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Wrapping Up Two and a Half Years

Now it really is my last week of class and internship. I've watched my long list of school things to do slowly dwindle down to the final item: a paper for metadata due on Monday. Once that is turned in, I'll be finished. No more homework, no more classes, no more trips to Massachusetts. It has been an action-packed semester that has ended with a bang: last week's tote bag ceremony at which I was honored as the recipient of the Terry Plum Leadership award, our conference presentation at CLA on Monday, and a part-time job offer at Fairfield University! I find myself in the bewildering position of having achieved everything I set out to do (and more) and feeling a tad overwhelmed and not sure what to do next. My time at Simmons has wrapped up in a manner far more exceptional than I imagined and I feel breathless - as if looking around and thinking, "did I really just do that?" To be honest I also feel like I want to crawl into a hole somewhere and not come out for a while because there's still so much to process.

 How are you supposed to feel when something that's practically consumed you for 2 and ½ years comes to an end? When you realize you'll have to find a new "normal" because you can't remember what life was like before you started the thing and you've changed too much to go back to that anyway? I'll let you guys know when I figure that out. But first I've got to write this paper for metadata because it's not over until it's over!

 And here are two pictures for you from Saturday: one to show you how long my hair has gotten (I call it my "grad school growth" because I haven't cut it since I started), and the other is our SLIS West group photo. 

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Graduation | SLIS | SLIS West


Graduation! (Almost)

This Saturday is the last day of class up at SLIS West and traditionally the day we do our last-day lunch, class photo, and tote-bag ceremony honoring all the graduates. The last-day lunch and class photo is held on the steps of the picturesque Mount Holyoke library (weather permitting) in between classes, and then the final ceremony is held after the last class, about 4:30. It's a low-key, intimate, and friendly affair to which friends and family are invited and where most everyone knows each other. Graduates have their name read, shake Eric Poulin's hand, and receive the coveted and well-earned official Simmons tote-bag. There are no processionals, no caps and gowns, no certificates, no megaphones, and no fanfare.

Some may think this sounds like an anti-climactic culmination of so many hours and weeks of hard work and financial sacrifices. But I think it's perfect and so much in line with the character of our little program out at SLIS West that anything else would be ingenuine. SLIS West students are certainly welcome to travel up to Boston and walk in the official ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance, and some choose to do so. But I can think of nothing better than being surrounded by my friends and actual classmates and being congratulated by my own mentor, advisor, and teacher. I'd rather be recognized by ten people who have been with me through my journey and have some idea of what it means to me personally.

I'm feeling borderline emotional as I contemplate this final trek I will take up to SLIS West with my family in tow. They will get to see for the first time this place of my Saturday pilgrimage, the setting for many of my new discoveries, tests, triumphs, and labors of the past two and half years. I will get to see for the last time (probably) the place where I forged a new identity for myself, pushed against my own limitations, and became part of a community. I'll feel triumphant to be sure; proud, relieved, and maybe a little sad. But don't worry, I still have another week of Metadata so this won't be my last blog post. 😊

Graduation | SLIS | Students