December 17, 2016

I received my Masters in Science from Western Illinois University yesterday.  My little family of four and my mother-in-law traveled out in two vehicles to Macomb, Illinois, for the graduation ceremony.  Already this winter has proven to be frightful, and we traveled in icy rain on the way up and snow on the way home.

I graduated with my masters 20 years after my bachelor’s degree.  I always wanted my masters but life kind of got in the way.  I started a different program before Noah was born, but the program wasn’t sciencey enough for me so I quit after a year.  Thankfully a Health Science degree was very sciencey with statistics and epidemiology, and the not sciencey classes were enjoyable at this later stage in my life.

When I started this program in August of 2013, our lives were quite different.  Within the first 3 months of school, our friend Flynn and Nathan’s Dad died unexpectedly.  These painful losses were a huge bump in the road for me, and I wanted to quit grad school right then.  While my undergraduate degree never felt like a choice, I questioned my sanity signing up to write papers and take tests at the age of almost 40.

After a year in the program, I was used to the reality of grad school.  Leaving the family at night to sit in class was tough.  Lily in particular wanted me home.  I managed to go to every holiday program and spring concert, and I took summers off so that I could be at the baseball fields and the ice rink.

Nathan never complained about all of the extra driving around of kids he had to do when I was in class.  He never commented over the additional cost of another degree.  He did help me study for statistics, and he always listened when I told him about the new things I was learning or complained about a class.  He read some really really long research papers.

So thank you Nathan for supporting me once again in a pursuit to better myself.  You are the best life choice I’ve made.
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Thank you to my children, parents (who have always supported my learning), mother-in-law, sisters, and friends who were always supportive along the way.  I have a really great fan club.

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My classmate Jazmin (the Mamas in the program)

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My favorite professor, Dr. Bezold

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My friend Courtney recommended that I actually put the hood on for a picture because it’s pretty hilarious.  I felt the hoods were Harry Potter-esque.  Dr. Bezold said in that case I’m Hermoine.