every night) and when I had to spend some Sunday afternoons finishing papers and composing discussion postings (my degree was completed almost entirely online) while they went swimming with my husband.  My husband definitely had to pick up my slack in the parenting department and I thank him for that.  I could not have done any of this without his support.

However, as hard as this sometimes was, I am glad I did it and I’m glad I pushed myself to finish in two years…insane as that seems to me now.  The learning that occurred for me was much deeper than simply reading and regurgitating.  The discussions with colleagues and professors opened up my world to new viewpoints and ideas.  I learned what administrators and teachers in other districts, provinces and countries are dealing with.  I learned a lot about research and how it impacts the field of education.  Above all, I learned that I am not finished learning.  This does not mean that I intend to pursue a doctorate because right now I want to enjoy my kids’ childhoods and pursue other types of learning (at the moment, Twitter and blogging are filling the void left by the end of my graduate studies).  But…never say never, right?

For now, I am enjoying the feeling of being “done my Masters”, celebrating a little, and now it is my turn to support my husband as he works on his Masters degree.  I think I owe him, just a little!

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