12 December 2009

Homestretch... just like the Ironman finishing chute

I realize that I've spent the past 4, well, 7 months griping and fretting over my Substantial Research Projects (SRP), the capstone to my graduate school career. Back in May when I finished classes, I got a bad case of senioritis. Since I had no more classes to attend, it was practically like I was out of school, right? And unfortunately, my actions reflected that attitude ALLLL summer long and I was smacked with a big dose of reality when September arrived. I scrambled to write my SRP proposals in time to get them approved, I hemmed and hawed about exactly what angle I was going to take with the papers. [note - it is papers PLURAL. I was young, naiive, and stupid and felt I had to get my money's worth of my education. I chose to do two SRPs than just one SRP and have my job count as an internship (I would've had to pay for the credits and saw no sense in paying for something I do every day). NEVER AGAIN]. And then I put my procrastination skills to work, as buying a new house, training for and doing Ironman, and changing jobs all took precedent. Until all of those changes/activities were behind me and suddenly my very sorry-looking SRPs were staring me in the face, with a looming deadline hovering over us all. I had no choice. Do or do not, there is no try. I needed to get my academic cap on, and fast!

So anyways, here I sit at 2:30am on a Friday night/Saturday morning writing the last few paragraphs of the last paper of my graduate school career. This past week has been a frantic scramble to do some serious editing of both papers, essentially giving them each makeovers that lasted well over 12 hours apiece. I've eaten little and drank buckets of coffee (I NEVER drink coffee. Ever.) and slept maybe 4 hours a night, never going to bed before 3am. I'm on record to keep that streak alive tonight as well. But that's okay because tonight is the last night I have to work on this paper. You see, I submitted one of my papers yesterday and I've reached a point with my other one that I feel it isn't a total piece of crap or a disservice to my 2+ years of grad school. I will be done with graduate school in a matter of hours and I am SO EXCITED. And, oddly enough, a little nostalgic at the same time. It has been a long two years and I've learned a lot, grown a lot, and started to figure out where my professional interest and passions lie. I'm happy to say that International Peace and Conflict Resolution was the right degree program for me. These last few paragraphs are a little like the finishers chute at Ironman. You slow down a bit, think back to everything you've accomplished, take it all in and feel a swell of pride. You know that the loooonnngggg journey is almost over and you are just moments away from eternal relaxation. And that's why you feel like you are floating in those last few minutes and you are actually enjoying yourself. [disclaimer - I was too hungry to actually feel those feelings at my last Ironman; all I cared about is food. But this description does accurately describe how I felt during my first Iron Distance race.]

And so now I sign off, ready to finish off the last few paragraphs of my grad school career! Hooray! Bring on the sleep and the triathlon training!

1 comment:

Tim said...

Congratulations Caroline! It will all be worth the hard work and long hours. I look forward to having that feeling myself this time next year. Again, congratulations on finishing up!