Monday, November 02, 2009

School and Scrapping Don't Mix

I am so sorry, blog. I have been a big bad blogger - two and a half months of silence? Not good. But I do have a good excuse - blame it all on school.

As you might know, at the encouragement (more like competitive egging) of my DH, I decided to go back to school last June. It was a choice between getting another Master's, this time in Creative Writing, or going for a doctorate since I already have a Master's. I decided that for the same length of time and the same amount of work, might as well go for the higher degree.

I have very pleasant memories of my graduate studies. Academically, I had better grades than when I was a college undergraduate. I was active in extra-curricular activities (student council and school paper) and I was working at the same time. Everything seemed so easy. So I thought post-graduate was going to be a breeze.

Or not. The past three years, my world revolved around my family, my home and my scrapbooking. It has been years since I read an academic paper. And even more years since I received my Master's. Being inside the classroom again, and not as a parent accompanying her child this time, was quite a culture shock. Everything seemed so...academic.

As the semester progressed, my scrap stuff made way for xeroxed articles. Instead of reading for fun and relaxation, I started reading for recitations and examinations. While I am a voracious reader, there were many times when I fell asleep reading the likes of Wilson, Waldo, Sen and Foucault. Blog-writing had to be set aside for book reviews and annotated bibliographies.

I missed scrapbooking so much that many times, I would sketch layouts or write my journaling in class, while the professor droned on and on about ethics and law. And then there was the feeling that I wasn't good enough. What was a SAHM like me doing in school with classmates from the World Bank, United Nations, Congress, state universities? Many times, I felt like signing the blue slip and dropping out.

But the thought of DH's smug face kept me on. I couldn't bear to quit because I knew I would never hear the end of it from him. He of the 1.18 average. Plus, the tuition fee was much more than I expected so I couldn't let it go to waste.

And so I toiled on...every paper finished was a milestone. And like every milestone, it always seemed there was another waiting around the corner. Every exam taken and passed was a validation. Near the end of the semester, I finally started believing I could do this. I could be a doctor (cue thunder and lightning!)

Yesterday, I finally saw my PA Theory grade online. Our professor was very strict and exacting. I wasn't expecting a high grade especially after the final exam. I was the first one to finish in class because there wasn't anything more I could write in answer to the three essay questions. I had to wait two more hours for my classmates to finish. It wasn't looking good. So I was resigned to a low grade.

And then surprise, surprise! I got a much higher grade than I expected. I literally exploded out of my chair as I began to shout for DH to look at my grade. I felt all the stress and the fatigue of the past two weeks of cramming flow out of my body. I did it! I passed with flying colors! I have proven that at my age, I can still cram like the best of them. Woo-hoo!

Next week is enrolment for the second semester and I think I will be lining up for more pain and torture again. In the meantime, I hope to scrap and blog. I've got lots of memories lined up and I still have to blog about the final outcome of the Idol contest. Stay tuned.