I’ve been in graduate school for the majority of my adult life. I started my masters degree in 2007, my second year of teaching, and never left academia.
So even though I technically graduated in August, walking at graduation in a few Fridays ago was a special kind of bittersweet.
People have started to call me Dr. Oldham, which I find incredibly weird. I understand that they are honoring my accomplishment. I understand that it’s recognition that I’ve worked my behind off in graduate school for more than a decade. I don’t know if it’s me not being ready to hear it, or me not believing that I really, actually, finally, am finished with graduate school. It’s a terminal degree.
There is so much more work to be done, though. I’m excited to have connected with some fabulous educators over the past few months who have, since I’m not stuck in my head anymore, helped me see myself as an educator and as a researcher. They’ve helped me find new pathways to take and perspectives to explore. I cannot even tell you how stoked I am about the research to come.
That said, I guess it’s really time to get this party started.