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Posts Tagged ‘English’

Literally, the minute that I was supposed to be leaving for graduation last week (which was literally about 10 minutes after I was really supposed to be leaving), it struck me how sad it was that my dad wasn’t going to get to see me walk across the stage for my master’s degree.

(It was also sad that my mom couldn’t come to graduation, but as the parent who did not die in 2002, she’s still at a decided advantage in the current activities department.)

I’m not one to wallow in melancholy, however, especially when I’m busy, so I quickly formulated a fix: I would wear something that belonged to Dad, sort of in memoriam, sort of as a good-luck/don’t-trip charm.

I had his old college class ring, his wedding ring and a turquoise ring, pictured above, that I had given him when I was in college the first time around.

The class ring is huge, heavy and just plain cumbersome. And toting around a wedding ring from a divorced man seems a tad unlucky.

Turquoise it was. Only my dad was a big, burly sort, and this ring didn’t even fit on my thumb. I pictured it flying off my hand when I was midway across the stage before noisily rolling an embarrassingly long way under the assembled chairs.

So I was all, OK, I’ll put it on a chain around my neck. But my necklace supply is meager, and a quick dig through the jewelry box yielded nothing suitable.

Time was getting on. I did a mental check of everything I was wearing. No pockets.

The only contender: my watch. I quickly unlatched it, slid the ring onto the band and latched it back into place.

All of this took place in the span of about 30 seconds.

That’s how I took a little piece of my dad across the stage with me. And I didn’t stumble, although I did almost get my crazy-wide gown arm caught on the metal railing around the stage.

Afterwards, I texted mom a couple of photographs. It all felt sort of balanced, parent-wise.

Sometimes it’s best to just go with a crazy urge, especially if you’ve only got one shot at it. Better to do something now that may seem a little kooky than to later regret not doing it.

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Me: So I might get to have lunch with Tom Wolfe.

The Husband: Who?

Me: Tom Wolfe. He’s a famous author.

H: That’s what you dreamed?

Me: No, I dreamed that I was wandering around a post-apocalyptic Earth in search of chocolate-covered cherries. The English department might actually host a luncheon with Tom Wolfe.

H: Oh.

Me: No, I dreamed that I was wandering around a post-apocalyptic Earth in search of chocolate-covered cherries.

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After completing my latest exam this past weekend, I gave serious thought to stopping my pursuit of a master’s degree in English. I have, after all, completed the graduate certificate in technical communication that I returned to school to pursue. I signed up for the master’s program on impulse, the way other people get tattoos, only I wasn’t drunk and this sure is costing a lot more.

I plan weekends and vacations around school, and I don’t even have kids. Years ago, I managed to get a undergraduate degree in journalism and history while taking only ONE upper-level literature course, meaning I have to take a few undergrad courses now.  I obsess. I ponder. I worry. I wonder why I’m doing this.

Then, the fall schedule makes an appearance. I glance at it in spite of myself, and of course see a class that I would love to take. Coincidentally, the company I work for will pay most of my tuition starting this fall.

So now I’m feeling all Clash: Should I stay or should I go? I guess if I have to ask, then I already know the answer.

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