I have been graduated in the form of being conferred an academic credential a total of 4 times in my life so far. High school, two associates (AA, AGE) and my Bachelor of Science in Psychology. High school was a big deal in terms of a recognition of a terminal point being reached and a certain linear trajectory and certain social setting coming to a close. My associates degrees were earned by accident. I took courses and eventually had the right number of hours in the right subjects, so it took me one semester to finish the two degrees once I recognized the requirements were lined up to complete. My B.S. did not feel like a huge accomplishment to me because I took a long meandering journey toward completing it. It was planned, and so I was excited to finish it, but it wasn’t as direct or timely as I would have liked.
I am due to graduate with my graduate certificate in gender, sexuality and women’s studies in May 2013. I am not as excited about this particular graduation as I could be because I do not see my work as being concluded. While it is true that I have completed the coursework (or actually 6 hours beyond minimum), I still feel as though I still have a lot of work left to do in gender studies. In fact, it is likely that concluding the certificate will not be the end of work in gender for me at all, as there will likely be ongoing work in the topic under the banner of the master of arts in sociology. Regardless of my feelings about the finality or not of this particular curriculum I intend to go through with the ceremony.
Why go through the trouble of the ceremony when I feel like I do? For myself the reason is to force myself to occasionally acknowledge that I do accomplish things and that everything in my life is not simply a work in progress. I can and do complete things. The other reason is family. I may not like most of my family most of the time, but they have shown themselves to be somewhat interested in my life and therefore, after events surrounding the conferral of my two associates degrees I feel like I should perhaps go through the ceremony for their benefit. If for no other reason, I get a reason to drag a few key people in my family that I do like, to my campus to show them around.
I want to be excited about graduation, but at this point I am too involved in other things going on in my academic career.
462 Days Until Thesis Defense!